Halloween Recipes and Craftsby Christine Lyseng Savage, Rosa Poulin, Tamara Eder (Joint Author)
You'll discover tips for how to make indoor and outdoor decorations, games, jack-o'-lanterns, how to create your own Sleepy Hollow complete with tombstones, hovering ghosts and frightful lanterns. Conjure up a variety of devilish delights in the kitchen and decorate and display dressed-to-thrill pumpkins.
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When I was a kid...and I'm NOT saying when that was...decorating for Halloween consisted of mainly taping those old cardboard decorations of skeletons, witches, or bats, etc, on your windows, carving a jack-o-lantern, and maybe stuffing a dummy. Today, decorating for Halloween is second only to Christmas and is growing every year. No longer just sprouting up a week before the holiday, today people seem to begin decorating for Halloween as soon as October rolls around. And with the elaborate displays many people now have, it probably takes that long to finish. But as Halloween stores pop up each September selling expensive, Hollywood quality props and decorations, people have lost sight of the fact that you needn't break the bank to have a great Halloween display at your house. 'Halloween Recipes & Crafts' presents 160 pages of fantastic ideas for decorating both inside and outside, along with great recipes and other tips for a memorable Halloween. The book opens with a short but interesting history of Halloween and then provides tips on party planning and safety. From there we get into the meat of the book and the fabulous projects you can make at home for little cost. Outdoor Décor is the first section and provides a number of projects that were new to me. One of the most interesting was the freshly dug graves project where you turn everyday plastic garbage bags and a little bit of dirt or soil, to create the look of a freshly dug grave on for your front lawn. Accent it with a Styrofoam tombstone (which you can also make very inexpensively) some leaves, maybe a fake hand rising out of the dirt, for a truly terrifying display. Another outdoor project utilizes old tin cans, such as soup or even coffee cans. Painted pumpkin orange, simply punch a series of holes in the can with an awl or screwdriver to make a face. Place a candle inside the can and hang outside for a brilliant Halloween lantern. There's also dangling skeletons that can be made with old gallon milk jugs and a scary Halloween ghost flag that can be made for a few dollars. Moving inside, there are more great projects. Utilize those, unused Halloween masks by simply stuffing them and hanging them inside...or outside...as recently severed heads. One of my favorite projects is the shrunken heads made out of apples. Simply peel an apple and apply a solution of lemon juice and salt to prevent browning. Carve out the apple in the shape of a face and let dry for a couple of weeks. You can even use marker or paint to further accent these ghastly little decorations. The highlight for me was a miniature graveyard scene made with a simple sheet of Styrofoam, some Spanish moss, twigs, little stones, and smaller pieces of Styrofoam to make tiny tombstones. The recipes section has all sorts of Halloween themed ideas like deviled egg eye balls or lady fingers made from a half of a hot dog with a red pepper finger nail applied with a bit of cream cheese. Add raisins to ice cubes for drinks or punch to give the appearance of bugs. A great idea for adults is to take the traditional bread bowl spinach dip and cut the bread bowl into a jack-o-lantern face. It would make a great centerpiece for an office party. If you're hosting a party for your children and their friends there's a great chapter featuring a wide display of games like 'Pin the Mouth on the Pumpkin', 'Encase the Mummy', 'Apple Grab' and more that will keep the kids busy and having fun. The book closes with some tips on costume selection and makeup. The projects in this book are great looking yet very simple and inexpensive to make. The projects all have a supply list and are described in step-by-step fashion. Chances are you'll find that you have a lot of the items you need already in your home. The book is printed on glossy paper and is lavishly illustrated with dozens of photographs throughout. A real ghoul's treat of fun and great looking projects. Reviewed by Tim Janson