Make this Halloween less wasteful and more “eek-o-friendly” by making your own creepy décor and crafts at home. Reusing products that you were going to throw away anyway can take the fright out of your waste bin, and maybe even your pocketbook. Here are several crafts that you can make in a short amount of time to decorate your home.
• Glow in the Dark Eyes: Paperboard tubes, like those from toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls, can easily become an outdoor prop to give trick-o-treaters that eerie feeling of being watched as they approach your front door. Just add glow sticks! Once it gets dark outside the glow of spooky eyes will be spotted by visitors.
To make your own creepy eyes you’ll need paperboard tubes, scissors or a craft knife, pencil or marker, tape or stapler, and at least one glow stick per tube. Since paperboard tubes from paper towel rolls are longer than the toilet paper rolls you may want to cut those in half. To avoid crushing the paperboard cylinder while cutting, use a bread knife to gently saw the tube in half.
Choose the style of eyes you want, then draw them on one side of the tube lengthwise. You could follow the style of traditional jack-o-lanterns with a moon or half-circle shape. Or, you could make rectangular or square eye shapes for more of a sci-fi look. Carefully cut out the eyes with scissors or a craft knife following the outlines you drew.
If desired, paint the outside of the tube black, or another color, to help it blend in with its hiding spot. Wrapping with paper and plastic is acceptable as well. But, since it will be dark outside, leaving the tubes plain will work just fine. Take some time to find the perfect spots for your glow in the dark eyes. Consider how long the glow stick’s light will last then decide on the perfect time activate them.
Insert at least one activated glow stick into a paperboard tube with cut-out eyes. Secure it with tape, or staple the ends of the tube shut to keep the glow stick in place. Take the new glowing eyes to your preselected spots aiming the glowing eyes to the walkway, and prepare to creep out your visitors.
• Milk Jug Monster: This creepy craft can be a stand-alone decorative piece or a treat bowl. To get started you’ll need a clean milk jug, craft knife or kitchen scissors, a marker, paint, and if desired, craft tape, scrap paper, glitter, and other decorative items. Using a marker, draw the mouth for your monster on the side of the jug opposite the handle. The mouth will extend to two sides of the jug. Carefully cut out the opening using a small knife or strong scissors.
Once you’ve decided what kind of monster you’ll make, paint the jug and let it dry. A green monster would make a good Frankenstein, while a jug painted orange can be a good stand in for a jack-o-lantern. If you don’t want to paint the jug, you can always glue on scraps of paper. Decorate your monster by cutting out and gluing on eyes, fangs, horns, feet, and claws. Fill with candy and dare your visitors to put their hand inside the monster’s mouth to retrieve their prize.
• Egg Carton Eyeballs: Make creepy eyeballs for your party table with an egg carton. You’ll need the egg carton cups, preferably from a paperboard egg crate, acrylic craft paint or markers, and scissors. Cut the eggcups out of the crate either individually or in pairs. Trim the edges so they lay mostly flat when placed upside down on the table. They’ll look like small domes. Paint all the cups white and set them aside to dry.
When dry, paint an iris on the top center of the eggcup. You should have a large colored circle with a small black circle in the center. Add blood-shot veins using a red pen or fine tip red marker to complete the unnerving stare. Get creative and make monster eyes by painting the iris yellow or purple.
The eyes look best if the egg carton cup is mostly round. But, if you have especially oddly shaped egg carton pieces, you could make tiny ghosts. Paint the cups white then draw or paint a cute ghost face with an O-shaped mouth and round eyes.