October is finally here and that means the official countdown to Halloween has begun. For many people -- particularly those who love to live life on the spooky side -- this is one of the most exciting time of the year. Especially for families with children, because what kid doesn’t love dressing up as their favourite monster or superhero?
From quick and easy Halloween crafts to complex costumes, Halloween inspires creativity in all shapes and forms. So instead of buying a ton of kitschy plastic decorations for that ghoulishly delightful vibe, why not let the kids have fun making a few of their own?
We’ve put together a list of kid-friendly Halloween crafts that are quick and easy, and also great for those families who find themselves on the road travelling over Halloween.
Paper Plate Halloween Crafts
A staple item when touring Western Australia with kids, paper plates are good for more than just hassle-free mealtimes. From simple paper plate monsters and pumpkins to sun catchers and lace art, there is so much you can do with nothing more than a paper plate and a few art supplies.
· Paper plate candy holders
The tutorial for this adorable bat candy holder is from I Heart Crafty Things but you can also make a cat, a witch or a spider if you prefer. Remember that you don’t have to use the plastic googly eyes or the foam sheet for the teeth. Simply making them out of construction paper or painting them on works just as well.
If you are planning to fill up the holder with candy, don’t forget to also pack plenty of healthy road trip snacks for your children.
· Spider web lace art
This tutorial comes from The Best Ideas For Kids and needs nothing more than a little yarn, a paper plate and a spider. You can make it from a pompom like they do in the tutorial, use a plastic spider or cotton balls painted black. A nice idea is to paint the paper plate orange and use black yarn to make a pumpkin version for your Halloween wreath. You can also glue a few paper plates together to make your outer ring a little sturdier.
· Flying bat sun catcher
This is an absolutely stunning idea from The Pinterested Parent and is great if your kids are a little older.
You will need wax paper for this one, which may or may not be part of your usual caravan supplies. But fortunately, you should be able to find it at a normal supermarket if you didn’t bring any. You’ll also need tissue paper so don’t forget to pack that as well!
This tutorial has flying bats, but you can have witches, little monsters and pretty much anything you like. In fact, you could make a whole lot of different ones and string them across every window in your caravan or holiday accommodation!
Papier-mâché Halloween Crafts
Old newspaper is something every person seems to have a ton of, and most of the time it ends up being used to line small pet cages or sent off for recycling. But with a little paste and some paint, you can turn those newspapers into almost anything you like. Papier-mâché craft is very messy, and it does take time, so make sure you have a well-protected open area and at least an hour of free time for any of these projects.
· Papier-mâché pumpkin
From Jack O’ Lanterns to candy bowls, pumpkins are the classic Halloween decoration. Buying real pumpkins means you end up with a ton of fresh pumpkin that you have to figure out how to use, such as a camp cook up. The plastic versions can also be quite expensive, especially when your kids will have so much fun, they’ll want to make extra Halloween crafts.
However, with just a balloon, some yarn and papier-mâché you get pumpkins that are almost free, can be used every year and are as unique as buying real ones!
This Instructables uses flour, salt and water for the paste, but you can also mix school glue with water if you prefer. If you plan on using your pumpkin to make a Halloween diorama or Jack O’ Lantern, then leave parts uncovered. This will make it easier to get your craft knife in to cut out the exact shapes you want.
· Papier-mâché mask
So many Halloween costume ideas work best with a mask. But these are often expensive and if they don’t quite fit, they can ruin your whole Trick or Treat outing because you’re worrying that it’s slipped, or you can’t see out of the eye holes.
Papier-mâché masks are the ideal way to get around that and also create a completely unique mask to go with your costume!
If your child is too fidgety and won’t lie still long enough to use their own face as the mould like in this tutorial from eHow.com, then you can try out any of the methods described by this helpful Tiny Fry article. Another tip is to place a layer of cling wrap over your child’s face (cut out little holes for them to breathe through!) to prevent the paper-mâché sticking to your kid's face or irritating their skin.
Another fun and very simple idea is to paint your paper-mâché lanterns with different spooky silhouettes along with your Jack O’ Lanterns. Also, if you’re going to use real tea lights then make sure they and the lantern are firmly secured!
Halloween Art & Craft Supplies While Travelling
Keep in mind that while these are easy Halloween craft ideas, there are some art supplies you’ll need to make them. You might be able to get a few of them from the local supermarket near your accommodation, but the safest plan is to stock up before you leave – so make sure you add them to your camping checklist!
Some supplies you can use to create almost any Halloween craft you can imagine:
- Acrylic, craft and/or watercolour paint and brushes
- Wax crayons and colouring pencils
- Coloured markers (at least one black permanent marker as well)
- Coloured chalk
- Paper plates
- Newspaper (for papier-mâché)
- Yarn (you can get yarn in black, orange and white to make life easier for yourself, but you can also dye white yarn with a little food colouring)
- Coloured ribbon
- Disposable plastic cups
- Colourful pipe cleaners
- Popsicle sticks
- Cotton wool
- Tissue paper
- Construction paper (coloured paper is the easiest, but kids can also paint or colour white paper)
- Wax paper
- Some spooky Halloween images in different sizes to use as templates
- Plastic spiders in different sizes
- Googly eyes in different sizes (you can make the spiders and the eyes out of paper as well – they just won’t be 3D!)
- Craft knife
- Hole punch
- School glue
It might have something to do with all that candy, but Halloween is one of the favourite holidays of children all around the world. And just because you’re on a tight budget or touring Western Australia, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the holiday with as much style as anyone else.
Remember that Halloween is all about being creative, so let your kids dream a little and build up the anticipation with these quick and easy kid-friendly Halloween crafts.