Use a towel to make a grave, and 3 other final-hour DIY Halloween projects

Guest post by Sabrina Zbasnik

use a towel to make a grave

If you’re looking for last-minute (final hour?) Halloween decor ideas, Homie Sabrina has a ton of easy DIYs that you could do today… probably with things you already have in your home! Check out how to make a grave from a towel, how to create “witch lanterns” from Mason jars, the cheap and easy way to rust plastic, and how to make drippy candles that won’t ever drip.


Make a grave with a towel

When one is in the Halloween mood and wishes to create a graveyard on their property (without the hassle of digging up their lawn or embalming a few of their more unloved relatives), one looks to easy and quick grave-like solutions.

towel grave supplies

All you need is:

brown towel

Spread your towel out in a well-ventilated, and easy-to-clean-up area. (I hope you’re not too attached to it.) Next, grab the spray adhesive and cover that sucker in great big gobs of greasy grimey horse hooves.

towel grave 4

Now dump your potting soil. Leave it out to dry for a few hours, maybe add a few leaves here and there, and soon you’ll have a recently dug grave as awesome as this:

use a towel to make a grave

Once Halloween is over, just roll it up and wait for next year.

Witch Lanterns

Need to light an old barn, scarecrow scene, or witch at work? Try this:

witch lanterns

All you need is:

witch lanterns from mason jars

I took one clear, fresh jar and, with my sea sponge, dabbed black paint on the bottom and then on the inside. I did it in flecks so it would mimic dirt. I also painted some of the black paint in the outside the jar, especially the lip for extra dirt.

For the cloudy exterior, take Elmer’s glue, dab it onto a paper towel, and rub that over the jar. That really makes the jars look like you dug them out of the back of a rusted and haunted farmhouse.

Here are the jars with the candles in them prior to me adding the glue:

witch lanterns pre-glue

Here are the jars after the glue:

witch lanterns 4

The barely-flickering one in the back has an electric tea light in it while the others have real candles. The cheap ones do work, but the glow of course is nowhere near as powerful as an open flame.

I think I’ll string a few on wire and hang them up high while the others I’ll put electric tea lights in and use to light our steps for Halloween.

The cheap and easy way to rust plastic

Rusting the Cauldron

Our cauldron is like every other cauldron out there on the market, pretty much. But I wanted to age it up, to make it look more like the kind of cauldron a proper witch would use and had used to boil skeletons for decades. Enter the oatmeal…

All you need to rust and age up a cauldron is:

Mix the oatmeal and sand with the glue. I used more sand than oatmeal, and wet down the glue with water at first. I don’t think it did much one way or the other so if you want to stretch your Elmer’s out, you can try it.

Glob it all over the cauldron in various points making a big mess of your hands, the floor, and a dog who thinks she wants to eat oatmeal sand glue. Let that dry. It will look disgusting and weird, but it’s okay.

Rusting the Cauldron with oatmeal

Now we bring out the paint. Black spray paint. I use the plastic-adhering kind because it’s what I had and to smooth over any color changes.

Now it’s got a lot more character, and appears like it’s made of cast iron instead of plastic. You can stop here. I thought about it, but I have these orange and dull red spray paints that don’t get used as much. So, time to get to rusting.

Orange is the best paint for it. I start at the bottom and spritz at a distance. It takes a few turns of the cauldron. I tried to mix some brown in, but then I ran out. So you can add spritzes of brown if you’d like to deepen the rust.

After that dried, I added flecks of the red. Not too much, it’ll overpower if you don’t stand way back and only twist with the wrist. If you go too far, you can always go over again with the black to bring her back.

Rusting the plastic Cauldron

Ta-da, ancient rusted cauldron that only took a few things I had sitting around the house.

Dribbly wizard candle

Part of my Halloween decor is my little wizarding end table. It had a skull, a couple spiders, a dragon’s claw, and a mummy hand, but something was missing. Luckily, I had an excess of two-inch PVC pipe, and piles of glue sticks.

Time to make my own dribbly wizard candle. This is incredibly easy…

drippy candles with pvc pipe

Start with PVC pipe — at least two inches or wider — to hold the tealight. Cut it to whatever height you want your candle to be.

drippy candles 2Cut out a small foam section to place inside your candle and hot glue that inside to hold said tealight. Put it low enough that only part of the light is viewable to keep it looking more realistic.

Now lay out a section of wax paper and put your pipe on top.

Using one of the better and bigger hot glue guns, dribble streams of glue starting at the top and slowly piping lines as low as you want. You can even add pools of glue at the bottom.

Go back over the top a few more times to create layers of dripping wax.

Let that dry and harden, then go through the annoying task of picking off strings. This will make you question humanity’s place in the cosmos; that’s normal.

Now spray paint your candle white.

drippy candles 3

If you wanted a pristine looking candle, you’re done. Good for you. But if you want an older looking one, break out the brown acrylic paint, some yellow, and your brushes.

drippy candles 4

Using water and layers, add brown to the edges then wipe it away with a paper towel. This will take some playing to get it down to the look you want, but don’t be afraid to screw up. You can always paint it over again.

final-hour Halloween DIY

Once you’re happy, just pop in a tea light and boom, instant wizard scenery. Now you are no longer a slave to Big Wax. Don’t forget the stuffed crocodile.

Comments on Use a towel to make a grave, and 3 other final-hour DIY Halloween projects

  1. Nice! These are all cool ideas. 🙂 The glue makes a surprising amount of difference on the mason jars, and I love the easy to clean up towel-grave!

    I LOLed at “dog who wants to eat the oatmeal sand,” since I’m awake and reading this ’cause my dog decided to spew on the rug. O_o;; (She’s fine now.)

  2. My theater-major friend had a project where she used cat litter to make the texture of a rusted iron gate. With that she also had a black base color, but she painted browns and reds [with select bits of green] on and around the texture rather than directionally.

    Though if you wanted to portray rust as caused by rain, streaking the browns and reds would help convey that.

  3. This is what I needed! I wanted to do graves in a portion of our front yard, but didn’t want them to look dumb or to dig up our lawn with no hope that it would ever grow back. AND I already own all of the things 🙂

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