Monday, October 15, 2012

Halloween crafts for any budget and location

Recently, I've been collecting a lot of Halloween craft ideas on Pinterest and storing them on this board: Halloween Craft Inspiration

I decided to share some favorite Pinterest craft finds with all of you, but I wanted to focus on projects that nearly everyone could do. I know that outside of The United States, Halloween merchandise is a little more difficult to find. So I looked for the projects that involve materials that can be found everywhere, things like glass jars, natural materials, and paper. These also turned out to be fairly inexpensive projects. Here are 10 favorites of mine.

This first project comes from Martha Stewart. These spooky silhouettes can be cut out of cardstock from the templates Martha was nice enough to provide on her web site. The silhouettes hover above the candles on wires. Here's a link to the project and Martha's templates: Shocking Silhouettes

This skeletal hand project comes from the Formal Fringe blog and full instructions can be found here. This project requires latex gloves, a permanent marker and little LED candles inside a jar or candle holder.

 If anyone knows the source of the next image, please let me know. The link on Pinterest didn't lead to any instructions. Still, I'd say this project is as simple as spray painting any wine bottles you happen to have. I like the mixture of glossy and matte finishes.

This next project is from Country Living and it's something I've been doing for years. You simply cut masks, horns, hats, etc. out of black construction paper and tape them to the photos you already have in your house! It's simple and adds a mysterious look to what you see every day.

Also from Country Living, are the instructions on how to make these decorative candle holders. Basically, what you're doing is printing a spooky image onto vellum and wrapping it around a glass candle holder.

I found this project on the Page Turners Hollow blog. These Halloween Silhouette Lanterns require a glass jar, some bright paint, and a cut paper silhouette. The blogger who made these jars found her silhouettes on The Graphics Fairy blog. I think they'd look cool with many other shapes too, like the silhouette of a bat or a raven.

These spiderwebs are made from black trash bags! I found this idea on the How About Orange blog. Here's the blog post with detailed instructions: Trash Bag Spider Webs

Here's another spiderweb cutout, this time from black construction paper. This is from the Green Baby Guide blog: Template for spider cutout

These rocks were another Pinterest find with a link that led to nowhere, so I can't give you a source. The type looks so perfect that I wouldn't be surprised if there are scrapbooking letters Mod Podged onto the rocks. I collected quite a few rocks this year by the lake, and I plan to paint them for Halloween. I'll probably do more spooky faces than type, but I really like the look of these!

This last project is super simple and I think it could make a cool porch decoration! Or better yet, set them on the ground as if they're emerging from the earth. This idea comes from the Family Chic by Camilla Fabbri blog. Although, the Pinterest link didn't take me to the how-to, I think we can guess how these glowing hands were made. Trace your hand on a brown paper bag and cut out the shape. Then rubber band the hand to a glass votive candle holder. These remind me of zombie hands reaching from a grave!

Sometime this week I should have some photos of the finished projects I've been working on. These upcoming projects had their start with Dollar Tree products. I learned from assembling this list of crafts, how much I rely on Dollar Tree and local craft stores. This little experiment helped to give me the perspective of people who don't have tons of Halloween craft supplies readily available. I hope to try some of the projects in this post, and I'll share the results if I do!

The Justine's Halloween Blog Party is planned for Friday October 26th, and of course you're all invited! So if you have a photo of yourself in costume from any time in your life, please email it to me at this address to be included in the fun:

If you participated last year, I'd prefer a different photo this year. So get digging through those old albums, or create something new! 

Here's a reminder of the festivities from last year's party: Justine's Halloween Blog Party 2011


  1. Aww... Morticia and her paper doll chain! :)

    Wonderful post! I particularly like the Martha Stewart shadow silhouettes! I'd like to try that... assuming I can squeeze in a bit of extra crafting time. This October has been insane. *sigh*

    For some reason, I thought you were doing the Halloween Mix Swap instead of the party this year. I'll start spreading the word. :)

  2. Little Gothic Horrors ~ Hey there! You're actually one of the reasons I put this post together. Although, it sounds like you're busy with your current projects as it is. I can't wait to hear about the large project you're working on once it's done.

