BY Rachel Codrington-Hopkins
Halloween has been a big deal for our family ever since an October trip to Disney World Florida a few years ago with Helen at Tillyanna and her lovely family.
No one does Halloween like Disney and we came away inspired to create our own magical Halloween traditions. Our house is always the most haunted on the street, with giant cobwebs adorning the trees, pumpkin lights and our own resident Skeleton, Marvin.
On Halloween we don our outfits, grab our treat bags and hit the streets of our village with friends for some trick or treating, before heading home for a Halloween party. However, things are going to look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean we have to forego the spooky, magical fun!
My daughter, Bella, has it all planned... In the morning there’ll be Halloween cake baking. In the afternoon we’ll carve our pumpkins and as dusk falls we’ll put on our costumes, coats and boots, grab our torches and follow the carefully laid Halloween trail in our garden, searching for hidden sweets. When our treat bags are full we’ll head back inside and snuggle up in front of the fire for a Halloween movie fest. Bella tells me we’re starting with Hocus Pocus, an oldie but a goodie.
We haven’t been able to find our usual Halloween decorations in the shops this year so we’ve taken matters into our own hands and have been making our own. So this week, we decided to have a go at a Halloween wreath.
A quick google search gave us all the inspiration we needed; we could make a wreath using fallen leaves, a coat hanger, sticky tape, cardboard and glue.
We stretched the coat hanger to roughly the shape of a circle, then cut some cardboard to a wreath shape about two inches wide and stuck this to the hanger using tape. (We used a circular cardboard pizza base from a supermarket pizza; of course we ate the pizza too).
Normally when wreath making you would use wire to secure the leaves, but we didn’t have any so decided to glue them on carefully using a hot glue gun. Our leaves were a little wet so we placed them in a paper bag and blew them with a hairdryer for a few minutes to dry them out before sticking them on.
My children had purchased some Halloween treat bags from the village shop but couldn’t bring themselves to eat the giant jelly spiders they found inside, which was lucky because they made perfect creepy crawlies, nestling amongst the leaves of our wreath.
My favourite part of this project was collecting the leaves. Meandering down the little lane where we live in the autumnal sunshine, looking out for leaves that were just the right shade of spooky.
This year, for all its challenges, is marking the beginning of some new traditions for our family and writing this I find I’m looking forward to Halloween more than ever.