(ARA) - Halloween
is a holiday kids look forward to every year. Children of all
ages dress up as their favorite ghost or goblin and go trick or
treating to receive candy and other ghostly treasures. Start the
season by turning your home into a spooky, shadowy haunted house
sure to give Halloween revelers a frightfully fun scare this season.
According to a survey done by the National Retail
Federation (NRF), 46 percent of Americans plan to go all out on
Halloween decorations for their homes or yards this year. Among
the themes they'll bring to life, haunted houses, pumpkin patches,
ghoulish graveyards and the like.
"We all remember -- as we were growing up --
going to that one house on the block that was fully decorated
for Halloween and wishing it was ours. Now it can be," says
Laura Byrne, Director of Marketing at Michaels Arts and Crafts
stores, one of the nation’s leading providers of Halloween
decorations and accessories for the home.
If decorating for the holiday is something new for
you, don’t get overwhelmed. There are many simple, easy
projects you can do to turn your home into a delightful Halloween
scene. A good place to start is by turning your front yard into
a pumpkin patch complete with jack-o’-lanterns and scarecrows.
“Creating a Halloween scene is great fun
and it only takes a lot of effort during the inaugural year,”
says Byrne. Instead of using real pumpkins that are messy and
eventually end up rotting, you can pick up some carvable foam
pumpkins at Michaels and start decorating. “They come in
a variety of sizes, big, small, short and tall, and are made of
a material that can easily be carved to create a jack-o’-lantern
or other ghoulish shape,” Byrne adds. Since they are made
of composite material, they are reusable year after year, just
keep in mind you can’t light them with candles because they
are flammable. Instead, put a glow stick or flashlight inside,
or simply shine a spotlight on them to light them up.
Once you have your pumpkins ready, set them up in
front of the house on blankets or hay bales, and for some added
color, throw a scarecrow or two into the mix. String up Halloween
lights, not just near the pumpkins, but on the eves of your roof.
Keep it simple, with white and orange icicle lights similar to
those you’d hang on a Christmas tree. You can expand on
the theme by hanging lights in the shape of glowing witch hats,
eerie eyes, skulls or footprints. Michaels has a large selection
of lights, big and small, and most can be used indoors or out.
Another popular outdoor project is to transform
your home into a haunted house. You can create one that won’t
scare trick-or-treaters away by hanging a flickering chandelier
in the entryway or putting a flaming caldron by the front door.
Set up motion activated rocks that say, “Beware”,
“Stay Away” and “Go Back,” along the path
leading to your home and hang haunted wind chimes from the trees
near the house, the list goes on. “You can find just about
any fun accessory you can think of at Michaels,” says Byrne.
Once you have decorated outside, give some thought
to what you’re going to do inside. A good project for kids
is to paint a pre-cut wooden pumpkin with orange craft paint,
and glue on embellishments, such as glitter, dried leaves, mistletoe
or berries. They may also enjoy creating a jack-o’-lantern,
black cat, spider or bat by gluing together pre-cut pieces of
foam. Finished, these can be hung up in the window or placed on
a fireplace mantle for all to see.
And if you’re into collectables, Michaels
is a good place to find The Spooky Town collection from Lemax.
Choose from a variety of houses, figurines and accessories to
create a ghostly village of your own that your children will love.
Give your room a creepy glow with the “Isle of Doom Lighthouse.”
This rotating lighthouse beacon glows with purple light as the
creepy lighthouse keeper emerges from the open door. As a misty
vapor rises out of the Skull Cave, the cannon barrel flashes with
fire, while creaking sounds produce a sinister effect. When combined
with “Witch’s Joyride,” this display becomes
a Halloween classic as Witch Wanda circles over the moonlit graveyard.
“Spooky Trees” and “Tombstones” can be
used to accent the village streets as the angry monster rattles
back and forth in his cage. Add dimension with the earth-toned
“Spooky Landscaping platform” to create the look of
towering cliffs and enhance your Halloween setting. The pieces
are plentiful in stores now, but if you want to pick one up, you
better act fast. In a matter of just a few short weeks, like the
ghosts and goblins on Halloween night, they will soon disappear.
For more information about the Halloween crafts
and accessories you can find at Michaels, log on to www.michaels.com.
to the How-To Page