Wednesday, September 26, 2018

DIY Halloween Luminaries with Laura Bickle

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and I love making decorations for this time of year. I looked around at the materials I had rolling around my craft room and raided the displays at the dollar store to come up with some Halloween luminaries to perch in my windows.

For this project, I used:

·        Two wide-mouth jars
·        A plastic witch
·        A plastic ghost
·        Black sand
·        Glue gun and glue sticks
·        Plastic spider rings
·        Ribbon
·        Two LED light strings – I used pumpkins and bats

I already had the jars, glue, spiders, and ribbon, but found the LED lights, sand, witch, and ghost at my local dollar store. So I’ve invested about five bucks in this project. I won’t too feel bad if it doesn’t turn out!

First thing I did was stuff the witch in a jar and the ghost in jars. I had originally intended to use mason jars, but I didn’t have any with mouths wide enough to squeeze the plastic sculptures through. So I used some plastic jars I had handy. I settled the witch and ghost in their new homes, then poured some black sand around their feet to simulate ground. You could also use glitter or black salt or fine pebbles.

Then I put some batteries in my lights and tested them out. I think that I could use fairy lights for this step, too, but I liked the bats and pumpkins.

I arranged the light strings in the jars. I used a pencil to push them around so that they showed most clearly from the front. I made sure that the tail of the light string, with the battery pack, extended outside of the jars. I wanted to be able to turn my luminaries on and off and change batteries without digging the whole string out of the jar, though you could leave it in the jar, too. Here’s what they looked like:


Then, I screwed on the lids. Since my lids were plastic, they didn’t damage the thin wire. I made sure that the wire fed out the back side of the jar. If I needed more room, I would have cut out part of the lid or put the pack behind the figure inside the jar, but this seemed to work fine with these materials.

I cut two lengths of ribbon and fished out a couple of spider rings from the bag of spiders. I cut the ring part off the spiders so that they would lie flat.

I made a bow with each ribbon and glued one to the top of each jar. In the center of the bow, I glued a spider.

And I was done! Here’s what my finished luminaries look like:

I can’t wait to put these in my window on Halloween!

Laura Bickle 

Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal/Fantasy

Book Description:

The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.

Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.

Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.

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About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.

More information about Laura’s work can be found at 

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