Halloween Decor With A Kick

If you're planning on doing a little Halloween decorating, this year you can cast new spells and transform your traditional Halloween decor. Jodi Levine, craft editor at Martha Stewart Living magazine, has some decorating tricks and treats for you and your kids.

First project: Add some twinkle to your carved pumpkins. Cut a hole in the bottom of a pumpkin that is large enough for you to fit your hand in comfortably. Remove flesh and seeds and then scrap inner wall until it is about one-quarter inch thick. Using a drill, cut tiny holes into the pumpkin from the outside and insert string of lights through bottom, pushing lights through the tiny holes. Plug in! Kids can help put the lights in.

Second project: Pumpkin lollipop holder. Use a Styrofoam pumpkin (the moisture in a real pumpkin will turn the lollipop's paper sticks soggy). Cover every other rib with a low-tack masking tape, and then, make dots every 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 on the tape. Punch through dots with an awl (or you can use that power drill again). Fill the holes with lollipops. Kids can help insert the lollipops, and you can keep this pumpkin year after year.

Third project: Votive bags (luminaries). You need two same-sized bags for each lantern. Using a stencil, outline letters, phrases or designs on one bag and cut out with utility knife. Fold top edge of second bag over twice. Trim top of stenciled bag so that it is slightly shorter than the bag with folded edges. Run a glue stick around the edges of letters on the inside of the bag. Place folded bag inside cut out bag, tucking the stenciled bag under the folded edge of its companion bag. Press bags together. Add sand to bottom of votive bag and insert candle in its glass. Light!

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