Thursday, October 27, 2011

{tricky trick-or-treaters: a how-to}

Happy Halloween!  Cooler weather is heading my way and I'm so excited!  I'm ready to decorate the Christmas tree but I really need to enjoy Halloween first.  It was never my favorite holiday and so I was in the habit of rushing it . . . until I had little boys.  They loved all things frightening and fearsome.  They were also terrible pranksters.
My own little tricky trick-or-treaters!
{India . . . She dressed up as a princess every year for 10 years! I have loved it all.}

My mischievous little kids really helped me learn to enjoy Halloween.  Once that happened, I started getting ideas.
Now trick-or-treaters are a real treat at my house!

Oh, how my boys were pranksters!  {Well, truthfully they haven't changed. They're just taller.}

Trick-or-treaters really are SO cute and I decided to find a way to enjoy the little darlings for more than one night.  
I'd like to introduce you to my resident trick-or-treaters . . .
I made three of these little life-sized ghost when my boys were young and about the same size.  My intentions were for decoration purposes only but since everyone knew my boys, these ghost took on a life of their own . . . when guest arrived at my front door and they saw ghost inside they always thought my boys were dressed in costume and prepared to scare!

We tricked people unintentionally!  It was always a fun treat in the end.
They are super easy to make and not very expensive if you have spare materials on hand.  This was the year to finally create a 4th ghost to represent India.  I'm so glad Nolan is home - he made me one!
We even used old purple pants and glitterized girl's tennis shoes.

1"x 4" boards  {I used random pieces left over from a construction project.}
Screws {I used 1 5/8"}
An old pair of children's jeans / pants
Old children's shoes
Wooden dow or old pencil
Styrofoam ball
White twin size sheet
baby sized quilt batting or small, old blanket
Trick-or-treat bucket or bag
Large safety pin
Craft or hot glue

{Tips: If you don't have old jeans, shoes, or sheets at home I recommend looking for them at a garage sale or thrift shop.  I was sure to use some without much wear left so I wouldn't be wasting what others needed.
I used sizes 6x-8 jeans and 11-2 size shoes. The pants need to be wide enough to go around the board at the waist. I love the pants with elastic adjustments because they cinch up!  The shoes have to be long enough to stabilize the body.  You may choose to add weight to the front of the shoe too.}
As you see, we really used odd, old boards this time.

Suggested board measurements:
1 - Spine: 15"
2 - Legs: 20"
1 - Shoulder: 9"
1 - Hips: 9"
2 - Feet: length depends on size of shoes
1- Neck {dow rod} 7" long

Hole for dow: 1 3/4"

We also cut tapers for each ankle to allow the board to fit in the shoes.

Use 2 -3 three screws for each "joint" and 1 screw for the feet.  We also screwed the shoes on through the sole.
After you cut and assemble the boards, put on the pants and shoes.  The first time we actually put the pants on before screwing in the boards for the feet since it's easier.  However, this week we thought the assembled picture would be a better example.

Wrap the batting or small blanket  around the body but keep it at the waist {feel free to use pins to secure it but the batting actually sticks to itself really well} and add the styrofoam ball on top for a head.

Fold the sheet in half and drape it over the head and body.  I kept the sheet shorter in the front.

Cut oval shapes from the black felt and glue in place for eyes.

Pin the plastic pumpkin on the sheet at about the height of a child's hand and you have a tricky trick-or-treater!
The ever beautiful Lia!  My children have far outgrown ghost of this size but an eight year-old works perfectly.  I happen to have an eight year-old niece.  AND she loves "photo ops."
Who wouldn't want to give these kids candy??

I must make time to finish blogging my Argentine adventure.  I must make time to blog my life. 
However, I had to make time for Halloween!  I'll admit, it's a lot more fun with these ghostly residents.  
So, feel free to trick-or-treat at my house if you dare!
I'd also be thrilled to see pictures or blogs of any ghost that you might create - we'd love to have ghost cousins.