The Crafty Mom: Dangle the Halloween Light Fantastic!

By Mary Lyon

This horrifyingly cute craft gives kids a treat before they even start trick-or-treating! Make a special hands-free hanger for their light sticks. They'll be noticed in the night - by ghosts and goblins on foot and in cars. This project is simple and fun, and in an hour, you can make enough of these for your child's Halloween party guests. They'll think you're so clever, it'll be downright spooky!

What You Need

  • 1 plastic juice-bottle lid, 1.5 inches in diameter; cleaned, preferably orange

  • 3 pipe cleaners - 2 black, 1 green

  • 1 tube or bottle of squeezable fabric/craft paint - in black

  • 2 little "google-eyes" (craft stores have small packages of these in different sizes)

  • 1 medium-heat glue gun

  • 1 pair of tweezers or pliers

  • 1 ruler

  • 1 light stick - with a hook or a hole at the top

  • 1 length of ribbon or yarn - any color

What You Do

  1. Create your pumpkin face on the outside of the orange lid. With the medium-heat glue gun, apply two SMALL drops of glue where eyes might be. Set one "google-eye" on each drop. Gently press in place. Let it dry for about 20 seconds.

  2. Use the squeezable black fabric/craft paint to paint in a jack-o-lantern's gap-toothed mouth. Not too thick! Set it aside, so the paint can dry (about 15 minutes).

  3. Now, frame your pumpkin face. Start with one black pipe cleaner. Place its middle against the bottom of the lid. Bend it up along both sides, to the top. Twist both ends securely in place against the lid. Then, using your finger as a mold, wrap the remaining length of the two ends into a large loop. Secure the loop by twisting the ends around its base, tightly against the lid.

  4. Fold the second black pipe cleaner in half. At 1.5 inches in from the fold, twist it. Loop that segment around your finger - into the shape of a hook. Position the hook at the bottom of the lid, and bring the sides of the pipe cleaner up to the top. Wind them around the throat of the loop. Pinch the ends in place with your tweezers or pliers. Apply a few small drops of glue under the hook at the bottom and the loop at the top, to secure them against the lid. Let them dry for about 20 seconds.

  5. Bend the green pipe cleaner in half. Wrap both ends, from the bend, once around the throat of the loop. Spiral the rest of the green ends around your finger to make a pumpkin "vine." Bend the tips of the pipe cleaner ends in on each other and crimp them shut with your tweezers or pliers.

  6. Hang your light stick from the hook, thread a length of ribbon or yarn through the loop, then hang it around your neck. Your light stick will be visible in front of you all night, and you won't have to worry about dropping it! Besides, you're going to need both hands to lift your bag of treats!