SCARECROWS, PUMPKINS AND GHOSTS, OH MY!
Halloween Craft and Decorating
Submitted by: Amanda Formaro, Founder of FamilyCorner.com
Decorating your front porch, yard, or walkway for Halloween can be loads
of fun. While there are probably hundreds of ways to spiff up your yard
and adorn your door, let's focus on a few simple solutions that your
pocket can live with.
Scarecrows are actually very easy to make and look like you spent hours
assembling them. For a friendly scarecrow, use either a plastic smiling
pumpkin for the head, or a carved or painted pumpkin with a happy face.
Choose a long sleeved shirt or coat, a pair of pants or jeans, and a hat
if you choose. You may even go so far as to include shoes for it's feet
and gloves as it's hands.
Stuff the clothing with newspapers or dry leaves to keep the scarecrow
from getting too heavy that you can't carry him. If you have straw
available, poke some out from inside the shirt collar and wrist cuffs of
the shirt. If not using gloves, you can use straw or sticks for the
hands. Secure all the clothing together with safety pins, or by hand
sewing 8-10 stitches every 4-6 inches or so.
Follow the instructions above for the clothing, simply replace the happy
pumpkin face with a scary or angry expression.
Another option is to use planks of wood set up easel style, then drape
lengths of cloth all over to form ghostly apparel. Using more wood, and
a few nails, hammer arms so that they are pointing out to the sides.
Using a spooky carved face and leaving the hat off gives an eerie
appearance! A Grim Reaper can also be constructed this way by using
black sheets or cloth and forming a hood over the pumpkin head.
With Halloween comes the tradition of carving pumpkins. You can carve an
extravagant expression or a simple smile. Be certain to use caution when
using any sharp object to carve the pumpkins. Be creative. Draw your
ideas on paper before carving to eliminate mistakes you cannot reverse.
For some really cool, free pumpkin carving patterns visit
An alternative to carving is painting. This is very popular with
families with small children. Kids want to be a part of the process, and
this is a wonderful way to let them decorate their own pumpkin. You can
use markers or tempura paints. Because you are not cutting into the
pumpkin, it will last longer and you will be able to use it in recipes
after the holiday. Just be sure to wash all the paint off!
Also, see printable, stick-on pumpkin decorations here.
Ghosts, Webs, & Spiders
Simple hanging ghosts can be made from squares of white fabric. Place
the square of fabric down flat on the table. In the center of the
fabric, put a balled up wad of fabric scraps, cotton, or yarn. Using
newspaper as the stuffing is not recommended because of rain drenching
the paper and possibly bleeding the ink through the white fabric. Wrap
the fabric around the ball in the center and tie off with a piece of
orange or black yarn. Use a black marker to paint on eyes and a mouth.
Make longer ones by using larger scraps of fabric. Hang ghosts in a tree
or from your doorway.
To see how to make Garbage Bag Cats, go here
Spiders and webs are fairly easy to decorate with. You can purchase
small plastic spiders and webbing at craft and discount stores. Thread
webbing across bushes and windows to create an eerie effect. String it
through trees and branches and over doorways.
To make large yard spiders, fill a black plastic garbage full with dry
leaves or old newspapers. Tie off the end. Using another black garbage
bag, fill again, but only 1/3 of the way. Tie off. The smaller bag is
the head. Attach the head to the larger bag (body) with packing tape.
Using yet another black garbage bag, cut lengthwise into thin strips,
enough for eight legs. Tape or hot glue sides together once you have
lined them with a filling such as leaves or newspaper. Hot glue or tape
legs to body.
Halloween is such a fun holiday. Be sure to make the most of it and
follow our safety precautions here
for a fun
night of Trick-or-Treating!
The Halloween Book
by Jane Bull, Dorling Kindersley
Packed with fantastic activities for the spookiest night of the year. Light flickering jack-o-lanterns, create creepy costumes, and feast on terrifying treats for the ultimate Halloween party. .
Crafts for Halloween
by Kathy Ross, Sharon Lane Holm
Black cats, ghosts, and spiders come to life in a simple, illustrated guide to creating the perfect decorations for Halloween, designed so that even very young children can use readily available materials to master these holiday crafts.
Amanda Formaro is the entrepreneurial mother of four children. She and
her husband live in southern Nevada. She is also the owner of
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