This is my first “cold season” in the Northern Hemisphere, and I’m excited and nervous about Halloween. As an Aussie in Canada my experience covers dressing up spooky, but not much else. I would love some advice about the practical things I can do to enjoy it with friends and any visiting kids. Things like:
- How does one carve a pumpkin?
- How can I make our house cute and spooky, not tacky, on a budget?
- What is acceptable to give trick or treaters?
- What are some cool “tricks” I could set up?
Thanks so much! -Janey
Oh, I love this question. Welcome to Halloween, my friend. Here is some advice for each of your questions, then I’d LOVE for the Homies to chime in…
How to carve a pumpkin. And you MUST carve a pumpkin.
Step One: Buy a pumpkin carving set. You don’t have to, but I sure do love them.
Step Two: Cut a circular opening in the top of your pumpkin. Please see the photo to the right as a reference.
Step Three: Scoop out the guts. (That’s where the pumpkin scooper in your pumpkin carving kit comes in super handy.) This is super-messy and super-fun. Make sure you do it in a mess-friendly spot. Note the trashbag that I’m sitting on in the photo to the right.
Step Four: Carve any kind of design you want! Take a look at this pumpkin carving contest for some inspiration as to how crazy you can get with your designs.
Step Five: Stick a candle inside your pumpkin and flickering spookiness.
How to properly decorate your home on a budget
Your recently-carved pumpkins could really pull most of the weight here. But if you want to do more decorating check out some of these ideas:
Make a creepy, glowing lights out of glow sticks.
Make a holiday wreath out of a ceiling medallion.
Offbeat Homie Jessica is in a temporary housing situation with her family for Halloween. So they made a spooky Halloween village out of recycled tissue and paper towel rolls!
My latest creation for my 22-month-old daughter — The Halloween Village/Land! Complete with six characters (Demon Duck, Yellow Owl-ish, Lil Devil, Pumpkin Pal, Bat Friends, and Black Cat Stachio), four tall trees, and the playgrounds decorated with leftover cut-out confetti.
Five silly-easy Halloween crafts that you could do over the weekend.
Hack Halloween: Add dread to a space with gauzy cheesecloth shapes.
Or get some spooky decor lessons on this post: Creating a creepy year-round house that doesn’t feel “Halloweeny.”
What to give to trick-or-treaters
- For yummy options, check out this post: What pretty candies can I give out for Halloween?
- For non-edible options, check out this post: What non-candy stuff would you want your kids to get on Halloween?
- But I happen to think you can never go wrong with assortments of “fun size” Halloween candies.
You’re turn, Halloween Homies! How would you instruct a newbie to enjoy their first Halloween?