Thursday, October 30, 2008

Table-Top Circus of Blood

Our final Highlights for Children Halloween craft idea shows how to bring the Big Top to your Table Top: the Table-Top Circus. What exactly does a circus made of bottle caps and pipe cleaners have to do with Halloween? In the world of Highlights, apparently nothing. However, clown-based hysteria is one of the most common and completely understandable phobias that plague the human psyche. In that respect, this is perhaps the most unnerving of all the Highlights Halloween handicrafts. There's still time: click the picture for instructions to construct your own cannibalistic carnival of chills!

On that note, have a gruesome Halloween!

Tricky Treats

This Owlet is a cute craft idea for the kids. Its body isn't a Frosted Mini Wheat, as I had thought, but a cotton-wrapped glue bottle. (Click picture to see how!)

If you'd rather wrap up something larger than a glue bottle, try a broom, which would make a great Witch For Halloween. Lean this dentally-challenged broomlady by your door to frighten trick-or-treaters! Or you can 'surprise your friends by holding the broom up at a window where they will be sure to see it.' A Highlights for Children-approved way to lose friends! (Click picture to see how!)

Kiddie science experiments masquerade as Halloween Witchcraft. Perfect to awe the little goblins and ghouls at your Halloween bash!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Handicrafts From Hell

Oh, the humanity! This is not the sort of fate I would wish for anybody, man or pumpkin-man.

No, Corni's not a long-forgotten Pee-Wee's Playhouse prop! He's simply the best craft in the history of Highlights for Children (and, certainly nothing in Pac-O-Fun could ever compare)! How could you not love a corn cob with a gummed-star nose, anyway? Remember, 'the more colors, the better'!

The cute marshmallow-headed Halloween Hobgoblin rounds out today's Halloween crafty hints. As was stated in earlier posts, this book was published in 1963; the Hobgoblin predated the King Tut craze (note the pose) by almost a decade!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Making Faces

While the economy continues to go down the drain, it's getting harder in these cash-strapped times to execute the sort of elaborate Halloween celebration that such an important holiday demands. Highlights for Children has the hair-raising touches for your haunted house that won't break the bank. In fact, these three sets of faces fit for a fright are all made out of disposable packaging already lying around your house! Here Highlights demonstates the makings of an insta-macabre mug.

Take a good look at the Pie Faces. If they don't already bear an uncanny resemblance to existing horror flick serial killers, they soon will. Right now Hollywood is probably working on Pie Face (and its ten sequels), and the killer will look even creepier than that puppet in the Saw movies. It will involve a group of popular, good looking high school kids who mysteriously find pies on their doorsteps. Three days after the pies are eaten, the killer comes to reclaim the empty pie tins... oh, and to kill the teenagers one by one. The Pie Face in the middle is named Harpo.

Frankly, I was excited to find the Halloween Candy Man. This craft calls for a cylinder-shaped cereal box, and I have just too many to know what to do with them. As you can see, he's quite handsome with his single tooth and festive bowtie, and his pie tin head is far less terrifying than Highlights' first proposed pie tin craft.

Halloween Window Decorations are a more kid-friendly, calming, and cute option in the world of homemade holiday decorations. These Halloween icons require only the plastic spool from an adhesive tape refill and your imagination!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crafty Costume Party

Here are a few more ideas from Highlights for Children's 1963 book Jumbo Holiday Handbook that are so terrifying that they may cause madness!

Cucurbitophobes rejoice! If your fear of pumpkins fills you with dread every autumn, Jumbo Holiday Handbook has a few clever substitutions that will get you in the decorating spirit! Why not draw faces on some left-over oranges with a permanent marker and use pipe cleaners for stems? Better yet, marshmallows make the best jack o' lanterns of all! Daub food coloring to create dainty features, and then poke a toothpick in its head. Maybe it will be too small next to all the real jack o' lanterns. And maybe it will attract ants, but maybe Halloween could use a little more variety. What other foods would make good jack o' lanterns?

Highlights also has a solution for adults who wish they had a child or helpless pet to dress up for Halloween. Clothespins! Here the author's beloved clothespin is dressed as (from left to right) a French pierrot, a piñata, a phoenix, and a donkey who is also a pimp (just its head). What will you dress your clothespin as this year? (Click on picture for instructions!)

Curly Wurly will have plenty more craft hints for the rest of this fun-filled holiday week!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkins With Multiple Personalities

I get weary of same-faced pumpkins year in, year out. They all have those same triangular eye sockets and toothy gapes. Sometimes I can't tell them apart, and when I mistake Roger for Beverly, I can tell Roger gets pretty steamed. This year, you can avoid confusion by giving your pumpkins different expressions. The pumpkins who have been more forgiving of your bad memory could have welcoming grins or flirty eyelashes. But you can punish all those pumpkins (the Rogers of the pumpkin patch) that have held grudges with frightful grimaces of pain, sad eyes denoting an eternal melancholia, or a mocking leer that will encourage the local hoodlums to kick them or hurl them into the street. This guide to facial features is from the 1963 book Jumbo Holiday Handbook, a Highlights magazine publication.

Here's a crafty idea from a Miss Langenberg, the Happy Witch Decoration. It's worth a try, if only for the enlightening 'how to make a witch look happy' instruction (click picture for full article): 'draw the corners of her mouth pointing upward.' A ha! Those snaking laces making up her torso are supposed to be 'skeleton ribs.' It's baffling how she could be so happy whilst her innards are on display in such a macabre sort of way, but, after all, it is Halloween!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween Treats

Many years before Nestlé started cranking out bars of Baby Ruth and Butterfinger, the Curtiss Candy Company made a name for these icons of American confectionery. The Curtiss Candy Company of Chicago was founded in 1916 by Otto Schnering. Their first confection was called a Kandy Kake (not to be confused with the Tastykake Kandy Kake), which later became the famed Baby Ruth. Apparently the original Kandy Kake had more of a pastry center enrobed in chocolate and topped with peanuts. When the bar was rebranded as the Baby Ruth in 1921, it was also reformulated; the pastry center was replaced by a bar made of caramel and peanuts. The Baby Ruth has been a popular Halloween staple ever since.

In small print, this Curtiss ad lists some of their other products, including Coconut Grove, Caramel Nougat Dip, SafTPops, Fruit Drops, and Mints.

Julie Newmar and Bozo the Clown for Tootsie Roll, America's favorite chocolaty, chewy roll! This advertisement also shows a set of Tootsie Pops from a simpler time: a time before kids started questioning the quantity of pop around the Tootsie center. Tootsie Roll Industries is another Chicago-based candy company.

These two Halloween candy advertisements date from October 1955.