Planning your annual Halloween or harvest party? Or maybe you’re planning a fall themed party for the first time? Here are great fall themed crafts that focus on autumn harvest and non-spooky Halloween fun. Easy, inexpensive crafts using recycled materials.
Pie pumpkin painting: Use non-toxic, washable markers or paints to decorate pie pumpkins or gourds. Pie pumpkins are smaller than the usual Halloween jack-o-lantern pumpkin. By using paint that washes off, party goers can decorate the pie pumpkin, enjoy it for Halloween, and then wash off the paint and eat the pumpkin. Pie pumpkins are easy to cook and eat. Simply cut the pumpkin in half, clean out the seeds and membrane and stew the pumpkin in boiling water until the pumpkin is soft. Scoop out the cooked pumpkin and use in pies, bread, cookies and pumpkin soup.
Pumpkin bird feeder: While children are decorating their pumpkins, read the story Mousekin’s Golden House (Edna Miller). In this story, a little mouse finds a Halloween jack-o-lantern in the woods and makes a lovely winter home out of it. Explain to children that once Halloween is over, they can cut the top off from the pumpkin (leave the seeds and membrane inside) and set it in your yard for the birds, squirrels and wildlife to enjoy. We have hoards of squirrels that patrol our outdoor pumpkin carving activities, waiting for the seeds we leave out for them. Send Halloween party guests home with written instructions on how to make pumpkin treats and pumpkin bird feeders with their ‘recycled’ pumpkins.
Recycle Bin scarecrows: Collect donated cast off clothing, hats, gloves and accessories that are too old or stained for second hand stores. Also gather recycled broom and mop handles, brush from trees (specifically longer branches or twigs about one half to one inch in diameter), paper grocery bags, newspaper, magazines and fall leaves. You will need markers and twine, too. Give each guest two branches (or broom handles), one shorter than the other. Place the sticks in a cross. This will provide the scarecrow frame. Give each party guest a paper bag and instruct them to draw a face on their paper bag. Fill the paper bag with wadded up balls of newspaper. Put the head on the top of the wooden cross and tie a string around the base to secure. Choose an outfit and stuff clothing with fall leaves or newspaper. Place the horizontal cross piece through the arms and across the back of the scarecrow’s shirt. Place the vertical piece through the top of the shirt and down one leg of the pants. Secure and close the arm and leg openings with a piece of twine tied around the pole. Add hat, shoes, gloves and accessories as desired. Glue leaves to the scarecrow’s head for hair.
For more ‘green’ holiday crafts, visit my blogs listed.