Friday, October 06, 2006

Halloween Crafts

By Brandi M. Seals

Just in time for Halloween I have a number of great Halloween crafts that you can do to decorate the home.

If you are not the crafty type, start with something simple like a Halloween lantern.

Halloween Lantern
A Halloween lantern is quite possibly the easiest and most cost efficient decoration you can make. You will need the following supplies:
Black cardstock
Orange tissue paperpaper
Glue
Craft knife or sharp scissors

To put together the lantern, start by cutting a piece of cardstock so that it measures 20 inches by 8.5 inches. This piece of paper will be the lantern. On the wrong side of the paper draw a design you like. I prefer to do spooky faces, but do whatever you like. If you are including wording on your lantern, remember that you will want to write your message backwards if you want it to read correctly on the right side of the paper.

Use the craft knife or scissors to cut out the design.

Glue a strip of the orange tissue paper on the reverse side of the paper. Make sure it covers your entire design.

Take the paper and form a cylinder by joining the sides together, make sure the correct side of the paper is facing outward. Use glue to hold the sides of the paper together.

To light up your lantern place a small flash light inside the lantern. Do not use candles as the lantern could catch on fire.

If you are looking to do something a little more sophisticated, why not make a pumpkin vase? Pumpkins are typically carved and lit up, but why not try this alternative.

Pumpkin Vase
To make your vase, start by picking out the perfect pumpkin. Remember, the larger the pumpkin, the more you will have to fill it with. Choose a small pumpkin or even a gourd.

To make the pumpkin vase you will need:
1 small pumpkin or gourd
Sharp knife or pumpkin carving kit
Large metal spoon
Aluminum foil
Florist's foam
Flowers of your choice in fall colors

To make your own pumpkin vase start by cutting the top off your pumpkin or gourd. You will want to spoon out all of the filling inside and line the pumpkin with foil. The foil adds a little extra protection in case the water leaks out.

Next, you will want to cut the florist's foam so that it fits inside the new vase. The foam will hold your flower arrangement. Soak the foam in water so that your flowers will stay fresh.

Start arranging the flowers by sticking them in the foam.

Your pumpkin vase can be used to dress up any table and makes a wonderful centerpiece.

Make your table even more beautiful by adding some gourd candles to the mix. All candles are easy to make, so why not make some for each holiday. Gourds offer a simple way to get this done.

Gourd Candles
You can make your gourd candles any size and color you like. Choose from the large range of fall inspired colors.

To make your own gourd candles you will need:
Gourds or squashes - I personally like to use acorn squashes but use whatever you like
Wax - you can use beeswax or paraffin wax. You will need approximately 1/2 pound for each candle.
Coloring in the color of your choice
Candle wicks
Spoon or melon baller
Double boiler

To make your gourd candles you will need to cut off the tops of your gourds or squashes. Use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop out the innards. You will want to make sure the sides are left smooth and as flat as possible.

Next melt the wax in a double boiler. After the wax has melted you will want to add the coloring. Candles made in different batches may appear slightly different even if the exact same coloring has been added.

Before the wax is ready, glue the wick into the bottom of the gourd. Wrap the extra length of the wick around a pencil and lay it across the opening of the gourd.

Pour the completely melted wax into the gourd. Do not over fill the gourd.

Wait about 6 hours for the wax to harden. Once it is hardened you can gently peal the gourd's shell away and reveal your new, beautiful candle. Trim the wick to an appropriate length and use the candle as you wish.

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