Chances are, the trick-or-treaters are getting only one view of your Halloween home -- the outside. Give them a memorable trip to your doorstep by laying their path with decorations made to weather the night.
From the windblown branches above the little ghouls' heads, string tin-can monster wind chimes for a rattling welcome. On your porch or walkway, dot their path with vibrant seasonal flowers planted in pots that have been embellished with classic characters. As a final greeting, turn ordinary rocks into laughing skeleton heads that will watch your guests work their way toward the treats. Gather a few toothy skeletons together or scatter them individually for a bone-chillingly fun display.
Each project is spookily simple to make, so be sure to involve every goblin, ghost, and mummy in the painting fun.
Wacky-Dude Wind Chimes
What You Need:
- One large and one or two small tin can
- Metal primer
- Acrylic crafts paint: black, cream, green, orange, and purple
- Artist's brushes
- Wooden spools
- Black chenille stems
- Assorted painted and unpainted beads
- Twine or jute
- Purple and/or black faux fur
- Crafts glue
- Metal weight
1. Clean the cans, fill them with water, and put them in the freezer. When frozen, use an awl and hammer to poke a hole in the bottom of each can. Poke a hole on each side of the body can (for the arms). Spray the cans with metal primer. When dry, paint the cans black, then paint the body and head cans. Paint the wooden spools with assorted colors.
2. Thread a chenille stem through the two side holes in the large can. Thread spools and beads on each side. Tie a piece of twine on each end of the chenille stem. Tuck the ends of the stem back through the last spools to secure it.
3. For the legs, wrap two chenille stems around the middle of the chenille stem used for the arms (this will be done inside the large can). Thread the leg chenille stems with beads and spools. Finish off the ends with twine as you did for the arms.
4. Glue faux fur on the top of the head can. Let the glue dry. Assemble the piece by threading a length of twine through the holes in the bottom of the cans. Make a loop at the top and knot it inside each can so the cans are spaced properly and the twine doesn't slip out. Tie a metal weight to the end so it will clang against the inside of the large can in the wind.
2. Trace the ghost, jack-o'-lantern, and black cat patterns opposite onto tracing paper. Use graphite paper to transfer the pattern outlines several times around the sides of the pots.
3. Paint the ghosts White, the jack-o'-lanterns Orange, and the cats Black; let dry. Use the markers to add the features and the patterns.
4. Use the paint or markers to make designs around the sides and rims of the pots. Let the paint dry completely before placing outside.
Grinning Skull Rocks
1. Collect light-colored rocks of assorted shapes and sizes and wash them. Set the rocks naturally on a table and plan where to paint the eyes, noses, and mouths. Sketch them in with pencil or chalk, if necessary. 2. Paint the faces. If desired, use gold paint to add a gold tooth to your skull (and for fun, use epoxy to attach a sparkling rhinestone to the gold tooth).