The weeks leading up to Halloween are practically a celebration of creativity. This spooky season offers more freedom for freakishly fun decor than any other time of the year. Here are six kid-friendly Halloween projects that allow children of all ages to get in on the DIY decorating fun.
1. Scary Scenic Windows
Be the envy of the neighborhood with this incredibly cool Halloween window scene made from construction paper and colorful tissue paper. The beauty of this project is that all ages will enjoy creating a scene; teens can make complex, detailed scenes while simpler artwork designed by younger children will look just as interesting on display.
- Start the scenery by making silhouettes out of black construction paper, such as monsters, haunted houses or a witch in flight.
- Make several silhouette items for each window to form a full scene for each, then tape the silhouettes to the window on the inside the home.
- Here comes the wild, wonderful part: cover the rest of the window glass with large strips of colored tissue paper: think dark tones for a ground area, slightly fading shades of gray and blue for fog, and various orange, yellow, purple and red tones to make an eerie, Halloween-worthy sky. You could even make a large full moon using yellow or white tissue paper.
- Tape the tissue paper over the silhouettes, turn on the lights, then go outside to view your masterpiece.
2. Monster Doors
Entry doors can be oh so boring… but not for Halloween! Turn the front door into the family’s favorite monster face such as a mummy, a three-eyed creature or a werewolf.
- Make eyes from poster board or paper plates, using construction paper to make the irises any color that suits the monster. Giant, glowing googly eyes from a discount store are also a fun way to dress up your door creature.
- Create hair from felt or plastic streamers.
- Felt or poster board can also be used to make a mouth, fangs, scars or even bolts for the sides of the neck (on the door frame).
If the front door is the wrong color for your chosen monster, wrap the front of the door with a plastic tablecloth of the desired color before creating the monster face, taping it on the sides with painter’s tape. Party-supply stores and dollar stores carry tablecloths in all sorts of colors.
Attach all the monster parts to the door using loops of painter’s tape, removable poster adhesive or other non-marking adhesives such as Command strips.
3. Giant Trash Bag Tarantula
If your kids are fascinated with creepy, crawly things, this giant trash bag tarantula will thrill them for weeks on end.
- Fill one large black trash bag with leaves (psst… it’s a good way to kid the kids involved in yard cleanup, too). Use newspaper or lightweight packing materials if your yard doesn’t have leaves handy.
- For the head, fill a medium black trash bag. Leave at least a few inches of room at the top of each bag
- Stuff the smaller bag inside the opening of the large bag, then tie the bags around the “neck” area with a strip cut from a third black trash bag to complete the main portion of the spider.
Add eyes by placing stick-on red reflectors on the small bag; they’ll catch passing lights and reflect in a spooky way after dark. Stick-on giant googly eyes can also be used (look for glowing ones for added effect).
- To make spider legs the simple way, cut eight strips from a large black trash bag.
- Tie the ends of each leg strip around the neck area, four on each side of the spider.
- Tie or tape the spider onto the front of the house or a tree, or display it atop a chair or hay bale, watching over the yard.
For more realistic looking legs, use eight long pieces of 1/2-inch diameter black pipe insulating foam instead. Cut a slit near the halfway point of each leg and insert a black PVC pipe elbow, taping it in place with electrical tape. This gives the legs a realistic bent effect. Attach the legs to the bottom of the spider with black duct tape.
4. Oh, Rats!
This project – made entirely from black paper or cardstock – can be lots of fun for the youngest members of the family. Silhouette cutouts of mice make it look as though your house has a serious rodent problem.
- Cut out loads of larger-than-life mouse shapes found on this template or make your own.
- Make a few holes (aka mouse doors) for your baseboards, too.
- Stick the mice all over the steps and perimeters of the rooms using loops of painter’s tape or your favorite removable adhesive.
- Add a few giant mice cutouts on the outside of the house for extra effect.
5. The Eyes Have It
Spooky eyes watch from every corner on Halloween – even hiding in bushes and shrubs near the house. These glowing spooky eyes made from toilet paper tubes and glow sticks are super easy (and super fun) for kids to create.
To start, draw an eye shape on paper, cut it out and trace it on an empty toilet paper tube. Then, flip the eye template over (left to right) and trace it again to make the second eye. For detailed instructions on how to get these spooky eyes to light up, check out the awesome website that created this DIY project!
6. Spooky Spider Sacs
A nest full of spiders hanging at head height is bound to bring out the shrieks, eeks and ewws from all who encounter it. In other words, the kids will absolutely LOVE making this. Create several spooky spider sacs to hang from trees, the porch or anywhere visitors will notice them.
- To make a spider sac, fill a softball-sized balloon 3/4 full of water. (Any small ball that feels a bit weighty can be used in place of a water balloon).
- Wrap the balloon or ball with a thin layer of batting or cotton, then place it in a white knee-high stocking.
- Stuff a few plastic spiders inside the stocking, between the stocking and the ball, so the spiders are visible through the stocking.
- Attach more plastic spiders of assorted sizes to the outside of the stocking around the ball with hot glue or a clear craft adhesive, then tie the top of the stocking to a plant hook or tree branch.
- To make the sac a little more spooky for a few hours, wrap a glow necklace around the water balloon before wrapping the balloon with batting.
Enhance the scariness even more by spreading fake spiderwebs around the sac. Hanging a large rubber spider from fishing line nearby to surprise visitors.