    Yeah, I was happy to find that old Morticia photo. I love that little three-legged figure in her cutouts. :)

    Oh, I'm being crazy and doing a bunch of things this year... I hope people have a second photo or are willing to make a costume by the 26th. The party was a lot of fun last year!

  3. Aww... thank you for that! I've certainly complained enough about lack of Halloween paraphernalia, in Australia, to have driven you to it. Haha. I'm going on the hunt for artificial Autumn leaves tomorrow, so wish me luck!

    Yes you've certainly got a lot on your plate this October. You'll be exhausted by the time you hit November 1! ;) I've posted about your party on FB, to help spread the word to the blog buddies. :)

  4. I sorta' LURVE those black wine bottles.

    A few years ago, a friend thrifted some old portraits and "altered" them before hanging them for Halloween. They turned out fabulously!

  5. So many cool ideas collected here...I especially love the rocks! They look so cool!

  6. I'm definitely in that boat, this year the UK has offered very little in the way of Hallowe'en d├ęcor, nothing that has made me think WOW! Those few things I picked up from TK Maxx have been it for me but hopefully next weekend I'll be going to TK Maxx again to see if they have any new stock! *fingers crossed*

    These look so fun but most importantly simple for anyone, anywhere to make! My favourites have to be the Martha Stewart Shocking Silhouettes, the Halloween Silhouette Lanterns and the Trash Bag Spider Webs!

    I've tried bidding on real vintage framed silhouettes on eBay a few times but I've never been successful, so I've been thinking about making my own as I have plenty of vintage ornate picture frames that I've picked up from all over the place!

    That reminds me, I have a book on pre-order with Amazon called Silhouettes from Popular Culture by Olly Moss, just google image search the title of the book and you'll find loads of examples which can be found inside the book. I think it's a really neat idea! I'm thinking of making silhouettes of Frankenstein's Monster and The Bride of Frankenstein to put inside two of my frames and then hang them side by side on the living room wall! It'll look awesome!

    I'm going to download those Martha Stewart Silhouettes now! Thanks Justine! ~♥~

  7. awesome. Will be checking out your pinterest board.
    I've been collecting stuff like this in a board of my own as well but nothing to this extent. Thanks!!

  8. Wow these ideas are really awesome! Thank you!

  9. Little Gothic Horrors ~ It's interesting you mentioned the leaves, because I'd wanted to send you some actual fall leaves and acorns from Wisconsin. Then I read how hardcore Australia is with plant life coming in. Wow. What a list of rules! No potpourri even. So I figured that my leaves would definitely end up in the illegal bin. Was I being overcautious? I remember the trouble you had over cupcake toppers! I ended up just sending your CD with no natural materials along for the ride, because I wanted you to receive it before Halloween!

    Thank you very much for spreading the word about my blog party! :) Yeah, I've put all this on my own plate, but still. I may continue being busy into November with the Day of the Dead festivities around here. At least I'm busy with things I enjoy! Lists have come in handy lately.

    Wendy ~ Me too! The bottles are simple looking to make, but they look so classy and contemporary. I like them on their own, but I'm sure they'd also look great with red candles in them.

    So did your friend add masks to her portraits too or did she do something else? I see old turn of the century photos in antique shops and think about using them for crafts. It hasn't happened yet, though.

    Spooky Vegan ~ Thanks! I love those rocks too. The colors really pop. I think they'd look cool scattered around a Halloween display. Like at the base of a cauldron or something.

    Pensive Pumpkin ~ Thanks! :) I'm so glad to hear that. There will be at least two of us at the blog party then. HA! I can't wait to see what you send. I'm thinking of doing something new for this year's party if I have the time.

    Bella Morte ~ I hope TK Maxx has something more for you. Our American version of the store hasn't had too much of interest this year for me. At least not at my location. Actually, I haven't bought much aside from what I picked up at Dollar Tree. Target has some nice things, but I'll be doing my after Halloween haul there.

