Homespun Pumpkin Decorations
Assembled from yarn, rope, and foam balls, these homespun pumpkin decorations are simple to make. For each, gently press top and bottom of a Styrofoam ball against a work surface to flatten ends (so ball doesn’t roll). Wrap orange roving around ball. Insert a T pin into top. Tie cream or orange mohair yarn to pin and cover ball. Cut a length of rope; place over pin, and attach with a hot-glue gun, pressing to secure.
Friendly Ghost Shades
These easy, inexpensive window treatments are a spooky addition to windows for Halloween.
Paper window shade
Thin white paper
1. Trim a paper window shade to fit your window. 2. Print and cut out ghost templates; trace them onto thin white paper, such as white kraft paper, and cut them out. 3. Stretch the shade flat; tape it to a work surface. 4. Spray the back of a ghost with adhesive, then press it onto the shade. 5. To get a scalloped lower edge, as shown, pinch a stack of pleats up from the bottom (we did eight), and diagonally snip off the ends. Fold the bottom edge in half to fan the pleats, and secure with double-stick tape.
Oil-based enamel paint in black and orange or yellow
Extra-wide masking tape
Plastic-covered 20-gauge wire
Small candle (such as the LED candle)
1. In a well-ventilated area, paint inside of jar orange or yellow until opaque. Apply masking tape to outside. Press out air bubbles. Draw a jack-o’-lantern face in marker on tape (or print out templates onto adhesive labels). Cut out and peel away features with a utility knife to form a stencil (an adult should do this). 2. Paint stencil with black paint. When dry, peel off tape. 3. For a handle, loop the end of wire with pliers. Make a lasso shape that will hug jar. Bend remaining wire over for a handle. Cut wire; make another loop to hook onto ring. Slip ring over jar’s mouth; tighten.
Vellum Halloween Table Lanterns
When the sun goes down, set a spooky scene with these dramatic lanterns made from simple supplies and our exclusive clip-art designs. You can also get a how-to for Hanging Vellum Halloween Lanterns.
Cutting mat and ruler
24-by-36-inch heavy black paper
Bone folder and craft knife (marthastewartcrafts.com)
Orange vellum (papermojo.com)
Adhesive glue tape (save-oncrafts.com) or double-sided tape
Templates and clip art: moon, cat 1, cat 2, witch, or owl
1. Print and cut out a lantern template. Trace template four times, side by side, on black paper as shown (use 2 sheets if needed); with a bone folder, crease where sides meet. Cut out. 2. Print 4 copies of a design (try an owl, witch, cat, hissing cat, or moon; available above in the materials section) onto vellum; a laser printer works best. Cut each piece just larger than frame “windows.” Tape vellum into frame. Trim the bottoms straight; tape edges.
Peek into your backyard and your art-supply drawer ~ odds are you have everything you need to make this bat mobile. Trace our bat templates onto black card stock; cut them out and fold them according to template instructions. Make a small hole in the center of each bat with a tack. Poke a piece of thread through each hole, and knot it. Tie the bats to a found branch (painting it black is optional). Then hang the branch from two pieces of thread secured to the top of the window with flat thumbtacks.
Grouped together on the mantel, Drac-o’-lantern and tiny winged pals create a Transylvanian scene. Run-of-the-mill pushpins turn into devilish red eyes.
For vampire pumpkin: Thumbtack or pin
Small white pumpkin (For a big bite, choose a small pumpkin so the plastic vampire teeth seem huge)
Plastic vampire teeth
For bat: Black construction paper
Small white pumpkin
1. Print mouth template. Lay template on pumpkin, and poke thumbtack through, all along outline, to transfer design. Cut out with saw; remove excess flesh. 2. Wedge teeth into hole. 3. For eyes, pin map tacks onto pumpkin. 4. Print wing template and trace onto construction paper and cut out. 6. Fold down flat ends of wings 1/4 inch, and attach folded edge to pumpkin with hot glue.
Apply as few or as many coats of silver floral spray to the pumpkins as you like.
For the Pumpkins
1. In a well-ventilated area, coat pumpkins with silver floral spray. Let dry. 2. With a craft brush, paint stems with green acrylic paint. Let dry. 3. Brush plastic toy insects with tacky glue, and coat with orange ultrafine opaque glitter. Let dry. 4. Attach bugs to pumpkins using a hot-glue gun or poster tack.
For the Leaves
1. From a 1/2-yard piece of green silk taffeta, cut out three 6-inch squares, three 7-inch squares, and three 10-inch squares. 2. Fold one large taffeta square in half. Lay the large leaf template along the fold. Pin to fabric, and cut out. Repeat with remaining squares, using smaller templates for smaller squares. 3. Snip cloth-covered floral wire into forty-five 9-inch pieces, and separate into 9 sets of 5 wires. Wrap a set with floral tape, beginning 3 inches from the top of bundle if you’re making a small leaf, 4 inches for a medium leaf, or 5 1/2 inches for a large leaf. Tear tape. Splay the 5 wires at top to create “veins.” 4. Apply glue to one side of splayed wires, and press against leaf. Let dry. (If wires extend over the leaf edge, trim after the glue has dried.) 5. Shape leaf with your fingers. Repeat.
For the Tendrils
1. Brush an 18-inch length of floral wire with tacky glue, and sprinkle with chartreuse glitter. Let dry. Create as few or as many as you like. 2. Coil wire around a pencil, leaving about 4 inches of wire straight at one end. 3. Using floral tape, wrap “tendrils” onto leaf stems. You can create a vine by joining the stems with floral tape, or simply arrange the leaves beneath the bases of the pumpkins. 4. Affix crystals to leaves with tacky glue.
What better way to brighten Halloween’s gloom than by dotting your windowsills with grinning — or scowling — hurricane lanterns?
Cylindrical glass hurricane lantern or votive
Tissue paper (2 colors)
Clear, double-faced tape
1. To make a lantern, measure the height and circumference of a cylindrical glass hurricane or votive; cut out two rectangles of tissue paper in different colors to those dimensions. 2. Draw a spooky face on a piece of plain white paper, and lay it under one of the sheets of tissue paper. Trace the drawing; using a sharp utility knife, cut out the features. 3. Wrap the other sheet of tissue paper around the outside of the candleholder, and secure it with clear, double-faced tape. Wrap the cut piece of tissue paper around the candleholder on top of the first piece, and secure it. Place a candle inside the holder; try using spice- or cinnamon-scented candles for a warm holiday touch.
This wreath might be too tempting to remain intact for long.
2 pounds of hard candy in twisted wrappers
An 8-foot length of embroidery thread
A round wire wreath form that is 8 inches in diameter.
1. Tie the center of the thread to the form, leaving two ends of equal length. 2. Hold the form between your knees (as shown), and make a loose knot on the outside of the form. Place ends of three wrappers through loop; cinch the knot, and knot again. 3. Tie another knot to the form, thus securing the candies to it, then gently position them side by side. 4. Once candies are tied all around the form, hang it from a ribbon.