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haunt your house DIY Halloween party decorations 
by Yee-Fan Sun |
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continued from page 1

giant spiderweb
I was seriously considering paying $10 for a giant rope spiderweb at a party store until I took a good look at the picture on the front of the bag, and realized that, hey: this is just a bunch of rope tied together. At which point I decided to make one myself. A trip to Home Depot scored me a huge length of the cheapest rope I could find -- and I eagerly went home to start constructing my web.

Start off by laying out rope in five or so concentric circles, tying off each to form the circle. Take four sections of rope, each several feet longer than the diameter of the largest circle, and tie them together at the middle. The knot connecting these strands will form the middle of the spiderweb; with the knot centered, pull each strand so that it radiates outwards, and tie a knot at each point where a strand hits a circle. When you've finished making all your knots, stretch out each loose end to create your web. The web looks best if it's attached along a corner or between posts, rather than flat against a wall. And then, of course, there's the important final touch -- a big ol' spider lying in wait on the web (look at thrift shops and party stores).

DIY skulls
Get your hands on some cheap Styrofoam wig heads -- if you're lucky enough to have a Savers nearby, they generally carry them this time of year. Don't worry if the heads are a little damaged -- you might even be able to buy bashed ones at a discount -- as you'll be carving them up anyway. Use a razor knife to gouge out holes in the eyes, nose and mouth openings. Color in the openings with black sharpie. Add a few teeth to the mouth by jamming in unhulled pumpkin seeds. The heads can be dressed up with a wig and paired with a stuffed body, or used as is.

No Halloween party is complete without a fake cemetery, which is why every party store in the country stocks fake headstones this time of year. But what's the point in wasting money on the pre-fabricated versions when you can easily make them yourself, for a whole lot less dough?

Start amassing big cardboard boxes wherever you see them -- grab them from the office, your neighbor's recycling bin, wherever. Use a good razor knife to cut out headstones of various shapes and sizes. Don't just stick with the boring old square or domed top; add crosses, carve out ornamentation, go nuts with it.

Now you'll need fat black markers, a can of gray spraypaint, and a can of fake stone-textured spraypaint (this can be found at pretty much any paint/DIY store). Spray both sides of the cardboard with a basecoat or two of plain gray paint, letting the coats dry in between applications. On the side that you'll be writing on, spray on the stone paint. When the paint is dry, start scribbling those epitaphs.

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