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 330 percent over last year.
“Halloween is always a popular time for our customers, but our products are selling very quickly this year,” says Kathryn Patterson, customer director at the store. She adds that key trends include pumpkin crafts, DIY wreaths and Halloween trees.
Creepy Creations: Kids can get involved in making Halloween decorations for the home
This year we’re looking to decorate everything from porches to staircases, says Meredith Stewart-Smith, founder of party suppliers Meri Meri, where sales are driven by garlands and hanging backdrops.
And this is a great time to get the kids involved; it will keep them entertained for a few hours and can make Halloween more meaningful.
“As a child, my vacations were often spent doing sewing projects with my grandmother,” says Priya Velusamy, founder of upcycled fashion brand Pri Pri.
“I still remember the buzz and excitement of creating something usable from scraps.
“Now that I’m a mom, I’m enjoying repeating some of these projects with my two sons.”
“Halloween cookies are easy and great fun for the whole family to make,” says Wendy Miranda of Lakeland.
“They’re also a delicious home-baked alternative to store-bought sweets.” Meredith Stewart-Smith agrees, but says that if you can’t hold your kids’ attention long enough during the actual baking, use the decorations of their creations to to hold them captive.
“I love getting the kids involved in decorating afterwards, and our cupcake and cake toppers turn the simplest homemade cakes into photo-worthy creations in seconds.”
Try the Meri Meri pumpkin cupcake set (£11.50) and Lakeland’s cat cookie cutters (£1.99).
“We love thinking of creative ways to make Halloween an exciting, spooky season they’ll never forget,” says Hannah Robinson, product designer at toucanBox, a children’s activity magazine.
There is a fun spooky project made from an old milk bottle. “Take a cleaned plastic milk bottle, cut a hole in the back big enough to fit a battery-operated tea light, then use a marker to draw a ghost face on the front.
Searches for “Halloween wreath” are up 58 percent from last month
“When you turn on the light inside, the ghostly face lights up. You can try different sizes and squeezes of milk bottles.
Priya Velusamy suggests making goodie bags out of scraps of felt.
“Not only is it a fun activity but it’s wonderful to see the children so proud of their creations or designs.”
To make a felt bag, you will need two square pieces of felt of the same size and length of ribbon.
Decorate one square with beads or designs using fabric pens, then place the other square on top of it. Sew around the two sides and the 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,” Velusamy says.
Tempt your kids for a walk with the promise of crafting with their finds.
Hobbycraft says searches for ‘twig trees’ are up 80 per cent since the start of the month – and it’s easy to make your own, just take 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 decorations” , says Patterson.
Similarly, searches for “Halloween wreath” are up 58 percent from last month, according to the store, which sells ready-made ones as well as DIY basics.
Blooming Haus florists advise making your own from scratch by covering the base of the wreath, sides and top, with foliage.
“Then place small bunches of fruit or flowers and wrap them with wire. Continue layering in the same direction, then secure the wire and hang it.’
If you have any spare sheets left, let the kids paint them black and once they are dry, use a white marker to draw little bat faces on them. You can then string them together to make a 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).
Using a pumpkin scooper (£3), let your children spoon out all the seeds and scoop out the eyes before placing a candle inside and placing it on the doorstep.
For a longer lasting version, save some spare newspaper and watch Hobbycraft’s papier mache pumpkin tutorial or try one of its needle punch pumpkins.