Last year I was in charge of a craft day with my moms’ group. I had to consider that each of the woman in that group had varying levels of abilities when it came to crafts. My craft day was around Halloween, so I thought I would do something everyone could take home and use in their house. I also wanted it to be something that kids could both enjoy making and playing with. So often decorations are breakable or valuable so kids can’t play with them, but I like to have a few things that they can help put up and play with throughout the season. I started looking on Pinterest to find some fun inspirations for kid friendly decorations and I found this post that had a very simple looking craft. I did not have the tools to make it exactly like hers, so I decided to come up with my own set. While making my sample set the kids absolutely fell in love. They ask to play with them all the time.
Here are the basic materials. Some of the characters have a few extra accent pieces.
- 2×4 cut into 6 inch blocks
- Paint (I used spray paint for the green and orange but I had left over paint from our house that I used for the white)
- Paint pen
- Googly eyes (if you want them)
- Pumpkin – has a pipe cleaner and either a cork or a wooden handle painted green
- Witch – black curling ribbon
- Frankenstein – 2 wooden knobs painted silver
- Mummy and Frankenstein’s Bride – white material, I used left over flannel I had in my craft supplies but any material would work. The mummies look better if the material frays a bit.
1. Cut the 2×4 into blocks. Mine are about 6-7 inches tall. If you don’t have a saw, the store where you get your wood should be able to make the cuts for you.
2. Sand and paint the blocks. Depending on your wood it might take a couple coats. Raw wood can absorb a ton of paint especially if it is a light color. I also left the bottoms unpainted so I didn’t have to let them dry and flip it. That saved on the painting time.
3 Cut felt pieces and material strips for each of the monsters you wish to make. I cut all the pieces free hand. At first they might look a little tricky, but really they are all just basic shapes.
4. Glue all of the pieces on with Tacky glue. You could use plain white glue as well, but then you might have to sit and hold things in place longer. Most of the characters are pretty easy to put together. Some have a few extra parts that I will describe below.
5. Add in extra features that aren’t made of felt. I made two different sets. I made one that had a simple face that I painted on with a black paint pen. Each face had a straight line smile and dots for eyes. My mom preferred the silly face set. I glued on googly eyes and then painted a wiggly line for a smile.
Bride of Frankenstein -This one needs a large rectangle of black felt with a rounded top and four white strips for the hair. I cut them into squiggles to make make it look more flowing. One small strip of white fabric is used to make the shoulders of her dress. To make the dress, I took a long strip and glued it flat onto the back side of the block. As I came around the sides, I only glued the top of the material to the wood and angled it down to look like the collar of a dress. Then I just trimmed the excess material.
Frankenstein’s monster – He takes four pieces of black felt, one rectangle for the top and three rectangles with one side cut to look like hair. Frankenstein has two extra knobs that need to be glued. Even with Tacky glue they need to be held in place for a few minutes until the glue dries a bit.
Ghost – I just used black felt to cut out two eyes and a mouth. I think the ghosts can be really fun because there are so many ways to do a Ghost face and it leaves a lot of room for creativity.
Pumpkin – It needs two eyes, a nose and a mouth out of black. I also made two green leaves out of felt. After gluing the face on I started on the top. I glued the felt leaves to the wood block. Then I twisted the pipe cleaner around the cork and glued them down together.
Skeleton – He is just some blacks eyes, a nose and a mouth. I made one with a black mouth and small white pieces cut out for teeth. I made another one by just cutting out chunks of the black felt and letting the white show through to look like teeth.
Vampire – This one needs a rectangle for the top. To make the widow’s peak and shirt, I used one rectangle and cut it into three triangles. I also used a piece of stiff red felt to make the collar of his cape.
Mummy – This one just needs several strips of white fabric. I tried to make it fray a little so that it looked a little older. I started at the top and wrapped the block in the fabric. I left a small spot for eyes to stick out of the wrapping. As I wrapped it, I glued the fabric down so it was held in place nicely.
Witch – This one needs a black rectangle for the top, a black hat with an accent strip of color, and a green felt nose. I made the hair by cutting several pieces of ribbon and making a knot in the middle. I glued the knot to the wood then glued my top rectangle over the hair.
After they are all dry, put them out and let the kids enjoy. I was so pleased at how they turned out and my moms’ group loved making them. I also like that they are cute versions of monsters. It can be so hard to find cute Halloween monsters versus the gross scary ones. I used to really like the super scary side to the holiday, but since having kids I have drastically changed my decorations and style.
I am hoping to add a few more characters to my set. I was thinking about an owl, a cat, and maybe even a werewolf or monster from the blue lagoon. I am running out of time for this year but maybe next year I will add them in.
Do you have decorations that your kids can play with and enjoy?