Keepsake Halloween Banner

I realize it’s a little last-minute to be suggesting this, but this is easy and quick, and you probably have some stuff hanging around the house that you can use without having to make a trip to the store. It’s one of those things you can pull out every year, and the kids will reminisce and tell stories of Halloweens past. Truly, it would look really cool draped along a hearth or down a banister, but since I have neither, let’s just use our imaginations to picture it there – with moody candles and dim lighting too.

The ghosts on this banner are footprints – in white tempera paint on black paper (either construction or card stock). Little googly eyes give them some personality, and the photos are commemorative of the season – a trip to the pumpkin patch, your carving masterpieces, this year’s (and last year’s, and the years’ before that. . .) costumes. With time, it turns into a chronicle of happy Halloweens and autumn memories that can be displayed and updated each year. This is pretty darn simple – some paper trimming, some gluing, and clipping the final products to a stretch of ribbon with mini clothes pins. I doubt you do, but if you need it, see below for a quick little tutorial on how to make yours happen soon! Quick! Before Halloween is over!

Black, Orange, and White card stock or construction paper
Acid-free glue
Photos from this autumn/Halloween and years past
White tempera paint, paper plates, and wet wipes
Googly eyes
Ribbon to twine
Mini clothes pins
Black marker


For the ghosts, squirt a bit of the tempera paint on a paper plate and spread it around evenly in an area large enough for your child’s foot.
Set a piece of black paper next to the plate.
Have your child carefully step onto the white paint with his foot, then gently pull his foot out of the paint and press it onto the black paper. (we did ours outside to prevent ghost footprints from appearing all over the floor of the house). Set them aside, and away from curious little hands, to dry.

While the paint is drying, start gathering your papers and cropping them to frame your favorite photos. My personal preference is to have photos printed with a white borders for a crisper finish. Crop your solid colors (black or orange) to be about 1/4″ larger than your photo on each side, then crop your next solid color to be about 1/4″ larger than that. Start your layering by first gluing your photo to the smaller ‘frame’, then glue those two to the larger one. Repeat this with all your photos.

See in this photo at the top? Those cropping tools? They’re pretty much the best crafting gift anyone has ever given me. Cropping paper and photos and trimming random shapes got about a million times easier when these cutters came into my life.

Next, when your ghost prints are dry, trim them with about a half-inch border of black on all edges. Rest them on a white piece of paper, and trace a nice, loose ghost outline about a half-inch larger on all sides. Then cut out your white border, and glue it to the back of your ghost.

Once your ghosts are all glued together, add on the googly eyes with a little dab of glue, and draw on a ghostie mouth with a black magic marker.

Now use mini clothes pins to clip all those cropped, trimmed, glued and decorated photos and ghosts to a stretch of ribbon or twine, and hang it up!

You’re done! Phew! With just enough time to enjoy it this Halloween.
But NEXT year — NOW we’re talkin’! Next year you’re already SO done. You’re actually way ahead of the game. . . .

*Some of the example photos used in this project were clipped from the October 2011 issue of Family Fun magazine.

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