Halloween is hands down my favourite holiday…Christmas is a distant second, and I’m pretty sure I can attribute this sentiment to a childhood filled with some of the best Halloween traditions!
I remember rushing home after a half day at school to get my costume on and meet up with friends. A neighbourhood deli’s used to do a hotdog barbecue and for lunch, and after racing home to put on our costumes we’d head straight there along with a million other kids to grab lunch. If on a weekday, Halloween meant a half day at school, and so right after lunch we’d start trick or treating. I think because many schools made it a half day I always remember parents being home to give out candy as early as 1pm, and we’d stay out wandering the neighbourhood until sundown. That last part caused a bit of culture shock when I moved to Canada…when I found out Canadian children only go trick or treating when the sun sets…giving them only a couple of hours…well that just seemed wrong.
So I’ve set out to make every Halloween last more than a couple of hours by creating my own tradition here in Toronto. This year we celebrated our 2nd annual Halloween Charity fundraiser and it was wonderful I hand crafted loads of decorations, and even set out to create a Spooky walk complete with a graveyard, and witches house!
I’m most proud of how my spell books came out, which was a little complicated, but with the right box, tissue paper, foam, and paint it all came together! Check out how I put together the spell books!
To create the Spell books…I first found a box, similar to those subscription boxes. Something sturdy and with a flap that opens up.
Next, I covered the box with waxy/crinkly tissue paper. I only had lime green coloured paper, but the colour isn’t that important because I painted a base of black over it. The tissue paper is best applied with a glue stick to prevent any mess and from the paper getting soggy on the box with a white liquid glue. The tissue paper when painted will have the look of leather which will help “sell” the look of the spell book.
Then I cut out letters and book corner pieces using craft foam, that I bought in sheets at Dollarama. These like the tissue paper can be any colour because they’ll be painted. (NOTE: I pre-painted these pieces before hot gluing them to the box so that the colour of the foam didn’t show through in the completed project.
Painting the spell books happened in stages. First black, then I went over it with a blackish/brown mixture. The corner pieces and title were painted with gold paint and I found with painting on foam it was best to use a sponge brush.
Additional notes…to create the curved edges of the book, I glued paper straws beneath the tissue paper along the edge to create a distinction between the book “pages” and the book cover. To create the illusion of pages I used a hard bristled brush and white mixed with yellow paint and ran that along the sides of the box. The hard bristles of the brush created the effect of pages along the sides. Also, I added hot glue along the bottom of the the title letters and along the edges of the “book” corners to look like slime, I painted over it with the brownish black and gold paint using the foam brush.
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