How will you entice the hopeful Halloween trick or treaters this year? Would you like to involve the children with simple arts and crafts that they will love to help you with over half term? Here at Mackenzie Smith, we have cooked up some simple ideas in the cauldron that will enhance your  Halloween festivities!

Trendy pumpkin carving

The tradition of carving pumpkins into creepy toothy faces is still a source of great fun for many of us. Nowadays, there are so many different ways to carve the pumpkin, and a quick surf on the internet provides a multitude of ideas, including templates of your child’s favourite cartoon characters to choose from, making the job a simple, effective one. Your children should be especially enthused by the results!

Day of the Dead sun catchers

How about making some Mexican Day of the Dead sun catchers to brighten your windows? These are very simple to make, colourful, and both you and children of all ages will enjoy making them.

What you’ll need: Permanent sharpie markers 
Flat pieces of clear plastic (cut out from food packaging/lids/containers)
Scissors, tape, and a few sheets of white paper

Take a look on Pinterest, where there are a variety of sugar skull designs to choose from and print out. You may wish to gently trace out the outline of the image with a soft pencil first onto the plastic and then go over the lines with the permanent black marker. Allow a few moments for it to dry and then place the plastic marker down onto a spare sheet of rough paper to avoid any mess. Use markers to colour in the design. Then cut out the plastic and tape to a front window for everyone to enjoy!

Creepy bats!

Spruce up your front door or create a feature wall with a colony of creepy bats! Simply draw out a few bat templates in various sizes – if you are not confident about your bat drawing skills, templates are available on Pinterest to copy or even print out. Then use the templates to draw the bats on some black card or sugar paper.

To save time, you can fold the paper and cut out several at once. The more you make, the more dramatic the final effect! You may wish to fold the wings slightly in the middle so that they stick out. Then tape the bats onto your chosen spot from the centre of the bat body. If you want to make the job really easy, you can also purchase them readily made!

Garden ghosts

Perhaps you have trees in your garden and have to keep bagging up leaves, or a number of old newspapers you want to throw out? You can stuff them into a white bin bag, scrunching up the sheets of newspaper and then use a black permanent marker to create a fun ghost face. Then place them in the front garden to welcome your Halloween guests. You could also use black bin bags and create scary cats, using a yellow or green poster pen for the eyes – just remember to let the pen dry on the first on a flat surface before you stuff them.

Paper-plate Spiders

If you have young children, they will love making these fun paper plate spiders. All you will need is:

Small paper plates
Acrylic paint (be careful this won’t wash out of clothes!) and brushes
Glitter paint
Googly eyes of different sizes, 8 per spider
Pipe cleaners
Glue
Scissors
Stapler
String

Paint the underside of the plates, and let them dry. To get the best effect, use glitter paint on the pipe cleaners too. Once dry, take the pipe cleaners, cut them in half and then bend them in the middle for the knee. Put the upside of two plates together, and insert the end of the pipe cleaners between them, spaced out like legs. Use a staple to fix the ‘legs’ in place. Then glue the googly eyes to the front. Use a hole punch to make a hole at the top of the spider, then loop a bit of string through and use this to hang the spider from the ceiling. Create a whole nest of spiders for dramatic effect!

Creepy specimen jars

These specimen jars are so simple, and make a great addition to a Halloween party table. All you need is:

Jars

Water

Food colouring 

Plastic insects or body part ‘specimen’

Just fill the jar approximately three-quarters full with the water, add a few drops of food colouring, insert the specimen, close the lid and it is done!

So there you have it, some simple ways to get crafty and decorate your home this Halloween. So enjoy – and a Happy Halloween from all of us at Mackenzie Smith!