For a festive entrance, cover the door frame with stripes of orange and black masking tape and hang a strand of hand-painted paper lanterns.
Butternut squash are the perfect shape for Casper's friends. Paint them white with heavy-body acrylic paint, let dry, re-coat and let dry again, then add black dots for eyes. Pet- or doll-size accessories such as glasses, a bow tie, and a hat add personality.
How to Make Ghostly Gourds
Let this guy crawl on your porch. Start with a variety of mini pumpkins and break off the stems. Use toothpicks to connect them and paint on eyes and a sly smile.
A large white pumpkin plays the part of la lune. Recreate the classic man-in-the-moon look with a simple line drawing.
For these friendly Jacks, look for small- to medium-size pumpkins that stack nicely. Paint on stripes and eyes and add twigs for arms.
Dress up paper bags with a paper black-cat silhouette. Use battery-operated candles to illuminate them. Download the template at parents.com/black-cat.
Adorn a grapevine wreath with dried berries, ferns, and toy frogs and mice. Cut frosted window film to look like broken glass to finish the eerie entrance.
How to Make a Wicked Witch's Wreath
Web Master's Welcome
Weave white yarn through a piece of nearly invisible tulle to "write" words as a spider would.
What You'll Need:
Piece of black tulle fabric wide enough to cover door frame, scissors, white yarn, clear tape
- Cut the tulle to size to cover the top of your door frame.
- Cover the end of the yarn with clear tape to create a stiff end.
- Stitch the white yarn in and out of the holes of the tulle to spell out your message. Each stitch can be about 1" long.
- To finish, knot the yarn on itself and cut off excess.
- Hang tulle so it appears to float over the door.
Yarn-wrapped Styrofoam balls become friendly arachnids.
What You'll Need:
1 medium and 1 large Styrofoam ball, 2 colors thin yarn, scissors, 1 color thick yarn, glue, 2 tiny black pom-poms, 2 small colored pom-poms
- Wrap each Styrofoam ball in a different color of thin yarn; knot at end so it won't unravel.
- Tie the two balls together with a small piece of yarn.
- Cut four 10" lengths of thick yarn. Knot the ends of each piece to make four sets of legs.
- Weave the knotted leg pieces underneath the outer layers of yarn on the larger Styrofoam ball. The legs should line up parallel to one another.
- Glue black pom-poms to colored pom-poms. Glue them to smaller ball as eyes.
- Tie an additional piece of yarn to the spider to hang it from the larger yarn-wrapped ball.
Use a butterfly-shaped punch to cut black and white paper. Then double-stick-tape your swarm of moths to glass jars. Position to the side of your door out of trick-or-treaters' path.
Cover your doormat with a den of lifelike snakes to give trick-or-treaters a serpentine greeting.
Originally published in the October 2014 issue of Parents magazine.