We’re throwing a small Halloween cocktail party this weekend for some neighbors and friends. So, I’m making some spooky DIY decor with my kids ahead of time.
I’ll show all of the final party decor, including the tablescape, spooky appetizers and ghoulish cocktails when it’s ready for showtime. But these crafts I made with the kids needed to happen days in advance.
Paper Mache Crows and Spiders
We started out by looking at photos of crows on the Web. I also used this paper mache bird-making tutorial as inspiration.
We crumpled up newspaper to make the main body shape and used masking tape to secure the sides. When I realized the complexity of making the crow, I suggested that we also make spiders. Those were infinitely easier for Nadja (age 4) to accomplish.
We ended up with assortment of both crow and spider bodies.
We mixed glue with water to make the paper mache paste.
And then layered strips of newspaper around the bodies.
We let the bodies dry overnight.
For the crow, my next step was to form a head with the newspaper and then create the wings and tail feathers with a combination of cardboard, masking tape, and more paper mache.
When I was happy with the shape, I let it dry again for a few hours and then painted all but the belly with a mixture of black and purple paint, and let the paint dry.
As the paint dried, I bent wire to make the crow’s feet.
Then, I painted the belly and after wrapping the crow’s legs with black embroidery floss, I poked the feet into the crow’s belly and bent the legs until he could stand on his own. I also used craft gemstones to give him black shiny eyes. My last step was to paint his wire talons.
He’s so life-like, I feel like a taxidermy crow is perched on the shelf.
Meanwhile, the girls finished up the spiders by painting them black and purple.
And then affixing gemstones for eyes, and poking pipe cleaners in the sides for legs.
I think they’re quite spooky especially when scuttling together on the table. I’m trying to decide how best to display them. I also have a few “spider egg cases” to include in the tableau.
I found a bat stencil on the Web and copied it onto a cereal box and then cut it out to make a large bat stencil. I also made a smaller version.
The girls traced it onto black construction paper and cut out several bats in large and small sizes. Next, I stapled the bats on grey yarn. Matt pinned the banner to the crown moulding with push pins.
I like how some of the bats hang upside-down, which was unintentional but I think it adds some character.
I used my hand as a model and drew a forearm and hand reaching up on brown construction paper.
Then, I added some red watercolor paint to make the hand look bloody. I did the same with the other arm and taped the arms in the window to make it look like a zombie is trying to get in.
It’s quite convincing, don’t you think? But they won’t be the only frights we have in store for our party. Just wait and see.