If you’ve had it with scouring the stores for Ilsa wigs and Minion masks, let your creativity flow and go homemade this year. Our Cutest Baby Cover Contest winner, Alexa, is making a splash at Table Rock Beach in a hand crocheted mermaid outfit. Patterns are available on Etsy (or tap our OC crochet pro Valorie Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org). Check out a few other Halloween goodies we’ve put together to inspire your inner crafter.
By Sascha Zuger
Bake up some serious spooky décor with these adorable bats and spiders. Hang from branches to add Halloween spirit to your home and show off your great taste. If you have the time, go for grandma’s secret recipe and whip up some of her classic royal frosting. If not, use real butter with a Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix and pick up some Cookie Decorating Icing — the end product will be so cute no one will notice.
Roll out the cookie dough and cut the winged bat shape. Cut off the wings of some of the cookies to create a bat with folded wings. For spiders, you’ll be in great shape if you just combine an oval or circle with a couple of squares overlapping the sides as a base for the legs.
Using an icing tip, or toothpick in a pinch, cut a hole for hanging before baking. Cool the cookies thoroughly before icing. (If you want to get biologically authentic with the spider eyes, try dotting a piece of wax paper with white icing before adding pupils. Once dry, peel off and add to the still-wet icing of your spider’s face.)
Clementine Jack ‘O Lantern
There’s certainly no end to the sweet treats at this time of year. If you want to dress up a school lunch, are looking for an addition to the classroom potluck you can be proud of or just want to get one of those servings of fruits and veggies in before the onslaught of sugar, pick up an edible ink marker and go wild. Classic triangles are fine, but shake things up to keep your kiddo diving for his lunch each day in anticipation. The sillier, the better!
Over the past 65 years, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has raised more than $175 million for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. If your little Ilsa or Transformer has wanted to get in the giving spirit, but lamented the classic box clashing with their look, UNICEF has partnered with Claire’s to offer blank boxes in-store that kids can bedazzle, draw on or personalize to their heart’s content.
Clam Shell Surprise
Don’t be square, think outside the box (of Rice Krispies). Let the kids stir cereal into the melty marshmallow goodness, roll it out and create spooky shapes with open-backed cookie cutters. Add a few shakes of Halloween sprinkles before rolling for an extra festive snap-crackle-and-pop. These beauties were inspired by our own little mermaid, Alexis. This and 100 other no-bake ideas in Super Cute Crispy Treats.
Oh, Baby — What a Costume!
New babies and furry, fluffy, rubber mask-dependent costumes don’t often work out so well (says the mom who strollered her three-month-old through the neighborhood in a mouse suit with feet the size of his head). But that doesn’t mean you, er, they have to miss out on the fun of teeny tiny dress up day. Let your very little one dip their toes in the water of Halloween by donning comfy clothes and shoes with a lot of character. Here are our faves!
A celeb-mom fave, these cute critters won our heart with their handcrafted-in-the-US soft leather styling, even before we found out they came with a matching purse. Got to put that candy somewhere, right?
Scalleywag by EMU
Soft merino wool and the sweetest Jolly Rogers you ever did see. Put your little matey in these cozy cuties and your little pirate just might have to ward off fellow moms trying to steal his bootie.
The Crafty Force is Strong in this Family
Daniela, 8 [far right], aka Darth Vader, is against girls being princesses-in-distress. Her suit is entirely hand-painted. She helped make her tutu— tulle strips tied around an elastic band.
Christopher, 6 [far left], aka Luke Skywalker, is the classic kid who always wants to be the hero in life. His costume is a mom-made robe over an old karate uniform, Uggs complete the look.
Clarissa, 2 [center] aka R2D2, is sporting a onesie with an iron-on transfer printed on the home printer, with a few details painted over the design. She “helped” with her tutu, as well.
Diana, mom, is a Huntington Beach StarWars fan who learned to sew just for this project. She took a Goodwill find, a dress jacket she deconstructed, and paired with oversized dress shirt.
Vader Pumpkin Carving
This masterpiece was created by carving artist Alex Wer, The Pumpkin Geek (www.thepumpkingeek.com), but you can make your own Darth Maul or Yoda o’ Lantern thanks to the official Star Wars website’s print out DIY Pumpkin Stencils.
Tweens can be the trickiest to pull into the Halloween, ahem, spirit. Sugar skulls, commonly used to decorate Day of the Dead festivities, are the inspiration for this tween/teen-friendly touch of the season.
For the Beads
- White polymer clay, bits of pink and green
- Round wooden toothpicks
- Small faceted rhinestones
- Black acrylic paint
- Needle tool
- Paper towel
- *Get Fancy Item — Brown antiquing medium
Step 1: Sculpt a skull shape using a small ball of white polymer clay. Pinch the jaw area to narrow it, leaving the head round. Make accent bead as desired, such as heart shaped bones, four small beads with large holes to use as bracelet ends. Toothpicks can be used to create stringing holes (remove before baking).
Step 2: Use a rounded clay tool to form eye sockets on the skull. Push the pointed-back rhinestones into the sockets. Add five pink clay flower petals to the head and press the small green ball of the clay into the center of the petals. Use a needle tool to pierce a hole through the skull from side to side for stringing. Bake the clay beads.
*Get Fancy Step: Mix black acrylic paint with brown antiquing medium to stain the recessed details of the beads. The gel helps to keep the paint moving into the crevices while rubbing off of the surface. The brown color of the gel imparts an antique look to the white color of the clay. Rub the paint/gel into the crevices. Wipe the surface of the baked scull with a damp paper towel to remove the excess paint.
For the Bracelet
- 4 yards black nylon cord (cut 2 pieces 2 yards)
- Piece of fine wire for stringing
- Black faceted beads with large holes
- 8” piece black curb chain
- 2 pair of pliers for attaching chain
- *Get Fancy Item —Thread melting tool
Step 1:Double both threads and attach a fine wire through both loops to thread through the beads. Thread faceted beads, skulls, and the heart bead, alternating each clay piece with faceted beads. Slide the beads to the center of the cords. After all of the beads are strung, cut the loop ends. Pull the two cords to the center to serve as a core. Use the other two cords to tie square knots. Tie a series of square knots at each side of the beads to form the sides of the bracelet. Continue knotting until the desired length is achieved.
Step 2: Secure the end of the square knot pattern with an overhand knot on each side. Add small clay beads to the ends of the cords to finish, securing with overhand knots. *Get Fancy— Use a thread melt tool to seal the ends of the cord after cutting (or have parent singe end or seal with superglue, alternately tween can use drop of black or clear nail polish). Measure a piece of black curb chain to match the length of the bracelet. Use pliers to open the end links of the chain and attach close to the overhand knots at each end of the bracelet.
Find more ideas in “Charm Love Friendship Bracelets”, www.quartoknows.com.