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A DIY Halloween craft that’s guaranteed to grab eyeballs

Halloween wreath
A super easy craft to do with the kids (or by yourself — we won’t judge!): “Somebody’s Watching You” Halloween wreath.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times )

Costume-clad trick-or-treaters know that setting the tone for scary good Halloween style starts at the front door, and the pros at Etsy.com, the art and craft e-commerce website, agree.

“Halloween is a time for [people] to express creativity,” said Dayna Isom Johnson, trend expert at Etsy.com and celebrity judge for NBC’s competitive crafting show, “Making It.” “Whether you want to go for a simple door wreath or deck out the whole porch, the sky is the limit.”

This year, the crafting queen said “Retro-ween” designs are trending after several seasons of celebrating with pretty pastel and neon-colored pumpkins. “That’s not to say those things are gone,” said Isom Johnson, “but I think we are circling back to a traditional way of looking at Halloween and being very nostalgic.”

Crafting queen and Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson.
Crafting queen and Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson.
(Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
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The very vintage vibe encompasses everything from old-fashioned paper decorations and classic black and orange colors to a resurgence of guts and gore circa 1980s and ’90s. “When you think of the 1980s and ’90s, you think of those old Freddy movies and horror films,” said Isom Johnson, “and that absolutely ties in to what we are seeing in today’s decor.”

Statistically, searches on Etsy for “vintage Halloween decor” increased by 35%, while online quests for “ghost planters” (think: Pac-Man ghosties and Super Mario Boos) rose 137%, and “monster planters” (showcasing designs inspired by gargoyles, Godzilla, zombie gnomes, Frankenstein, Pokemon characters and more) spiked 60% over last year.

Front-door decals, temporary peel-and-stick designs in a range of spooky styles and phrases are also on point featuring images of spiders, rats, pumpkin faces, bloody handprints and ghosts as well as words and phrases such as“Boo!” and “Happy Halloween,” of course, and “Home of the Wicked Witch and all her little monsters.” The decals can also be personalized with bewitching words or family names and applied to faux pumpkins for a look that is uniquely your own.

Looking to cast your own spell? Isom Johnson shared her step-by-step DIY process for cranking up the creep factor.

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“Somebody’s Watching You” DIY Halloween Wreath

Keep an eye (or several) on candy-seeking tricksters with a haunting DIY Halloween wreath by Isom Johnson that is frightfully fun and easy to assemble.

“It’s definitely a family-friendly craft,” said Isom Johnson of the creepy-but-cute foam wreath covered in black ribbon and adorned with pingpong balls and googly eyes.

“I like this project because you can get as spooky as you want,” she said, “you can easily add plastic spiders or spider webs, there are lots of different ways to take it to the next level, although I think the eyeballs alone are really striking. It’s a more elevated look than your typical Halloween wreath.”

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In addition to decking out the front door, the wreath could also hang above a party buffet or be laid out as a table centerpiece around the base of a hurricane candle.

There's no "right" or "wrong" way to do it. Just have fun.
There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. Just have fun.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Simple materials and a beginner skill level make this craft a winner. Just don’t challenge it to a staring contest. Boooo-yah!

Materials: Foam ring form, black ribbon, fabric glue (or optional hot glue and glue gun), box of white pingpong balls, box of orange pingpong balls. googly craft eyes in assorted sizes, neon orange fabric spray paint.

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1. Wrap black ribbon around a foam ring form to cover completely. Optional: Add a loop of ribbon to the back for hanging. Secure all ribbon to the ring with fabric glue and let dry overnight.

2. Lightly spray the white pingpong balls with a spritz of neon orange spray paint to create a “spookier” effect, and let dry.

3. Next, glue a googly eye or two onto each pingpong ball.

4. Glue the “eyeballs” to the wreath in layers, allowing each layer to fully dry before applying the next round. The more the merrier. Vary the placement and angles of the eyes to make it more interesting.

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Optional: Glue on additional spooky stuff such as plastic spiders and cobwebs.


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