Halloween at home: crafts with recycled materials

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October 24 – Finally, families can enjoy Halloween to the fullest again. While most young people will likely resume trick-or-treating next week, some families may want to limit time spent with strangers and larger crowds. For these people, we present food, craft and entertainment ideas to end the evening in a delicious, creative and fun way. Or use these ideas as festive lineup for the holiday season. Whichever way your family chooses to celebrate, Happy Halloween!

Upcycling, Recycling For Halloween Although stores have a lot of Halloween decorations for sale, some of us may still be in a “stay at home” phase with this pandemic. So we asked Joy Shimabukuro, Creative Director of Ben Franklin Crafts, if there are any ordinary household items that can be made into Halloween decorations. She had three cute ideas.

“These are totally recycled projects for kids, so it shouldn’t cost parents anything to do,” Shimabukuro said.

Create a spooky crawl With crafting, it is always helpful to have an eye out for objects with certain shapes. Shimabukuro came up with a smart idea for the egg cartons, especially the lower half dome sections. She cut out the individual egg carriers and colored them. “They can use paint, but instead of paint I just used a black Sharpie marker to color the inside,” she said. Her egg cartons were clear; if using cardboard or foam plastic cartons, color the outside. “I added some eyes, and if (you) have pipe cleaners, great, but I just used black paper to make the spider legs.”

While the holidays are still a few days away, it might be time to start saving your empty toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. Combined with black plastic garbage bags, they can be recycled to create bat-shaped decorations.

First, cut the rolls into 3-4 inch sections, then cut the garbage bags into sheets a few inches wider than the rolls – an extra 2-3 inches on each side is good, depending on the size you want let the wings be. Wrap the plastic sheets around the rollers, twist the plastic around the ends, and use string or colored ribbon to tie things up. Blow up the excess plastic and you have body and wings.

Then take some scrap paper, use a dime to draw a circle on them, cut them out and color them to make eyes. Cut other pieces into elongated triangles to make fangs, coloring the tips red for blood. Glue them or glue them on the body.

You can add an element of treat to the bats by putting candy or other treats in the roll before wrapping it in the plastic sheeting. “It looks a bit like those candy poppers, like New Years Eve,” Shimabukuro said.

And since they are bats, hang them with string around the house, or if you put candy in them, use them as mini-pinatas for the kids to “beat” around. Just be careful where you play so that no one gets hurt and nothing gets damaged.

Jack-o’-fun Old copies of the Star-Advertiser are useful for Shimabukuro’s latest suggestion: newspaper jack-o’-lanterns. Just crumple a sheet of newspaper into a ball and wrap it with another sheet, tightening it at the top with a raffia ribbon. Leave the ends sticking out to create the stem and leaves. Paint the ball orange and the stem and leaves green and brown. When it is dry, use a black marker or paint to make the eyes, nose and mouth.


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