I grew up on a street with an American family- we started doing Halloween properly when they came to settle in Australia- or perhaps the timing just coincided well with the time I started growing up and becoming more interested in cooking and making my own projects? Either way- I’ve made all manner of costumes, decorations and tasty treats since (green iced cupcakes anyone?!)
Over the years my Halloween fun has become a bit more sophisticated- highlights include trekking to the BOC centre in Sydenham to pick up dry ice pellets- to create fog in our kitchen and bathroom sinks of course!
This year I was inspired by a snake wreath concept in Martha Stewart Living Halloween edition. I recreated the look but put an Australian spin on it- deadly brown snakes and spiders and knotted, rough-weaved branches.
I also loved the super simple paper-bag gravestone lanterns- also from Martha Stewart Living Halloween edition. I didn’t have time to print and cut out stencils- so instead I hand wrote epitaphs and created spray-paint stencils out of layered masking tape!
I had so much fun making these decorations- and it only took an afternoon! If you didn’t want to go out and buy snakes and spiders or you wanted more craft for the kids to do- you could make your own creepy crawlies!
Get creative- but to start with you could make snakes out of filled stockings or toilet rolls linked with a string through the middle and spiders could be made from an egg carton cup and twigs or felt pipe cleaners legs! The trick is to put your spray paint to work making a uniform colour before hand painting the finer details.
Have a super spooky and wondrously wicked Halloween!
I started off with these fantastic branches I found- this could be a great activity with the kids in itself! Get them out hunting for the perfect shapes. A wide-forked branch is a great starting point for a wreath- after that you’re looking for rounded corners and wiry accents.
Next I laid out all the components to start visualizing the shape. I started with the forked branch and gently weaved from there- hooking in just one end and securing the tension as I went with wire ties. Once I had finished the base I weaved the snakes in and stuck the spiders over the wire joins with blu-tack.
I also decided I needed to give the wreath a message- so while I was making the spray paint epitaphs for the gravestones (more below) I made a Happy Halloween sign! I simply wrote out the letters with masking tape, spray painted over the whole thing to create a blotchy black pattern and peeled the masking tape back.
Voila! A Creepy, Crawly, Halloween Wreath!
I also made these fun and easy gravestones. I used different sized paper bags I had lying around the house. Some of them had brand names and logos on the front, so I deconstructed the bags, turned them inside-out and stuck them back together.
I then wrote out my epitaphs or blocked them out with masking tape before hard-spraying (for the words) or soft-spraying for adding texture to the bag.
I’ll be lighting these from inside with candles for a party on Saturday! They’ll be lining the walkway up to the front door :)
Thanks for reading The Nookbook!