published Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Chattamoms: Crafts add zing to Halloween

By Jennifer Forker

The Associated Press

Some magazine editors work throughout the year to add fright and fantasy to our spookiest holiday, including ideas that can be done on the fly. Here are a few quick turnarounds for Halloween.

  • Costumes: The October issue of Real Simple magazine ( includes 13 costumes that play on puns, including two easy choices that might interest children. Attach small stuffed cats and dogs to the outside of an open umbrella for it to "rain cats and dogs." Or dress the entire family in athletic clothes and sneakers and hand everyone a musical instrument to become a "band on the run."

  • Loot holders: The Martha Stewart Living website ( offers numerous ideas for Halloween decorations, games, treats and candy bags, including a brown-bag broom for candy favors.

For trick-or-treat bag ideas, the October issue of Better Homes & Gardens ( includes a decorated paint can and plastic beach pail. Its most functional idea: Glue a ghost cut from a sheet of white foam to a reusable grocery bag, preferably black.

  • Kid-friendly decor: For a quick holiday lift to the front door, hang butcher paper and let kids decorate it with colored markers, says Mary Kate McGrath, a Real Simple senior editor. That also works as a table runner and keeps children busy.

To go a step further, fill white balloons with helium and draw ghostly faces on them. Attach the balloons to the butcher paper, or add string and hang them from outdoor lights and the door handle.

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