Fast & Frightful Halloween Crafts

Create last-minute Halloween decorations and projects with these quick and easy ideas.


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Jack-o-Lantern Craft
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Jack-O'-Lantern Craft

    Imagine glowing jack-o'-lanterns without the mess of scooping out pumpkins or fiddling with candles. These paper-wrapped glass cylinders mimic the look, brightening the steps even during the day. Simply cut the provided patterns out of orange paper and wrap yellow paper around glass cylinders, followed by your trimmed orange paper. If desired, add a battery-operated candle or mini flashlight inside.

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Creepy-Crawly Caterpillar Pumpkins

    This easy-to-make pumpkin decoration requires no carving at all -- simply paint 10 pumpkins and the stems (we used light green and black paint, but you can choose whatever colors you like), arrange to form a caterpillar, and cover with adhesive-felt dots. Finish the creepy creature with a pair of large googly eyes.

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Sinister Cat Flower Planter

    Dress up a black urn planter with a pair of cat eyes to make it a menacing black cat. Search online for copyright-free images of cat eyes or draw your own, and adhere to the urn with crafts glue. Fill the urn with plastic foam or sand and top with flowers, twigs, or leaves to finish this hair-raising decoration.

    Editor's Tip: Outline the eyes with glow-in-the-dark paint for a memorable nighttime stare.

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Paper Leaf Ghost Garland

    Two seasonal staples come together to make a ghostly garland that's not too scary. Use a stencil or a real leaf to trace the shape onto white cardstock and cut out. Use a black marker to add teardrop-shape eyes, and tie string around the leaf stems to finish the garland. Hang from the doorway, inside or out, or drape across a deck railing.

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Spooky Sunflowers

    These pretty flowers get a fun Halloween makeover with frightful faces made out of orange cardstock. Cut out a face and attach to the middle of the flower with small amounts of crafts glue.

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Jack-o'-Lantern Luminarias

    These no-fuss pumpkin face decorations require no messy pumpkin carving and can be made in minutes. Cut the smiling pumpkin faces from black cardstock and tape the shapes to orange cardstock that has been cut to fit the lantern panels. The finished product will brighten railings or steps during the day, but can also light up the night when you put battery-operated candles or flashlights inside the lanterns.

    Editor's Tip: For a longer-lasting decoration, put the jack-o'-lantern faces behind the lantern's glass panels.

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Spooky Silhouettes

    Framed as portraits, these spooky silhouettes add Halloween flair. To create the characters, download our free patterns, enlarge to desired size, and trace onto black cardstock. Cut out the silhouettes using small, sharp scissors, glue to off-white cardstock, and frame.

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Beaded Candle Cups

    Seed beads and glitter team up to blanket votive candleholders with ghoulish glitz. Use a paintbrush to apply thick decoupage medium to glass votive cups, working in small sections at a time. Sprinkle the wet medium with beads or glitter as desired. Allow medium to dry in one section before moving to the next.

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Fashionable Witch's Hat

    The witch who owns this hat must have a few fashion spells up her sleeve. To make the chic hat, start with a 3-7/8x8-7/8-inch plastic-foam cone. Cut black silk flowers, leaving a 1-inch stem. Beginning at the top, insert the flowers into the cone. (You could also hot-glue them to the cone.) For the brim, cut an 11-12-inch circle from thin cardboard (a recycled cereal box works great) and paint it black; let dry. Hot-glue the cone to the center of the circle and add purple flowers around the base of the cone.

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Candy Corn Cone

    Fill a cone with some dried naturals and a crow or two for a unique and inexpensive door decoration.

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Frightening Food

    Create Halloween-worthy food labels with torn parchment paper and letter stickers.

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October Lights

    See your nighttime festivities in a new light by adding letters to glass pillar-candle holders. Wrap the outsides of the holders with colored tissue paper and secure with tape. Adhere a 2-inch letter sticker (find at office supply or crafts stores) to each pillar to form a word.

