I'm slowly beginning to decorate for Halloween, trying to shake off the remnants of Christmas and spring assignments and get into a seasonal frame of mind. I thought I'd start with a project that's simple enough for kids to participate in, a garland made from bone shaped dog biscuits. Here are the directions:
bone-shaped dog biscuits that have holes at each end (I used Ol' Roy brand, which I found at Walmart. I don't know how good they are to feed your dog, but they're great for crafting!)
water-based, acrylic craft paint in warm white or ivory and a slightly deeper color (optional) for accenting
small natural sponge or craft paintbrush
narrow-tipped awl or a long nail
thin cord or waxed twine
1. Pick out bones that are in good shape (I used mostly intact bones, but using some that are chipped at the edges will only add to creepiness of your garland) and paint them with warm white or ivory paint, using either a dampened natural sponge or a paintbrush. (You can usually find small natural sponges at craft stores. I like to use them to paint because they eliminate harsh lines and brush strokes.) Set aside to dry. When the paint has dried, you can dab on the slightly darker color paint (using a sponge is best for this) to create an aged effect, if desired.
2. When the bones are completely dry, use the awl or a nail to gently push through the hole that's already on each end. This is how you'll string your garland together.
3. Cut your cord into 7 or 8-inch lengths and tie the bones together, knotting each piece of cord in the back and trimming the ends. (Leave a slight gap between the bones so that the garland can curve gracefully.) Hang, using cup hooks or nails.
This idea was first featured in a Halloween story that I worked on for Parents magazine. See more fun decor ideas from that feature here.