(ARA) - Before the fall wind blows trick-or-treaters to your front door, make the most of the season with a few simple projects that your kids will love and you will too. They're easy, fun and very affordable. All it takes is a little imagination and a few things you already have around the house to transform your home into Halloween central.
"Halloween can be so much fun, especially if you involve the kids," says Paintideas.com blogger Angie Stinner. "Painting pumpkins or creating simple crafts to decorate your home doesn't take much time and can be done on a shoestring budget. It's a great way to share some quality time before the busy holiday season."
Here are a few easy, affordable projects from Angie's Halloween bag of treats:
* Go batty - Create adorable beverage can bats to hang on your porch or anywhere in your home. Just rinse a few empty beverage cans with soap and water and allow to fully dry. Remove the ring that's attached to each can and bend the can slightly at the middle. Then, in a well-ventilated area like a garage with an open door, lay out old newspaper or an old sheet and spray several light coats of Rust-Oleum Universal Gloss Black spray paint onto each can and allow them to dry for 24 hours.
Once the can has dried, glue bat wings to the sides of the can, teeth to the drinking area on the can, eyes to the top of the can just above the drinking hole and bat ears to the outer ring of the can (right above the eyes). The wings, teeth, eyes and ears can be found at your local craft store or you can make them yourself from foam or construction paper. Glue a piece of fishing line to the can, allow the glue to dry and then unwind a paper clip and tie the other end of the fishing line to the paper clip to hang. Leave this "welcome bat" plain, or use orange puffy paint to write a fun Halloween message.
* "Trick" their treats - Don't send your little ghost or goblin out with an ordinary treat container when it's so easy to personalize it to reflect their Halloween style. Recycle the old plastic pumpkin they used the year before and transform it into something unique and special with spray paint. Try Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover 2X. It is available in a rainbow of colors to coordinate with any costume. Try a color like Grape or Berry Pink for your little princess or ballerina. Do you have a Shrek in the family? Try a color like Key Lime or Green Apple for their carrier. Once the plastic pumpkins are painted, let the kids decorate them using markers, puffy paint, stickers or stick-on jewels and they're ready for a night full of candy goodness.
* Instant messaging - Leave the carving knife in the kitchen drawer and try a new twist on pumpkin decorating. Buy a pumpkin or two at the supermarket or farm stand, clean it well to remove dirt and debris and paint it with Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint. Spray paint it traditional black - or brush on one of 14 colors in the chalkboard palette with a foam brush. Remember to "scuff" up the pumpkin with the rounded edge of the chalk - then write messages to your kids throughout the season. The paint preserves the pumpkin, so you can have some Halloween fun right through Thanksgiving.
Looking for more inspiration or Halloween ideas? Visit www.paintideas.com or www.facebook.com/RustOleum.