Fun Halloween Crafts and Treats to Enjoy with Seniors
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Halloween is one of the very few holidays that bring us all together. Whichever side of trick or treat you fall, when Halloween time comes around everyone can play, and with a little encouragement usually will. There are decorations to make and display, costumes to ponder and put together, parties to plan, and treat baskets to gather and accessorize.
All of these are reasons for safely getting together with friends and family to make a crafty time with seniors. Making costumes or decorations is always more fun when we get to be with each other in the same location. These days we may have to make some adjustments but Halloween still beckons and there are tons of easy Halloween craft ideas that allow us to spend time together, connect and have some fun.
Halloween can be more entertaining than a plastic pumpkin filled with mini candy bars that you buy for the neighborhood kids and yourself. Here are some ideas for Halloween themed crafts you and your loved one can try this year and share with your family and friends:
1. Paint pumpkins or gourds. Squashes, gourds, and pumpkins are plentiful this time of year, so pick some up at the grocery store and get creative. You can go the traditional route by painting faces, or get a little crazy and paint the pumpkins any color and design you like. Craft paints are available online and at most fabric stores and big box stores like Target and Walmart.
2. Bedazzle pumpkins and gourds. Carving a Jack-O-Lantern is not the only way to have a pumpkin that is a showstopper. Sketch your design on the surface with chalk then fill in your design with stick-on jewels and use a little craft glue for those items that don’t have self-adhesive like that spider or tiny ghost that make the look complete. Use the shapes of the gems to inspire your pumpkins face. Tear drop gems make great fangs and spirals of gems make for great eyes.
3. Paint plaster Halloween figurines. An easy project is getting a Halloween themed plaster ghost, skull, owl, pumpkin, haunted house, and bat some craft paint and decorate to make a festive centerpiece for your Halloween celebration.
4. Make a spider web vase. You will need a glass vase from the dollar store, your glue gun, a Sharpie marker, and flat black spray paint. Draw your design of a spider web on the vase. Using your glue gun outline your design with glue. Let it dry. Do this part outside in a well-ventilated space: put out newspaper or a drop cloth, and give your vase a thorough coating of the flat-black spray paint. Let it dry and give a second coat if necessary. Fill with dried flowers or fresh. If spider webs are not your thing, think witches, cats, ghosts, and use a Halloween color that you like. Use your imagination and create a fabulous centerpiece.
5. Paint Goblin and Ghost jars. Here is a great idea for votive candles. Using cleaned Mason jars or a used sauce jar and your craft paints. Draw an image on the outside of the jar such as a pumpkin or ghost face, fill in with black paint or a contrasting color to the one that you will paint the inside of the jar. On the inside of the jar take a bright color such as orange and swirl and paint the inside of the jar let dry. You can then put a candle in the jar and you have the perfect votive for the day!
6. Create some spooky candles. With a pillar candle (we recommend a flameless version), some craft glue, and black lace, you can create a pretty Halloween decoration that will light up the room. Purchase some black lace from the fabric store. You won’t need more than a 1-foot square unless you’ve got a huge candle. Measure the circumference and height of the candle and cut the lace so it will wrap all the way around. Use craft glue or spray adhesive to attach the lace, turn on (or light) the candle, and voila!
7. Make some giant spiders. This one is quick and easy. All you need is black construction paper (big sheets are best), scissors, and glue or tape to attach the spiders wherever you want them. If you’re not a Picasso, then you may also want to pick up some spider stencils, but the beauty of these giant spiders is that they’re supposed to be scary, so even if they’re not perfect, they’ll be perfect for the occasion.
8. Design your own batmobile. It may not be Batman’s first choice, but you can create a bat mobile with some heavy-duty black construction paper and bat stencils (or hand-draw your own bats). A wire hanger (or two) works well as the mobile base, and you can hang the bats with string or lightweight craft wire. Here is a tutorial if you want to create a batmobile that will bring joy for years to come.
9. Make a ghost, witch, or bat grapevine wreath. With a plain grapevine wreath, some spray paint, a bit of felt, a black Sharpie marker or paint, glue, and some ribbon, you can make a fun (and decorative) Halloween wreath. Here’s a sample ghost wreath.
If getting art and crafty is too spooky for you and your loved one, perhaps getting into the kitchen to create some treats and potions might be more entertaining and tastier during this special day. Baking and cooking up some frightfully tasty treats can be easy and fun and a good way to connect. Here are some some fun ideas:
10. Simple spooky snacks. For those who enjoy being in the kitchen this can be a fun and easy way to prepare for a small get together. Try goblin flatbreads and sinister salsa to get the mood of the day. It’s as easy as getting some store-bought pizza dough, if you don’t want to make your own dough some olive oil and salt. You roll out the dough and cut into cracker sizes and form into ghosts and goblins, brush some olive oil and sprinkle some salt and bake until just crispy. It is the perfect for serving alongside your sinister salsa – guacamole with black beans.
11. Make cookies and cupcakes. To treat the sweet tooth on Halloween, chocolate spot cookies using black and orange chocolate covered candies to dot the cookies is a simple baking treat to prepare or for the more adventurous, Mummy cupcakes will wow and make your friends a bit more curious about your inner world. Try them.
12. Make a special potion. Have a punch bowl? Have a special punch or sangria you like? Most markets sell dry ice. Get yourself a bag. Follow the instructions for using gloves when handling and put some in your punch bowl to create a foggy potion that will add an extra dose of spooky to your festivities.
Clearly, it doesn’t take much to let your imagination fly like a bat or zoom like a witch on a broom to the art supply store in person or online to make your Halloween festivities special this year. Whether you are able to do any of these crafts in-person this year or by getting together for a planned online crafty time with your loved ones, creating a couple of fun items can decorate the day with fun memories of being together and connecting around a holiday that brings us all some much needed fun and joy during these days.
Author: Audrey Meinertzhagen