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Last-minute Halloween ideas

Halloween may have been commercialised (and over-sexualised) over the years, but its ancient origins are steeped in celebration, superstition, and a reverence for the dearly departed.

Also known as All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween has been traced back roughly 2,000 years to a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain – pronounced “sah-win” – that literally means “summer’s end” in Gaelic. A period of connection, community and celebration, it was a time of the year when the veil between the living and the dead was felt to be at its thinnest.

In central and southern Mexico, indigenous people have long celebrated their deceased relatives in an elaborate and sacred festival known as the Day of the Dead, which this year featured giant skeleton marionettes and more than 1,000 costumed performers.

Closer to home, hundreds of school kids will be trick or treating this afternoon, so if you need a little last-minute inspiration, here are some ideas for skull face painting, tricks, treats and costumes.



Face painting

This easy-to-follow video tutorial shows you how to paint the type of face skull popularised by Mexico’s Day of the Dead. It’s a great solution if you’re homemade costume needs a boost.



These treats not only look the part but taste delicious too. Image and recipe on Annie’s Eats


Sugar treats

If you have time today and you like baking, these Halloween sugar cookies not only look the part but taste delicious too! There are a few different designs to inspire you here, while the recipe for the biscuit part is here.

However, if the thought of baking from scratch makes you break out in hives (like it does to me), you’ll find a few great savoury ideas here.



Trick neighbour kids with a harmless Halloween prank.


Clever tricks

From a few fake spiders thrown in to the lolly container to wearing a scary mask when you open the door, it doesn’t take much to trick their kids while they’re treating.

One simple example is to cut out a hand-sized hole in the bottom of a large takeaway container or cardboard box. Cover it with tissue paper then fill it with chocolate or lollies. When a trick or treater reaches in to grab a few treats, pop your hand through the tissue paper to grab his or her hand.


Halloween costumes don’t have to be expensive – just spooky!


Crafty costumes

You don’t need to spend a fortune on buying or hiring a Halloween costume. Here’s a great example of one you can make from items you’re likely to have at home.



Pet costume

I’m not ashamed to say we regularly dress up our two dogs for our own enjoyment, with the kids just last week entering them in a community dog competition (one was dressed as a ballerina while the other wore a Harry Potter costume.) If you plan on taking pet trick or treating with the kids after school, or you just want to amuse yourself at home tonight, check out these cute costume ideas.


Top image courtesy of Veda Dante

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Veda Dante

Veda Dante is an accomplished journalist, consultant and content creator who has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about everything from tourism, hospitality and health to architecture, pools and luxury goods. When she’s not producing copy for clients, this self-confessed word nerd is usually writing and photographing the Byron Bay region for her blog

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.