Nothing sets the mood like a house full of spooky decorations. From the doormat to the mantel, it's easy to deck out your home with the scariest of treats.
Cut the legs from a pair of striped stockings ($10; welovecolors.com) and stuff them with cotton batting, then glue them underneath a welcome mat and add witchlike shoes.
Dress your family pics in Halloween costumes with paper cutouts and removable adhesive putty.
Decorate chocolate cupcakes with smiling skeletons for a bone-fide hit!
Plastic petri dishes ($6.50 for 20; amazon.com) add an instant gross-out factor to these simple gelatin snacks. Use tubes of gel icing to create colorful amoeba decorations.
Suspend fake fingers and creepy crawlers from the painted lids of recycled jars using fishing line and hot glue. (Body parts bounce balls, $1 each; partypalooza.com and bugs, $4 for 10; orientaltrading.com )
This easy-to-make (and easy-to-remove) wall decoration is cut from black contact paper.
A lamp shade is the perfect shape for this iconic witch hat.
What you'll need X-acto knife, black foam core, 8"-diameter mixing bowl
2?"-wide black ribbon, scissors, tape, lamp shade, hot-glue gun, 2?"-wide purple ribbon, buckle, lamp
1. Use an X-acto knife to cut a circle from foam core at least 5" to 6" wider than the bottom of lamp shade.
2. Use mixing bowl to trace a circle in the center and cut out with X-acto knife.
3. Cut approximately 5' length of black ribbon. Tape one end to the inside of shade, then wrap ribbon around shade, overlapping as you go. Repeat until shade is fully covered, and tape the other end to the inside of shade.
4. Center shade onto foam-core ring, and add a line of hot glue where the shade meets the foam core. (The ribbon will protect your shade from any damage.)
5. Cut 3 pieces of purple ribbon about 6' long and braid them. Thread buckle onto the braid.
6. Glue braided band to the seam where the shade meets the brim, trim and tie excess ribbon in the back, and place shade on top of lamp.
Add a salty mix to the favorite monster's head for a shockingly fun snack and pair it with plastic test tubes ($4 for 10; amazon.com) filled with your favorite homemade or store-bought soups. We used a combination of split pea and pumpkin.
Turn your foyer floor into a sprawling spider web using low-tack white paper tape that's easy to reposition and remove. ($8.30 for 36 yards; rshughes.com)
Bats and eyes cut from craft foam ($1 for a 12"x18" sheet; Michaels) will up the spook ante in your house.
Fuel up your candy collectors for a night of trick-or-treating with these festive pizzas.
Make an army of mummies by wrapping juice boxes in white electrical tape ($4 for ?"x66" roll; acehardwareoutlet.com) and adding adhesive-backed googly eyes. (Be sure to punch out a hole in the tape for the straw!)
Originally published in the October 2011 issue of Parents magazine.