black t shirt
Halloween is less than a month away, the nights are drawing in and out in the fields the pumpkins are growing bigger and bigger… if you’ve got a Halloween party planned, there’s no need to spend your hard-earned money on a lot of tacky orange and black plastic accessories that aren’t even going to last until next October. There are several quick, cheap and easy ways to dress your home in a suitably spooky fashion – and the kids might want to give you a hand too.
You can make this by hand but it’ll be much, much quicker with a sewing machine. Buy yourself some suitably patterned material and a long reel of black cotton tape, cut triangles out with pinking shears (this saves you having to hem the edges to prevent the material from fraying) and sew the triangles onto the tape. It’s really that easy. eBay has a great selection of material (all sorts of spooky patterns and fabrics for very little money) and tape, plus any of the sewing equipment that you’d need. If you’re being really thrifty, you can cut up old black shirts, lace curtains, perhaps even outgrown Halloween costumes.
Papier Mache Pumpkins
Make up a batch of papier mache (basically ripped up newspaper and glue – search online for more detailed instructions) and assemble some small, round objects that you can use as moulds (vary them in size – try oranges and apples for small pumpkins, footballs for large ones. A spacehopper for a giant pumpkin!). Squeeze the papier mache around the mould until you have covered it (except for a gap at the top where you can extract the mould when the mache is dry). Leave to dry, then paint orange and draw on scary faces with black paint. If you’re careful, you could try cutting out eyes and mouths with a sharp knife.
These are a little too cute to be really scary. You’ll need thin cardboard, scissors, black wool, black elastic and black pipe cleaners, plus some stick on eyes if you want to get really detailed. Cut two ‘doughnuts’ of cardboard (circles with a hole cut out of the centre) of about 10cm diameter. Put together and wrap the wool round and round the cardboard until it’s thickly covered. Cut through the edges of the cardboard and all the wool and tie a piece of black elastic around the middle, feeding it between the two pieces of cardboard. Tie tightly and remove the cardboard. Fluff up the wool to make your pom pom. Feed the pipe cleaners through the elastic and twist to make legs. You can add eyes and a string to dangle them from if you like.
A ‘Real’ Ghost
Buy a helium balloon and tie to the top of a thin wire coat-hanger. Drape a thin white sheet over the balloon and coat-hanger and draw on a scary face with a black marker. You might need to fix the sheet in place with a few stitches. If the coat hanger is too heavy for the helium balloon, you could just use the sheet over the balloon. You could also try painting the sheet with luminous fabric paint for extra spookiness. Watch it bob about with admiration (NB. If you have any neighbours with heart conditions, it might be wise to warn them that this is your handiwork before they die of fright when the ‘ghost’ floats out into the street….)
Make a Halloween Mural
Buy a sheet of brown wrapping paper (cheap as chips and available from pretty much everywhere). Roll out onto a hard surface (use the floor if necessary) and weigh down the corners. Let the kids go wild with paint, crayons and felt tip pens. You could try and draw all sorts of spooky locations: a graveyard, a mad scientist’s laboratory, a far-away planet with space monsters… the possibilities are endless. When your masterpiece is finished, you can fix it on the wall and admire your work.
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write by Isidore