Vampires, Skeletons, and Toys!

The Halloween season approaches….

Halloween is coming up, which means it’s about to get very exciting in my house! Every year, we celebrate Halloween by baking Halloween cookies, having Halloween decorating parties, and decking out the inside of our house with all kinds of creepy Halloween fun!

This year, we wanted to get a head start on our Halloween decorating. Summer in Arizona has been very hot, and we’ve been anxious to get some cooler temperatures and head in to fall. Since we’re still in the 100 degree range, we’ll just have to pretend it’s cold, make some baked apples, and start thinking about the coming holidays! As Kat and I browsed Pinterest, looking for interesting decorations, we began to get excited about all of the fantastic decorating possibilities. We settled on two projects, and began the planning process.


Materials Needed:

Corrugated Cardboard
Box Cutter
Hot Glue Gun
Paint (we used acrylic based paint)
Cotton Balls or Halloween Spider Webbing
Dollar Store Halloween Decorations


1. Brainstorm! Since Kat wanted her toys to be able to use the haunted house, we considered them in our brainstorming process. We had to figure out what kinds of features her toys might like in a haunted house. Did we want windows? Doors? What colors did we want to use? Did we want to make a big house or a small one? Once we had an idea of the features Kat wanted, we set to work sketching out concept drawings of our haunted house.

2. Go shopping for Halloween decorations! We went to our nearby Dollar Tree where we found skeleton garland, plastic bloodshot eyes, squishy rats, and black netted fabric. We spent $4 and came home with some great decorations for our haunted house.

3. Measure equal lengths of cardboard for the walls of the house. I did the first measurement and had Kat do the rest. Since Kat wanted to be able to easily access the inside of the house to play with her toys, we left the roof off, making an open facing house.  Once the walls were measured, we marked straight cutting lines for the box cutter.

4. Measure and draw equally spaced and sized windows. Use the protractor to draw a semi-circle to serve as a balcony. Measure and draw doors. You can get creative here. When Kat started measuring her windows and balcony, she made unequal spaces and her balcony was crooked. While I made mine straight and true, hers actually looked creepier because of how crooked they looked!

5. Use the box cutter (you may need an adult’s help for this!) to cut out your walls, windows, balcony, and doors. We set aside the cut out pieces to use as ledges for the windows and balcony.

6. Paint your haunted house! We painted the walls and the ledges. Kat also used this opportunity to paint a mural of dancing skeletons and witches on one of the walls.

7. Once the paint is dry, use the hot glue gun to attach the ledges for the windows and balcony. Then decorate! We built a coffin for one of the skeletons, stretched cotton balls for spider webs, and hung netted fabric around the house for an extra spooky look!

Not only did our haunted house look really spooky, but Kat was able to play with her toys in it as soon as we were done decorating!

We still had another decorating project left to do, and we even got to use our extra toilet paper rolls left from our marble run. This decorating project was so simple and fun, I think I’ll add it to this year’s decorating party!


Materials Needed:

Toilet Paper Rolls
Hot Glue Gun
Googly Eyes
Pipe Cleaners
Extra Craft Supplies


1. Take any remaining toilet paper off of the toilet paper rolls. Then paint them! This first player of paint can serve as a background of additional details, or it can be the entirety of the painted decoration.

2. Once your background layer dries, paint on any additional details you may want. These could include painted clothing, face details, hair, or polka dots, stripes, and anything else you can think of.

3. Glue on your decorations! On some of our monsters, we used pipe cleaners for arms, eyes, or hair. We also used googly eyes, puff balls, and fabric. Get creative, and use whatever extra craft supplies you have lying around the house.

4. Step back and admire your Halloween creations!

These decorations have done a great job of making our house look a little more festive as the fall season approaches. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and I know that we’ll have plenty of decorations to make, cookies to bake, and spooky potions to concoct! In the meantime, here is an entirely too early Happy Halloween!

Happy Exploring!

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