Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Simple Halloween Face Painting Projects

Face painting kids’ faces is such an absorbing activity, before you know it, the Halloween bash is over. But for the first-timer, here are some simple instructions on how to paint Halloween faces, including skulls, vampires and pumpkin heads.

Kid’s Halloween Make up

Face Paint Kit-8 Colors
click to buy from Amazon
Firstly, never use last year’s face paint. Chuck it out, for it will be past its sell-by-date. Buy fresh face paint. Snazaroo cannot be beaten, although Halloween make up kits have Halloween colours. It provides bright colours, good tinting strength and paint that do not smear off easily. To achieve striking results for kids, the following face painting materials are required:

A variety of base paint for the foundation colour of whatever Halloween character is required. In the case of a skull, vampire or ghost, this will be white and grey; a witch, Frankenstein or monster will be green, and a pumpkin head will be orange. A fair amount of base paint is required to cover several kids’ faces. Ensure there is plenty to go round. Stippling the colour with a sponge will create an even finish.

Halloween Party Face Painting

Blending with a little white will add highlights or focal points to the cheeks or chin. Blending a little grey around the temples and under the cheekbones will recreate contours on the face. Going over the same area two or three times will provide a smooth gradation of colours.

Face Paint Supplies

Other equipment the face painter will need is fine face painting pencils and thin brushes. This will come in handy for painting detail such as warts or scars. Fake blood in various shades can be used for dried or fresh blood effects; gel can be used to create raised flesh to make scars look real. A few props such as fake fingers, warts, and fangs will complete the look.

Simple to follow instructions on face painting ensures each child is painted in ten minutes of so. A responsible (older) child would probably be happy to oblige the face painting task.

How to Paint a Skull’s Face for Halloween

The following simple instructions on painting a Halloween skull face will make tings simpler.
  • Dab plenty of white over the face including the lips. Take care around the eyes.
  • Pencil black circles around the eyes for the outlines of the eye sockets. Fill in with black paint to give the impression of eye sockets.
  • Draw bold vertical lines over the lips.
  • Pencil dark triangles on the nose, tapering towards the top of the nose for the nasal cavities.
  • Draw dark shadows beneath the jaw to create a shrunken head look
  • Reinforce the outline of the skull by drawing dark lines around the face.
You can add detail such as blood or cracks on the skull head if desired.

How to Paint Dracula’s Face

Apply the white face paint as described earlier.
  • Brush on grey eye shadow around the eyelids and taper towards the eyebrows.
  • Decorate the face with some swirly patterns.
  • Paint the lips dark red or black.
  • Paint fake blood dribbles from the corner of the lips.
  • Finish off with fake fangs.
Face Painting a Pumpkin Face

Painting a pumpkin is simple to do.
  • Blend plenty of bright orange face paint over the face, adding a little highlights over the cheeks and forehead.
  • Illustrate dark inverted triangles from just above the eyes and tapering on the brow.
  • Paint the whole nose with black paint.
  • Paint black lips, being generous with the outlines.
Simple Halloween Face Painting

Face painting can be as simple or as complex as you wish it to be. Kids, however couldn’t care less so long as they are having fun. But painting favourite Halloween characters on their mushes can be made more convincing with some simple Halloween props, such as fake warts or fangs. When the party is over (unless you are prepared to wash the pillow cases the next day) wipe the face paint off with a warm, soapy flannel.

Face Painting Supplies

Halloween make up and fancy dress
Halloween gifts
Halloween party accessories

Photo credit: Maxjtotsky

Simple Halloween Craft Activities for Kids

Keeping kids entertained over the Halloween holidays can be made easy with simple kid’s craft ideas which need not cost a lot of money, and require only a corner of the room and a little preparation.

Halloween Entertainment for Kids
Shrinky Dinks Halloween Fun
click to buy from Amazon

I often get the kids to make the Halloween decorations in preparation for a Halloween party, which from busy mother’s point of view, serves three useful purposes.
  • It saves time and money buying the Halloween decorations.
  • It keeps kids happy and entertained over the half-term break.
  • And the resultant Halloween decorations will give the Halloween party a personal touch, where kids may stand and admire their artwork, and show off their creations to their Halloween guests.
Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids

Of course, there are many great Halloween craft kits out there for kids to connect with their arty side, including the Shrinky Dinks kits with Halloween decorations, or those provided by YellowMoon and Baker Ross. But if you are anything like me, and prefer not to hike down aisles looking for the ideal Halloween kit or how-to craft book (which inevitably contain ambitious Halloween projects mum will find herself dragged into, such as creating life-sized paper Mache skulls or sewing the inner lining of a full length Dracula’s cape), then there is a way out. And the secret is to keep it simple. Aim the craft activity to kids’ age levels.

