Some Of My Favorite Kid Friendly Halloween Crafts

halloweencraftsI’m just barely getting these ideas to you in the nick of time – Three of my favorite kid friendly Halloween crafts that are also great for classrooms and even class parties!

My mother always took time out of her busy day (raising three kids and taking care of a house!) to do arts and crafts with us, especially around the holidays. She always said that it takes too long between birthdays and Christmas for kids so you need to make every holiday as special as you can. Even Valentine’s and St Patrick’s Day were big to-dos at our house!

Halloween was one of my favorite holidays though, though I can only remember dressing up as one thing – a princess. Each year we’d come home from school on trick or treat night to find Mama sitting at a table making us new princess crowns. She’d cut out the shape from cardboard and then cover it entirely in aluminum foil. My sister Patti and I would then put on our long flannel nightgowns with the little rosebud print (we always had some like this because Mama made them for us) and our crowns and head off, feeling every bit as much a princess as anyone could!

My brother had been given a Batman mask when he was very young and he wore it every year. It’s hard to imagine kids these days getting excited about wearing the same costume year after year, but those were our good old days and today’s kids are making their own brand of good old days anyway.

With these crafts though, we can incorporate a bit of the old and a bit of the new, in the process creating some great memories together- and making yourself the “cool” person in the eyes of a child.

The instructions for all of the pictured crafts are below but when you’re done, don’t forget to check out my Gingerbread Trick or Treaters! Click here to go to that post :) 

Gingerbread Trick or Treaters

Bath Tissue Pumpkins

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These are my little pumpkins that I always do for preschool and kindergarten class parties. The kids have a ball with them and love that they can do every bit themselves. A neat idea is to have each child bring two rolls of tissue paper with them to class. One of the rolls can then be turned into this pumpkin and the other roll can be used in a mummy contest :).

In the past I’ve had the kids wrap the teacher, a parent, or get into teams of two and wrap each other. Lots of fun regardless.

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I start with a yard of fabric. Go for the cheap here. Cut that yard into fourths like this.

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Take each fourth and roll up a roll of tissue paper in it.

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Like so.

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Tuck the ends in.

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Like so :)

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Now lay out your green fabric. I usually buy 1/4 of a yard for this. Don’t feel like you have to get a solid green as a tone on tone is usually more interesting anyway.

Cut a small strip (my strip is about two inches wide)

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Fold that over in half…

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And then fold the sides over (you don’t have to do it this way, you can just tuck a piece of fabric in there without any folding at all)

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Tuck in the end.

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Let kids cut out faces and glue on if you like and you have cute little pumpkins that can be placed anywhere in your house!

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~waves at cute little punkin~

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Magic Cheesecloth Ghosts

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Now this is one of those crafts we did as a kid that made us think our Mama just HAD to be magic! The “ghosts” stand on their own thanks to the help of handy dandy liquid starch, and this one will impress kids of all ages!

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You’ll need: Liquid starch (found on the laundry detergent aisle), cheese cloth (found in a package in the craft and fabric department – you might have to ask), a few balloons, a few pencils, some tape, and some black felt. Oh, and also two tall drinking glasses :)

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Blow up each balloon to form the head for your ghost. Place each one over a glass. Place the pencil over the glass as well and tape into place.

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Roll out your cheese cloth and cut a piece long enough to drape over both sides of your balloon and glass and still pool a little bit at the bottom. I cut two pieces of fabric for each ghost.

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Pour liquid starch into bowl.

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Completely submerge cheesecloth into starch and lift out, squeezing only slightly.

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Drape two pieces of cheese cloth over each balloon, making sure it pools a bit at the bottom as that is what will support your ghost.

I think this is Katy looking scared… ~tilts her head and examines photograph~ yeah, thats what she’s doing. :)

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I like to do this on trays but you can just line your table with a little waxed paper so long as the ghosts can sit there undisturbed. Mine took two days to dry completely.

When completely dry, pop balloon and remove ghost from top of glass….

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Use black felt to glue eyes and mouths on them and enjoy your little ghosts!

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Friendly Lollipop Ghosts

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This is an oldie but goodie. My kids have every bit as much fun making these today as I did when I was a kid.

Place a dum dum (or other small sucker) in the center of a white tissue…

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Fold the top over…

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Gather it together and tie a little bow with some yarn (if you use red yarn you can use it again for a Christmas craft!)

Draw little faces on the little guys…

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Use them to decorate your house, but know they won’t last long! :)

Be a giver…You always have something to give…even if it is only a smile. You can make someone’s day with your smile.

