As the days grow shorter and the evenings become colder outside it’s a great time to spend with your children doing crafts. Halloween time offers a wonderful opportunity to let your children make items with their small hands to decorate the house with. Children love seeing their artwork around their home. It gives them a sense of pride and fulfillment.
Here are three simple and fun crafts that I have personally made throughout the years.
1) Paper Mache Pumpkins
Here are the supplies that you will need.
Orange Tissue Paper. Several packages of it to make one pumpkin. Or if you wish your pumpkins to be simply white and to paint the finished product orange then go with white tissue paper.
Paint and paint supplies such as brushes
Box of starch
Colored cardboard paper for the stem and leaves
Glue. Simple Elmer’s is fine. I prefer not to use a hot glue gun. I like to simply use Elmer’s.
Once you have all your supplies on hand lay out some paper on a kitchen table. Blow up your balloon or balloons. Have a bowl and mix the starch with water to form a paste. It should not be too thick but it should also not be too thin. About the consistency of cake batter. Have your tissue paper already cut into strips that measure one inch by about six inches. Now simply dip the strips of tissue paper into the glue and begin to cover the balloon. Put a lot of paper on the balloon so it is sturdy when it dries. Make sure the entire surface is covered thickly. Now you must let the paper mache dry. I like to let them sit over night and then begin the project on the next day. The longer they dry the harder they seem to be and the more sturdy.
Once your balloon pumpkin is dry simply pop the balloon with a pin. There are two ways to do the paper mache pumpkins. Some people want to cut out the top of the pumpkin so they can stuff it with flower or other artistic things but some people simply do not cut out the top of the pumpkin and only leave it a ball. If you want to cut then pumpkin the use your Xcto knife and very gently cut the top just like carving a real pumpkin. This will reveal the hallowed out inside. Some people will fill this space with candy, some with flowers, the idea’s are limitless. However, be sure to remove the balloon debris that remain.
Now its time to decorate the pumpkin. If you used orange paper you simply paint your face or decorations on the outside of the finished product. But if you elected to use white tissue paper then you must gently paint the entire pumpkin in orange. Its also time to fashion the stem and any leaves out of the card stock paper you have purchased. Attach these using the Elmer’s Glue. Some people enjoy fashioning the eyes, mouth,and nose out of card stock too instead of painting them on the pumpkin. Whichever you prefer will work fine.
The most important thing to remember for the project is to always handle your pumpkin gently. They are fragile. The finished product is wonderful and fun for the whole family.
2) Walnut Spiders
Kids, especially boys, are fascinated with spiders. Every Halloween I always have bowls of nuts around the house. So encourage your children to save the Walnut shells. when you have accumulated about ten shells its time to make walnut spiders! This is also a fun way to encourage then to eat healthy nuts.
The supplies that you will need are,
Black pipe cleaners
Those cute little dot eyeballs that you can buy at any store
A bag of the face cobwebs that you can decorate your house using
Take your walnut shells and cut the pipe cleaners to make small legs. Remember, spiders sport eight legs with four on each side. Simply have your child glue the black pipe cleaners to each side of the walnut shell. The legs are done. Now affix the plastic eyes to the spider. Once the little beast is done string your face cobwebs across a mantel or on a plant and affix the homemade spiders to it. Children always adore this project. Its quick and fun with excellent results.
3) The Classic Ghost On A String
I think that people have made these for a centuries but they are often overlooked when it comes to craft day. But they are fun and kids like them.
You will simply need
White cotton cut into twelve inch squares
Styrofoam balls the size of golf balls
Wrap the cotton material around the Styrofoam head. Tie the neck area of the head using string. Now insert the paper clip in the form of a hook into the top of the head. Its time to decorate the ghosts face using the markers. Once the ghost is done tie a string to the paper clip in the head and attach to your ceiling or door jam with a thumb tack. This fast little project tends to thrill children. Many kids will even want to give their ghosts as gifts to grandparents and friends.