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Fright night isn’t complete without black cats, spooky faces and glowing candles.
Cat Pumpkin directions: Remove stems from a large and a small pumpkin and paint with black acrylic paint. Let dry. Trace, cut and assemble templates from card stock to create ears, eyes and a nose. Give both ears a rounded shape by curling edges forward. Fold back 1⁄4 inch on bottom of ears and glue ears to top of small pumpkin as shown. Glue (we used Beacon Magna-Tac 809) on the eyes and nose, and paint a mouth using white acrylic paint. Stack small pumpkin on top of large one. Place a spoon gourd that you’ve painted black behind large pumpkin to create a tail.
Owl Pumpkin directions: Trace, cut and assemble templates from card stock: a set of brows, two eyes, a beak, two wings, one each of body templates. Glue pieces together as shown (beak should be behind eyes and on top of brows), then glue to surface of pumpkin. Tack down with pins and let dry. Glue wings to side of pumpkin and curved body pieces to the front. Tack and let dry.
Decal Candles directions: Download templates and print onto decal paper (decalpaper.com). Spray the front with two coats of acrylic spray, letting dry between applications. When decal is dry, cut around design and soak in a shallow dish of water until decal starts to lift from its backing. Carefully apply decal to candle, peeling off backing as you go. Gently blot with a paper towel to eliminate air bubbles and excess water. Let dry for a few hours before handling.
Trick or Treat Cups directions: Wrap decorative tape on a diagonal around 12-inch pieces of floral wire. With an awl or a hole punch, make a hole in each side of decorative paper cups. Thread wire through holes, turning the ends up on the inside. If desired, embellish with pieces of ribbon.
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Treats, No Tricks
Transform a tabletop with heaps of sweets surrounded by a menagerie of creepy critters and goblin.
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BOO! Balloon and Paper Streamers
Directions for balloon: Download letter templates and cut out. Trace around templates onto the back of paper or paper-backed fabric. Cut out letters and spray with repositionable spray adhesive. Let dry for a few minutes, then adhere to a 6-inch round inflated latex balloon, positioning the middle O first, followed by the other letters.
Directions for paper streamers: Trim 4- to 5-inch strips from 19 x 25-inch sheets of medium-weight drawing paper. Using scissors, make a series of cuts along the bottom, 11⁄2 to 2 inches apart, stopping 1⁄2 inch below top edge. Rotate paper and cut between each of the existing cuts, again to about 1⁄2 inch below top edge, to create a zigzag effect as shown. Tape top strip in place on the ceiling, and gently pull strips apart to form a streamer.
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Directions: Paint six mini and small pumpkins with black acrylic paint and let dry. Leave two or three extra pumpkins unpainted. Using a metal skewer or nail, make four punctures just above the mid-line on each side of the pumpkin and insert black pipe cleaners. Use eight pipe cleaners per spider for legs, and bend them to create knee joints and feet. Trim off excess. Adhere googly eyes.
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Directions: To avoid using excessive amounts of candy to fill big glass vases, place a drinking glass upside down in the middle of each. Download cat and owl templates and cut out; trace around templates onto colored card stock and cut out. Glue faces together as shown. Attach to front of vase with double-sided tape. For owl’s eyes, use circle punches or a circle cutter and pinking shears to create a decorative edge.
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Lanterns wrapped like mummies and a swarm of spiders team up for a spooktacular scene.
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Directions: To make each spider, use one 3 1⁄4-inch and one 4 1⁄2-inch Smoothfoam Half Ball. Using a serrated knife, trim an equal-size sliver off one side of each ball. Gently stretch a long strip of black crepe paper around edges of each ball to cover. Adhere paper to the back with glue or tape down. Make a hole in center of flat sides of both the small and large balls with a needle. Insert a toothpick or piece of floral wire into hole of larger half and push both balls together to form the spider’s body. Add a dab of glue between layers for extra hold. For the legs, bend eight 12-inch chenille stems as shown. Tape first set of legs to back of spider, just where the head and body meet. Tape additional sets of legs underneath.
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Directions: Cut strips of cheesecloth about 2 inches wide and long enough to cover a glass cylinder; secure one end to the cylinder and wrap. Don’t aim for neatness; the idea is to create uneven layers like on a mummy. Attach loose ends with a dab of gel glue. Continue layering other strips and embellish with mini safety pins, if desired. Light with flameless candles.
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A pom-pom wreath and graphic paper pumpkins create a devilishly clever display.
Directions: Following directions on Clover Pom-Pom Maker package, make yarn pom-poms in various colors and sizes. Slip a U-shaped floral greening pin through the tied yarn that holds pom-pom together, and insert each pom-pom into a wreath form to cover.
