Channel the spirit of creativity with Halloween crafts

2013-10-21T12:30:00Z 2013-10-22T16:52:50Z Channel the spirit of creativity with Halloween craftsChristine Bryant Times Correspondent
October 21, 2013 12:30 pm  • 

Ghosts, goblins and mummies - they all have one thing in common. They make great ideas for crafts.

Halloween is a great time of year to channel the spirit of creativity. Here are some easy Halloween crafts families will enjoy constructing together.

Paper bag puppets

Every day household items like paper plates, empty toilet paper rolls and paper lunch bags can be decorated to create Halloween masterpieces, said Cheryl Blackburn, with the Portage Public Library youth services department.

Each can be decorated using googly eyes, pipe cleaners, construction paper and foam crafts, she said.

"You really can design with whatever you want," she said, adding that supplies like tissue paper and glitter glue can add extra texture to the pieces.

First decide on which type of hand puppet you wish you make. Let your kids' imagination take charge, but suggestions can include a witch, mummy, cat, Dracula, pumpkin or Frankenstein.

Turn the paper bag over so the flap is facing up.

Cut construction paper to fit the size of the bag, and glue different layers on top using construction paper to create the face, clothes and hats. If creating a mummy, glue gauze or white streamers to the bag.

Q-tip skeleton

Cotton swabs only aren't for cleaning ears.

Melissa Boothe, a children's librarian at the St. John branch of the Lake County Public Library, said they can be used to create awesome skeletons as well.

The only supplies needed are cotton swabs, a sheet of black construction or scrapbook paper, glue, scissors, a small piece of white construction paper and a black marker.

Before beginning, lay the cotton swabs on the paper to get an idea of the design, and then cut the swabs accordingly. Cutting the swabs is a good job for the parent, because some sticks can be difficult to cut.

Using glue, secure them to the black paper, and then cut out a skull head to fit on top.

Have your child draw a face on the skull to finish the project.

Halloween rock magnets

Have some small rocks in your yard? Turn them into Halloween magnets.

Rocks that are smooth and thin work best, since the magnet must be able to hold the weight of the rock on the fridge.

In addition to gathering a handful of clean rocks, you'll need paint, magnets, strong adhesive and either paint markers or Sharpie pens.

The easiest magnets to make are pumpkins, cats and ghosts - though anything can be created.

First, paint the rock its base color - black for cats, orange for pumpkins and white for ghosts. Once dry, using either paint, paint markers or Sharpie pens, color in the eyes, nose or mouth.

Using a strong adhesive, attach the magnet to the back of the rock.

Spooky spiders

These spiders are bound to get little ones in the mood for Halloween.

To create, you'll need a Styrofoam ball (2 to 4 inches work best), black acrylic paint, a foam paint brush, either 12-gauge colored aluminum wire or colored pipe cleaners, wire cutters, gum drops and googly eyes.

Using the foam paint brush, apply the black acrylic paint to the Styrofoam ball. While drying, cut eight legs out of either the wire or pipe cleaners - 6 to 12 inches in length depending on the size of the ball.

Round the upper portion of each leg and stick a gum drop at the lower portion to make the feet.

Once the Styrofoam ball is dry, insert the upper portion into the ball - four legs spaced out on each side. You may need to adjust the legs to make the spider properly stand.

Glue googly eyes on the ball, or use other materials, like candy necklace pieces or gummy Life Savers to create the eyes.

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