We love decorating for Halloween, but we go easy on the scary and go for cute. My girls weredrawing some eyeballs to tape around the house, but that’s probably as spooky as we get. When I was child, I would trace both my feet, cut out numerous copies, and tape them onto the driveway leading up to our front door. I wanted all who came over to think they were ghostly footsteps. HA! Back then, I wanted more spooky.
Even though these three simple projects aren’t quite spooky, they definitely are festive! Decorating gets crazy this time of year when you have to jump from Halloween to Thanksgiving and then Christmas, so I try to keep it simple. I’ll probably put away the accordion bats in November, but the pumpkins and dried Chinese lantern branches can definitely stay out.
Bat Accordion Garland
-black tissue paper
-black cardstock (2 sheets)
– 2 6″ strands of yarn/string
Step One: Using the template, cut out 2 bat pieces from cardstock, and about 40 bat pieces from the tissue paper. You can go more or less with the tissue paper cutouts depending on how long you want your accordion garland to be.
Step Two: Poke two small holes on both cardstock pieces where the X is located, and thread a strand of string through. Knot the ends together. On the side with the knot, cover it with glue using a glue stick, and place a tissue paper layer on top, lining up the edges, and press onto the cardstock. Repeat with the other cardstock bat.
Step Three: Place a small piece of double-sided tape in the center spot of that first layer of tissue paper that is attached to the cardstock end. Place another bat layer on top of that. Then place a piece of double-sided tape on each bat wing, then another bat layer on top of that. Repeat this alternating pattern until all the bats have been used. Once you come to the end of the tissue paper bats, still following the pattern you’ve been doing, add the remaining cardstock to the end.
Isn’t it surprisingly easy to make an accordion garland?! It takes some patience adding each layer, but now that I know how to make one, I want to try a couple more in some interesting shapes.
Chinese Lantern Plant Branch
-orange crepe paper streamer (or tissue paper)
-15/16″ foam balls
Step Two: Once all the balls are wrapped, decide their placement on the branch, add a dab of hot glue to the bottom of each lantern (the opposite end of the twisted side), and attach to the branch. Hold it in place for several seconds until the glue sets.
Pumpkin Tissue Honeycomb Balls
–5″ honeycomb tissue paper balls
-green crepe paper
-covered stem wire
Step One: Trace the honeycomb ball onto some cardstock. On the traced pattern, taper the ends inward to give the ball a more squatty look, rather than a perfect circle. Use that pattern to shape each honeycomb ball.
Step Two: Open up the honeycomb balls. Tear a piece of green crepe paper about 3” – 6” long for the pumpkin stem; tear different lengths to create different stem lengths. Twist the ends together and glue one end to the top center of your ball. Cut out pumpkin leaves and glue between an accordion layer near the top center. To add some looped stems, cut some wire about 5” – 8” in length, and wrap your stem-covered wire around a pencil a couple of times. Glue the wire near the top center of the ball.
Our mantel is going to look so festive once I throw a bunch of these pumpkins on it. If you’re hosting a Halloween or fall party, orange honeycomb tissue balls in various sizes turned into pumpkins would look great on the tabletops.
We’re mostly ready for Halloween. We still have a couple costumes to make, but decoration-wise, I think we have it covered. The only thing left is to pick out a real pumpkin and carve it with my children.
If you want some additional Halloween decor ideas, here’s the boo banner I made last year, and these black cats and friendly ghosts lights have always been my favorite. They’re kind of spooky, but definitely cute! What are some of your favorite ways to decorate for Halloween? –Rubyellen
Credits // Author and photography by Rubyellen Bratcher. Photos edited with Valentine from the Signature Collection.