Everyone knows that one of the scariest things about Halloween this year is that many of us are still stuck at home with remote learning. (Forget that maze in
The Shining. Make Jack Nicholson try the maze that is Google Classroom. Redrum, indeed...) And if you're like me, you're desperate for fun ways to fill the hours at home. So why not do a bit of Halloween crafting? I've rounded up 13 super simple Halloween crafts to help kill some time while we're all trapped in our houses and missing on some favorite traditions.
"But I'm not crafty!" you say. Well, yeah, I am also a bit like an octopus in oven mitts when it comes to a glue gun. But no matter! We don't have to open an Etsy store! The point is just to get creative and keep those little hands busy, on theme, and not constantly reaching for the TV remote or iPad.
I've rounded up some cute and easy crafting ideas below. Some might require a little online shopping, or picking up some mini-pumpkins at the grocery, but many can also just be done with stuff sitting around at home. (After a summer of turning empty toilet paper tubes into rockets, subway trains, and insects, I now view each cardboard roll as a future vessel upon which to glue pipe cleaners or googly eyes.)
Now, on to the spooktacular crafts...
Flying Toilet Roll Ghosts
Let's kick it off with — you guessed it — toilet paper rolls! These little ghosts are super cute and very easy to make. (There's a little tutorial over on
One Little Project.) You can use ribbon, toilet paper, or regular strips of paper. Just have your kid paint an empty toilet roll tube white, or wrap the tube in white paper. Draw or glue on a spooky face, then glue strips of white whatever to the bottom. Attach a string to the top, then hang around the house to haunt all who may pass with this ghoulish Charmin spectre! Cappi Thompson/Moment/Getty Images The Spruce Crafts offers simple instructions for putting this guy together. It's essentially painting a face on a pumpkin and balancing it atop some old clothes. You can put your dummy in a sitting position either inside or outside your house, and there you have it! Something for you to bump into in the middle of the night to make you scream bloody murder. As well as an imaginary pumpkin friend for your kid to play Uno with...
Make Your Own Mini-Haunted House
These foldable monster bookmarks that chomp the corners of books are incredibly cute, and are the kind of craft your kid will likely want to make many of and gift to their buddies.
Easy Peasy Fun offers a step-by-step video to guide you through the folding. All you need is some paper. Origami paper works best, and Amazon has a good deal on the stuff. Ann Schwede/Moment/Getty Images
This is a great project for any age, and I like that it gives the eyes a break from the usual orange and black of Halloween.
A Kailo Chic Life uses spray paint and creates a whole rainbow display. But if you aren't too keen on kiddos and spray paint, you can do a more kid-friendly version with acrylics. Just wipe the pumpkins down, tape off the stem to avoid getting paint on it, and have your kid paint away. If you live in a space where you can't really load up on 30 pumpkins, you can always opt for a cheaper, smaller display, and have the kiddos paint a pile of mini-pumpkins.
You can never go wrong with kids and slime. Not only will the kids love making this one, they'll love commenting on the general grossness of the activity. All you need is some red glitter glue, water, liquid starch, and a pack of sticky eyeballs. Detailed instructions can be found
over on The Tiptoe Fairy. Once the kids are done grossing themselves out, you can put their spooky goo in a mason jar for an extra gory display.
Fall Leaf Finger Puppets
That's right — more fun with toilet paper rolls! I found these guys
over on Crafts By Amanda, and I think this is so clever and cute. You most likely will already have most of this stuff around the house, plus it has the added fun of taking a walk to find the right leaves and pebbles for your little puppet faces. It does call for a glue gun for some of it, but your kid can still help direct the assembly. I am definitely doing this one with my son. He will probably want to make the puppets wrestle, because he wants to make everything wrestle. This will no doubt result in the re-gluing of eyes, but ah well.
Silly and simple, which is how I prefer all my crafts, really. These tissue box monsters are really fun and super easy to make. It might require the purchase of little pom poms, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, more crafting is surely to come. This one
here uses giant googly eyes, but you could also just make your own eyes with construction paper or markers.
Pumpkin or Ghost Stress Balls
You know who could really use a stress ball these days? Everyone! These little Halloween stress balls are made from balloons and could not be easier to make. You just need some flour (or rice, depending on how hard you want your squeeze to be) some markers, and maybe a little ribbon or string if you'd like this tiny receiver of your inward emotional turmoil to have hair. Check out
Red Ted Art if you need some help with assembly. (These could actually be useful little guys to carry with you if your child is — like mine — experiencing some anxiety when being out and about.)
So this one involves a hot glue gun, which means you'll need to offer some assistance with assembly. But I think it's such a clever and unique idea. You also might need to order a few specific crafting supplies like mod podge and distress ink, but much of it (paint, paper towel, and an old book) is probably already in your crafting arsenal. I assumed from the photos that it would be kind of complicated, but the blog
Darcy and Brian offers a clear lesson that actually sounds fairly simple.
These glowing mummy lanterns are pretty adorable, I have to admit, and make for a nice, spooky lantern. You only need some jars, battery-powered tea lights, gauze, construction paper, and yes — ye olde googly eyes. Here's a good
step-by-step at Mama Cheaps.
Make Your Own Ghost Story
I am always a big fan of making books with kids. Partly because they are usually
so proud of the results. (Their very own book!) But it's also something they can return to again and again, to read quietly to themselves, or to share with grandparents and friends. Plus, after you tuck it away for a year, the child will be both amused and delighted when you pull out "Jackie Jack-O-Lantern and the Haunted Snickers" along with all the other Halloween decor. There are lot of bookmaking kits available for purchase, or you can go the more DIY route. Just take some paper and bind it together with a bit of fun Halloween ribbon. Present it to your little Stephen King with a simple writing prompt ("Write me a story about a ghost who loves to haunt pets!") and see what spooky tales they come up with.
So, here's a sentence I never thought I'd write: why not have fun decorating your face shields? I mean, I know
Etsy is selling unicorn face shields. So why not make your own? It might be a way to make face shields more... fun? You could put Halloween stickers on them, or maybe draw some whiskers or fangs? Maybe instead of putting these jack-o-lantern decals on a pumpkin, you put them on the shield? Have I lost my mind? Do I need to go take a walk? Perhaps.