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Dotted Table Runner

    With a layer of orange felt beneath, the dotted design on this table runner conjures the image of a field of pumpkins. The chocolate-brown felt top layer will carry through the harvest season; use black felt for a traditional Halloween look. Trace circles of various sizes onto a length of dark-color felt; cut out. Layer the felt over a length of same-size orange felt. Secure the two layers with glue, if desired, and drape the runner over the table.

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Hurricane Lanterns

    Decorate hurricane lanterns to add an old-fashioned candle-lit glow to any Halloween party. Click on the link below for step-by-step instructions for this easy project.

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Eyeball Candy Holders

    These pull-apart plastic ornaments transform into larger-than-life eyeball candy holders. Use a circle cutter to make two round stencils, then emblazon the peering design using spray paint. Enclose treats inside the spooky eyeballs for added fear factor.

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Casting Shadows

    Dim the lights and set out these Halloween hurricane lamps to cast an eerie glow. Attach a variety of black die-cut figures to the outside of the lamp with double-stick tape. Wrap orange vellum paper over the cutouts and secure the edges with vellum tape.

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Seeing Things

    Conjure up the illusion of haunted spirits with this easy project. Sand a corner of an old mirror down until it is clear, feathering it at the edge. Copy a photo of a frightened face onto translucent paper and again on white paper. Tape the translucent print to the back of the mirror, then tape the white one behind it, slightly off-center for a ghostly image.

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Watchful Eyes

    Googly eyes eerily peer at guests as they enter your Halloween lair. Hot-glue green pom-poms to an 8-inch-diameter plastic-foam wreath. Then adhere various-size googly eyes onto the pom-poms using hot glue. Fold a length of ribbon in half. Loop the folded ribbon around the wreath and pass the ribbon ends through the loop. Tie the ends together to make a hanging loop.

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Dancing Skeletons

    Enliven glassware for Halloween with dancing skeletons. Download our free pattern, trace onto tracing paper, and cut out each skeleton, 1/2-inch from the design. Tape a cutout inside a glass or plastic tumbler (ones with flat sides work best). Use the pattern lines as guides to draw the skeleton and facial features with a black waterproof paint marker; let dry. Add details and fill in the shapes with a white waterproof paint marker; let dry. (Note: We recommend hand-washing the glassware.)

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Haunted Gallery

    Shock guests with a gallery of macabre images. Search your basement, local dollar store, and thrift store for old white plates and bowls. Then look on the Internet for free clip art of skulls, skeletons, and other anatomical prints. (Think images from old medical textbooks.) Print your finds in black-and-white, then decoupage them onto plates and bowls. Use removable adhesive picture-hanging strips for this seasonal display.

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Spooky Candles

    Line up basic pillar candles to spell out a spooky message. Hot-glue beads, rhinestones, or seeds into a letter shape on each candle, then place the candles on candlesticks of varying heights.

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Vintage Star Ornament

    Create these easy, vintage-looking Halloween ornaments from everyday crafts supplies.

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Tin Can Luminarias

    Light up the night Halloween-style with orange and black luminarias. Even young trick-or-treaters can make these cheerful lights with some adult help. A few easy-to-find supplies -- empty cans, a hammer and nail, and some spray paint -- are all you need.

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Easy Halloween Door Hanging

    Fill this lovely cone-shape container, reminiscent of days gone by, with colorful foliage to announce the Halloween season to passersby.

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Halloween-to-Harvest Hurricane

    Welcome guests with a hurricane brimming with little pie pumpkins nestled in straw and leaves. Finish the display with a scalloped collar of fabric trimmed with velvet ribbon and a crafts store feather. After Halloween, repurpose the filled hurricane for Thanksgiving by replacing the black-and-white collar with one in rich harvest colors.

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Holiday Must-Have: Spooktacular House Craft Kit

    Enjoy family fun when you create this spooktacular house! Kit includes two spooky house sizes -- 9 inches and 6 inches -- and 80+ pieces of decorating fun. Not available in stores.

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