Anyway, I asked her if she'd like to do guest posts on here because of everything I said above. She was reluctant, I think, because she can also be a bit of a div at times. But I love her all the same. So here is a guest post on Halloween...
I don't know what it is about Halloween, but I love it. I think, maybe, it's because it's the first 'thing' I get to decorate the house for in the run up to Christmas. It satisfies the urge to transform things just a little, as it's generally unacceptable pull out the christmas tree and fake snow in October. I have a box in the loft labelled 'Halloween' filled with all kinds of spooky goodies. I did this pre-child, which apparently is a bit weird. I disagree. One of the best parts of Halloween for me now though is that it's a pretty solid craft theme to focus on with my kid. We love to craft here, but it always seems a lot more fun when it's for a reason, and it feels like all the mess was worth it, rather than just having yet another 'lovely' painting of squiggles and a giant glitter explosion to clean up in the kitchen.
Here's a fairly simple Halloween craft that you can do with a kid of any age, and you will probably be pretty happy to have on display in the house for the rest of October (and then pack away to bring out again next year because how could you possibly throw them away?).
Halloween Tea Light Holders
Warning: this is not for anyone - child or parent - who detests getting sticky. You will get very sticky hands. The mess in this activity is pretty focused though and easy to clean up - provided you don't let your kid run around the room brandishing a gluey brush that is.
You will need:
- clean jam jars big enough to fit a tea light inside
- tissue paper/crepe paper
- black paper/card
- glue (PVA glue works just fine - if you want to get fancy then you can use a proper decoupage glue)
- glue spreader/paintbrush
First, you'll want to cut your tissue/crepe paper into lots of small strips. Unless your kid is old enough to do the cutting themselves, do the cutting before you get any glue out. Once the glue is in the hands of a child you don't want to be distracted. Trust.
Stick your glue in a pot and let your kid go crazy with a glue spreader. You want to coat the whole outside of the jar, including the base and the bit where the lid would screw on. Even out any over-zealous glue spreadering so it's not crazy thick. It's easiest if you hold the jar while they do the gluing. Those sticky jars are wily.
Keep hold of the jar and hand your kid a pile of tissue paper/crepe paper strips. Let them cover the jar with them, any which way they like. You'll probably need to flatten them down a bit as they go, and maybe add some more glue to any bits that need it (I just put glue on my finger and poke at it, it's way easier).
Once it's completely covered in paper, you need to add another coat of glue over the top. You can do this right away, but if you have a little helper wanting to do it 'all by myself' then it's better to wait until it's dried some as it's pretty easy to tear the paper when doing this top coat.
At this point, it's important to make sure that there's no bits of paper sticking out over the open part of the jar. You want any paper around the opening to be completely flush and stuck down. If you have any sticking out it's pretty likely to catch fire when you stick a candle in there. Trust.
Cut some faces from the black paper/card and stick these on. If you use card they may peel away slightly and need re-sticking once the glue has gone tacky.
Leave them to dry and you're done! Don't leave them to dry on paper. They will stick to it. I know this sounds obvious now, but at the point of leaving them somewhere to dry you'll probably also be dealing with a glue covered child heckling you and demanding a biscuit.
Once they're completely dry you can stick a tea light in them and you have a pretty sweet homemade Halloween decoration. If your kids are in love with them and want them in their rooms, then those little battery LED tea lights work well too and they shouldn't burn down the house as a result. Result!
Semi-interesting side note: crepe paper is much easier for little kids to stick on, as it doesn't tear very easily when wet and they have a tendency to not be gentle, but tissue paper is way easier to flatten out and keep layering over any mistakes. Other than that, just use what you have available. We used both, and you can't see a difference.
I'm not the first person to glue some orange tissue paper to a jam jar and stick a candle in it, this same idea is all over the internet. I'd try to find who did it first but I'm pretty sure that would be an impossible feat.