Timeout New York Kids

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Halloween crafts

Two local moms (and art experts) offer up three easy holiday projects.

  • Cardboard Skeleton

  • T-Shirt Spider Web

  • Plastic Bag Ghost

Cardboard Skeleton

Tired of pumpkin carving? Two local moms offer up more original crafting ideas. Your kid doesn’t have to be a master artisan to whip up some Halloween decor. And even better, neither do you. We asked two local arts-and-crafts experts (and moms)—Stella Metzner, the owner of Spacecraft in Williamsburg, and Diana Gonzalez, the woman behind the blog Confessions of a Craftaholic—to share some easy spook-inspired projects with us. Below, their fail-safe directions, guaranteed to cover your apartment with homemade decor in time for October 31.

Cardboard Skeleton

What you’ll need:
A large cardboard box
12 garbage-bag twist ties
White and black poster paint
A pencil

Grab one of those Fresh Direct boxes and create a boney man to hang on your front door.
1. Cut a cardboard box into shapes of varying sizes. You’ll need a large piece for the skull and body, rectangular shapes for the arms and legs and smaller ones for hands and feet.
2. Cut a large rectangular piece of cardbood from the box, and draw a rounded head with a neck and a torso below it. Draw eye sockets, nostrils, a rib cage and pelvis.
3. Cut out 12 rectangualar sections from the box: two for the upper arms, two for the lower arms, two for the upper legs, two for the lower legs, two for hands, and two for feet. Sketch the bones, fingers and toes.
4. Put the skeleton together by punching holes (you can use the tip of the scissors) at the ends of each piece and connecting them with garbage twist ties.
5. Paint the bones white; fill in the hip holes, nostrils and eye sockets, as well as the cardboard around the white bones, with black paint.

T-Shirt Spider Web

What you’ll need:
A large t-shirt

1. Cut off the bottom seam of the t-shirt and discard. Now cut five one-inch-wide strips, starting at the bottom and working up toward the sleeves. In the end, you should have five loops of fabric. Disgard the rest of the shirt.
2. Snip the loops so that each one becomes a long strip. Now stretch each one as far as it’ll go.
3. Take four of the stretched strips and crisscross them on top of each other, as if you’re making an asterisk. Use one of the strips to knot them all together in the middle.
4. Tie the last piece of t-shirt to one of the strips, about an inch from the center. Now you’re ready to make the web. Weave the final strip through the others by cutting small holes in the strips and pushing the fabric through them in a spiraling formation. Continue around and around, making holes and putting the fabric through.
5. Up the scare factor by using black thread to dangle a plastic spider from it.

Plastic Bag Ghost

Recycle—don’t toss—all those grocery bags. “White ones can be turned into window ghosts and big black garbage ones are perfect for cats, rats or witches,” says Metzner.

What you’ll need:
Plastic, white shopping bag
Black marker

1. Flatten a plastic shopping bag and then cut out the shape of a ghost (a curvy misshapen blob, with a slightly jagged edge on the bottom). Use a magic marker to add eyes, nose, and mouth.
2. Tape it in your windows or on the kids’ doors.

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* Halloween Fun
* Staying In
* Articles from this issue

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