    I'm curious about those trash bag spider webs. I figure they'll either be super easy or super difficult to make. I have no experience working with trash bags, so I'm not sure how they are to cut. I wonder how easily they'd tear? I love the end result anyway! I might end up trying those paper hands this year. They look very easy and I think they'd make a cool welcome outside the front door!

    Your Frankenstein silhouette project sounds very cool. I hope we'll be seeing some photos of your projects! I looked up the silhouette book and I can see The Bride of Frankenstein right on the cover! I googled some images from his collection, and it looks like there are all kinds of pop culture silhouettes in the book. I love silhouettes anyway, but how fun to make some from The Simpsons! I love the Sideshow Bob one. :)

    I'm glad that the Martha Stewart templates will be of use to you. I'm sure that will be a cool project!

    By the way, I'm not sure if you're still up for the CD trade. I had emailed you a while back about your address, because I'm not sure if I have an updated address for you. Should I have sent an email to the vainglorysinner address?

    Lady Bethezda ~ Thanks! Yeah, I've really collected a lot of Halloween crafts. That's probably one of the boards I pin to most. There are so many ideas I want to try on that site!

    Pumpkin Cottage ~ You're welcome! :) Let me know if you end up trying any of these.

  10. Oh, I would have absolutely LOVED real Wisconsin leaves and acorns! Thank you for the thought!! No, you weren't being over-cautious! We have extraordinarily strict quarantine rules in Australia. They're a pain in the butt, however, they are necessary. Being a big island we have managed to avoid many agricultural pests and other diseases that the rest of the world has to cope with.

    I waited until this afternoon to go leaf shopping (the US Presidential debate aired live at 12.00 noon here and I wanted to watch it). After 3 hours of searching, I returned home, Autumn-leafless, and with sore feet. I did manage to get some artificial ivy though, which was another item I was after for my project. I've found a tutorial online to make paper Autumn leaves, so that's my next step. :)

  11. Little Gothic Horrors ~ Well, after reading the massive list of what couldn't be sent to Australia, I can see how you've avoided a lot of problems. It sounds like people are actually X-raying packages. I knew the acorns were out, but I thought the leaves could pass. That is until I read about the X-rays. I did come up with something that might help. If you google images of "leaf templates" you'll get a lot of results. You could cut out your own leaves from felt, paper, etc.

    I take it that the leaves and ivy are part of the big project you have planned? You could always paint and glitter your ivy in autumn colors if that's the look you're going for. Did the tutorial you found involve leaf templates?

  12. Ha! Great minds! I was busy googling leaf templates before I went to bed last night. :) I'm going to email you a picture of the tutorial.

  13. Little Gothic Horrors ~ How funny! Yes, great minds. :) Sounds good, Let's see what you've got!

  14. Wonderful and spooky treats to make! I'll have to try some of these. I love the bottles have lots of those.

  15. Magikalseasons ~ Haha! Yeah, there have to be some bottles to go with all those corks you craft with. ;) If you end up trying any of these crafts, please send me some photos!

  16. Boy, you've been busy! I find candles are the easiest to use as decorations and you can get the best effects with them.


  17. so many fun and cheap ideas!!! Perfect for Halloween too. My fave are the silhouette lanterns, I think I'd do mine with traditional Universal Monsters. Frankentein and his Bride side by side yay!

  18. Ali ~ I sure have, but not with these specific crafts. :) I agree about the candles. Lighting is so important to the look of Halloween decorations! I've seen some not so outstanding decorations that look really amazing because of how they're lit.

    Cherry ~ Hey! I haven't seen you around in a while. Yeah, I had started this post for people outside the U.S., and the cheap part turned out to be a bonus! The cost of supplies is worth thinking about, because some Halloween projects can get pretty expensive. If you end up making Frankenstein/Bride of Frankenstein lanterns, please send me some photos of them! That sounds pretty cool.