Frightfully good fun! Get in the spirit this Halloween by creating spooky home decorations with your children
- Hobbycraft reports that sales of DIY Halloween decorations are up by 330%
- Try your local pumpkin farm for the best selection (and a fun day out)
The spooky season is upon us, and this year we’re collectively getting into the spirit by making our own decorations.
Hobbycraft reports that sales of DIY Halloween decorations are up by 330 per cent on last year.
‘Halloween is always a popular time for our customers, but our products are selling very fast this year,’ says Katherine Paterson, customer director at the shop. She adds that key trends include pumpkin crafts, DIY wreaths and Halloween trees.
Creepy creations: Children can get involved in making Halloween decorations for the home
This year, we are looking to decorate everything from porches to staircases, says Meredithe Stuart-Smith, founder of party suppliers Meri Meri, where sales are being driven by garlands and hanging backdrops.
And it’s a great time to get the children involved; it will keep them entertained for a few hours and can make Halloween more meaningful, too.
‘As a child, my holidays were often spent doing sewing projects with my grandmother,’ says Priya Velusami, founder of upcycled fashion brand Pri Pri.
‘I still remember that buzz and excitement of creating something usable from scraps.
‘Now I’m a mum, I’m enjoying repeating some of those projects with my two sons.’
‘Halloween biscuits are easy, and great fun for the whole family to make together,’ says Wendy Miranda from Lakeland.
‘They’re also a delicious home-baked alternative to shop-bought sweeties.’ Meredithe Stuart-Smith agrees, but says that if you can’t keep your children’s attention for long enough during the bake itself, use the decorating of their creations to keep them captivated.
‘I love getting the children involved in decorating afterwards, and our cupcake and cake toppers turn the simplest home-baked cakes into photo-worthy creations in seconds.’
Try Meri Meri pumpkin patch cupcake kit (£11.50) and Lakeland’s cat cookie cutters (£1.99).
‘We love thinking of creative ways to make Halloween an exciting, spooky season they will never forget,’ says Hannah Robinson, product designer at toucanBox, a children’s activity magazine.
It has a fun ghost project made out of an old milk bottle. ‘Take a cleaned-out plastic milk bottle, cut a hole at the back, big enough to slip in a battery-powered tea light, then use a marker pen to draw a ghost face on the front.
Searches for ‘Halloween wreath’ increased by 58 per cent on last month
‘When you turn the light on inside, the spooky face lights up. You can try different milk bottle sizes and expressions.’
Priya Velusami suggests making treat bags from offcuts of felt.
‘It’s not only a fun activity, but also lovely to see the children so proud of their creations or designs.’
To make a felt bag, you’ll need two equal-sized square pieces of felt and a length of ribbon.
Decorate one square with beads or drawings, using fabric pens, then place the other square on top of it. Sew around the two sides and bottom, and then turn it inside out, so the design is on the outside.
Sew a loop of ribbon on the inside at the top of both sides to form the handles. ‘And then you’re ready to go trick or treating,’ says Velusami.
Tempt your children out for a walk with the promise of crafting with their foraged finds.
Hobbycraft says that searches for ‘twig trees’ have increased by 80 per cent since the start of the month — and it’s easy to make your own, just get a large branch, paint it white and anchor it in a pot.
‘The branches can then be decorated with DIY Halloween ornaments — our blank decorations are available from £1 and come in bat, ghost and pumpkin shapes and can be transformed with your choice of paints and embellishments,’ says Paterson.
Similarly, searches for ‘Halloween wreath’ increased by 58 per cent on last month, according to the shop, which sells premade ones, as well as bases to make your own.
Florists Blooming Haus advise making your own from scratch by covering a wreath base, on the sides and the top, with leafy foliage.
‘Next, lay on small bunches of fruits or flowers and wrap with wire. Keep layering in the same direction, then secure your wire and hang.’
If you have spare leaves left over, let the children paint them black and, once dry, use a white marker to draw little bat faces on them. Then you can string them up to make a batty garland.
And it wouldn’t be Halloween without a pumpkin somewhere in the mix.
Try your local pumpkin farm for the best selection (and a fun day out), or Waitrose, which has a good range, including white ‘ghost’ varieties (£3).
With the help of a pumpkin scooper (£3), let your children spoon out all the seeds and gauge out eyes, before putting a candle inside and placing on the doorstep.
For a longer-lasting version, save up spare newspaper and watch Hobbycraft’s papier mache pumpkin tutorial, or try one of its punch-needle pumpkins.
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