Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. There are so many
creative ways to decorate, whether you wish to go the scary or the cute
route, or a combination of both. I have included some of my favorite
Halloween decorations that are inexpensive and simple enough for
children to do. I include my children in the making and decorating process
as a way to turn Halloween into a true family event.
Squish a wad of toilet paper or tissues together to form a small ball about
the size of a golf ball. Place the ball in the middle of a white tissue.
Gather the tissue around the ball and tie a string around it. When you turn
it upside down, the hanging part of the tissue becomes the ghost and the
ball becomes the head. Use a black marker to draw a face on the ghost.
Attach a string or ribbon and hang.
You can make variations of this ghost using larger paper such as sheets
of newsprint (before it is painted on) or white tissue paper sheets. You
can use golf balls or rubber balls instead of making paper balls.
HANGING BLACK CATS:
Cut out cats from black construction paper. Use sequins or glitter to add
shinny eyes. Attach black ribbon or string at either end of the cat and
hang them from ceilings, archways, or porch awnings.
PUMPKINS ON A HAYSTACK:
We have a local farm near our home that goes all out for Halloween. We
are able to purchase inexpensive haystacks and cornstalks. I set these
against an outside wall near our front door. Rather than carve pumpkins, I
create pumpkin heads with straw hats, jewelry, etc. I draw faces on the
pumpkins with felt tip markers, attach decorated straw hats to the top of
the pumpkin with hat pins, and attach whatever items I can find around
the house the enhance the pumpkin face. We create a different pumpkin
to resemble each member of the family and place the pumpkins on top of
Variations on pumpkin decorations can include yarn for hair, cotton balls
for beards, hair bows, ribbons, and the like.
MILK JUG CREATURES:
Start saving your gallon plastic milk jugs! They make great forms for
Frankenstein or witch heads.
To make these, be sure to first thoroughly wash out the milk jug and let it
dry. Turn the milk carton upside down, so it takes on the shape of a
square. Use paint or construction paper to cover the milk carton with a
desired color. Paint or glue on facial features, hair, nuts and bolts, for
Frankenstein, etc. Attach a string or ribbon to the bottom of the jug (since
the jug is turned upside down, the "bottom" of the jug is now on top).
Hang the character.
A variation of this is to press the spout of the milk jug into a haystack (as
described above) and display the faces on the haystack.
PAPER MACHE PUMPKINS:
Please see my article, "Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Paper Mache
Creations from Household Items" to learn how to create paper mache
Blow up a large balloon to use as the mold. Apply the paper strips. When
completely dry, pop the balloon. Paint the paper mache item bright
orange. Let the orange paint dry, then use green and black paint to add
details like facial features and stems.
TRASH BAG PUMPKINS, GHOSTS, AND SPIDERS:
One of the things that my kids love best about the Halloween season is
raking leaves into huge piles and then jumping into the leaves. They can
do this for hours (and I get the never-ending leaves cleaned up). When
they are done we stuff the leaves into giant, heavy-duty trash bags. We
have decorated black trash bags as spiders and white ones as ghost. The
filled bags serve as the body and then we just add features. We leave
these trash bag creatures on the front lawn as decorations.
Most grocery and hardware stores even sell orange trash bags with
pumpkin faces that can be stuffed with leaves.
One of the most effective, not to mention easiest, ways to decorate for
Halloween is with colored light bulbs. You can replace your standard
porch light bulbs with green bulbs that can be purchased at a hardware
store. You can also string Christmas lights that are in green, black and
You can easily place tombstones around your front yard. To make the
tombstones you can cut them out of wood, heavy duty cardboard, or
Styrofoam sheets. After you have cut the tombstone shape, paint them
with a grayish colored paint. Let the paint dry. With black paint or a
permanent ink marker write catchy or scary sayings on the tombstone.
Copyright Gail Jacobs
About this author: I have been working as a computer consultant,
instructor, technical writer, and editor in the field of computer education
since 1984. I am currently working from a home-based office,
concentrating on freelance writing projects. I can be reached