Homemade Halloween Craft Activities

As a mum and ex-teacher, I have learned that the best activities are those that engage all age levels, provide lots of fun and require simple to prepare and obtainable resources. Setting out the craft activity table is easy, requires just a little planning, but the rewards are reaped when kids remain oddly quiet and engaged all afternoon.

Planning Halloween Craft Projects

Ensure there is plenty of elbowroom for each child by placing chairs a little apart. A large round table would be ideal, but any large table will do. Place a plastic sheet over the top and beneath the table over the carpet. I ensure the kids wear old play clothes.

Place all craft equipment at the centre of the table where all kids can reach them. The ideal Halloween craft kit should include the usual generic craft items, such as PVA glue, Cellotape, string, felt tips, crayons, pens, pencils, coloured card, coloured paper, scissors, paint, paint brushes, paint pots, newspaper, erasers, pencil sharpeners and Blu-tac.

To give the Halloween making kit a Halloween theme, the following items can be added:
  • Coloured pipe cleaners for making spider’s legs or bugs.
  • Black and white paint for skulls and vampire’s faces.
  • Bright green paint for Frankenstein and witches; bright red for blood effects and bright orange for pumpkins.
  • Glow in the dark paint can also be used for special effects such as glowing skeletons or ghosts.
  • Stretchy spider’s webs.
  • White ping pong balls for painting eyeballs for party games.
  • Wooden clothes pegs for creating Halloween puppets.
Ideas for Halloween Projects

Lots of Halloween decorations can be created with the use of the aforementioned craft items. Ideas can be:

Halloween garlands. By drawing and cutting out small Halloween shapes such as ghosts, pumpkins, witches faces, cats, bats and aliens, kids can simply string them together via small holes at one end of each decoration, and draping the garland over the room or windows or by using Blu-tac.

Halloween masks. Kids just need to draw a circle in the size of a kid’s face, and paint a mask. The brighter the colours and the gorier the detail the better. Ideas for Halloween masks include: Frankenstein, Dracula, a pumpkin face, a warty witch, an alien, a ghost, a skull, a monster and a zombie. Remind kids they need not paint the eyes, as they will be cut out. Thread string through holes near the ear area and tie round the back of the head.

Halloween puppets. With the use of wooden clothes pegs, kids may create miniature ghosts or Draculas by drawing on faces and costumes with felt tips. Sticking on materials can also recreate a cape or witch’s hat. The mini puppets can be played with or pegged onto curtains, door frames or shelves.

Halloween banners and posters. Kids love to paint big. In order to paint a large Halloween poster, it might be easier if the poster was placed on the floor. Two or more kids can join in painting Halloween scenes such as a ghost train, a haunted house or a life sized skeleton with glow in the dark paints.

Halloween Party Crafts for Children

Simple craft activities will keep kids entertained over the Halloween period and keep mum from having to shop around for Halloween decorations. A generic craft kit spiced with Halloween special effects are all that is required. Of course, ensure the craft table is splatter-proofed with old sheets or plastic.

Halloween Supplies

Halloween gifts
Halloween party accessories
Halloween makeup and fancy dress

Photo credit: Andreas Praefcke

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Cheap Halloween Party Decorations for Kids

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on Halloween accessories to create a spooky mood for Halloween parties, whether it is a Halloween celebration for adults or for children. And if you are anything like me, you will want to find everything in one place and aim to get the room ready for Halloween in the time it takes to make a cup of tea (or perhaps a little longer).

Great Halloween Decorations

Zombie Hand Peel 'N Place Toilet Topper 12in. x 17in. Pkg/1
click to buy from Amazon
Halloween party garlands are a cheap and easy way of decorating a large room without leaving any nook and cranny untouched. Better still, there are a wide variety of Halloween themes to choose from to provide a mix. From simple bat mobiles, ghosts, monsters and spiders to illuminated skulls and pumpkins. My personal favourite is the zombie hand in the toilet effect. Extras such as fake spider’s webs, Halloween balloons and spooky wall stickers can be placed in unexpected locations such as on the coat hanger or toilet wall to surprise the guests.

How to Create Spooky Lighting

Ambient lighting in the form of ghostly tea lights can be used for Halloween garden parties. Pumpkin candles, glowing skulls or hooded heads never fail to create a spooky atmosphere, casting long and sinister shadows across the room, which would otherwise look ordinary.

Homemade Halloween Decorations

And if you are feeling especially lazy, why not let the kids make the Halloween decorations themselves? Simple Halloween shapes are easy to draw, colour in, cut out and stick on garlands or mobiles. Ideas for Halloween crafts for kids can be found in many crafty books, but I simply let the kids design and draw the pictures themselves. Ideas include ghosts, pumpkins, Frankenstein’s, witches, cats and skulls are fun for kids to draw and give the room a personal touch when hung on the walls. Kids will admire and take pride in their artwork.

