Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kids Halloween Count-Down Calendar

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(Originally shared as a guest post on Ucreate Kids here.)

Holy cow … Halloween is just around the corner.

That means me and my six kiddos have been on the look out for everyday items to repurpose for Halloween.

This weekend we hit the mother load … in the produce isle.

Turns out with some paint and glue, you can turn an apple tray like this …

… into this!

SONY DSC

Frightfully fun for flat-out free!

You can use this at home or in a classroom as just a calendar or filled with little treats to open each day.

Want to make one with your kids, too?

For this project you’ll need a cardboard apple tray from the produce section +

(Produce trays are usually free from your grocery store – just ask the produce guy to grab you one.)

As always I hope you’ll rock-what-ya-got and adapt this project to whatever supplies you have on hand so that you can make this for free or dirt cheap.

Prime the tray with a cheapy sponge brush and whatever white paint you have on hand: craft paint, house paint, plain ‘ol primer. Just skip the spray paint – the paper tray is crazy porous and sucks it all up.

Add a coat of orange paint …

… and then carefully paint the edges and creases black with a small paint brush.

Add stems and calendar numbers with a Sharpie and paint marker.

(I marked the numbers first and let my kids do the decorating.)

The remaining pumpkins on the sides can be dressed up with jack-o-lantern faces or left plain.

Have a grown up punch two small holes on each side of the stems with a bamboo skewer ...

… and thread twisty ties from behind …

… so that your calendar looks a little something like this:

Tame those unruly twisty ties with a bamboo skewer or paint brush.

Time to add the treats!

Flip the tray over and add some small treats, toys or stickers to each pumpkin back. Then carefully add school glue along the ridges (orange dots below) and sides of the tray …

… lay the backing poster board or cardstock over top and gently weight the whole thing down for an hour.

When dry, gently turn tray back over and cut away any extra paper or poster board from the back.

Punch two holes in the top with scissors and thread through some snazzy ribbon.

Yup, snazzy.

Your calendar is ready to be displayed!

Starting on October 1st, you can “carve” each day’s pumpkin and enjoy a little treat one of two ways:

1) turn the calendar over and carefully remove the candy from behind

-- OR --

2) gently untie the twisty tie, carefully cut around the pumpkin and stem …

… open each pumpkin like a little clam shell and enjoy your yummy treats.

Retwist to close the pumpkin and you’re ready for the next day.

(Of course you could cut all 31 pumpkin shapes ahead of time and just retie the little twisty ties, but I chose not to. I don’t trust my little ones to stay out of the treats. :)

So there you go – two ways to “carve” a Halloween Advent!

nike

 

And if you’re looking for more fun projects like the ones below, check out Thrive’s holiday tutorial page.

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6 comments:

  1. OMYGOSH! That is so stinkin cute! I will be checking Walmart for one of those on Saturday! I wish I had 1/10th the creativity you have!!!!

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  2. That's a really great idea! Love it! I especially love the idea of carving the pumpkins for Halloween.

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  3. I couldn't wait to link to it even though it's not really posted yet on your site. Sorry! Love this. Featuring it today at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

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  4. This is fantastic! I love the "carving" options! You make us non-crafty types feel like we can actually do something creative! You Rock!

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  5. Love this! Can't wait for my little man to be old enough for it!
    www.lifeofleahmichelle.blogspot.com

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Thanks so much for the comment love! I do cartwheels when I read each one. Well, I imagine my pre-pregnancy self doing cartwheels, but you get the idea ...