Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fun & Fiendish Halloween Crafts!

As a child I found Halloween to be quite exciting. Seeing that crime was not that big of a deal back then, I would sit outside or in my window each year and watch as all the gremlins, goblins, skeletons and princesses strolled by, bags or baskets in hand, hoping to have them filled with neighborhood treats. Although crime was minimal and I lived in a very safe area, I was still not allowed to join them in their paganistic celebrations. Being the rebellious soul that I am, I found all sorts of other ways to make my own fun of the occasion. I would bake and decorate ghoulish cookies or hang creepy crawlers all around my room, much to the dismay of my grandmother! Many chose not to celebrate Halloween because of it's pagan or ungodly connotations, but if you read The History of Halloween, you will see that is  not as "unholy" as many may think.

I would caution parents and guardians nowadays of course, against sending your kids out on the streets trick-or-treating alone, especially after this month's tragedy but there are so many other ways to make October 31st fun for the whole family that it won't even matter whether or not you go outside. Halloween has long been associated with ghosts and evil goblins but you really don't have to make the experience a scary one (if you don't want to) although monstrous creatures only add to the thrill!. It can be a day to simply transform into anyone or anything you desire and get "out of the box" for a change. Below are a few fun things you can do this Halloween to make it a memorable one: 

Closet Creatures!
Closet Creatures   
Put some friendly monsters in your closet for the Halloween season.
  • hanger
  • poster board
  • card stock
  • tacky glue
  • tape

  1. For each, trace the body of a hanger onto poster board, then cut out the shape.
  2. Cut facial features from poster board and card stock, adhering them to the base shape with tacky glue.
  3. Let the glue dry, then tape the poster board face to the hanger.

  • 12- to 15-ounce cereal box
  • glue stick
  • wrapping and white paper
  • marker
  • thin elastic
  • duct tape
  • baseball cap
  1. Book cover: Cut off the top and bottom flaps and one narrow side of a 12- to 15-ounce cereal box so that you're left with three panels. Apply a glue stick all over the printed side of the cardboard, then cover it with wrapping paper that's an inch wider than the box on all sides.

    Fold down the edges of the wrapping paper and glue them in place. Glue an 11- by 17-inch sheet of white paper on top.
  2. nullInside pages: Beginning at a short end, accordion-fold two sheets of 11- by 17-inch white paper. The folds should be 1 inch wide.

    Glue an end flap of each of the folded sheets along a short edge of another 11- by 17-inch sheet, creating a table shape. Glue the bottom flaps of the accordioned sheets to the book cover leaving the center piece loose, as shown. 
  3. nullFace opening: Lay the book wrapping paper–side up and draw an oval face-opening in the center. Use a craft knife to cut through the cardboard and paper (an adult's job).
  4. Neck strap: Attach a length of thin elastic with duct tape under the white paper, as shown.
  5. nullHat attachment: Cut off the bill of a baseball cap. Attach the front of the cap to the book by running a strip of duct tape down the front center of the cap onto the top edge of the book above the face opening, as shown.

    Continue running the tape over the edge of the book cover, straight down under the paper, through the face opening, and into the inside center of the hat.
  6. Finishing touches: Glue the center of the white book page to the cover, then use a marker to write "face book."

    Considering all the FaceBook fanatics out there, this should be a hit! 

    Spirit Jugs

  • Clean plastic gallon milk jugs
  • Black permanent marker
  • Craft knife
  • String of 50 clear low-wattage holiday lights

  1. Draw ghost eyes and mouths on the jugs. Tip: Leave the caps on while you do this, so the jugs don't dent.
  2. Use the craft knife to cut a half-dollar-size hole in the back of each jug (a parent's job).
  3. Arrange the ghosts near each other and string the lights between them, stuffing several bulbs into each of the jugs.

Eye See YOU!

Let the eggers know that they are being watched!

  • Ping-Pong ball
  • Permanent markers
  • Battery-powered tea light
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue dots

  1. Cut an X in the Ping-Pong ball (an adult's job).
  2. Draw eye details on the ball with permanent markers.
  3.  Cut embellishments from paper and attach them to the ball with glue dots.

    Image by
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1. Print the first page of the template on a sheet of black cardstock and the second page on a sheet of white cardstock. (Or, you can print the template on plain paper and use the pieces as patterns for cutting out two bat bodies from black cardstock and a Mickey face from white cardstock. Then use a black marker to draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth on the face, as shown on the template.)
2. Cut a length of monofilament for hanging the bat and knot one end. Use a glue dot to attach the knot to the head portion of one of the two body pieces.
Step 2
3. Cut a pipe cleaner length that is just long enough to stretch from wing to wing, and use glue dots to stick it in place on the same body piece as the monofilament.
Step 3
4. Use the glue stick to apply a generous coat of adhesive to the body, going right over the pipe cleaner and monofilament knot. Then set the second black body shape on top of the first, matching up all the edges and firmly pressing down on the paper to stick the two layers securely together.
Step 4
5. Glue the face in place, centering it below the ears, and your Mickey bat is ready to hang.
Step 5
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Give those hungry critters a good chuckle each time they open the fridge!
  • Family photographs (or printouts)
  • Glue dots
  • Ribbon, fabric, and yarn, and other decorative items.

  1. Fantasy Photos Variation Give each player a family photograph (or printout), glue dots, and a supply of decorative items, such as ribbon, fabric, and yarn. Then see who can come up with the most outrageous improvements. Our testers giggled as they made a funky fabric shirt for Dad, a glitter-glue collar for the dog, and blue tinsel hair for Grandma. One goofy group turned their clan into aliens with pom-pom antennae and googly eyes.

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Make Halloween a blast this year and show off your creativity skills!

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