Nina Bricko – Studio Projects Editor for Family Handyman

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  • Acorn Baubles: Nothing is better than a hike in the woods on a beautiful fall day. My kids love gathering acorns, pine cones, and dried flower tops as they explore the trail, and of course, these items end up in my pockets or in little piles around the house. So, instead of feeling overwhelmed by these beautiful bits of nature surprising you everywhere you look, repurpose it for some Fall décor! Image attached to email.
  • Instructions:
    • Gather materials: go out into the woods or any natural area with oak or pine trees, make sure to grab a basket, and gather acorns, pinecones, dried flower tops and other nature items that catches your eye.
      • If you want, you could also purchase some cinnamon sticks to add a scent to the bauble. Cut the sticks so they look like little bits of wood.
    • String the foam ball: use the large eyed needle to string the twine and then poke into the foam ball to create a loop.
      • If you don’t have a large enough needle, hot glue also works.
    • Make the bauble: use the hot glue to decorate the foam ball with your nature items. Older kids can help with the hot glue, and younger kids can place the item to the foam ball!
      • Once completely covered, decorate your home with the baubles. I love tying the baubles on a string of lights and hanging in a doorway.
  • Imaginative Haunted House: This is meant to be a free-style wonky haunted house that can end up looking different depending on the crafter. If you’re like me, you probably have a lot of amazon boxes just hanging out in your garage, so instead of breaking down those boxes for recycling use them for crafting instead! This is a great project for parents and kids to do together. Image attached to email.
    • Instructions:
      • Pre work: cut cardboard into different sized squares and rectangles. If you want, you could measure out the same sized pieces/walls for the house, roof, and towers, but the house will turn out way creepier if it’s a bit off center, crooked, and wonky. So have fun cutting different sizes.
        • Paint the pieces and let it dry. I like to use a spooky black paint to make a starker contrast between the house and the lighted windows.
      • Windows/Doors: plan out where you want windows and doors and draw those out on the cardboard. Place the cardboard on the cutting mat and use the Exacto knife to cut out the windows and doors. Cut the tissue paper to fit inside of the window and hot glue it to cardboard.
      • Make the House: hot glue walls together like a gingerbread house. It’s OK if it’s crooked or misshaped. Get the kids involved in picking out the pieces and putting it together.
        • Glue on a roof, then add a second floor or some towers with windows. For the second floor, I recommend leaving an opening so you can fit a flickering battery powered tea light inside.
      • The Setting: if you want to get really creative, set the house on a larger piece of cardboard and make a creepy yard with trees and spooky creatures.
        • Set the haunted house by the bowl of candy for the trick or treaters. Turn on the tea lights and enjoy!