16 of Our Best Kids' Halloween Crafts
Just because the kids don't go trick-or-treating until October 31 doesn't mean that they can't celebrate Halloween all month long. These Halloween projects are a whole lot more fun than they are work—and your little ones can start in as early as back-to-school season. Carving pumpkins on a cool autumn night is just one of the ways you can celebrate the upcoming holiday with age-appropriate activities for the whole family. We're sharing an array of easy Halloween craft ideas that can be brought to life with just a few tools and supplies you likely already have in your home.
Are you hosting a Halloween party this year? Maybe you've invited the neighbors over for a freakishly fun Halloween dinner, or you're simply planning on dishing out more than just candy for those who come knocking on your door. Kids can take an active role in decorating your living room, dining room, and making the front porch and yard so much more trick-or-treating friendly. Crafts like our Halloween piñata help liven up any party space while also giving your youngest guests something to do during the event. If you want to ensure young revelers work for their Halloween candy, there's no more fun way to do just that than by asking them to swipe at a giant Jack-o'-Lantern strung up on the front porch. You (and your little ones!) can create your own in just a few steps with the help of one of our printable templates.
This season, we encourage you to think beyond pumpkins and jack-o'-lanterns as you dream up crafts for your kids—from cackling witches to sinister spider webs and chilling skeletons, these festive Halloween projects will keep children entertained all season long.
Halloween Paper Mobiles
Halloween Paper Chain Garland
Jaunty jack-o'-lanterns, foreboding bats—these are Halloween-appropriate versions of the classic paper-doll chain. Begin by selecting the template you'd like to create, and then print it onto your choice of paper before cutting it out. Fold your choice of colored paper as indicated on the template; align the edges of the template with folds, and trace with a pencil. Be sure to leave part of the folded sides intact. To finish, cut out the tracings and unfold into a chain.
Halloween Skull Jewelry
For a cute accessory that can help pull together a last-minute Halloween look, the kids will love making skull necklaces and bracelets. They're made simply from oven-bake clay, and you'll need to braid a few different colors of embroidery floss into necklaces by knotting the ends. Start by rolling a marble-size glob of clay into a sphere, then pinch one end of it to create a chin—make an indentation with your thumb for a pronounced brow. Using a toothpick, gouge out a pair of eyes, make two deep-angled marks for a nose, and scratch in some cross-hatched teeth. Push the toothpick through the clay's top to make it a bead—then, bake these beads according to your package's instructions. Thread the embroidery floss onto the needle, and then through the beads; tie it close to finish.
Green Slime-in-a-Jar with Bugs
Sticky green slime is great as a party favor or an inedible candy substitute for trick-or-treaters. Start by stirring two teaspoons of guar gum into four cups of hot water with green food coloring; then, push this mixture through a strainer using a spatula to remove lumps. Mix another two teaspoons of borax with one-and-a-half cups of water until its dissolved; stir slowly into the guar gum mixture. Let the mixture cool and the slime thicken, then decant it into small lidded containers with a few plastic spiders from a novelty store. Finally, print out our label template, cut it out, and adhere it to your jars with double-sided tape.
Colorful Leaf Decoupage Pumpkins
This four-eyed accessory can be put together fast and is fun for kids of all ages. It's a sufficiently understated parrot costume—kids can make this costume in a flash. Glue a yellow beak and add feathers to green eyeglasses frames.
Hanging Paper Ghosts
Made from text-weight paper, a whole horde of ghosts can be unleashed to greet trick-or-treaters. Use a fringe cutter to cut down an entire piece of printer paper; fold the sheet over itself at every four-to-nine-strip interval, depending on the desired width. Join the two ends of the paper with double-sided tape, and round the corners of the unfringed edge with scissors to create top of the ghost. Next, draw a face with black marker; open the ghost up to a cylinder with one end fringed. Then, cut a two-by-one-half inch strip from a new sheet of paper; secure the strip across the top of the ghost head with double-sided tape to create a loop. Thread the string through the loop—and it's ready to hang.
Kids can bone up on anatomy and create a fun Halloween decoration at the same time when they make a skeleton out of noodles. With an illustration of a skeleton as a guide, they just need lots of dried pasta, white glue, and construction paper to assemble the pictures. We snapped some of the pasta in half and used alphabet-soup noodles to make labels.
Ghost Lollipop Favors
Eek! Winged bats take flight and swarm around this handmade mobile. To begin, download and print our bat template, enlarging and reducing to create a variety of sizes if desired; cut out the template with scissors. Trace the template onto black card stock, and then cut them out and fold them—to make one whole bat, fold a sheet of heavyweight black paper or cardstock in half widthwise. Then, place the template' straight edge along the fold, and trace its outline. Cut out the paper along the traced line and unfold before folding the bat's wings where the template's dotted lines indicate. Repeat for each bat.
Next, make a small hole in the center of each bat using a thumbtack. Poke a piece of thread through each hole, and knot it—tie the bats to a tree branch (painting it black is optional). Hang the branch from two pieces of thread secured to the top of the window with flat thumbtacks.
These creepy, crawly paper mice are not so nice. Stick these unsavory critters on stair risers, baseboards, or any spot where they might give unsuspecting passersby a little jump.
These witches and bats cause double trouble—as noisemakers and place cards. Download and print this template, then glue black paper to the backs for sturdiness before cutting them out. For noisemakers, cut the mouth slit using a utility knife. Snip the stem off an orange balloon, and stick the cut end through the slit from the back. Attach the printed round to a wooden craft stick using craft glue.
If you're creating place cards, fill in the slit with a black marker. Write a guest's name in iridescent pen on the black border of each round, and set them on dinner plates when finished.
Witch's Broomstick Favors
On Halloween night, give your little trick-or-treaters a proper send-off with broomstick favors filled with candy. They'll cackle with delight.
Spooky Skull Treat Boxes
Mischievous smiles make these skulls more sweet than scary. Before you start with the kids, take a minute to learn how to work with crepe paper. To begin, paint both halves of an egg-shaped pressed-paper box (purchased at a local craft store) with white acrylic paint using a foam brush; let it dry. Then, using our template here, cut out the facial features in black crepe paper. Use a glue stick to attach them to the front of the box, with the narrow end of the box as the chin.
Glue dots are extra-sticky and adhere to balloons' latex surface better than double-sided tape. To begin, cut out this template—trace the shape onto card stock and construction paper and cut them out. Decoupage the skeleton's face onto a balloon; trim a white paper garland into your desired size (here, we used 14 inches for a spine, 16 inches for arms, and 19 inches for legs). Adhere the spine and arms to the balloon using Glue dots; add on legs, hands, and feel clip art with the same dots.
Who's ready to put the "treat" in trick or treating? This easy-to-make piñata is actually a paper lantern disguised as a grinning jack o' lantern.