Halloween Crafts and Paper Mache Skulls

Written by dawn sutton
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Halloween Crafts and Paper Mache Skulls
An assortment of decorative crafts make Halloween a favourite time for children. (Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Children of all ages will appreciate simple crafts to make for Halloween. Make a skull out of paper-mache, using a latex or plaster skull mould, for example, or turn acorns into tiny pumpkins. Foam black spiders and bats make scary decorations at your front door, and Mummy jars are just cool. Make a Frankenstein's monster puppet out of paper plates and play with your new toy.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Acorns
  • Orange and brown paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Black marker
  • Skull mould
  • Newspaper strips
  • Glue
  • Tissue paper
  • Utility knife
  • Black craft foam
  • Googly eyes
  • Fishing line
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Glass jar
  • Bowl of water
  • Plaster wrap
  • Duct tape
  • Green and black plates
  • Stick
  • White flour

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Make acorn pumpkins to decorate small spaces at Halloween. Remove the acorns' caps. Using orange acrylic paint and a small paintbrush, paint each acorn orange and allow to dry. Add just a dab of brown paint to the acorn's top to look like a pumpkin stem. Once completely dry, draw on Jack-o-lantern faces with a black marker. Put a few in your child's lunch box as a surprise or hand out with treats.

  2. 2

    Make a paper-mache skull starting with a latex or plaster skull mould. Cover the mould with aluminium foil and then apply two layers of newspaper strips dipped a mix of 3 parts water to 1 part white flour. Dry for 36 hours. Using a utility knife, cut the paper-mache mould in half through the top of the skull. Tape the two halves together and apply two more layers of newspaper strips. When dry, cover the skull with a layer of tissue paper and glue to smooth out the surface look.

  3. 3

    Make black bats and spider decorations for Halloween. Print templates from the Internet or make your own bat and spider shapes. Use the templates to cut out the shapes from black craft foam. Glue on googly eyes that you often may find at a craft store. Hang the spiders and bats with fishing line and suspend them from a ceiling near your front door, in front of your windows or from tree branches in your front yard.

  4. 4

    Make Mummy jars. Glue googly eyes onto a glass jar. Cut strips of plaster wrap into 4-inch-by-1-inch sections. Dip strips into a bowl of water and apply all around the jar's exterior in layers. Cover the jar all over except for the googly eyes which will be peering out. Allow to dry. Cut duct tape strips to cover the lid of the jar. Use as a Halloween vase or, having covered the jar in only a single layer of paper, put a tea light candle inside the jar and burn without the lid.

  5. 5

    Create a goofy Frankenstein's monster puppet with a green plastic/paper plate. Glue on large googly eyes. Cut a jagged piece of a black plate to make the monster's hair and glue it to the top of the green plate above the eyes. Use a black magic marker to draw on some scars and a wiggly mouth line. Use a black pipe cleaner to make spiral "electrical conductors" and glue them onto the green plate from the back at the monster's neck. Glue a stick to the back of the face to make a handheld puppet.

Tips and warnings

  • Paper-mache paste made from flour and water should be a consistency that is neither lumpy or watery. 3 parts water to 1 part flour is a popular standard, but experiment with other ratios to discover your own preference.
  • Some acorns may be infested with weevils. Before making acorn pumpkins, bake the acorns slowly to kill any pests. Watch the acorns so that they don't burn, though.
  • Always supervise young children when making crafts with small parts such as acorns as these could be choking hazards.

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