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Directions: Cut 12X12-inch card stock into strips 1 inch wide and 9 to 12 inches long, depending on desired size. Make 20 strips for smaller pumpkins, 24 for larger. Punch a hole in top and bottom of strip, 1⁄4 inch from the edge, making sure holes line up. Place a brad fastener through top hole of strips to secure. Repeat for bottom holes. Bend strips so that they form a backward C. Tie a piece of string in a knot around a brad. Pull string taut and tie around the bottom brad, knot and trim. Separate strips into a sphere. Fold a piece of floral wire in half and twist each end around your finger to make tendrils. Twist tendril around brad at top of pumpkin as shown. For the stem, twist a rectangle of crepe paper and flare the bottom outward like a skirt. Apply glue and adhere over the brad
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Set the mood for an eerie evening by conjuring up a few wickedly wonderful embellished pillows.
Directions: Place templates face down on 12 x 18-inch felt sheets and trace with white pencil. Remove templates and cut out. Using a fabric glue such as Fabri-Tac, adhere smaller pieces like cat’s eyes to the larger pieces. Turn designs face down, spray with adhesive and attach to the front of a plain pillow cover.
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Create a curtain of ghostly leaves to soften the moonlight.
Directions: Iron bleached preserved oak leaves between two layers of parchment paper using a medium setting. Tape leaves to pieces of monofilament, overlapping as desired. Suspend from window frame to create a curtain effect.
For pumpkins: To hollow, cut a 3-inch hole in the bottom with a serrated craft saw. Scoop out pulp with a large spoon. Draw leaf patterns freehand (or download templates online at digitalcardfun.com) on pumpkins with a grease pencil, etch stems and cut out leaf designs.
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Gothic Dining Table
A centerpiece of lacy candlelight and bright little goblins sets the mood for a spooktacular night.
For candleholders: Cut a strip of unbleached parchment big enough to cover a glass cylinder. Cut a piece of black lace slightly larger than the parchment and spray the back with adhesive. Carefully adhere lace to parchment and let dry thoroughly. Trim edges of lace, then wrap paper around the cylinder, securing the seam with double-sided tape.
For mini jack-o'-lanterns: Cover stems of hollow pumpkins with painters' tape and paint pumpkins black using either acrylic or spray paint. Instead of leaves, sketch faces on pumpkins using white chalk. Carve and cut out.
For lace pumpkins: Stretch a piece of lace tightly around the bottom of a white pumpkin, securing with tape. To protect pumpkin, cover all but lace with paper. Holding can about 12 inches away, lightly spray laced area with black paint. Let dry thoroughly, then remove lace. For variety, patterns can be painted anywhere on pumpkins.
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Creepy Table Decorations
Transform a tabletop into a macabre exhibit with a menagerie of spooky objects.
Directions: Paint papier-mâché boxes inside and out with either self-priming acrylic craft paint or black chalkboard paint. For a finishing touch, fold black masking tape around edges. Stack boxes on a table, gluing together if desired. Fill with seasonal items of your choice—we selected bird's nests, a framed scorpion, dried seedpods, twigs and moss.
For pumpkins: Follow instructions for black mini jack-o'-lanterns on previous slide. Sketch insect silhouettes (download at vintageprintable.com) with white chalk and cut out. Display in boxes.
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A flock of black birds sends a menacing message perched atop a group of glowing jack-o'-lanterns.
Directions: Select pumpkins and gourds in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Sketch faces on hollow pumpkins and gourds and carve. Arrange on a ladder with crows.
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Pumpkin Table Setting
Shimmering pumpkins and a flutter of winged creatures team up for an eerie evening.
Directions: Download color clip art of moths and butterflies and print on vellum sheets. Cut out images and fold wings upward to create dimension. Attach to branch with glue dots. For truest colors, print two copies of each moth or butterfly, printing the second copy as a mirror image. Spray back of image with adhesive, then place second copy faceup over first, aligning the edges. Cut through both layers and fold wings up.
For pumpkins: Use iridescent spray paint to cover light-colored pumpkins—gray, tan, white. While paint is still wet, sprinkle iridescent glitter over top and side of each pumpkin.
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Spider and Web Pumpkins
A swarm of spiders and creepy webs add a frightening flourish to the evening.
For spiderweb tray: Paint an unfinished wooden plaque with black acrylic craft paint, allowing one hour drying time between each of two coats. Cut pieces of spiderweb-patterned net fabric and spray reverse side with repositionable adhesive. Arrange on top of the plaque as desired. Spray from above with a light misting of ivory paint. After a few minutes, carefully remove lace and let plaque dry thoroughly.
For etched pumpkin: Draw a spiderweb on a pumpkin with black watercolor pencil. Using a linoleum carving tool, scrape off skin about 1/8 inch deep to expose flesh below. Attach a plastic spider.
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Halloween Candy Holders
Tempt revelers with an array of sweets served up in ghoulish fashion.
Directions: Paint the exteriors of small peat pots with white acrylic craft paint; set aside to dry. Glue black trim around the top edge of each and embellish with a spiderweb die cut. for pumpkin: Trace a classic jack-o'-lantern face on a hollow pumpkin and cut out shape.
Originally published in the October 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.