With Halloween fast approaching, it seems a good time to share with you this idea for a fun Halloween craft which I first came across during my travels in Japan.
Although it’s fun to help the kids dress up and go trick-or-treating, some of the costumes and decorations they want can be so wasteful. You probably buy the cheapest ones you can find but they are, inevitably, plastic-based. Your kids demand a new costume each year so the old one just ends up in the trash. (Actually i found a great shop in Bali for all party / event / celebration occasions including party balloons )
Well, these pumpkin bags are one way to cut down a little on your Halloween waste this year. They look great as decorations and, if you make them strong enough, can replace that nasty plastic pumpkin bucket your kids use to collect their treats.
What you’ll need:
-Plain white or brown paper bags (use strong paper if you want to use them for collecting sweets and treats)
-Crayons or paint
-Black and green paper
-Scrap paper or old newspaper
I should add, the ones I saw in Japan were made from scratch by people who put their expert origami paper folding skills to use. There were some really tiny intricate ones and some that were almost as big as the Japanese kids gazing in wonder at them! But to make things easier for you and your kids, pre-made paper bags work just as well.
What to do:
- Colour or paint the tops of the bags in green or brown for the pumpkin stalks (if you’re using brown paper bags you can just leave the tops as they are). Then, colour the remaining parts of the bags in lovely orange, yellow and brown pumpkin colours. Layer the colours up and colour in vertical lines to make them look really pumpkin-y.
- Fill each bag with crumpled up scrap paper balls to pad it out to a round pumpkin shape (just don’t forget to take the paper out before you go trick-or-treating!). Then twist each bag closed at the top to make the ‘stalk’.
- If you want to make your pumpkins look like jack-o’-lanterns, cut some scary-looking eyes, mouths and noses from the black paper and glue them in place.
- Use the green paper to cut some leaves and vines and affix them to the tops of the pumpkins.
And there you go! Some fun, homemade Halloween decorations that are fully recyclable and biodegradable. Much better than just stocking up on plastic tat from the nearest discount store, and they make a great rainy day activity to keep your kids entertained.
Because these pumpkin bags are so light, you can either sit them on a shelf or hang them up around the house. If your children get really into it you could even help them make a string of smaller pumpkins to decorate a whole room.
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