Ghosts, goblins... gummy worms! Halloween is all about spooky fun, so be sure to add that spirit of playfulness to your party decorations. These DIY Halloween crafts will turn your home into a frighteningly fun abode - and they're so simple that even your youngest family member can help create them!
Adding a layer of cheesecloth on top of these simple fabric ghosts gives them a subtly spooky look. Line them up along your walkway to greet guests and trick-or-treaters as they approach your home.
What you'll need to make one ghost:
* 8 - 12" Styrofoam ball
* Wooden dowel
* White fabric
* Scissors and/or pinking shears
* String or twine
* Black ribbon
* Sticky-back black felt (if you can't find this use regular felt and glue)
* Pins (optional)
How to make a fabric ghost:
1. Insert a long wooden dowel into a Styrofoam ball.
2. Cut a piece of white fabric large enough to drape over the ball and most of the dowel.
3. To shape the ghost, gather the fabric at the base of the Styrofoam ball and tie with a piece of string.
4. Fan out fabric and trim as needed. To prevent fabric from fraying, use pinking shears.
5. Drape a piece of cheesecloth over the fabric ghost and adjust as needed. Trim the ends so it looks tattered.
6. Tie a ribbon around the neck to secure.
7. For eyes, cut out two ovals from the black felt. Stick the eyes onto the cheesecloth, just below the top of the ghost's head.
8. To connect several ghosts, insert the first into the ground. Then, insert another ghost a foot or two away. Fan out the fabric and pin the edges of two sides.
For a treat guests are sure to give a second glance, fill movie theater-style popcorn buckets with foil-wrapped chocolate eyeballs. Insert a few gummy worms among the eyeballs to really make a statement!
Scary Window Silhouettes
Dress your window in Halloween-themed paper shapes for a festive daytime decoration that turns eerie at night.
What you'll need:
* Halloween-shaped cookie cutters or images
* Black construction or text-weight paper
* Yellow tissue paper
How to make silhouettes:
1. Trace Halloween-themed shapes onto black construction or text-weight paper. Use cookie cutters with shapes like stars, pumpkins, owls, a witch's hat or a black cat. Or look online for images to download and print (pumpkins, a witch's hat, owls, stars, black cats, or even classic monsters like Dracula or Frankenstein)
2. Cut out shapes and use tape to adhere to windows from the inside
3. To make the silhouettes stand out in both daytime and at night, layer sheets of yellow tissue paper behind them and adhere to the frame of your window
4. For a nighttime glow, position a bright light on the decorated windows from the inside, so that when it gets dark, the black silhouettes will be in full view.
Set Up a Spooky Lab
Set aside a table stocked with oozy, gooey, creepy specimens that kids can poke around in.
- 1. Fill a deep bowl with cold spaghetti mixed with a few drops of vegetable oil to make it slick, plus some salsa for color. Label the bowl "Blood & Guts."
- 2. Then, peel bunches of grapes and add some canned olives. Label the bowl "Eyeball Stew."
- 3. Whip up a light-colored gelatin mix (cherry, orange or lime works well) as directed on the package. Then, pour into a Bundt pan or other type of mold and add plastic critters such as bugs, centipedes, worms and spiders. Once the gelatin sets, the critters will be trapped and ready for display.
- 4. Fill lidded jars with water or glycerin (the kind you would use for snow globes) and float heads of white cauliflower in them. Label the jars with clever names such as "Abby-Normal Brain" or "Frankie's Brain."
Blood-Thirsty Beverage Bar
Offer your guests drinks from a Blood-Thirsty Beverage Bar. Use a red marker to write different blood types (A +/-, B+/-, O+/-) onto plain white office labels and stick them on assorted beverage bottles. Be sure to have cups and a bucket of ice nearby and if your bottled drinks aren't the twist-off kind, supply a bottle opener.
Orange pumpkins are a Halloween staple, but the white variety present a more unexpected, spectral effect. Here are three easy ways to make the most of these beauties:
- 1. Use glow-in-the-dark paint to spell out messages like "Boo," "Eek," and "Beware."
- 2. Line up a trio of pumpkins and carve out a pair of spooky eyes - and nothing else - on each.
- 3. Carve jack-o-lanterns out of a set of five medium-sized pumpkins. Add battery-operated lights into each and stack them to resemble a totem pole.
For a dramatic table centerpiece, gather a variety of clear glass vases and apothecary jars in various heights. Fill each halfway with water tinted red with food coloring. To finish the dramatic look, pop the heads off of a few black faux flowers and float them in the water.
Ghastly Floral Arrangements
Add to your tinted water table decorations with a faux floral arrangement that has a bloody Halloween twist.
What you need:
* Terracotta pots and/or antique garden urns
* Silver spray paint
* Sea sponge
* Black and red paint
* Paint brush
* Gummy worms, plastic spiders, toy fingers and other Halloween gag items
* Faux spider web
* Faux black and white flowers
* Floral foam
* Hot glue gun (optional)
How to make a flower arrangement:
- 1. Dip a paint brush into red paint and splatter all over faux black and/or white flowers and let dry.
- 2. Spray paint a terracotta pot in silver and let dry (or use an antique garden urn for a quicker arrangement).
- 3. Dip a sea sponge in black paint (blot any excess) and lightly press all over the silver pot or simply use a brush to add drips of red paint down the sides. Let dry.
- 4. Trim the faux flowers so when placed inside they pop out just above the rim. Bunch together and tie with a rubber band. Insert a small square of floral foam at the bottom of the pot and then insert the faux flower bunch into the foam.
- 5. To decorate, insert and/or hot glue plastic spiders, toy worms and fingers throughout the centerpiece. Finish by draping faux spider's web onto the arrangement.
This inexpensive material can be frayed, tattered, even splattered with red paint. Layer it over lampshades, mirrors, chairs and furniture throughout your home for an elegant, spooky touch.
For a creepy surprise, point arriving guests in the direction of a coat closet filled with helium-filled balloons decorated to look like oversized eyeballs that spill out when they open the door. You can also float these on the ceiling for a playful touch.
What you need:
* White balloons
* Portable helium tank
* Black curling ribbon
* Assorted colored and black construction or text-weight paper
* Red marker
* Glue Stick
How to make an eyeball balloon:
- 1. Fill a balloon with helium, knot the ends and tie on a length of black curling ribbon.
- 2. To create the eye's pupil, cut out a circle from the colored paper large enough to fit in the center of the balloon.
- 3. Cut out smaller circle from black paper and glue to the center of the colored circle.
- 4. Gently tape the glued circles to the center of the white balloon.
- 5. Use a red marker to draw on veins surrounding the eye's "pupil."
A withered old "tree" placed outside your front door makes a creepy first impression on guests and trick-or-treaters.
What you need:
* Assorted branches
* Black spray paint
* Fine silver glitter
* Plastic black garden urn or similar galvanized tub
* Floral foam
* Dried moss
* Faux spider webs
* Hot glue gun
* Plastic spiders, snakes, mice and other creepy crawlers
* Black ribbon
- 1. Collect assorted fallen branches from your yard and spray paint them black.
- 2. Before they dry, sprinkle with sliver glitter.
- 3. Fill garden urn, galvanized tub or other container with floral foam.
- 4. Create your arrangement by inserting the branches into the foam.
- 5. Cover the base of the branches and top of the floral foam with moss.
- 6. String faux spider webs over the branches.
- 7. To finish, hot glue plastic spiders, mice, snakes and other creepy crawler onto lengths of black ribbon and hang on the branches.