Submitted by Margaret. To submit your quote and read a wealth of others submitted by members of the Southern Plate family, click here.

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Happy Fall, Y’all!

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Comments

  1. Elaine says

    Your crafts are very appropriate and although I will not be doing for any little ones this year, I can still appreciate the simplicity and frugalness of them. Truthfully I am horrified at the prices of some of the commercial costumes and decorations. We always had homemade ones and my sons came up with some very creative ones over the years. I loved the stenciled Thanksgiving pumpkin. It seems that Thanksgiving sort of gets short changed commercially as we slide from Halloween straight to Christmas.I personally love Thanksgiving as it is a family and food time and those are the two “bestest”.

    • says

      I agree wholeheartedly! Whenever I buy decorations, I try to keep them “fall” rather than “halloween” but I’ll admit this is more from a frugal standpoint as well as I can use them and enjoy them so much longer!

      Thanksgiving was a very big holiday for us growing up. We used to all gather at Grandmama and Grandaddy’s house on Thanksgiving morning and spend the day outside playing with our cousins while the Mamas prepared the meal. Daddy would shoot video throughout the day and Grandaddy would tell jokes and ride us all in the wheel barrow outside. It was a wonderful time.

      I haven’t had a Thanksgiving like that in over twenty years now. Grandaddy passed away and somewhere along the way my parents started a tradition of going to Gatlinburg with their friends every Thanksgiving. We started having our meal the weekend before and it was just never the same.

      So now I always do a Thanksgiving meal but as in the past few years, it will be just the four of us again. It’s wonderful to have the four of us together, but it just feels so foreign compared to the Thanksgivings I experienced as a child. This is something of a bittersweet holiday for me as a result and I want to go on record for the gazillionth time as saying “I miss my Grandaddy”.

      We’re going to try our own Thanksgiving tradition beginning this year. I can’t post about it because it is a surprise for the kids (Brady reads Southern Plate) but we hope it will be a great way for us to celebrate the holiday that will be as just as memorable for our kids.

      Cross your fingers for us and Happy early Thanksgiving!

  2. Mary says

    Oh so sweet!

    Christy I miss my old Thanksgiving days too. The traditions passed away with my mama. Then my son got married and his wife has a pretty big family so there went my son. My MIL does a totally different thing on Thanksgiving – sort of a buffet and come when you can kind of thing, not the traditional sit down. My aunt (mama’s sister) started inviting hub and me over there – it wasn’t quite the same but it was close and it was family. Unfortunately year before was our last Thanksgiving with her as she passed away. My DIL tried a big family dinner at her house last year, but with a newborn don’t think she’ll be doing that this year. My cousin picked up where my aunt left off, but you are right, traditions do change. Doesn’t make us miss the old ways any less.

  3. says

    Very cool ideas Christy. Wish I had kids to make them for.

    I think I’ll glue some corn and small pumpkins on Murder Cat Fred (If you follow me on Facebook, you know about him) and let him go as a haunted cornucopia. Should be quite entertaining.

    I can hear it now..
    “Mom, The centerpiece is staring at me…”
    “Yes Dear, Martha Stewart showed how to make those last week..”

    Anywhoo…. those little ghost are very cool.

  4. Terri go Dawgs says

    Happy Fall Ya’ll is one of my fav things to put on my answering machine ;} Same to you Christy and family ~waves~
    I just love the ideas, especially the lollipop ghosts, reminds me of things I would find at my Grandparent’s houses. I haven’t done on crafts w/ the starch but will keep that in mind for the future. You always seem to keep the Southern Plate website interesting, easy, and economically fun. Thank you, Frugalista.
    Wistfully, I recall my Thanksgivings dinners like you had with your Grandparents. My regret is that as a child I was not aware that things would change eventually. Mama & all my Grandparents would pass away and those times were not to be again. I wish I could have bottled it to save for later. But ~winks~…… I still have my construction paper hands that are colored like turkey tails that always went in the ever-present pine cones for the table. Have a safe and fun Halloween! Love ya Christy!

  5. says

    I concur on the Thanksgiving traditions. It’s next to impossible to get any portion of my family together, and we end up tagging on to other’s family gatherings, having a small Thanksgiving ourselves or none to speak of at all. Times are definitely different, but we do our best to maintain and build up those traditions and memories for our kids where we can.

  6. Elaine says

    I really just wanted to comment on your choice of quote. It’s true. You can make someone’s day with your smile. In fact, someone once made my LIFE with a smile.

    I was about 12 years old, my parents were divorced (at a time when very few people got divorced) and I felt very rejected. I was trailing behind my father, his new wife, and my brother. Nobody noticed me and I felt very unimportant.

