Only the brave will be willing to lift the roof and stick their hand in this haunted house to reach the candy. Fun to create with common household materials, even the youngest kids can help stick the paper to the form and decorate the house. Halloween decor and candy container in one derelict haunted house. Paper mache has to dry thoroughly between layers, so allow a few days to a week before the house is ready to decorate. It only takes a few minutes to add each layer, 1 or 2 layers a day. A fun way to teach kids to manage patience and anticipation.
This is a good first paper mache project because neatness really doesn’t count. What a fun craft for kids using paper grocery bags and plastic ones, too.
Materials and Supplies to Build the Form
To build the haunted house, a cardboard form is needed. The form is removed once the house is done and can be used again to make more houses.
- medium size corrugated cardboard shipping box
- duct tape or packing tape
- straight edge
- plastic grocery bags and/or plastic wrap
The roof is made separately from the house, and the lean-to addition is made in 2 pieces. The lean-to pieces are glued together after the forms have been removed and then glued to the house. This is a derelict haunted house, so crooked is good. Just be sure the form is larger at the top of the house, with the narrow part at the bottom so the form can be removed easily.
- Break the box down flat and cut along one side to open it up.
- Click the pictures below for a larger view. Cut and reshape the box to a house shape, taping it securely. Use a straight edge to bend and fold the cardboard as needed. No need to worry about getting the surface even where the pieces join.
- Make 4 separate pieces – the house, the roof, the lean-to addition, and the roof of the lean-to. Place the house and roof into a plastic grocery bag. Cover the lean-to pieces with plastic wrap. The plastic doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth, it’s just there to keep the paper mache from sticking to the form.
Paper Mache Materials and Supplies
- paper grocery bags
- white glue, such as Elmer’s Glue All
- large sponge brush
How to Make the Haunted House Candy Container
Work with the house form upside down over a bottle to make the bottom.
- Mix 1 part water to 1 part glue in a paper cup
- Tear the bags into random size pieces. Tearing works better than cutting, because tearing feathers the edges.
- Apply the glue to the printed side of the bag and press onto the form. With the brush, apply glue to the other side of the paper on the form, brushing firmly to remove any air bubbles. Wrapping pieces of paper around the corners is easier than stopping at the corners. Continue adding paper, overlapping as needed, until the form is completely covered, and let dry thoroughly. The edges can be torn or trimmed later.
- 4 to 5 layers, depending on the thickness of the paper, will be sturdy enough to be used. Remove the paper mache from the forms. Finish the top edges of the house by gluing pieces of paper bag from the front, over the edges, and into the inside.
Decorate the Haunted House
Let the imagination take over. Scraps of scrapbook paper, paint, markers, stickers, and rub-on decals are all good ways to add spookiness to the house. It will keep the kids happily crafting for a while, and they’ll enjoy taking the roof off for candy, if they dare!
It’s not a container that seals well, so fill with wrapped candy for a sweet treat. Make it large or small, make several for a haunted village. It’s all about making fun crafts with kids.