It must be autumn because the leaves are starting to change, the mornings are that much cooler and the stores are almost out of Halloween costumes already. In other words, it’s time to pull out the Halloween decorations. As you sit and sip your pumpkin spice drink and contemplate carving the perfect jack-o’-lantern smile, pull out one of these Halloween crafts for kids. They will keep them entertained for hours and add a festive flair to your home, too. With a dozen to choose from, there’s sure to be a Halloween craft idea on this list that speaks to your budding artist and fits your aesthetic — at least a little bit.
1. Pumpkin Halloween countdown
"Is it Halloween yet?" "When is Halloween?" If you want to avoid answering questions like these every day for the entire month of October, consider a countdown to Halloween craft.
This simple project lets kids make a pumpkin with paper shapes hanging underneath. Kids can start their morning by tearing off one piece each day and watch Halloween creep closer and closer. Head to The Suburban Mom for the details.
2. Halloween luminaries
Wait, don’t throw out that juice box! Instead, turn it into an adorable Halloween luminary. These fun decorations can be made for any holiday, or time of year when you need a little extra light and celebration. MJ will give you all the details you need over at her site, What MJ Loves.
3. Jack-o’-lantern apples
We’re always a fan of apple stamping, and the homemade jack-o’-lantern prints featured on Made to be a Momma are no exception.
To make your own stamps, cut some apples in half, glop on a bit of orange paint and get busy stamping away. After the orange prints are dried to perfection, continue adding all of their features using googly eyes and pipe cleaners. The sky’s the limit with this Halloween craft.
4. Mini piñatas
A creative but simple Halloween craft idea from DIY Candy makes use of recycled materials and will totally delight the kids.
To make this impressive craft you will need some toilet paper tubes, googly eyes, crepe paper streamers, tape, twine and some small toys or candy. Kids will love gathering up the goodies, stuffing them inside and preparing the piñatas. Watch the video tutorial on the site to see how easy it is to make.
5. Spooky stones
The frightful Halloween monsters from Crafty Morning couldn’t be easier to make and will keep the kids nice and busy. Once you’ve collected the perfect stones outside, gather together some acrylic paint, googly eyes, a hot glue gun and a black sharpie. Add them to your garden or front yard for a spooky and colorful display to delight (or frighten) the neighbors.
6. Halloween garlands
For some easy, inexpensive Halloween decorations, we recommend checking out One Little Project for tips on making a festive Halloween garland.
An easy Halloween craft for younger tots, simply gather up your colorful construction paper and get to work on gluing and cutting out your creepy characters. Mama Debbie even provides a printable template to make your garlands. Overall, this is an easy project that’s sure to bring a festive pop of color to your home (or porch) on Halloween!
7. Homemade haunted house
If you’ve got a tot who spooks easily at the mere thought of going to the local haunted house (we do too, we won’t lie), consider making your own, like the one shown on Alpha Mom.
A fun, non-scary alternative to the ordinary haunted house, this charming playhouse project requires cardboard, painting materials, duct tape and a box cutter (for adult use). Be sure to visit Alpha Mom for the full scoop. She’s got a fantastic pictorial on how they created their own haunted house from start to finish, plus tips on finding inexpensive supplies. Overall, a crafty Halloween idea for some super scare-free fun.
8. Jack-o’-lantern snail
An adorably creative snail from Alpha Mom uses two different kinds of gourds to make a festively fun garden decoration.
Your kids will love getting their hands dirty scooping out the pumpkin seeds to construct the snail’s shell. A butternut squash is a crafty stand-in for the body, complete with ping pong balls for eyes! The delightfully fun and simple project will add a spooky touch to your outdoor Halloween display. Check out the full tutorial and fantastic photos on the site.
9. Shadow makers
Featured on Mini-Eco, we can’t get enough of these DIY Halloween shadow makers. They’ve got that Tim Burton-esque creepy-cute feel and we have no doubt that they’ll pack plenty of spooky fun for your shadow-throwing tots this fall.
Incredibly easy to make, these shadow makers only require black paper, sticky tape and wooden sticks (Mama Kate used coffee stir sticks). And if it’s this crafty Halloween crew that you’re hoping to make, be sure to check out Mini-Eco’s full post Kate offers a free downloadable template for her shadowy characters, along with full instructions.
10. Glow jars
Put your collection of mason jars to good use to light up your Halloween with some spooky homemade votives like those featured on Love and Marriage.
To get started, you’ll want to have a mason jar handy (with mouths large enough to drop in tea lights), along with black construction paper, tissue paper and some glue. Trace an outline for your silly, spooky face, coat your jar with glue& and begin layering your tissue paper on top. Your glowing Halloween characters will be lighting and frighting up the night in no time!
11. Paper pumpkins
What Halloween party would be complete without some streaming jack-o’-lanterns, like the creations featured on Fireflies and Mudpies? A great project for small hands, these hanging pumpkins are sure to excite at this year’s Halloween bash.
To get started, you’ll want to download the free template on the site and gather your supplies — orange and green construction paper, paper fasteners, scissors and a single hole punch. All in all, this is an easy afternoon project that will add a nice touch of color to your home this season.
12. Origami bats
We love the homemade origami bats featured on the Layers of Learning blog. They’re simple to make and sure to offer plenty of creative fun for your little ones come Halloween!
These little guys are a snap to put together thanks to the detailed tutorial with step-by-step pictures on the blog. String them up with some black ribbon and use them as a festive Halloween garland on your front door.
More spooky fun:
Editor’s note: This story was originally published a few years ago and updated in 2023. Jen Betterley, Rebekah Schilperoort and Vicky McDonald contributed to this article.