Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween Decorations - Christmas Had Better Watch Out!

Halloween DECORATIONS for Home or Party

Haunted House

Spider Hatchings

Paper Pumpkins

Flapping Bat

Spider Hatching
Total Time Needed:  2-3 Hours
·    White glue (we used a 7 5/8-ounce bottle)
·    2 bowls
·    Plastic spoon
·    Balloon (we used an 11-inch size)
·    Cheesecloth cut into 12 or so 3- by 18-inch strips
·    Pin
·    Clear fishing line
·    Plastic spiders (available at
1.      Empty the glue bottle into a bowl. Then fill the bottle halfway with water, shake it to dilute any remaining glue, and add the contents to the bowl. Stir the mixture well.
2.    Inflate the balloon to about 9 inches tall and set it aside in another bowl.
3.      Individually dip the cheesecloth strips into the glue, gently squeeze out the excess fluid, and spread the strips flat on the balloon. Cover the balloon this way, leaving 3 or 4 small gaps (as shown) and a 1 1/2-inch opening around the knot for tying on the spiders later. Let the glue dry, rotating the balloon occasionally to speed the drying process.
4.    Pop the balloon with a pin and remove it.
5.    Tie a loop for hanging the egg at one end of a long piece of fishing line. Near the top of the egg, insert the other end of the line through the cheesecloth, then reach inside and pull it out through a nearby gap and tie a spider to it. Gently pull the line back until the spider comes to rest against the inside of the egg, thereby securing the line.
6.    Use more fishing line to create strings of spiders. To tie them to the egg, thread one end of the line through the cheesecloth and out a gap, knot the line, and pull the knot back inside the egg. Attach more spiders directly to the egg simply by poking 2 or 3 legs through the cheesecloth.

Haunted House
Total Time Needed: 2-3 Hours
·    Pencil and ruler
·    Square tissue box
·    2 rectangular tissue boxes (ours were about 5 by 9 inches)
·    2 (5- by 8 1/2-inch) pieces of thin cardboard
·    Craft knife
·    Scissors
·    Glue dots or double-sided tape
·    Paintbrush
·    Black and gray craft paint
·    Orange tissue paper or paper napkins
·    4 (3-inch) lengths of white pipe cleaner
·    4 (1-inch-wide) Styrofoam balls
·    White facial tissue, cut into 4 (4-inch) squares
·    Black permanent marker
1.      Draw windows, a door, and a front-porch overhang (a 1 1/4-inch strip that folds out from the floor of the second story) on the tissue boxes. Draw 2 roof pieces on the thin cardboard, as shown.
2.      With a craft knife, cut the openings in the boxes, leaving one side of each door attached and saving the window cutouts for shutters (for a swinging shutter, leave one side attached). Then cut out the roof pieces with scissors, fold them in half, and assemble them one on top of the other. Attach the roof to the square tissue box with glue dots or double-sided tape.
3.    Paint the boxes and shutters. Once they're dry, stuff the boxes with orange tissue paper or napkins and then glue or tape them together. Glue the shutters in place.
4.    Now conjure up some ghosts. Push one end of a pipe cleaner into each foam ball and glue or tape the white tissue squares to the balls. Pinch the tissue around each ghost's neck and draw on eyes. Glue or tape the ghosts to the house by their pipe cleaners.

Flapping Bat
Total Time Needed: 1 Hour
·    Bat templates (download them here)
·    Black craft foam
·    Red sequins
·    Black paper fasteners (or brass fasteners colored with permanent black marker)
·    10-inch piece of string or dental floss
·    Short piece of ribbon
·    A bead (optional)
1.      Click here to download a printable version of the flapping bat. To view the .pdf file, you'll need Acrobat Reader which is available for free from the Adobe site.
2.      Cut 1 body shape and 2 matching wing shapes from black craft foam, punching holes where indicated. Glue red sequins to the head for eyes.
3.      To attach the wings to the body, align the hole farthest from the rounded end of each wing with a shoulder hole. Use black paper fasteners (or brass fasteners colored with permanent black marker) to loosely attach the wings to the back of the body, as shown.
4.    Next, thread one end of a 10-inch piece of string or dental floss through the remaining wing holes and tie it in a loose loop, making sure the free end extends beyond the bat's head. Tie a bead to the end of the string, if you like.
5.    Tie a piece of ribbon through the hole at the bottom of the bat, then hang him upside down on a wall or window. To make the bat's wings flap, pull the hanging string.

Paper Pumpkins
Total Time Needed: 1 Hour
·    Toilet tissue rolls
·    Orange fabric
·    Brown paper bag
·    Glue
·    12-inch green pipe cleaners
·    Green felt leaves
1.      Set each roll in the center of a 22- by 18-inch piece of fabric, gather the fabric around it, and tuck the edges into the top hole (A).
2.      For a stem, roll a strip of brown paper bag and glue the edge (B).
3.      For a vine, glue one end of a pipe cleaner to a felt leaf, then curl the pipe cleaner around the stem (C). Insert the stem in the hole.

For more awesome Halloween decorations, games and recipes like these, go to Family Fun.

Written by Rebecca Ryals Russell, author of YA/MG Fantasy.  You can learn more about me at Yellow Hat Author or Plotting Worlds. You can read about my upcoming YA book Odessa, book 1 of The Seraphym Wars series or my MG book Zarena, book 1 of The Stardust Warriors series. Odessa is due for release April 2011 and Zarena for July 2011 at MuseItUp Publishing.

Be sure to visit our teen grog at Teen Word Factory where several of the YA/MG authors provide helpful tips and advice for teen writers or writers for teens. I also have a horror story, Don't Make Marty Mad, due out next Halloween at MuseItUp. You can also reach me at myrnawatts (at) gmail (dot) com.

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