    A woman came out of an office building as we walked past. She was putting out the trash and when she saw me, her face lit up with a smile that warmed me to my heart. No hesitation – she saw me and liked me and smiled. Many, many times in my life I looked back to that moment and felt encouraged because SOMEBODY liked me and let me know it without hesitation.

    Thank you for choosing that quote (and to Margaret for suggesting it). That’s what I love about this site – lots of stuff to do with food and an amazing ‘family atmosphere’ about it too!

    • says

      Elaine, I read this as I was out with Katy Rose today and I can’t tell you how much it touched my heart.

      I made it a point to smile more to people today, to be a little more outgoing and a little louder when I greeted folks or said “thank you”, all because I read your post.

      Now I’m going to call and read it to Mama. You’ve given us all a gift today and I am truly grateful.

      Sincerely,
      Christy

  7. Mellany says

    Christy, can you answer this for me; :) Why do ya’ll call it “tissue” paper? We call it toilet paper and “tissue paper” is what you put into gift bags and tissue’s are… well kleenex. I guess it’s one of them Northern/Southern thangs.:) Love the ideas and I’ll give em a try with my niece’s
    have a great day
    Mellany

    • says

      You know what is crazy Mellany? I call it “Toilet Paper” too and I’ve never heard it called anything else…but as I was writing this, I just couldn’t bring myself to type the world “toilet” on a food blog! lol

      I’m so weird!
      Christy

  8. Elaine Raye says

    Hello- I added my middle name as I see we have another Elaine among us and I was touched by her post. I wanted to add a Thanksgiving story and post my thanks to the family who the family involved although I do not know who they were. When my oldest son was only 17 he joined the Navy and was sent to Norfolk after his basic training. Thanksgiving was approaching and he had never really been away from home to miss a major holiday, but he was not going to get leave to come home. I was heartsick and he was homesick and it was a painful realization for both of us that childhood was gone and things would never be quite the same. I was upset as each day brought Thanksgiving closer and nothing about it seemed right. A day or two before the holiday my son called home and said a Navy family was “adopting” him for the holiday. He was excited and so was I. The family came to his aircraft carrier early Thanksgiving morning and took him to their house (approved through the Navy). He stayed in the kitchen and watched the fixin’ just like home. They had a wonderful traditional meal and then he and the kids played football in their yard. That family made him one of their own and he was so happy and I was so relieved to know he was not alone and left out. At the end of a very special day they took him back to his ship stuffed with food and knowing someone cared.This is such a loving gesture and my eyes are a bit teary as I recall it and it was 20 years ago now. I hope that program still exists because it sure exists in my son’s and my memories.

    • says

      I’m sure it meant as much to that family as it did to you. My family had the opportunity to host my daughter’s friend and his family for Christmas. It was so much fun. The memories we made that week were so heartwarming. We will never forget how wonderful it made us feel to share this special holiday with them. We still keep in touch, he calls me his other Mom, it warms my heart every time. He’ll spend this Christmas in Iraq and we will miss him, but look forward to his safe return. His Mom has expressed her gratitude, but I feel like we were the lucky ones. It was the best Christmas ever. I’m sure that family felt the same way about your son. Thanks for sharing I enjoyed your heartfelt story.

  9. Kathy in TN says

    Christy I love these. A friend was just asking about some not so expensive Halloween decorations. Once again you came and saved the day.
    We are so blessed to have you in our mist. Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs.

  10. PATTI KAKES says

    My son was born on Halloween, so it was always a big deal at our house. Since i sew, I always made him a new pair af pajamas in his favorite hero. Once he was Superman, another time he was Batman. After his brother came along I had to do two costumes. I always had fun fixing them up.

    I really like your ghosts. They remind me of Christmas ornaments that I made for our first Christmas. I blew up balloons and dipped string in the starch, then around an all over the balloons. After they dried I popped the balloons and glued on some glitter. I miss doing things like that, both my sons are past 35 and no grandkids, but i do have nieces to help on occasion. They always come to me for ideas, so I get to do crafty things with them.

    Thanks for the memories of making things at home.

  11. Rene says

    I love the pumpkin idea! So simple! And, when disassembled. . .easy to store and even redo next year! I remember making my first lollipop ghost in Brownie scouts. I thought it was great!

  12. Sheila says

    Christy,
    I loved your story of halloween. And I can’t imagine you being anything but a princess. After all you’re our Southern Plate princess. And we will be forever grateful to Queen Mama for bringing you into this world. Have a fun and safe Halloween!

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