Spooky Season Art

With October already a few days in, the mid-autumn season is in full swing! This means, Halloween is approaching! However, due to COVID-19, trick or treating and other typical Halloween events are cancelled this year. But, celebrating Halloween isn’t only festive with friends to go out and trick or treat with. To all those who are sad they’re missing out on all their favorite Halloween activities, here are some spooky alternatives to haunt your house. 

First up is a substitute for the ultimate classic: pumpkin carving. For the younger kids who aren’t ready to use a knife or those who aren’t fans of the messes, here is an enjoyable option using on hand office supplies. By taking a handful of pushpins, one can have a relaxing time decorating a pumpkin with sprinkle-like dots. It’s so easy; and can be done in a few minutes if you’re looking for something simple and festive. 

Choice of materials:

  • Pushpins
  • Thumbtacks 
  • Paper brads
  • Cork board pins

To decorate your pumpkin, simply push your choice(s) of materials into the surface of the pumpkin. It might seem a bit tedious at first, but the results are very worthwhile! 

Another big aspect of Halloween are the ghosts. For the minimalists who like the classic costume consisting of a white sheet with holes for eyes, here’s a smaller scale version: the friendly ghost doll. Most materials can be found in household items: 

  • Any white sheet, fabric, or cloth
  • One ribbon or piece of twine
  • One styrofoam ball
  • Scissors or shears
  • Black sharpie
    • Colorful markers are optional  
  1. When you’ve collected your materials, the first step is to cut the fabric/cloth into a square if it isn’t already. The best measurements would be around 8 to 9 inches per side. You can use shears to prevent fraying. 
  2. Next, take the sharpie or marker and draw short dashes along the hem. Any other pattern is fine, like a line of hearts or dots, if you prefer. 
  3. Step three involves the styrofoam ball: first flip the cloth so that the underside faces up, then lay the ball in the center. Gather the fabric up and around the ball; it should look like a pouch with a ball inside. 
  4. Then, secure it with a ribbon. If you don’t have a ribbon, something like twine will also work, although less colorful. Tie it around the ball from outside the cloth with a double knot, and add a bow shape if you like. 
  5. Finally, draw a pair of black circles or ovals side by side on one side of the ball to resemble eyes. 

Now, you can use your adorable little ghost buddy as a decoration, or just a spooky companion! It’s appropriate for people of all ages and makes an adorable display!

Halloween isn’t the same without jack-o-lanterns to light up spooky haunted houses or pathways, so here’s an alternative to carving out an actual pumpkin for the jack-o-lantern. No matter how dark a haunted mansion may be, lighting that’s just as spooky really sets the mood.  

First, gather the needed materials: 

  • A clear glass jar
  • Orange and/or yellow tissue paper
    • Any other colors are fine, but make sure you have a lot!
  • Decoupage glue 
  • Black paper
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush 

Once your materials are gathered, you can begin assembling your Tissue Paper Jack-o-Lantern Lamp! 

  1. First, cup the tissue paper into smaller pieces. The shapes can be squared or completely irregular, as long as they are small enough to fit on the jar. 
  2. Next, coat the surface of your jar with the decoupage glue and paste 3-4 layers of tissue paper on top. If you have opted to use yellow or a light colored tissue paper, you will need an extra layer or two. Continue adding glue to wherever it’s needed. 
  3. While the tissue paper dries, prepare the face: cut out shapes (triangles and jagged mouths) like you would for a standard jack-o-lantern. When the tissue paper is all dried, paste the black paper cutouts on top of the tissue paper to form the face. Once the face is glued on, put on one last layer of glue to secure everything. 
  4. The next step is optional if you don’t want an extra lamp in the house, but it’s a great addition: take a candle and carefully nestle it in the jar, letting it’s light illuminate the jar from the inside. If a candle isn’t available or preferred, string lights will also work: simply let the wires tangle themselves a bit and turn them on with the switch. And there you have it: a wonderful glass jar jack-o-lantern! 

Some people may prefer more minimalistic or mature crafts to decorate their homes for this mid-autumn holiday. Here’s an alternative for the previous craft that I personally think would be a great piece of decor for any chilly autumn day. 

Again, take a clear glass jar and coat it in glue. But instead of tissue paper, this craft requires several layers of red or burnt-orange autumn leaves pasted into the jar. Once finished gluing layers of leaves onto the jar, coat it once more in glue, then leave it to dry. While the lights are once again optional, I find lights to be a lovely addition- a candle or string of lights will do the same job as the jack-o-lantern jars, giving the leaves a nice warm glow.

It’s definitely a shame that traditional Halloween activities will be cancelled this year due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean that lovers of this autumn holiday can’t have some fun! Whether you’re planning on doing this alone, with a friend, or a few family members, all of these crafts will make for some relaxing quality time, and they’re a lovely addition for your home. Happy Halloween, and stay safe!