Five DIY Halloween craft ideas for your Autumn family getaway

Five DIY Halloween craft ideas for your Autumn family getaway

As the days shorten and we head towards autumn, a wealth of new possibilities emerge. In summer it can feel that we really should be outside. But the arrival of October almost gives us permission to delight in indoor fun. So it’s time to get cosy and get crafting. To help make it happen, we’ve come up with five fabulous low-cost, DIY Halloween craft ideas for all ages that are perfect to do at home or on an Autumn family getaway.

Finding your materials

Although at this time of year, the shops overflow with Halloween merchandise, it’s much more satisfying to make some spectacularly spooktastic stuff at home. Especially when you’re reusing items you’ll have lying round the house: loo roll tubes, toothpaste boxes, egg boxes, plastic milk bottles or milk or juice tetra packs – all make excellent base materials. Select from items such as sheets of coloured card, crafting paints, coloured pencils, marker pens, cotton wool balls, pipe cleaners, cotton thread, string, glue, sellotape, blu tack, glitter and perhaps a few pairs of googly eyes – and you’re away.

Or opt for natural materials – perhaps sticks or driftwood twigs, sand, shells, or dried fallen leaves in all their gorgeous autumn glory. So get rummaging or get foraging, then dive into our five scarily good DIY Halloween craft ideas.

Making spooky spiders

You’ll need: Egg box, black craft paint, black pipe cleaners, googly eyes (optional)

Take a cardboard egg box and cut out the cup that holds the egg. Paint it black outside and in and turn it upside down, so it resembles a mound. Attach - or draw - two eyes. Make eight holes, four on each side, and push sections of black pipe cleaners through to make eight legs. Give the legs that distinctive arch, then either set your spider on a window ledge, or hang it from a door frame for super-spooky effect.


Making dangling bats

You’ll need: Loo roll tube, black craft paint, black pipe cleaners, googly eyes (optional)

Paint a loo roll tube black and cut a thin circular section off one of the ends, about 3cm deep. From this section, cut two triangular, ‘ear shaped’ pieces. Stick these to one end of the tube, and draw a mouth – with fangs – and pair of eyes underneath to make a face. At the other end of the tube push two sections of black pipe cleaners through to make legs. Then suspend your bat, upside down, by these pipe cleaners for a truly batty DIY Halloween craft idea.


Making a haunted Halloween castle

You’ll need: Assortment of loo roll tubes, tetra packs, tooth paste tubes, egg boxes, sheets of paper or card, pens, craft paint, sellotape or glue, sand / or and glitter and cotton wool (optional) 

This is your chance to get really creative with your DIY Halloween craft ideas. Whether you’re inspired by architectural influences from Hogwarts or Disney, think of the most fantastical, heavily turreted, weirdly wonderful castle you can. Then use terra packs, toothpaste boxes or plain card to make walls, loo roll tubes to make towers and egg box segments to make battlements or tower tops. Glue, sellotape or blu tack it all together.

Draw or paint the boxes, card and paper with designs that look like stones – or you might like to glue scatterings of sand on to create an authentic effect. Then draw on doors, windows with lights on and a fair few witches and spiders. You might even want to add glitter on the roof for frost, or wisps of cotton wool to suggest smoking chimneys or snow. Then gather the family around for some spooky stories about your haunted Halloween castle.


Making natural scary species

You’ll need: Choose from dried autumn leaves, pine cones, conkers, paint, twigs, string, pipe cleaners, cotton wool, black card, googly eyes (optional)

This set of DIY Halloween craft ideas is as flexible as the things you can find in the woods or beside the sea. Autumn leaves come in all sorts of shapes. Work out which way up will look best, then paint on scary faces, perhaps after painting them white first. It gives you an instant array of ghosts, which can dangle from doorways or be blu tacked to doors or windows. Pine cones make excellent bodies for spiders – just wind four black pipe cleaners around them to make eight legs and you’re away.

Or gather twigs from the woods or the beach. Overlap them in the middle, so you have a series of spokes. Wind the string around to lash these together, then work outwards to create a wonderfully wonky spider’s web. You can add teased-out cotton wool to simulate dew in the morning. And a black card spider with scary eyes in the middle of the web to enhance the effect.


Making a pumpkin lantern

You’ll need: Pumpkin, knife, tea lights

We know: it’s super obvious. But pumpkin lanterns are the nation's number one DIY Halloween craft idea for good reason – making them is simply huge fun. The traditional triangular eyes and nose sitting above a jagged grin is a great option.

Or you could branch out into slightly more advanced designs. Try making the face look different –bigger / smaller / rounder eyes, a bigger or smaller mouth, crazy eyebrows, vampire teeth.

Or consider carving a door number or name, or geometric designs – perhaps segments (like an orange) or dots. Adults or those with a bit more artistic skill can create remarkably lifelike representations of people – pop stars, politicians or family members tend to raise a laugh.


Getting crafty at Long Barn

The luxury holiday cottages at Long Barn in south Devon are perfect places to have a go at these DIY Halloween craft ideas. That’s partly because the spacious, beautifully furnished cottages feel so much like a home from home. It’s also because you’ll find cosy lounges in which to hatch your plans, big kitchen tables to get crafty on, and toasty wood burning stoves to gather around and share a Halloween story or two.

Our location, in the pretty hamlet of North Whilborough helps too. Here you’re just 5 miles from the 20+ beaches of Torbay – prime collecting sites for driftwood sticks, sand, and pebbles. While the woods and parks of Cockington Village and Country Park are just 3 miles away. Ideal for gathering fallen autumnal leaves so you can try out those spooktastic DIY Halloween craft ideas back at Long Barn.