Autumn is a fascinating time of year. The air is crisp, the leaves on (and off) the trees are colorful, and the weather is...variable. Autumn signals the beginning of the holiday season starting with Halloween. So, if you haven't already, it's time to get in gear and start preparing for all the ghosts, ghouls and "things that go bump in the night" that will be prowling later this month.
For the crafter, there is Creepy Crafty Halloween compiled by Dawn Anderson. This title provides instruction and patterns for Halloween themed decorations such as wall hangings, a floor cloth or rugs, and luminaries. Ideas for table decorations and food presentation are also offered. Then there are the ideas for party invitations and favors included in this title. Many of these crafts will take a bit of time although some can be done in a day if the materials are at hand.
Halloween: 101 Frightfully Fun Ideas from Better Homes and Gardens provides ideas for pumpkins and decorations, costumes and masks, and treats and party time. The section on pumpkin decoration mostly doesn't follow the standard pumpkin carving routine. Instead it discusses what can be added to the pumpkin to make it unique. For instance, the pumpkin can be turned into a birdhouse with artificial crows or a message center with alphabet macaroni.
There are ideas for wall decorations that can be turned into masks to wear or masks that can also be used as wall decorations. The well supplied crafter will already possess many of the items used to create the decorations, masks, and costumes. There is one idea for a window scene that uses car window film that few would have on hand.
Recipes for shrunken heads, spidery cookie wreaths, wrapped mummy sandwich loaf, and sticks and stones snack mix provide food ideas for a Halloween party. There are even ideas for a couple of games to play during the evening (or afternoon).
Deborah Harding's Tricks & Treats: The Ultimate Halloween Book provides instructions to make yard decorations, food, costumes, decorative crafts, gifts and fashions for Halloween. Reader's Digest published this title so expect crafts to span the range of the beginning crafter to the expert. The few food recipes shown primarily use Wilson molds and piping tips to create holiday treats. The section at the back of the book titled "General Directions" provides basic information on sewing, crochet, hot glue guns, and Styrofoam. Harding's title includes Trick or Treat safety tips.
If there aren't enough good ideas in these three titles, then try Scary Scenes for Halloween by Jill Williams Gower, A Ghastly-Good Halloween by Ashley T. Strickland, Best of Halloween Tricks and Treats from Better Homes and Gardens, Stick or Treat by Pattie Wallenfang, or Matthew Mead's Halloween Spooktacular by Matthew Mead for further ideas. All these titles and more are available at the Abilene Public Library. Check them out!
Article Contributed by Marie Skufca, Information Services Librarian