DIY Crafts: Create a Spooky Halloween House

10/17/2013 at 04:33 PM ET

Halloween Craft: Flood Light
Laura Moss

When a lightbulb blows out at home, we’re usually hit with a feeling of aggravation—not inspiration.

But we’re not lifestyle expert Danny Seo, who always sees the unexpected potential in everyday objects. Remember that old bulb from before? He has already put it to great use—as a clever Halloween centerpiece. “It uses something that is truly trash (the burnt-out bulb) and transforms it into something charmingly perfect for Halloween in two super easy steps,” says Seo, author of Upcycling Celebrations.

And he’s just getting started. Check out his four fun Halloween projects, made with materials you can find in and around your house.

Flood Light “Potion” Bottles
Supplies: Burnt out flood lights, wine corks, black electrical tape, black craft paint and a fine tip brush

How to: The simplicity of this tutorial is ridiculously easy: Attach a wine cork to the socket using black electrical tape. Write a spooky message like “Poison” or “Beware!” onto the bulb using black craft paint.

Halloween Craft: Tombstone Treat Boxes
Laura Moss

Tombstone Treat Boxes
Supplies: Old Fedex or UPS boxes, Valspar “stone” faux finish spray paint, craft store letters, scissors, hole punch and twine

How to: Make sure one end of the box is fully secured closed; if not, add a little masking tape to secure it. Use scissors to cut the open side into the silhouette of a tombstone. Spray paint the whole thing using the faux stone finish spray paint; you may need several coats to achieve the desired effect and to fully conceal the graphics on the box. Once dry, use a hole punch to cut out two holes on the side and thread some twine through as a handle. Decorate with letters or silhouettes from the craft store, if desired.

Halloween Craft: Trick or Treat Bag
Laura Moss

Trick or Treat Bag
Supplies: Sturdy paper shopping bag, chalkboard paint, brush, chalk, decorative top (optional)

How to: Paint the entire outside of the bag with several coats of chalkboard paint. If you want, you can cut the existing handles and thread rope in its place to make a more decorative handle. Use chalk to decorate the front with whatever drawing or saying you want.

Halloween Craft: Bones Centerpiece
Laura Moss

“Grow” Your Own Bones
Supplies: Newspaper, masking tape, plaster gauze strips (available at craft stores), bowl of water

How To: Crumple several sheets of newspaper into the shape of a bone by rolling, twisting and bending it into crumpled log; use masking tape around the center to help form the bone shape. Dip strips of the plaster gauze in water and wrap it around the newspaper until the whole thing is covered. Allow to dry overnight.

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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