Making Halloween! -Easy, Cheap Holiday Crafts for Children

This is Halloween!
This is Halloween!
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night! – Nightmare Before Christmas

The end of summer marks the beginning of my favorite time of year. “Holiday season” begins, for our family, the last few weeks of August as we put away “summer things” and begin to put up Halloween. Then, we gradually replace Halloween things with Christmas decorations in November and then put up the tree the week of Thanksgiving. Everything from now on till January is going to be crafting, baking, building and decorating.

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year for SO many reasons that I won’t get into it on this blog or it’ll take up half the entry.

Getting right to the point, knowing my love of all things Halloween, my cousin asked me about Halloween crafts for small fingers. Instead of replying to her on Facebook, I figured I’d just write up an article.

I’m not going to do a typical “how to” blog with all the lead up and 5 paragraphs about how I felt about it and all that nonsense because, let’s face it, none of us have time for that. So, here you go;
Here are a few fun activities you can do with your littles for Halloween!

Here’s some supplies that might help out (most of these can be found at the dollar store if you don’t already have them):

Loose Glitter in various colors
Glitter glue in various colors – but especially “Halloween” colors like black, orange, purple, lime green, etc.
Kid-safe scissors
Tissue paper (like the kind you use in gift bags)
Washable markers (because… laundry)
White and/or colored paper
Cheap, white paper plates
Poster paint (or kid-friendly/washable paint, but poster paint is cheap at the dollar store)
Brushes (or fingers if you prefer)

Okay, so that’s all the supplies I think you could use, but I’m sure there are more if you want them!

So, what to make? Ok, the easiest one I know is…

Paper plate bats
Paper plates are a little more firm and can withstand more of a beating, so that’s why I like them but you can use whatever you want – it works just fine with regular or construction paper, too.

Anyway, you fold them in half and draw half a bat. Cut out both halves at once. Now you have a whole bat. You can give it to your little and let them color it, paint it, cover it with glitter glue, give it googly eyes, whatever they want. You can make them in a thousand colors, tape them to the windows, poke holes in them and string them from fishing line from the ceiling, the possibilities are endless.

Oh! Another thing you can do if you’re feeling really crafty – The empty bat-shaped hole that’s left in the plate after you cut it… you can tape colored paper behind it for a second decoration! Or, use a colored tissue paper and hang it in the window for that neat, stained glass effect.

Next up…

Tiny skeleton faces

I did a “Google search” for Dia de los Muertos crafts” last year when we were watching “Book of Life” 4 times a day and found this page. I printed up about 5 pages worth on plain, white paper, cut them out (the 6 year old got to cut out his own) and let them color each of them however they wanted. I took an old wall cling I had of a tree I never used (you can use brown paper tho and cut out a tree that way, it works just as well) and we “hung” up the skulls on the tree like a Halloween tree. We made it a count-down thing where we got to put up one skull a day from October 1st till November 2nd. 

Cardboard Halloween shapes

Another option if you have the time/resources, is to take all those empty Amazon boxes you’ve got piling up and cut out Halloween inspired shapes like pumpkins, bats, witch hats, whatever you want and then let the kids paint them or color on them or decorate them with glitter glue and feathers or whatever is lying around.

Harvest crafts!

This is also a wonderful time to go foraging for craft supplies! Taking walks can yield a bounty of acorns, golden leaves, pinecones, corn cobs, all sorts of interesting “festive” and FREE supplies!

You can paint them, or dip them in glue then roll them in glitter, you can glue them to a piece of orange paper, put googly eyes on them and put them on your mantle, there’s all sorts of options!

There’s the ever-classic:

Tissue paper ghosts

You can buy cheap tissue paper at the dollar store, but this is a great reason to save all the tissue paper you get from your children’s parties and holiday gifts. You never know when you are going to need it for a random craft! Paper I saved from my daughter’s birthday:

If you don’t have white, who cares!? Has anyone YOU know ever seen a ghost? No one can tell you they don’t come in pink sparkles, purple, royal blue or red, so use what you have and you’ll have the most fabulous ghosts on the block!

Now, most crafty mom blogs will tell you to use a Styrofoam ball from the craft store or a ping pong ball and, yeah, if you’ve got those kinds of things just lying around your house then great- do that. But, if you’re like me and refuse to spend the money on something like that, just go to your kitchen and wad up a paper towel. Yep, that’s it.. a paper towel ball.


No special craft store trips for us, guys… we just use wads of paper towels and whatever we have lying around. Here’s the outcome:

Not bad, right? Now that you’ve done the hard part (which takes about 45 seconds), the little one can color his ghost’s face with glitter glue or something else that stays on the surface so it won’t tear the tissue paper. He can glue eyes on his face or random bits of paper, whatever he wants, then you can hang them in the windows or from trees and balconies!

Witch Hats

Here’s an easy “witch hat” craft you can do, too!

Take a paper plate and a plain piece of paper.

Turn your piece of paper into a cone and tape it.

Glue the cone to the paper plate.

Color, paint, decorate as desired. You can hang them, put them on a shelf, add some strings and wear them, whatever you want. The “mom work” on this one does take a few minutes since you have to do the cone shape and fit it to the hat so it won’t fall off, then wait for the glue to dry or use hot glue like I did:

…But once your part is done, they can do whatever they want with it at whatever skill level they are and it’s fun for everyone. You can use construction paper if you want it to be a bit sturdier.

Now, you CAN go to places like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby or even Joanne’s Fabrics and get the pre-packaged holiday crafts like these:

Or, even a Halloween gingerbread house like this:

But let’s be honest, here… mom will do all the work, child will attempt for about 4 seconds, get frustrated because it’s hard and go watch cartoons about square pumpkins while mom tries to get child interested over and over again to no avail:

“Wow, this is so fun! Don’t YOU want to try, too!? Hey look how cool this is, do you want to try?”

Heh.. yeah, we’ve all been there. See that Halloween house? I bought it for “the kids”. The oldest was 4 and the younger was 2 at the time… Do you think for one second that either of them had ANYTHING to do with this project other than wanting to sabotage it by eating all the supplies?

So that’s why I say go easy, go cheap and be in it for the fun and not for the glory or a craft catalogue outcome. It’ll be messy, it’ll probably make no sense, and it’ll be super fun for everyone.

I hope this gives you some ideas, you can obviously modify or add things to make them more fun for your child based on their interests or skill levels. If you have any easy Halloween/harvest time craft ideas or photos of things you’ve done with your family, I’d love to see! Share in the comments!!

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