Easy Halloween Crafts for Kids: Skulls, Zombies, and Other Spooky Paper Projects

Whether it’s grinning paper skulls or easy-to-decorate Halloween masks, simple crafts can keep kids occupied on a rainy fall afternoon or during busy Halloween party preparations. A little adult supervision may be required for some ages, but the basic designs are easy enough that young artists can show off their artistic independence without help.

Paper Skulls

These grinning skulls are loaded with Halloween goodies or mini party favors, making them a perfect choice for handing out at a Halloween bash or to visiting trick-or-treater’s. All kids need are a package of small party balloons, a bottle of white craft glue, and an old newspaper — plus white paint and a black magic marker for decoration.

Blow up each balloon, tie closed, then cover with thick layers of glue and torn pieces of newspaper until all of the balloon is hidden except for a small opening around the knot. Make the paper-mache at least four layers thick to achieve maximum strength. After the balloons are dry (usually overnight), untie the knot and remove the balloon from the paper shell. Fill with candy or party favors, then seal over the opening with a thick layer of paper and glue.

Paint the paper shells white, then draw the empty eye sockets and grinning teeth of a Halloween skull using the black marker. The finished creations are perfect piled in a bowl for handing out to visiting ghosts and ghouls on Halloween night or for kids to share with their friends.

Easy-to-Make Masks

A scary-looking (or simply silly) Halloween mask for everyday wear is as close as the nearest sheet of cardstock, a set of craft paints, scissors, an exacto knife, and a mask template. Trace a sleeping mask onto card stock or print off a free mask template online for a pattern, then trace over card stock or lightweight cardboard.

Cut out each mask, then decorate with craft paints, using fingers or a brush. Sprinkle with glitter or add sequins, if desired, before the mask is dry. Let the kids cut eyeholes from the mask using an exacto knife (supervision may be required here due to the sharp blades involved). Punch a hole in each end of the mask to add a string or glue the finished mask to a wooden dowel for a hand-held version.

Masks designs are limited only to the creativity of each child — encourage them to design unique features, like spotted bug’s skin or a furry purple monster’s face. Creative touches like whiskers or antennae can be added using extra supplies, like pipe cleaners or bread ties.

Paper Potion Labels

Transform ordinary bottled soft drinks and juices into ghoulish concoctions and fearsome potions using sheets of paper, markers, and a little glitter and glue. Kids can let their imaginations run wild (and maybe turn a few stomachs) with unique labels drawn on paper cut to fit each bottle easily with only a little tape or glue.

With cool concepts like “monster mash” or “bug bile” in play, kids will enjoy individualizing the labels according to the drink color and texture (from apple juice to strawberry sports drinks) and pasting the label over the original. For a professional touch, let them use stencils for creating the letters on each label — you can make and size your own by printing spooky fonts available online, then cutting the letters out with an exacto knife.

Let kids exercise their craft muscle with some simple ideas that will stimulate their imagination this Halloween. These easy paper crafts, and others like them, will keep them occupied with unique designs throughout the spooky season.

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