It’s time for Halloween!
October 26, 2014
Halloween is one of our favorite times of year, and for the first time in five years, it falls on a weekend night.
So, we went a little wild and wrote three Halloween-themed pieces to get you in the holiday mood.
First, news writer Faith Owan shows you how to make three spooky decorations using Mason jars.
Next, editor Maile Sur shares her ghoulish recipe for some fun Halloween cupcakes.
Last, we hope you chuckle along with Quinn Williams’ call for the end of the last-minute costume.
Learn and have fun as you read our trio of Halloween features.
Pumpkin image from public domain files of Peter Kratochvil: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=25937&picture=funny-pumpkin-face
Photo by Faith Owan
3 easy DIY Mason jar crafts for Halloween
Add a touch of fun and spookiness to your season with these three easy do-it-yourself Mason jar crafts for Halloween.
For step-by-step directions, watch the accompanying video — a little under 10 minutesʻ viewing for all three.
Each project uses materials you can find around the house or at a local crafts store, like Ben Franklin.
Halloween Snow Globe
- a Mason jar
- distilled water
- hot glue gun
- Halloween figure to use as a centerpiece
- orange food coloring
- large white glitter
- orange and/or black glitter
To make it:
1. Hot glue the Halloween figure onto the underside of the lid.
2. As it dries, fill the jar with distilled water.
3. Add a few dashes of glycerin to the water so the glitter will move more slowly (there’s no need for exact measurements).
4. Add the food coloring to the water mixture until it’s a shade of orange you like. If you don’t have orange, you can mix yellow and red.
5. Add pinches and dashes of glitter and snow, as much or as little as you please.
6. To finish, just pop the lid with the onto the jar, and tighten it well.
7. Turn it over, give it a shake, and you’ve got a snow globe—Halloween style.
Glowing Ghost Jars
These glowing ghosts will last for about an hour, so fill them just before the trick or treating begins, and make sure to put them in a dark place for the best glowing effect.
- 3 mason jars
- 3 glow sticks
- 6 googly eyes
- hot glue gun
- yard nippers
To make it:
1. Attach two googly eyes to each jar using the hot glue gun.
2. Activate the glow sticks by bending and shaking them.
3. Cut off the tips with the yard nippers and pour the contents into the jar, one color per jar.
4. CAREFULLY, place your pointer finger partially over the top of the glow stick as you do this. There are tubes of glass in the glow sticks that you don’t want in your jars.
5. Seal each jar, and shake so their insides are coated with the glowing liquid.
6. Your little ghost friends are done! Place them out in the dark for the full effect.
- a mason jar
- orange or black tulle
- Mod Podge
- a medium/large paintbrush
- Halloween-themed ribbon (black, orange, creepy design)
- an electronic tea light (candle)
- fake spider web, any color
- hot glue gun
To make it:
1. Using the paintbrush, cover the outside of the jar with Mod Podge. Avoid both the bottom and rim.
2. Wrap the tulle around the jar, continuing until looks solid.
3. Clip the tulle off the roll with scissors and seal the seam in place with Mod Podge.
4. Evenly coat all the tulle on the jar with Mod Podge.
5. Wrap the ribbon around the rim and cut to length; then, hot glue into place.
6. Use a relatively small portion of the spider web and wrap it decoratively around the jar to your liking. Cut away any excess web so that it’s not too thick around the jar.
7. Let the Mod Podge dry overnight.
8. Once the lantern is completely dry, turn on your tea light, place it in the jar, and close the lid. To use a candle instead, make sure that the jar is filled at least halfway with sand, and do not put the lid on.
9. Turn off the lights and watch it glow!
Photo by Maile Sur
How-to: Scare up some Halloween cupcakes
With Halloween just a few days away, my sweet tooth is craving more than just lollipops and candy bars – I’m talking cupcakes!
Every year when I was younger, my mom would throw Halloween parties. It was always fun to see everyone in their costumes, but my favorite part was the treats.
With this easy recipe, I’ll show you how to make two Halloween cupcakes – Spider Web Cupcakes and Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yeild: 24 cupcakes
What you’ll need:
1 box of cake mix (I like the Betty Crocker Party Rainbow Chip mix, but any mix will work)
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 containers of vanilla frosting
red, yellow, blue, and green food color
a few pretzel sticks
24 paper baking cups
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Beat cake mix, water, oil, and eggs on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into cupcake cups, filling them 2/3 full.
3. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing.
While the cupcakes are in the oven, follow these steps to making the icing:
1. Mix 3 drops of red and 5 drops of yellow food color with 1 container of icing in a medium bowl. This should come out orange for the base coating of the Jack-o-Lantern cupcake.
2. Mix 4 drops of red, 4 drops of yellow, 2 drops of green, and 2 drops of blue food color with a 1/2 cup of the remaining icing in a small bowl. This should come out a dark green/black.
3. Place the dark icing into a small Ziploc bag. Cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag.
Once the cupcakes are done, and you are ready to start decorating, follow these steps for the Spider Web Cupcakes:
1. Spread white frosting on half the cupcakes.
2. Squeeze circles of dark green icing on each cupcake; pull a toothpick through the icing from the center outward to make a web.
3. Roll out 1 gumdrop and cut it into 8 strips for legs; you will use another whole gumdrop on top for the body.
4. Assemble the spider on the cupcake.
Follow these steps for the Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes:
1. Spread orange frosting over the other half of the cupcakes.
2. Draw jack-o-lantern faces using the rest of the dark icing.
3. Flatten 1 green gumdrop and cut it into a leaf shape.
4. Place a small piece of a pretzel stick at the top of the cupcake for a stem and place the gumdrop leaf next to it.
Once you’re done, smile because you just made the cutest cupcakes ever!
Photo by Quinn Williams
Opinion: Scrap the crummy costumes
No more uncreative, overused, unoriginal clothes passed off as Halloween costumes!
The older we get, the busier we get. That’s just life. Busy schedules lead to last-minute plans… and last-minute costumes. Needless to say, our costumes don’t always come out as creative or extravagant as they should.
In most years, Halloween inconveniently falls on a week day. We trick-or-treaters are rushed into figuring out what to wear while we’re also trying to pay attention in class, get our homework done, and, most important, Instagram!
So, I agree that coming up with costumes is not easy. They have to be cheap, easy, and unique.
The problem is that lately it seems as if no one wants to put much thought or effort into dressing up for Halloween. They say they’re too busy; I say theyʻre too lazy. It’s been getting out of hand.
Dressing up in uncreative, overused, unoriginal Halloween costumes must stop!
Specifically, strike these five clunkers off your list.
First off, we have the Minnie Mouse, or in other words, the teenage girls’ go-to Halloween costume. The Walt Disney character probably never thought that her famous ears would end up being so overused. A simple polka dot top, red bottoms and you’re good to go. But where’s the creativity? And, no, using the pink version of her ears is not any more creative.
Next up are the hippies! A headband, tie-dye shirt, fun pants, shorts or just jeans, and a peace accessory. People, please, nothing is more unoriginal than dressing as a hippie. I agree, tie-dye is great and good fun to make to boot, but as a Halloween costume? Really? Let’s stay away from the not-so-funky hippie this year.
It’s not only ladies who are guilty of these last-minute costume crimes. Guys, you canʻt just wear a superhero t-shirt and say you are the superhero. The saddest part is the extreme lack of effort involved in coming up with this. Where’s the cape? The shield? The mask? The anything!!! One t-shirt does not make a costume.
The Thing (no, not the Marvel character)
What is Halloween without a little Dr. Seuss? Iʻm not talking about the Cat in the Hat because even that would be more creative than this way-too-easy, cop out of a costume…Now, I agree, that this could be cute if youʻre a twin, but Thing 1 and Thing 2 are more like Thing 100 and Thing 200 on the Halloween scale of overused costumes. See, here’s the problem: had you gone through the effort to get the blue hair and black pants, the costume might not have made this list, but a paper cutout of the logo on a red t-shirt is the ultimate in laziness.
Now the final offender: the colorful skin suit. I only have one real question when it comes to these: what are you? A pink skin suit hardly resembles anything. A wad of chewed bubble gum perhaps? Maybe…if you walked around with a school desk on your head…C’mon guys, we can do so much better!
Let’s put these predictable, uninspired, and downright tired Halloween costumes to rest! Halloween is this Friday, so start on your costume now before you end up with one of these loser ones. Are you with me?