Disclaimer - I love Halloween. I love dressing up. I love handing out candy and seeing all the kids dressed up. I love decorating. As a kid we pretty much always had handmade costumes, a tradition I have been passing onto my girls. This year I am making a mermaid and butterfly - I love pouring myself into these costumes. I might even have some DIY costume tips at the end of this post...
I hope you're here because you saw the segment on Breakfast Television this morning. Or maybe you caught up with it later. However you made it here - welcome! Let's get crafting.
- Michaels - wood frames, acrylic paint, pom poms, foam balls, paintbrushes
- Dollar Store - acrylic paint, foam brushes, paintbrushes
- Grocery Store - cheese cloth, spooky food
This is by no means an exhaustive list - consider upcycling an old frame or using coffee cup lids to make ghosts - yes it works, I tried it. The ideas here are to get you thinking and simplifying your Halloween decor.
- Embroidery Floss or Thin Ribbon - available at crafting or fabric stores
- Thick Needle or Glue Gun (I'm sure crazy glue could work too - but I'll take burnt fingers over stuck together fingers)
- Garland goodies - pom poms, felt, candies, paper, anything!
- Bat template - or create your own: jack-o-lanterns, cats, ghosts
- Create a pattern
- Thread or glue your items onto your thread or floss.
- Hang - I like to use washi tape or 3M hooks. Masking tape also works well.
- Scrap wood (I can often find remnants near the saw at Home Depot in a garbage bin) or stalk construction bins
- or... New 2x4
- Foam paint brush
- Thin crafting brush
- Acrylic Paint
- Optional: Thin paint brush, white glue, sparkles
- Cut your pieces 3-5" high
- Sand your ends, edges, and corners.
- Paint your blocks with two coats of paint - leave about 30-45 minutes of drying time between coats.
- Let your base paint dry fully (about two hours)
- Paint your letters or faces - words to consider: Boo, Eek, Trick or Treat, Spooky. Faces: Jack-O-Lantern, Ghost, Frankenstein, Vampire
- Glam factor: Cover your dry paint lines in white glue using the thin brush. Shake a thick quantity of sparkles over, then tap the block into a bowl to remove excess.
- Remove the glass and insert. Pull out the metal closures with pliers.
- Lightly sand your frame focusing on any rough edges.
- Give two coats of acrylic paint (drying time in between is about 15-20 minutes
- Lightly sand the edges to give a worn look.
- Cut four strands of thread slightly longer than the widest dimension of the frame.
- Gather the threads and tie them in a knot together.
- Flip over your dry frame so you're looking at the back - start glueing the strands around the edge of the frame, pulling tightly. Cut any excess thread.
- Cut three more pieces of embroidery thread. Using one thread per row - tie a knot around one anchor thread (leaving excess to tie off at the end). Working your way around wrap each anchor thread to create a circular pattern. When you get back to the beginning tie the two ends together. Repeat for rows two and three. You can then slide the rows up the anchor thread to make them tight.
- Cut your ribbon to its desired length and glue it to the frame.
- Flip over to the good side of the frame.
- Glue on your fake spider.
- Display proudly!
More Easy DIY Projects
1. Start now!
2. Think about modifying an existing pieces - examples: the toque became the owl head, the black shirt got new cuffs, front section (sewn over top), and collar. Even a couple handmade additions to a store bought piece will / make it more meaningful and special for your kids.
3. Flannel is your friend. We've been fortunate with good weather the last few years - but we can't count on it here in Calgary can we?
4. Speaking of cold weather - leave room for warm clothes underneath - a little extra space gives it a homespun feel.
5. Do your best but don't go for perfection. My girls' costumes are less than pretty when it comes to some finishing details. Focus on the areas people will see and don't worry about the rest.