Category Archives: holiday crafts: Halloween (recycled stuff)

Robot Costume For Children: Eco-Friendly Fun

friendly robot costume

My daughter and I had a lot of fun making this goofy robot costume. I did all the cutting and she thought of all the embellishments. I love it when she comes up with great ideas on her own. At our robot party, we made sure we took photos of all the kids wearing the costume. The videos were even better.

Here is a cute/ funny video. Someday I hope to do a little video editing to change the sound track to something a robot would dance to.
To make this costume, we took two boxes and cut a hole for the face and another hole for a child’s head to go up into the head box.
This costume was made entirely with recycled items: cardboard boxes, broken calculator (very cool don’t you think?!), bottle tops (make good knobs), broken watch, previously used but clean aluminum foil, antennas (from broken radios)… even the arms were made from a salvaged piece of dryer vent. So many possibilities.
This project took very little time to complete.
We made this costume for a robot party but you can make one for a Halloween costume or anytime the kids have some free time.
You may want to check out our robot building game that doubles as a party favor.

Handmade Butterfly Fairy Wings Made From Recycled Materials: On Every Girl’s Dress-up Wish List

fairy with butterfly wings
They will flutter into another world of their imagination. What will they discover in this world?

purple butterfly wings

Butterfly wings- food for the imagination

how to make butterfly wings

How to tips:
I used salvaged wire coat hangers (5) and bent them to form the frame for the wings. When I got a shape I liked, I made matching wings for the other side. I connected the wire pieces with some duct tape. (I sketched over the photo so you could see where I placed the wires. Next, I stretched an old pair of nylon tights (cream colored) across the frame. This is one good use for tights that have a hole in them or otherwise need to be thrown out. I first pinned the nylon in place, stretching it as I went around. I cut off the extra material and hand sewed in place, rolling the edge around the wire to cover it. I also sewed the top wings to the bottom wings. I only sewed half way because I wanted the wings to spread apart a little. After making some sketches of butterfly wings, I painted them. I embellished the wings with a small piece of a black boa (found at a craft store) and some ribbon.
I made these wings 7 or so years ago and they still look good despite all the use.

butterfly fairy girl

Halloween Mood Lighting: Make Crafty Lights Out Of X-rays!

X-rays from my husband’s head MRI and x-ray from his broken elbow turned out to be perfect for making Halloween themed décor. X-rays by their very nature are great when put in front of a light so it wasn’t much of a leap to come up with these lighting ideas. You will need to ask around for unwanted x-rays. Your friends will think you are weird but who cares? Or, ask your vet if they have any animal x-rays that they will be throwing away.


Night light
How to: Cover a night-light with a portion of an x-ray. I used a creepy head x-ray because of the eyeballs at the bottom.


Candle Votive
How to: Cut the x-ray in a rectangle of desired proportions. The ones pictured here are 5 ½ inches tall. Bring the sides around and overlap a little. You could use a stapler or glue but I used a paper clip on the top and one on the bottom because I can easily unroll them for storage. Inside you can use small jars to put in tea lights or a votive. Be careful of where you place your candles because the bottom of the jars can get hot.
These x-rays are creepy looking and therefore provide great mood lighting for a Halloween party!


Lamp shade
How to: Get a second -hand lamp and use the shade as a stencil to cut out a new shade out of an x-ray. Use black electrical tape along the seam. Also, you can use the tape to trim around the top and bottom of the lampshade.

bones +skulls+innards = Halloween

Easy Ghost String-Lights Made From Recycled Single Serving Milk Bottles

How to:
Set aside suitable single serving milk bottles. Make sure you wash them out really well; old milk smells really bad. I got these bottles at Chick-Fil-A. If you don’t eat at that restaurant, ask all your friends to save them for you or find a similar bottle elsewhere. Depending on your needs, you may want to start collecting well in advance. (I’ve been known to save all year or longer for projects.)
Paint on the faces with black acrylic paint and let dry. Your kids will want to make some too! I accidently discovered that if you paint the face and let it dry a little but not all the way, you can use your brush to slide around the paint to make even scarier faces.
When your paint is dry, use a hole- punch to make two holes at the top of the bottles (see arrows in picture). Then use scrap ribbon or wire to attach your ghosts to a set of string-lights: use the holes you just made. Put one ghost over each light.

Easy Ghost Party Favors Made From Recycled Single Serving Milk Bottles

How to:
Set aside suitable single serving milk bottles. Make sure you wash them out really well; old milk smells really bad. I got these bottles at Chick-Fil-A. If you don’t eat at that restaurant, ask all your friends to save them for you or find a similar bottle elsewhere. Depending on your needs, you may want to start collecting well in advance. (I’ve been known to save all year or longer for projects.)


Paint on the faces with black acrylic paint and let dry. Alternatively this might be an activity for guests at your Halloween party. Even young children can do this simple craft. Make a few in advance to set out as examples. I accidentally discovered that if you paint the face and let it dry a little but not all the way, you can use your brush to slide around the paint to make even scarier faces.


Print out ghostly messages on your computer, cut into strips and glue to the bottom of each bottle (See photo.) Write “Find a trick or treat inside. Maybe both”. Or write ” No trick, there is a treat inside!”
For fun, you may want to surprise your guests with a “trick” inside. Take a strip of paper and fold it accordion style with the word “Boo!” at the end. Glue the other end to the inside of the bottle cap. Children will find it when they open their bottle.

Fill these Halloween themed party favors with gummy worms or other treats.