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10 Great Crafts to Make Your DIY Halloween Extra Spooky

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Decorating for Halloween can be a lot of fun, but it can also get down right expensive, especially if you want a lot of variety. Fortunately, if you have a bit of crafting expertise and a little extra time on your hands, you can always try making your own Halloween decorations from some of these fun online tutorials.

Cute Plush Ornaments

If you’ve ever wanted to decorate a tree around Halloween time the way you do around Christmas time, then you'll enjoy these felt plushies. Paper and String has the patterns, so all you need is a bit of felt, some stuffing, and thread, and you too can have adorable ornaments in no time.

Spooky Window Silhouettes

Looking for something to spice up your bland windows this Halloween? With only a little black butcher paper and these patterns from CraftZine, you can make your own awesomely terrifying window silhouette displays.

Papercraft Skull

This life-sized paper skull is certain to add an air of authenticity to your evil lab or tomb. All you have to do is visit RavensBlight and print out your own, then cut and fold your way to a gruesome Halloween decoration.

Origami Skeleton

While this origami skeleton looks like a fun and inexpensive decoration, it’s not recommended for anyone who isn't already an expert in the ancient Japanese art. Creator Marc Kirschenbaum documented how to make it with step-by-step instructions that are so complicated they took ten pages to write down. To those willing to give it a shot, good luck!

Crocheted Gouged Out Eyeball

Crochetninja knows how to make crochet creations spooky enough for Halloween. For those crocheters interested in creating their own plush crochet eyeball, her Instructables tutorial has all the instructions you need.

Audrey II Paper Mache

She may not sing, but at least this paper mache version of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors won’t insist that you kill people to feed her. If you’re willing to take on the responsibility that comes with having such a demanding house plant, then Instructables user craftydabbler can show you how to create your own.

Knitted Candy Corn

Sure, kids probably wouldn’t appreciate receiving these in their candy bags, but their parents would certainly be happy to see something that won’t rot their children’s teeth out. To make your own for decorations or giveaways, stop by Mochimochi Land to get Anna Hrachovec’s useful pattern.

Spooky Houseplant Costumes

Houseplants can be a drag when it comes to Halloween decorations. Sure you can spread some fake spider webs on them, but most of the time, that just looks cheesy. This year, why not follow Bitter Betty Industries’ example and create costumes for your plants. With a little crepe paper, Styrofoam, paint, and vampire fangs, you can add eyes or mouths to your plants to make them an active part of your house of horrors.

The Monkey Mummy, Monenottukhamun

If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own monkey mummy, be sure to visit Lisa Bunting Thoms’ site, q.D.PaToOtieS, and download the pattern to make your own monkenottukhamun, pronounced “monkey-not-too-common.” He might just be the cuddliest undead monster ever.

Edible Jar Specimens


Sure, anyone can put some nasty things inside a jar, slap on a label, and use them for creepy Halloween decorations. But the best thing about these great Jar Specimens by Evil Mad Scientist Labs is that all of the items in the jars are edible. In fact, some of the creations, like the canned lychee fruit in Torani caramel syrup, look downright delicious once you know what you’re eating.

Bonus: Knitted Skeleton

There are no instructions to make your own knit skeleton, but when compiling a list of great Halloween crafts, it’s just plain wrong to leave out this amazing piece by artist Ben Cuevas. The amazing details that went into this impressive craft project are simply stunning, from the contours of the spine to the teeth that were knitted with smaller yarn than the rest of the body. You can enjoy more detailed photos of Ben’s work here.


Have any of you Flossers made your own Halloween décor in the past? If so, do you have any suggestions for the rest of our readers?

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Ape Meets Girl
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Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
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Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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