These super simple Halloween crafts are great fun for kids of all ages, easy on your budget, and are wonderful keepsakes. In this post you will learn how to make Spooky Spiders out of milk jug tops, pumpkins and ghosts from felt pieces, Salt Dough keepsakes, A Day of the Dead Garland, and Simple footprint ghosts that will help make your home ready for Halloween for years to come!
DIY Spooky Spiders
Last year I got inspired this time of year to make a “Bottle of Boo’s.” I was not only impressed by the outcome but by my motivation to start said project and ACTUALLY finish it!
This year I decided my bottle needed something a little extra at the top where the cork once lived and began rummaging around in our ever disorganized craft box for ideas. After spilling a container of beads and managing to entangle myself in a wad of string I came out with pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and our trusty glue gun. The base for our spiders would be a milk carton top, and as we go through about 5 gallons of milk a week these are easy to come by for us and in enough quantities for all my kids to participate.
To start, warm up your glue gun and choose 3-4 colors of pipe cleaners for each spider. for our spiders we were short on some of the colors that we really wanted so we ended up adding extra colors for filler or more legs.
Just take your milk cap, or whatever small round object you decided to use (a rock, cap…toy car wheel?) and start wrapping pipe cleaners around it from the bottom up. Apply the glue in small increments and have the kids pull the pie cleaners into it so that it sticks, just be careful that they keep their fingers out of the glue as it can be pretty hot.
Once you have covered the milk cap entirely with fuzz, use another small pipe cleaner to create a dot or hour glass shape and glue it to wherever you deem the spiders “butt” to be. Next take two pipe cleaners and cute them into 8 equal sections for the legs. I bent about a 1/4 inch of the leg and attached that section to the body with the end pointing down so the leg would be lifted a bit. Final grab as many googly eyes as your child would like and attach them. Then take two small pipe cleaners about 1/2 an inch long and glue them under the eyes on the inside of the cap, bend them forward so they come toward you like fangs. Bend your spiders legs however you prefer, and PRESTO! You have a super easy and quick spider for the top of your “Bottle of Boo’s” or just to lay randomly around the house and spook unsuspecting guests.
Felt Pumpkins and Ghosts
Head to your craft store (even walmart will do) and grab a couple sheets of felt in whatever color you like best plus a sheet or two of black. Felt is only about $0.25 per sheet so it’s a great way to do projects at home without breaking the bank. I also bought some puff balls, cause who doesn’t love puff balls? Next, outline the shapes for your children to cut out, or if they are old enough let the trust begin and hand them the marker. However, handing any child a black marker can be terrifying, as you know it will get everywhere but the felt. To solve this I saran wrap whatever surface they will be working on. Saran Wrap is, again, cheap, plus I despise that stuff for food storage so I am trying to get rid of it!
While my kiddos were attempting to draw ghost and pumpkin shapes on their felt I cute out some random black shapes from the black felt piece so that they could pick and choose how they wanted to make the eyes and mouths of their spooky creatures. My oldest son decided he would rather use his black marker to color on his ghost’s face and then use the felt to cut out arms and legs; he had fun and loves his ghost so whatever works for your child is the right way to go!
I allowed my children to have at their shapes with their kid scissors but you may want to help your younger children….my 4 year old went through two pieces of felt before he felt that he had done a good enough job.
Finally, have your kids lay out the faces of their creatures so that you can help glue them on. For our first round of glueing I thought that Elmer’s glue would be sufficient….wrong. The felt simply inhales the glue and nothing sticks. I ended up using our trusty glue gun, but this definitely requires supervision and a little more hands on from an adult. Another perk of the glue gun is that it dries almost immediately and, as you know, kids have no patience for being able to hang up their amazing artwork. I let my kids attack their pumpkins with puffy paint and glitter as well….so if you like your house being sparkly for a few weeks, have at it! My kids adore glitter so I try to accommodate them every once and awhile and blame fairies for messing up my home if anyone asks.
Finally, I strung up the ghosts and pumpkins and hung them like a string of lights. Of course you may not have 6 (7 if you include the one I made….because adults love crafts too so stop judging!) creations to hang so you can display them however works for your family.
These Ghosts on black background are super simple and adorable keepsakes. All you need is a piece of black construction paper per child, some white paint (I used acrylic because it holds the white color well even after drying), and something to write with, be it a sharpie, glue and glitter, a glitter or paint pen, etc. Paint your child’s feet with a good layer of white paint and stamp it on the paper. Wait just a few minutes for the paint to dry before you draw on the eyes and ghostly “O” mouth. You may also want to paint the year and the name of each child on your paper. Enjoy!
Tip: Head to Fedex/Kinkos and use their laminate machine to protect these beauties for years to come!
Salt Dough Pumpkins
If you have never used slat dough before then this is your lucky day! it is super easy and cheap to make, quick, and can be used for everything from ornaments, to keepsakes, to random crap your kids want to produce. This time around I decided to make pumpkins that my kids could stamp their hands and feet into. First make your dough:
1/2 cup of salt
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of flour
Add the 1/2 cup of salt and 1 cup of flour to a bowl, and stir in the water adding it slowly. You may not need all of the water. You want the dough to be dry. If it gets sticky add more flour. Knead the dough and then roll out and cut whatever shapes you want. The dough needs to dry before it can be painted. you can either stick them in the over for 2-3 hours at about 200 degrees or head over to your microwave and blast each salt dough creation at 10 second increments for about 3 min.
I, obviously, cut out pumpkin shapes from my dough and stamped each little foot or hand into the dough before drying it all. Once you have dried everything you can paint however you wish! I went the traditional route and painted my pumpkins orange….brilliant right? As you can see form my picture, the paint I used, cracked a bit as it dried. I believe that is due to the fact that I bought exceedingly cheap paint rather than spending an extra buck for the good stuff…sometimes being cheap doesn’t pay off! Next time I will use the good acrylics, but i am still happy with how our creations turned out! Don’t forget to Modge Podge the crap out of everything once it has completely dried 😉
Note: You can also make candy corn shapes, these are great for kiddos with bigger feet, as well as ghosts!
Day of the dead felt skulls
I have always loved the colorful Day of The Dead skulls with fun shapes and flowers. They are a bit more fun and playful than scary, and thus perfect for children.
I decided to have my kiddos make some of these skulls for our Halloween decor. All you need is felt in multiple colors, a glue gun, scissors, sharpies, and any colorful gems, fake flowers, or pipe cleaners that you would like to attach.
Simply draw the outline of a skull on a piece of paper and, once you like the shape, cut it out and trace it on whatever color of felt you desire. Then have fun cutting out swirls, flowers, eye circles, teardrops, squiggles, etc.
My kids chose to draw mouth and teeth on their creations as cutting them out was rather difficult. I even found some doilies that made great accents!
When we were all finished I glued them all onto a long piece of felt and hung it up for a great Halloween decoration!