Check It Out: Book inspires Halloween crafts



"Artful Halloween: 31 Frightfully Elegant Projects" by Susan Wasinger; Lark Crafts, 128 pages.

“Artful Halloween: 31 Frightfully Elegant Projects” by Susan Wasinger; Lark Crafts, 128 pages.

Halloween is just a few days away, and I am without Halloween decorations. It’s one of my favorite holidays, and I am completely unprepared!

I could go to the store and buy some plastic jack-o’-lanterns and fake spiders, but “made in China” trinkets can’t begin to compare with handmade treasures.Now, I have to admit that my crafty side is usually a bit dormant, but if I have time and the right inspiration, I can be a fairly artsy person. However, if a project is too complicated or requires specialized tools, I’ll pass right over it. That’s why I like “Artful Halloween.” Many of the projects described in the book use materials you probably already have lying around the house. And the finished products won’t likely look like resurrected decorations from your grade-school days.Have an old glove that lost its mate? Take some pipe cleaners, a bit of batting and a big, wide-mouthed jar, and create a “disembodied hand-in-glove.”

How about all of those mismatched buttons gathering dust in a drawer? Transform them into fancy spiders with the help of copper wire, transparent tape and beads.

Need a simple costume for a dad chaperoning his little trick-or-treaters? Make a quick-as-a-wink cut felt beard using the same technique we all used when making paper snowflakes as children.

Other ideas include a yard specter, cupcake toppers, eerie eye magnets and multiple ways to festoon pumpkins.

So, if you’re lacking the proper amount of All Hallows’ Eve paraphernalia, don’t be haunted by the ghost of Halloweens past. Check out this week’s book and “pumpkin up” your surroundings without experiencing too much stress or spending too much moolah.

Jan Johnston is the collection development coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at