House & Home

Decorate for Halloween with these easy, kid-friendly crafts

The Pasha Armchair, $764 at Terrasi European Collections
The Pasha Armchair, $764 at Terrasi European Collections Pedrali

Last year, I did a story for Halloween on various ghost chairs, which included the iconic and ubiquitous Louis ghost chair. Last week, I found a refreshing twist on it right here in Kansas City.

The Pasha Armchair by Pedrali ($764) at Terrasi European Collections on the Country Club Plaza retains the clear acrylic, but in a wingback version. It can be used indoors or out, as it has holes to drain the seat in case of rain.

On another note, I spent last weekend creating inexpensive Halloween crafts that can be done at the last minute and are child-friendly.

What I discovered is that one really looks like it was made by a child (spiders in a jar); one is whimsically shabby chic (mummy Mason jars); and one would have been adorable if I had followed the instructions and used cornstarch instead of flour (cheesecloth ghosts). I didn’t have cornstarch.

I also learned that there’s a reason for using LED candles rather than real ones with cheesecloth (use your imagination) and that a $2 bag of plastic spiders might be my all-time favorite Halloween decoration. I put them all over my house: on drapes, lampshades, chair rails, pillows, sofas, tables. At a glance, it looks like we’ve had a spider infestation, much to the horror of my husband, who suffered several brown recluse bites earlier this year.

The spider jars and mummy Mason jars would look great glowing on a party table or mantel in a room with low lighting. They’d be extra cute made with various sizes of jars. And the cheesecloth ghosts would look fun hanging from a chandelier (if you make small ones like Lindsey at MomAndWife.com) or as a centerpiece if you flatten the fabric so they stand.

Here are pictures and instructions. Happy Halloween!

Spiders in a Jar

Materials

Mason jars

Gauze or cotton balls

Plastic spiders

LED votive candles

Instructions: Turn on LED votive candle and place in bottom of jar. Stretch out cotton or gauze inside the jar over the light. Place spiders on gauze or cotton and screw lid back onto jar.

Note: I recommend the gauze, because the cotton balls look like cotton balls instead of cobwebs.

Mummy lanterns

Materials

Mason jars

Strips of gauze or cheesecloth

Double-sided tape

Eyes

Votive candle

Instructions: Remove lid. You won’t need it for this project. Put a piece of double-sided tape from top to bottom on two or three sides of the jar. Starting at the bottom, wrap the strip of gauze or cheesecloth around the jar, all the way up the neck of the jar. Stick on eyes (and a mouth). You can glue on round felt pieces or use peel-and-stick wiggle eyes. I used the round peel-and-stick felt pads that you put on furniture legs to protect your wood floors. Put a lit votive candle inside.

Cheesecloth ghosts

Materials

Cheesecloth

Fabric stiffener (see recipe)

Balloon

Base to hold balloon (jar, vase, glass)

Eyes

Instructions: To create fabric stiffener, dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 1/4 cup of cold water. Meanwhile, boil another 1/4 cup of water. Slowly, add the cornstarch solution to boiling water while whisking until the liquid bubbles. Take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature before using.

To create the ghosts, blow up the balloon and set it on top of your base; soak a piece of cheesecloth in the fabric stiffener solution and drape over the balloon and let it dry; pop the balloon with a pin to reveal a hardened shape. Attach eyes, the same as with the Mason jar mummies. Use your fingers to rough up the ends. Thread fishing line through the top of each ghost, securing with a knot to hang.

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