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.
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.
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.