It's the Monday October bank here in Dublin, which means we had a lovely three day weekend, but it also means that this upcoming week the kids are off from school. That's a whole week of extra hours to fill up with entertainment, but luckily I've prepared for it with plenty of playdates and more Halloween events to check out. I am also looking forward to some extra time to play and craft with the kids! For this blog post, I'd like to share a really fun craft that will hopefully act as a handy filler for some of that extra entertaining you might need this week, or whenever!
This Spooky Village started as a single house that I created from an empty Goldfish crackers carton. My American friends know the one I mean, it's huge and the crackers went stale before we could eat them all, but it just so happens to be THE perfect shape to use as a haunted house. Once I'd completed the house, it seemed a little lonely, so I added a hotel. Next thing I knew, there are 5 pieces to our village and I can guarantee we're not finished just yet!
Empty Cardboard Boxes, choose a variety in different shapes and sizes
Black Craft Paint & Paint Brush
Fun Chalk Liquid Chalk Markers
Glue Gun & Glue
|Discarded tissue, ice pop, medicine and fruit packaging|
1. Be sure your boxes are empty and cleaned of any remaining food particles
2. Arrange your containers to create the buildings
(Our Lighthouse is a combination of 3 containers stacked on one another. Others are simply one box on its own. Use your creativity to come up with the structures.)
3. Draw the doors and windows on the packaging
4. Using your utility knife, carefully cut the doors and windows out
5. If your building has multiple parts, use the glue gun to attach the boxes to one another
6. Apply a base coat of black craft paint
7. Once first coat has dried, add a coat of the chalkboard paint
8. Apply another coat of chalkboard paint where (& only if) needed
(On the lighter coloured containers with a lot of text, I found I needed the second coat of chalkboard paint in some of the whitest areas)
9. Once all the paint is dry, add the decorative drawings and embellishments using the Fun Chalk Markers
10. Draw ghost shapes onto white paper, cut out the shapes with scissors and use the Sharpie markers to add outlines and faces
11. Attach the ghosts to the straws with the Scotch tape to create ghost puppets
12. Draw bats on black paper and cut the shapes out with scissors
13. Attach the bats to the straws with Scotch tape and use glue gun to attach to the building
14. Use paper, glue, straws and the Sharpie to create extra signage, especially if small text is required
(See the Laundromat sign for example)
|You'll get the best CUT in town at this Butcher Shop!|
|No vacancies this week!|
|Those Watching Machines can see you!|
|Enter at your own risk!|
We've used their Lego Minifigures to set up for a Halloween celebration...
Move the buildings outdoors for a fall fest with the ghost puppets...
My daughter took her Duplo figures trick or treating at each door...
Or set them up on the floor and really test out their durability (my son always aces this test!)...
As you can see, my kids are already getting great mileage out of this project. To stretch their interest even further, I'm planning to have them decorate and color their own buildings this week while we're on break. I chose to work on this project on my own, leaving the kids to a new play toy, but I know they'll love making their own versions too. I'll cut and paint the boxes the night before and they can each decorate a blank one.
I could also see this village working as a decorative mantle piece or even as a festive table centerpiece. The house looks great with a tea light in the center. And if I can be honest with you, this house building is pretty addictive! I am already envisioning a Christmas Village too!
Fun Chalk markers were perfect for this project. If you've never used them before, they're liquid chalk markers that come in a great selection of 8 bright, bold colours. The markers can be used on any non-porous surface and they have a super quick drying time! We use them on windows, chalk boards, mirrors, plastic and lucite containers, and dry erase boards. The chalk easily wipes clean with a wet cloth. You could draw on pumpkins or leaves with them like Meri Cherry did- such gorgeous activities for kids! For this village project, they were especially great because they don't smudge, dried fast and are easy to handle (I'm dreadfully slow with painting details like these buildings required so it would have taken me triple the amount of time to make these!)
So, have I convinced you to check your recycling barrels for some empty containers yet? Let me know how you get on with this project and I'd love to see photos of any of your buildings! Happy midterm week and best of luck getting through it :) If you need more crafty ideas, check out a previous post with 5 fab fall projects to make with children!