10 Adorably Scary Halloween Decorations to Make With Kids
Fall is officially here, which means it's Halloween countdown time, people! It's time to get crafting on outdoor decorations to spook up your yard. And, since Halloween can never come too soon for the kids, enlist their help to turn your front yard or porch into the envy of the block.
To help you get into the Halloween spirit, I've gathered 10 outdoor decorating projects that can all be created using basic craft store supplies and materials you already have on hand. Crafty Halloween decorations that are inexpensive, kid friendly and easy to craft? Nothing scary about that, right?
Turn Faux Pumpkins Into Friendly Felines
Pumpkins, paint, felt and pipe cleaners are all you need to craft a whole litter of these lucky black cats. You can use fresh pumpkins if you prefer, but these carve-free kitties are so cute that faux pumpkins are a better bet so you can display them year after year.
Make This: Black Cat Pumpkins
Or, a Wicked Witch
Magic up this not-too-scary witch for your front porch using a faux pumpkin and inexpensive supplies from the craft store. Create a friendly witch to welcome Halloween guests or a scowling witch to keep mischief-makers at bay.
Make This: Bewitching Halloween Pumpkin
Turn Foam Sheets Into Friendly Bats
These hanging bats are a snap to craft. Just trace our free printable template onto craft foam sheets, cut out and add googly eyes for a weatherproof decoration you can hang from low tree limbs or your home's eaves.
Make This: Hanging Bats
Or, Foam Boards Into Weathered Tombstones
Whether you choose to add funny sayings or be deathly serious with traditional designs, our step-by-step instructions make it easy to give new foam sheets an ancient appearance.
Make This: Foam Tombstones
Turn Trash Bags Into Giant Spider Webs
A little creative folding and cutting turns an item you probably already have on hand — black outdoor trash bags — into weatherproof decorations you can reuse year after year.
Make This: Trash Bag Spider Webs
Or, Make Spider's Nest Luminaries
Spider's Nest Luminaries Wrapped in Gauze
Easily turn Mason jars into creepy glowing spider's nests. Just wrap large and small jars with white medical gauze or cheesecloth, securing the fabric's ends with hot glue or pins. Next, glue a few plastic spiders to the gauze to create the look of a spider's nest then fill each jar with a pillar candle or flameless luminary.
Light the way to your front door with these glowing spider's nests. Just wrap large and small Mason jars with white medical gauze or cheesecloth, securing the fabric's ends with hot glue or safety pins. Hot-glue a few plastic spiders to the gauze, then fill each jar with a flameless candle.
Make This: Spider's Nest Luminaires
Turn Cheesecloth Into Ghostly Draperies
Cheesecloth Apparition Draperies
These billowing, tattered draperies made from budget-friendly cheesecloth will add an eerie atmosphere to your front porch or an interior doorway. Get step-by-step instructions.
These billowing, tattered draperies are sure to add an eerie, haunted-house vibe to your front porch. Dip them in a tea bath to give the new fabric a stained, timeworn effect.
Make This: Ghostly Draperies
Or, a Levitating Ghost
Give trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests a startle with this life-size (or at least afterlife-size) ghost that appears to float several feet above the ground.
Make This: Life-Size Ghost
Craft a Cheery Front Door Greeter
Add felt faces to stacked faux pumpkins for a friendly front porch decoration to welcome trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests.
Make This: Halloween Jack-O'-Totem
Or, a Wreath to Keep an Eye on Visitors
You're Being Watched
Keep an eye on trick-or-treaters with a googly-eyed wreath. To make it, pick up two to three bags of white Ping-Pong balls online or at a sports store. Use hot glue to attach them, in layers, to a foam wreath form with hot glue. Once all visible parts of the wreath form have been covered, attach small and large googly eyes. Tip: It's best to hang the wreath with a door hanger, rather than wrapping ribbon around, so the layers of Ping-Pong balls remain undisturbed.
Make this playful wreath for your front door to keep a watchful eye on trick-or-treaters, ghouls, ghosties and anything else that goes bump in the night.
