Friday, October 29, 2010

Quick, fun Halloween craft

We don't really do Halloween downunder. My first ever sight of a carved pumpkin Jack O'Lantern was in Scotland when we lived there for a year when I was a kid. I loved them, longed for one, even butchered a hapless pumpkin in my 8 year old fervour for one. A desperate failure, I suspect and I've never had one since.

The country where they really go all out for Halloween activities is the USA. And influenced by US TV,  the kids here are starting to pick it up. What's not to like about dressing up, scaring people and the legalized taking of sweets from strangers? The only problem is that when the local kids go trick-or-treating and knock on doors, they often get blank looks. Or a diatribe about it not being our tradition and watching too much American TV.

A couple of years ago I was heading off to the supermarket and I saw a small gang of kidlets down the end of my street dressed as ghosts and ghouls and pumpkins, clearly going trick-or-treating, and though I kind of agree with the "not-our-tradition" folks, it's a bit of fun for kids, and these kids had gone to a lot of trouble and looked really cute,  so I bought some chocolates and lollies for when they got to my house.

I was only gone half an hour, and it was still light when I got home, but my door got nary a knock.
So there I was with a small pile of the sort of stuff I try not to buy or bring into the house. What to do with it all? Oh, the dilemma!

Anyway, since I enjoy crafts, and in my neck of the woods we're in for a long, wet weekend, I thought I'd share a few easy, kid-friendly halloween crafts. They're all in paper, so cheap, fun and easy is the theme.

 If you have any littlies who want masks, there are some good, simple ones here.

You might want to make a lovely Halloween decoration — collect a bunch of interesting twigs, spray paint them black and hang the paper decorations below from them. Easy, gorgeous and cheap.

The decorations below are printable and downloadable free from the craft ideas site. There are lots more good ideas on this site.

Here's a downloadable paper origami cat that comes in black or marmalade — just print it off, cut fold and glue — dead easy. (pun intended, heh heh) I've made these and I really like them. Tammy Yee, the designer, has other animals that are print and cut out, too, including bats, and some really beautiful owls.

The hanging paper pumpkins below are both elegant and amazingly easy. All you need is orange and green paper, scissors and glue or a stapler and some cotton to hang them. They're a variation on some Christmas deco designs I've made before, and it's all about strips of paper that are different lengths.
A different, just as easy and elegant design is here.

So whether you celebrate Halloween or not, enjoy the evening and don't scare the kids too much. 

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