Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Salt Dough Project

When I was little we made so many crafts out of salt dough. It really is the best, simple craft projects you can make. And the variety of things you can make are endless. Growing up we had a light fixture in the dining room that hung from a chain over our dining room table. We hung salt dough bats, pumpkins and witches from it. Depending on the moisture or heat in your home these decorations can last years. But even if they only last one season, the best part is you can make them all over again next year.

This year I decided to make some with my nephew Tristan. He is 2 1/2 years old and I'm proud that he is such a lover of arts and crafts. I cut the recipe into a quarter of it and that worked fine for him. When only using a 1/4 of the recipe below it gave him 7 items to paint. If you have any dough over, place it into a zip lock bag and save for a few days.

1 Cup of Salt
1 Cup of Flour
1/2 Cup of Warm Water

Mix all the ingredients together. I place some flour on a cookie sheet and put the dough on the cookie sheet. Mix the dough together with some flour so its easier to handle. Roll it out to about a 1/4 of an inch thickness. We used some cookie cutters, and my wife Michelle designed her own ghost with a steak knife. I used a cookie sheet because once you have used up all your dough, you can just bake them right there on the cookie sheet. For some of my nephews ghosts I poked a hole in the top of the ghost so I can attach yarn to it for a necklace for him. I used a push pin, however you can also use a straw. Cook the Salt Dough creations at 300 Degrees for about 20 minutes. They will be done when they are had to the touch.

After they have cooled, paint them and hang for some spooky fun. Such a fun and yes, CHEAP family craft project.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Light Switch Plates

My dad is such a creative person, and I love these light switch covers he designed. So I had to share them. He made these for us not long after my daughter was born and we still have them. It's not exactly a simple project to do with the kids, but still thought I would share it. He has made us a turkey one for Thanksgiving and a snowman for Christmas. It's a thin piece of plywood, a jigsaw and some creative hands. While my dad designed them, my mom painted them. Of course if you want an easier project to do with the kids, buy plain wooden switch plate covers from your local home imporvement store and let the kids (or yourself) paint them with their own fun holiday scenes. Such a great decoration item for your home.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Backyard Haunted House

Halloween in my family has always been huge, I still remember the salt dough decorations we would make and hang from our dining room lamp with yard (that project will be posted next week). My mom and dad being the crazy creative people they are let us create a neighborhood haunted house in our backyard one year. That one time, then turned into a yearly event.

This photo includes me at age 14 and my grandma as a "bag lady".

My mom and dad would go to garage sales all the time, and throughout the year would find old costumes and decorations, anything great that could be used for Halloween. I mean we had a small room in our house filled with holiday boxes. So we would use these old decoration to decorate our back yard. We would use old sheets and hang them from the patio to create "rooms" that visitors to our haunted house would walk through. And as you know I love to post things that don't really cost you anything. So ask around, maybe family members have some old decorations, lights or
sheets. Even old clothing is great to stuff with newspaper to make lifelike people out of. I think the only thing we would buy at the store was the candy and those webs that come in a bag. Each room would be made up of a scene and one of our friends would hide out in the room to scare visitors. We used colored floodlights and black lights to set the scene. At the end of the haunted house tour we would pass candy out to the visitors. We never charged and admission, it was just so much fun for people to enjoy our haunted house. This is such a great project for kids and adults to work on together. And it's never too late, there is still time to scare your neighbors with a haunted house before Halloween. If you have any questions, send me an email. Happy Haunting.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Ghost In The Yard....

This is a great idea for a front yard decoration. And some people will have these items already in their homes. You can substitute the white bed sheet for the cheesecloth if you don't have any cheesecloth sitting around. Remember I love ideas that are free or inexpensive and this is one of them. Bed sheets are really awesome because so many people just throw them out but you can make mini ghosts as well and give them to friends, family or a favorite teacher...cute Halloween gift.

Thanks to HGTV for this idea with some great step by step pictures.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Locate A Real Haunted House

Ok everyone wants to visit on, especially now that there are so many ghost shows on television, even the kids love it. There is a really great site online that tells you where there are haunted houses across the country. And these are not well produced haunted houses where you pay $20.00 to get in. These are actual old buildings or sites that have been reported "haunted". Very interesting site.
Real Haunts - For real old homes and sites that are haunted, mostly free.

And here you can find constructed haunted houses, hayrides and more.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


It's really hard to believe that today is the 1st of October. Really where has the year gone? And trust me I am not complaining, I love the next three months. Martha Stewart is a fun obsession, while most of her crafts are not items you can do without running out to the craft store. Every now and then I share something that she has come up with that is perfect to do with the kids, and this Halloween decoration is just that.

Mice Silhouettes
I got this idea from the Martha Stewart site. This is such a fun project to do because it's possible to do this at home without buying anything. What you will need is some black construction paper, scissors and tape. You can get a rat or mouse pattern here:

Cut them out and place them on stair risers, baseboards, or any spot where it could spook someone. They are wonderful and the kids will have fun placing them around the house.

You can get the entire project here at Martha's site. Enjoy. And look for some more Halloween ideas all month long.