Did you know that Halloween generates mounds of plastic waste equivalent to millions of plastic bottles? That’s not to mention the candy wrappers and synthetic costume materials that are also thrown away on November 1st each year.
If the idea of adding more plastic to the pile bothers you as much as it bothers me, you might want to think about some sustainable ways to celebrate Halloween in style (plus keep the kids busy on the weekends as they help you prepare these amazing decorations!).
‘Haunted’ Bleeding CandleCreating a bleeding candle is a lot easier than you might have thought! The first thing you need to do is get your hands on some red taper candles (the long, skinny ones) because they’re the best at creating drips, which are absolutely necessary to make this piece shine! You can find them at dusk for $3.99 each. From there, cover the outside in black, avoiding the wick. This gives the illusion that the candle is wholly black, which creates a surprising effect once the red drips begin to appear.
The black covering can be made by melting a black candle in a safe environment on the stove and dipping the red taper into the melted wax, creating an outer layer. Alternatively, coating the outside of the candle with a non-flammable black paint can create the same effect. Once everything is dry and set, light the candle and enjoy! For added spookiness, set your candles on the top of empty wine bottles, and watch as they drip and bleed!
Of course, every kid’s movie has a ghost made out of an old sheet – but we’re going to take it one step further! The first thing you need to do is find a white sheet that you’re willing to part with (or check out your local op-shop). For an alternative look, consider dying the sheet in some black tea to give it a weathered or Victorian feel. Deliberately fray the ends of the sheet and create a few rips on the ‘body’ to make it look tattered and old. And don’t be afraid to splatter some beetroot juice “blood” on there too! The last step is to colour/dye some eyes on to the ghost, pop something round in the ‘head’ (a balloon is a fantastic shape but will not last long) and hang it from a tree, your window, or your front porch.
All you need to make this decoration is six similarly sized sticks from your garden, and some white string. Arrange the sticks in a star shape and secure them in the centre with some wool. Then, following the pattern of a spider web, and wrap the string around your star from the outside to the centre (use small nails to guide you if needed). These spider web ornaments look particularly spooky hung in a cluster in your front yard. Or, to amp up the horror aspect, use the same items to create the stick figures from The Blair Witch Project.
Mad Scientist’s Specimens
Have you ever seen a movie where someone breaks into a mad scientist’s lab and they find a bunch of jars filled with goop and body parts? That’s what we’re going for here! Firstly, you’re going to want to collect a few mason jars. Adding a few scoops of strawberry jam into a jar with some peeled lychees is a fantastic “eyeball” display. Consider also filling a ‘guts’ jar with porridge dyed with red food colouring, or a ‘vomit’ jar full of pumpkin guts!
The Old Faithful Pumpkin
You can never go wrong with a pumpkin on Halloween, that’s for sure! A pumpkin on the doorstep never goes astray, and unlike plastic, will gradually break down naturally after use. A sinister face with a candle in the mouth is a tradition among Halloween carvers, but the “vomiting pumpkin” has become more popular lately too! Of course, if you’re feeling a bit more creative, there is a site called Pumpkin Pile that has free and downloadable pumpkin carving patterns including Jaws, Darth Vader, Gremlins and the Ghostbusters symbol.
Your front yard is going to look amazing!
Well, there you have it! So, put on Hocus Pocus, tell some ghost stories and happy crafting! We’d love to see how your decorations turned out, and are super interested in seeing your homemade Halloween decorations as well! Make sure to tag us @little.blank.spaces on Instagram so we can see your amazing work!