Halloween might just be one of the best holidays. You get to dress up, eat horrifying amounts of candy and decorate your house with cobwebs and skeletons. For the artistically gifted, it’s a dream.
But even if you’re not particularly talented in that area, there are so many easy-to-construct crafts that can add a special touch to your house.
I chose the following crafts for their looks and ability to customize.
Egg carton creatures
Egg carton, scissors, paint brush, acrylic paints and assorted ribbons of your choice, a Sharpie marker
These little guys turned out to be my favorite. They are the brainchild of blogger Tonya Staab, whose work can be found at http://www.tonyastaab.com.
Simply cut apart individual cups from the egg carton, paint them in the color of your choice and draw on their faces with the Sharpie once the paint is dry. Lastly, tie a ribbon around both pieces. For structural purposes, I taped the insides together but Staab also had the cute idea of putting Halloween goodies inside and giving them away as gifts.
I followed Staab’s direction with the zombie, ghost and pumpkin, but I came up with the purple creature, who is supposed to be a witch, on my own (which is probably why she is the worst!). Next time, I’ll use a lighter purple.
Lanterns with silhouettes
Glass jars, tissue paper, Mod Podge, paint brush, Halloween stencils, black paper, tea candles
For these lanterns, I was inspired by several different images, but particularly by lanterns for sell by Etsy seller RedHedPrims. You can visit http://www.etsy.com to view her pieces. While larger bottles would provide more drama, I used glass jars I already had in my apartment and placed a tea candle inside.
To decorate the jar, cut translucent tissue paper into somewhat fat, short strips. You’ll adhere the strips onto the glass with Mod Podge by using a paint brush. I’d recommend brushing the glue directly onto the jar and placing the tissue strip over it. While I like the look of overlapped tissue strips, how neat or precise you make it is your prerogative. Don’t be afraid to brush the glue over the tissue strips after they are adhered as the glue will not show once dry. (Just be careful not to brush too much glue over the delicate strips.)
I cut the stencils from a sturdy piece of black paper and while I happen to like bats and ravens, any Halloween silhouette works. I found my silhouettes at http://www.about.com by searching for Halloween stencils. Once again, glue the silhouettes onto the jar with Mod Podge.
Small pumpkin, black and white craft foam, paint brush, black acrylic paint, toothpicks, Mod Podge, a template for the wings, ears and eyes
This easy craft comes from http://www.spoonful.com, where the template for the wings, ears and eyes can be found (search for “bat-o’-lantern” on the site).
First, paint the pumpkin. While it’s drying, cut the eyes, wings and ears from the craft foam by using the template provided at the website. You should probably give the pumpkin two coats of paint, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Once the paint is dry, glue the eyes onto the pumpkin. I recently fell in love with Mod Podge, which can be found at craft stores, and would recommend using that as an adhesive.
To attach the ears and wings, glue the toothpicks to the back of the pieces and stick them into the pumpkin. Paint over the toothpicks so they aren’t glaringly obvious.
My directions differ a bit from Spoonful’s, but where’s the fun in life, if you follow everything exactly?
Festive Halloween bouquet
Materials needed flowers of your choice, cylindrical wood container, Halloween themed craft paper, Mod Podge, paint brush
For my bouquet, I picked cheery yellow, orange and red flowers, along with fake pumpkins on vines, because now is not the time for subtlety. Don’t think too hard about where to put each flower.
To create the vase, I bought an incredibly cheap wood container from Hobby Lobby knowing that I wanted to glue Halloween themed paper onto it.
I chose paper that has cobwebs and skulls on them to show I mean business.
To adhere the paper, simply brush the Mod Podge onto the wood. I glued a piece of the cobweb printed paper and added a border of the skull print over it.
Regular grapevine wreath, black spray paint, and five or so black rubber snakes, plus bows or other embellishments.
The hardest part of this craft, inspired by a project on http://www.marthastewart.com, was finding rubber snakes. I located mine at Dollar Tree for a buck apiece. Spray-paint the wreath black and let dry. Then wrap and weave the snakes around the wreath, tucking the ends to secure. You can also use a hot-glue gun, but I didn’t have much luck with that. If they won’t stay put, you could also use thin black wire. Once the snakes are arranged, add a bow, sign or other embellishment.