More adventurous kids may like to have a go at making homemade Halloween crackers. All that is required are toilet roll tubes, crepe paper, glue, a small gift and kid’s illustrations. Ideas for the gifts might be Halloween sweets, spooky hair accessories, jewellery or fake body parts.

Spooky Halloween Ornaments

Spooky centrepieces provide a focal point for the party, and for this reason, it is a good idea to set a little money aside for something special; it can be used next year and the year after. Ideas for memorable Halloween special effects might be:
  • A sinister skull holding a lantern.
  • A fibre optic black cat.
  • A Halloween witch punch bowl.
  • An inflatable ghost.
Inexpensive Halloween Decorations for Parties

Lots of costly special effects are not necessary to make a room look really spooky for Halloween. Garlands, balloons and homemade mobiles can really transform a room. Furthermore, a room that is dimly lit can really set the scene and create anticipation in kids. Providing a few unexpected surprises in the form of weird centrepieces or a glowing monster in a dark hallway is likely to create a memorable Halloween party for kids.

Halloween Decoration Supplies

Halloween party accessories
Halloween gifts
Halloween fancy dress and makeup

Photo credit: Chorbord Wikimedia Commons

How to Plan a Simple Halloween Party for Kids

A painless Halloween party for kids can be achieved when keeping things simple. In keeping with the style of this blog, I believe in devoting as little time and money as possible into Halloween planning and yet at the same time, create a Halloween party kids will never forget.

Tips to a Great Halloween Party

Put aside a room in the house for the Halloween party to keep the mess and chaos in one place. A conservatory, a back room, the garage or even a shed would be ideal. If the weather is mild (which could happen in a lifetime), devote the garden.

Cheap Halloween Decorations

Halloween Haloween Decoration 20 Cutouts Cut Outs 5 Pack X 4 Piece Glitter Set Party Decor Cheap: Ghost Jack-o-lantern Haunted House Spider Pumpkin, Witch, Bat and Spook House
click to buy from Amazon
Halloween garlands can be found at cheap prices with effective themes. Kids love to see suspended bats, black cats, pumpkin heads or Frankenstein faces hovering above the Halloween table. Spray cobwebs can easily add a spooky ambience to the whole occasion. A table centrepiece in the form of a skull holding a lantern or a witch’s punchbowl (filled with non alcoholic fizzy of course) cannot fail to create a talking point between kids.

Halloween Lighting for Kid’s Parties

Creating a spooky ambience can easily be achieved with simple lighting. A plug-in disco globe will really get the party started, although pumpkin-shaped candles sitting on the shelf can be very effective. However, if you prefer not to see your curtains singed, illuminated pumpkins or skulls make a safer alternative. Although simply turning the lights off will not only scare the kids, it will save on the electricity bill.

Simple Halloween Food

Who wants to slave over a stove for the sake of hyper kids who probably wouldn’t care if your pumpkin pie came from a Delia Smith recipe? I keep it simple with cheese biscuits, pizzas and cookies cut into Halloween themed shapes such as crescent moons or cats. Plastic Halloween cutlery is preferable to my treasured crockery and I particularly like the pick-your-nose paper cups which never fail to make kids snigger. And don’t forget bin bags. Big ones

Halloween Music

You can buy spooky music CDs for Halloween, but to be honest, any music will do. Last year’s party, I played seventies disco music. If you can dig out an old CD of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, all the better.

Kid’s Halloween Party Games

I like Halloween games that require little or no preparation but provide lots of fun. Relay races never fail. This involves dividing the kids into teams, and getting each to pass an object between them without dropping it. The object could be a white ping pong ball with an eyeball painted on it (complete with blood and stuck-on red wool to suggest optic nerves) or small gourds with witches faces painted on. Extra difficulty can be introduced by using spoons instead of hands, or by passing the object beneath legs, or behind backs.

Or how about Mummy-wrap? This involves the use of cheap loo roll. Again, divide the kids into teams of two. One must stand mummy-like, while the other races around the mummy, wrapping the toilet roll around the mummy until completely wrapped. The first to do so wins.

Traditional party games will do well too, such as musical statues or musical chairs. Turning the lights off always provokes excitement in kids.

Simple Halloween for Kids

Preparing a Halloween party for young kids need not take lots of time or energy. Simple decoration such as spooky garlands or window stickers can really set the mood. Ambient lighting cannot fail to get kids started, and once in the swing of the party, will only care whether the food provides enough energy for the party games. Once the chaos is over with, the kids will be zonked, and all that is required is a few minutes clearing the debris into those very large bin bags.

Links to my Halloween Shops

Halloween party accessories
Kid's Halloween makeup and fancy dress
Halloween gifts
party bag fillers

Photo credit: Calvin Ballantine, Wikimedia Commons