Make This: Googly-Eye Wreath
(Cute!) Mummy Candy Cans
These adorable treat cans make upcycling look good! Kids will love making these cans as much as they will devouring their sweet contents so start saving your empty tin cans now so you'll have plenty of raw materials for this kid-pleasing craft.
Craft Some Creepy Crawlies
Mini real or faux pumpkins make fantastic spiders. Just attach pipe cleaner legs to the pumpkins' bottoms and use lentils or beans to create eyes. Add a drop of black paint for a pupil and white for the highlight in each eye, then let your charming little critters crawl. Get more easy pumpkin decorating ideas.
Black Cat Pumpkins
Use basic craft supplies -- like paint, felt and pipe cleaners -- to make a whole litter of these lucky black cats. You can use fresh pumpkins, if you prefer, but these carve-free kitties are so cute that faux pumpkins are a better bet so you can display them year after year.
Paper Princess Crowns
Although you probably treat your little girl like a princess every day, help her show her true regal nature with these easy-to-craft paper crowns. Just print one of our free templates then embellish however you'd like. Perfect as party favors, these crafty goodies also make great costume accessories or gifts for your favorite trick-or-treaters.
Not only are these sweet centerpieces a feast for the eyes, they're also edible so the kids can help you craft one for a party decoration then have fun pulling it apart and popping the candy in their mouths after the party's over. Learn how to make your own.
Craft a Sweet Necklace
All you need to make this candy-corn-colored necklace are gumballs, ribbon and a few tools. Use a skewer to puncture each gumball, one side at a time. Thread ribbon through a large needle and slide through gumballs, tying a knot between each as you go. Add a ribbon bow for an extra finishing touch.
Pumpkin-ize Your Family
Raid the produce bin (and your family members' closets) to give fresh pumpkins a personality. Add a carrot or parsnip nose, craft-foam eyelashes or mustache and a drawn-on smile, plus accessories like glasses, a tie, hat or headphones to complete the look. Get step-by-step instructions.
Glittered Party Favor Bags
Give plain muslin bags a trendy custom touch with one of our free printable patterns. These little sacks are just the right size to give out as party favors, take to the kids at school or use to surprise your favorite trick-or-treaters. See full tutorial and download templates.
Mini Bat Pumpkins
Mix a little mischief into your Halloween decorations with these tiny winged charmers. Just add craft-foam or card-stock wings to diminutive pumpkins and gourds painted black and let kids give them a personality with painted-on eyes and a smile.
Kids will have a great time posing for photos with these printable jack-o'-lantern grins. Just print this template onto card stock, cut out, then attach to a straw or small wooden dowel.
Embellish Pumpkins With Ribbon
Just add pretty ribbon in fall colors to real or faux pumpkins for an easy-to-craft decoration that can be displayed through Thanksgiving. Get step-by-step instructions.
Craft Cute Favors
Kids love lollipops, especially old-fashioned swirly ones. To make these easy party favors, remove original packaging and pop the lollipops into clear cellophane bags. Tie a bow to close each bag, then finish with one of these printed and punched tag designs.
Make Your Own Shrunken Heads
Get the whole family involved in this macabre craft that turns peeled apples into ghastly, decaying faces. Add a spooky final touch by hanging the shrunken heads in the doorway so they greet Halloween guests or string them with twine as part of a costume. Get crafting with more tips plus our step-by-step instructions.
Creepy-Crawly Napkin Rings
Carve a Pumpkin
Print out one of our 22 exclusive patterns to get your pumpkin glowing. Tip: Instead of cutting off the pumpkin's top, instead cut off the bottom to make cleaning it out much easier and create a flat surface for the carved pumpkin to sit on. Try your hand at one of our beginner patterns now.
Popcorn Party Favors
Pin the Spider on the Web Game
Whether you're expecting a houseful of Halloween guests or are just looking for an activity to keep the kids entertained, this fun-to-craft game is one they can help you assemble then play for hours. Learn how to make a yarn web and download printable spiders.
Make a big statement in your dining room, foyer or front porch with this easy craft. Just take the kids outside to help you gather dead branches, clean off any leaves then paint the branches. Once dry, you can add a few hand-lettered tags or go the creepy route and fill the branches with rubber bats, spiders or snakes.