Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.View Slideshow
Transform your home into a haunted house with Halloween ambience. Welcome ghosts, witches, ravens, and spiders with these creepy Halloween decorating ideas.
Even no-carve pumpkins can make a spooky statement. Choose your favorite holiday-theme quote ("Boo" is classic), then create the outlines of the letters using tiny nails tapped halfway into the side of your pumpkin. Do the same thing for an outer border, such as our quote bubble. Wrap black thread around the exposed nails, building up the color and layers as you go for a cool 3-D effect that neighborhood trick-or-treaters will love.
(image credit: Chelsea Costa)
Pull out an assortment of glass decanters and bottles from the pantry (or head to your nearest thrift store to stock up) and spend the afternoon putting together a collection of eerie potions and elixirs fit for Halloween. We printed a few words onto sticker paper, but you also could handwrite on labels.
(image credit: Leah Bergman)
Repurpose white Christmas tree lights with this clever Halloween-theme project. Use a permanent market to add ghoulish faces to plain table tennis balls, then cut a hole into each one to fit over the bulbs. Next, cut cheesecloth into squares, dip in diluted Mod Podge, and drape over the balls. Let dry before assembling and lighting.
(image credit: unOriginal Mom)
Breeze through this quick tutorial on four crafty Halloween ideas.
Employ a traditional needle-and-thread technique in an anything-but-traditional way. A large, exaggerated cross-stitch pattern allows you to play up the holiday's most well-known silhouettes -- characters like spiders, ghosts, skulls, and pumpkins -- in a decoration that you can keep for next year. A quick Web search for "easy Halloween cross-stitch pattern" will provide just the inspiration you need. Transfer it onto your canvas and get stitching!
(image credit: Amy Anderson)
Use clips to suspend ghoulish artwork from curtain rods. We used medical textbook clip-art images to get the look, enlarging them to fit on 11x17-inch sheets of paper. Dip each print in a tub of diluted coffee (for color) and let dry. Embellish railings with garlands crafted from layered 4- and 8-inch doilies and coffee filters. Bundle a few together, pinch into a flower shape, and tie with wire. Wire the bunches to a long ribbon.
Take flight with this fanciful bat frame. Use a die-cutting tool or a bat-shape punch to trim 24 bat shapes. Bend the wings before attaching to a frame. Remove the glass for a cool multidimensional look.
Make ordinary objects a little creepier with a coat of black paint. Just a few simple steps and this discarded tree branch becomes a scary perch for menacing ravens. Find a tree branch (the more twisted and gnarled, the better) and spray-paint it black. Once dry, insert the branch in an urn or pot. Finish by placing a few black ravens on the branch.
Since white objects are highlighted at night, ghostly door decorations made from painted gourds are sure to catch the eye and chill the heart in the dark. Use black paint to give the apparitions spirited expressions; dangle the phantoms from dormant vines, porch rafters, or tree branches. Embellish your exhibit with dried bittersweet, abandoned paper-wasp nests, and a painted twig wreath.
This easy-to-make Halloween decoration looks like it came straight from an Alfred Hitchcock film -- just take a clip-art birdcage image, make an oversize print at a copy center (ours cost just $10, so it's cheap, too!), and spritz with coffee to give it an aged appearance before hanging. Add to the poster's eerie effect with a few well-placed crow or raven decorations.
Customize plain candles for Halloween. Use a pencil to draw a spiderweb design into a pillar candle (be sure to use a candle that is colored all the way through -- some inexpensive candles don't have any color in the middle). Once you've completed your design, pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol onto a paper towel and dab the excess wax off the candle surface. Using white paint and a small brush, paint inside the grooves. Wipe off excess paint with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel.
The creepy-crawlies of Halloween (both flying and footed) cause shrieks of fright. Spray white pumpkins with a sealer, then use cardstock patterns to transfer the critter outlines to the pumpkins. Fill in the outlines with black paint, then arrange the spooky gourds on a black tray. Stick a colony of bats -- cut from cardstock and equipped with wire stems -- into the center pumpkin to heighten the horror.
Fill a clear container with dark candies and tape the witch face pieces to the front of the container. Roll a piece of black cardstock into a cone and glue on top of a black circle base for the witch's hat. Pleat a narrow strip of paper and wrap it around the base of the cone, securing with a belt buckle.
Editor's Tip: Give this witch some sweet companions -- cut out jack-o'-lantern face features and stems from black cardstock and glue onto foil-wrapped chocolate oranges (available in the candy aisle at grocery store).
Give yourself a hand with this mummified appendage. Fill a white disposable glove with cotton balls, pushing them into the fingers. Once the glove is full and sturdy, fold up the end of the glove and tape to secure. Wrap 2-inch-wide gauze (you'll need approximately 5 yards) around the fingers, hand, and wrist until completely covered, securing the end with a knot. Use an extra cotton ball to apply brown chalk to the hand to give it an aged look. Add creepy, crawly plastic bugs for a fresh-from-the-ground look.
Stage birdcages as an eerie display guarded by a beady-eye blackbird. Set the chilling scene with dried moss, gourds, twigs, and fake spiderwebs, bugs, and bats.
Recycle an old umbrella as a haunting light fixture. Remove the fabric covering, then stretch spider webbing over the frame. Decorate with plastic spiders and battery-operated lanterns attached to the wire with S hooks. Tie rope around the handle and hang from the ceiling with a plant hook.
Trick-or-treaters aren't the only ones with scary getups for Halloween. Watch this frightening artwork scare away the goblins and ghosts who come knocking at your door. Simply glue googly eyes on copies of old portraits for an spooky and eye-catching Halloween makeover.