from Mommysavers Readers
"A good idea for an easy inexpensive Halloween costume: Dig out those cardboard boxes. One idea, put straps on the box so that it hangs off your child's shoulders with them inside the box. Make sure it is the proper length and size for walking and going up and down those porch steps. Then, you could put 2 "Poles" on the front end of the box and put a banner across the top that says "Puppies for sale" Then you paint your child's face (Or just put black paint on the tip of their nose) and make your own ears and paws out of a headband and mittens. A black sweatshirt/suit works great and is also inexpensive and they can wear it as it gets colder. You could even put spots on the suit and put little "paw" prints on the outside of the box. Also, you could use the same idea and make your child a jack-in-the box. Just fit the child with the box, add a crank on one side, and paint the outside of the box. You can buy a jester hat or make one out of construction paper, foam, etc. If you have an old clown suit or can get or make one inexpensively, you're all set, but a sweatshirt or suit works well too." -- Jennifer from CA
I decorate the front of the house for Halloween by making a big spider web out of yarn. Then I make a big spider out of two black balloons for head and body, black construction paper strips for legs and eyes and mouth out of red and yellow construction paper. All is taped together and tied to the web. On the Martha Stewart site are nice print-outs for making luminaries out of paper lunch bags. There are also print-outs for bats that are glued to clothes pins. We make the jack-o-lantern and rub cinnamon on the inside tops so when the candle is burning the scent comes out. And at garage sales I am always looking for more decorations to use. -- Maria from CA
For Halloween classroom parties, I bake regular cupcakes and frost them with white frosting. As a simple decoration, I push a "spider ring" into each one. The rings are very reasonable usually about a penny each and the treats look great on a large platter! Remember to warn young children about the rings! -- Lorie from IL
"I have made all my daughter's Halloween costumes since she was born (she's almost four). By making costumes that are not too "girlish" my younger son can wear them later. Two that worked for me were a lamb (for a baby) and a dragon. This year she wants to be Snow White, which I know my son won't wear, but it'll be easy to make him a dwarf: Just give him an extra large hooded shirt, make a "belt" out of felt, and he'll wear it with his green jeans." -- Paula from MI
"Halloween Party Idea: BUY A PUMPKIN LARGE ENOUGH TO FIT A PUNCH BOWL INSIDE. CUT THE TOP OFF THE PUMPKIN AND CLEAN OUT THE INSIDE, JUST AS YOU WOULD IF YOU WERE GOING TO CARVE IT. PLACE THE PUNCH BOWL INSIDE THE PUMPKIN. FILL WITH YOUR FAVORITE PUNCH RECIPE AND ADD SOME BLACK LICORICE ALONG THE RIM OF THE PUMPKIN (DANGLING OFF LIKE A SPIDER)! IT LOOKS REALLY COOL! FOR KIDS AND ADULTS TOO!" -- Regina from IL
"Last year while tiredly combing the third thrift store for my three children for their costumes a brilliant idea came to mind, why not buy for next year too? I figured worse case, they could use the costumes for dress up. My 4 year old has been playing dress up in his Peter Pan costume for a whole year and can't wait to wear it for Halloween. What a value and time saver!!!!" -- Kelly from CO
"For every Halloween, we make a haunted house. You can use things around the house or make decorations inexpensively. I made gravestones out of styrofoam or you can paint cardboard box remnants out. My sayings include...Rest in Pieces, Once Naughty Son, 1st husband, 2nd husband, Next husband with dates 1955-? (but soon), C.U.Soon. Be creative! I made a Bates Motel sign w/scraps and below it states: Vacancy-where u check in and never check out...,a horror graveyard/haunted house tape, old masks dressed up or figures wrapped up in toilet paper for mummies, live teenagers (they love to do this stuff) dressed as Death with a scitar made of foil. Note to tame it down when little kids come because they will get too scared.
I have been room mom for many years and I love Halloween parties! We even made a haunted house one year for the school fair. Here are some great games-instead of Bingo substitute the word GHOST. In fact I cut the bingo cards and glued them onto a ghost cutout. Also apple dunking (although schools won't allow because of germs), how many words can you make out of the word Halloween, Pin the tail on the black cat (you can make a cutout with glitter collar & eyes), throw the crepe orange pumpkin balls (made of newspaper and crepe paper rolled up) into the cauldron, pumpkin bowling, etc."-- Ellen Marie, CA
Every year at Halloween I remove all my pictures off one wall in my living room and we grab some construction paper, glue, tape, and what ever else we find around the house. And we make pumpkins ghosts (we trace leaves ) will you get the idea . and make a big Halloween wall my kids love this! -- Onolee from MI
Use a colored copier. Place some pictures of Halloween items such as pumpkins or 'cat witches' on the copier. I get mine from newspapers and magazines. Duplicate them, cut out the designs and hang on your porch or throughout the house. You can even use heavier paper (card stock) and sit them on tables as decorations. -- C. from NV
To make Ghosts you will need cotton balls Kleenex and twisters and felt pens or markers, take cotton ball and put one kleenex over it and secure a twister around the neck part and dot the round part for eyes and mouth, and you have little ghosts to hang with string any where you want, cute and fun to make. The kids will love it, and so will moms too. -- Ruth from IL
"I saw these both on Martha Stewart last year and loved the ideas! The first one was putting gummy worms and crawlers in with your Jell-o molds. The second one was to take a Halloween mask and tape the eye and mouth holes (make sure the inside is clean first) then fill it with water and put it in the freezer. When it is ice take it out a put in in your punch bowl and now it looks like there is a face bobbing in the punch. Happy Haunting!" -- Kris from AK
"I usually buy something that can be worn again. I always try and find a way to incorporate sweat pants and a sweatshirt. These can always be used again." -- Michelle from MN
"This Halloween I am making homemade costumes for the first time. My kids are 3 and 1 yr old and they will be the theme of the book "Goodnight Moon". My baby girl will be the bunny and my son will be the cow jumping over the moon, made from cardboard! I may even do myself as the book cover if time allows." -- Kerri from MA
Ghosts in Your Outside Tree!
"One Halloween tip I find very convenient is that I take the screen/window out of the top portion of the storm door on Halloween night. This way, when the little goblins crowd the door way on their "Trick-or Treat" frenzy, I don't have to worry about any of them tripping while moving backwards to clear out of the way of the door as it swings open. I just dispense treats through the now open upper portion of the storm door. It keeps drafts to a minimum, maintains some privacy, especially during dinner, and would probably work well to corral household pets if we had any." -- Valerie from NY
"Always buy Halloween supplies a year ahead. Your local stores sell Halloween any other Halloween stuff at great discounts after the holiday. I've been able to send my grandchildren gifts as well as my adult children that are worth 75% more than I paid for them. Baking should start 1-2 months ahead and frozen. This way you won't be rushed right at the holiday and be able to enjoy every minute of it." -- Christine from MI
Halloween Fruit Punch
For a Spooky Surprise fill a plain clear plastic glove with dark purple grape juice. Place in the freezer until solid. Next, fill a punch bowl with your favorite punch. I use Minute Maid fruit punch, vanilla ice cream, and 7~up. Place the frozen hand in the bottom of the bowl, and watch the fun begin -- Carlie from NJ
Halloween/Party Idea...I can remember participating in an alphabet party while in high school. It was Halloween and we had a "T" Party. Everyone came dressed as something starting with the letter T . It was great and you can choose any letter of the alphabet for this party. I went as a "Tramp/hobo" and the best costume award was for the guy dressed as a Toll Booth. -- Dona from VA
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