Looking to spruce up your Halloween? Give one (or all!) of these fun, easy and affordable projects a try. You’ll add a touch of whimsy to your celebrations while saving something from the landfill – a lesson that admittedly might get lost amidst the gobs of candy coming your kids’ way. But whether or not the kids appreciate the environmentally-friendly aspect of these projects, we know they’ll want to get involved.
Click on image to the left to view photos of all three projects.
Supplies: Newspaper, masking tape, plaster gauze strips (available at Michaels stores), bowl of water
This project is totally foolproof, cheap to make and the finished item – if I do say so myself – is awesome. Who wouldn’t want to fill a bowl with Flintstone-esque bones on Halloween? Plus, it’s kid-friendly from start to finish.
How to: Crumple several sheets of newspaper into the shape of a bone by rolling, twisting and bending it into a crumpled log; use masking tape around the center to help form the bone shape. Dip strips of the plaster gauze in water and wrap it around the newspaper until the whole thing is covered. Allow to dry overnight.
Upcycled Trick-or-Treat Bag
Supplies: Paper shopping bag, chalkboard paint, brush, chalk, decorative top (optional)
This bag is not only an adorable alternative to the ubiquitous plastic pumpkin trick-or-treat totes you see on Halloween, but better: You can customize it with whatever quotation you want on front with chalk.
Use whatever paper bag you want here, but splurge and use one of the sturdier shopping bags from a nice store instead of a paper grocery store bag for this project. If my memory serves me correctly, Halloween is about more than just trick-or-treating – it’s about hoarding sugary sweets. You want this bag to hold plenty of treats all night long without it ripping and leaving candy strewn all over the street.
How to: Paint the entire outside of the bag with several coats of chalkboard paint. If you want, you can cut the existing handles and thread rope in its place to make a more decorative handle. Use chalk to decorate the front with whatever drawing or saying you want.
Tombstone Treat Boxes
Supplies: Old Fedex or UPS boxes, stone faux finish spray paint, craft store letters, scissors, hole punch, twine
Kids are picky – if a chalkboard painted treat bag isn’t their thing, here’s another option that they may love for carrying their haul from Halloween around the neighborhood. It involves using a used Fedex or UPS box, a little spray paint and some basic decorating skills.
Give yourself about 24 hours to make this project since the paint needs time to properly cure. If you try to rush this on October 31st, your little tyke may end up with bits of stone spray paint on his costume. And that would not be ghostly, but ghastly.
How to: Make sure one end of the box is fully secured closed; if not, add a little masking tape to secure it. Use scissors to cut the open side into the silhouette of a tombstone. Spray paint the whole thing using the faux stone finish spray paint; you may need several coats to achieve the desired effect and to fully conceal the graphics on the box. Once dry, use a hole punch to cut out two holes on the side and thread some twine through as a handle. Decorate with decorative letters or silhouettes from the craft store if desired.
Find more holiday upcycling projects in Danny Seo’s new book Upcycled Celebrations.
Published October 2013