Straight from the breakfast table, here’s a craft that children can do to help decorate for Halloween night.
This craft is twice as sweet because it uses one-serving cereal boxes, those diminutive cubes that kids beg parents to buy for their tiny size and, often, their sugar content.
Rachel Fuller, a librarian at the Standley Lake Public Library in Arvada, Colo., created these little cereal-box-monsters for young children several years ago and has returned to them many times since. “It was such a hit that we used it again with an all-ages group this year,” she says.
Experiment with different sizes and shapes of boxes to create a monster menagerie (round oatmeal containers work well, too, for example.) Fake fur can be costly, however, so to keep costs low, stick with the little cereal boxes.
Fuller recommends having several colors of fake fur and felt, Styrofoam balls, pipe cleaners, markers and stickers. Pom-poms, googly eyes and sequins — anything that sparkles — also work well.
Parents need to pre-cut the boxes and, for younger children, the fabric.
This is one of those rare crafts in which kids need to use lots of craft glue to get the heavy fake fur to stick to the box.
Another tricky step: punching holes through the heavy fabric and cardboard box to insert arms, antennae — whatever kids dream up. Adults can use an awl for this step.
“Despite these couple of difficulties, the kids absolutely loved it, and the monsters turned out great,” Fuller says.
It’s the sugar-overload season — the perfect time to indulge the kids by picking up a pack of sample, sugary cereals, colorful fake fur, and a few crafting odds and ends to stir up some monster madness.
Mad for Monsters Craft
(Instructions below are for use with .95-ounce cereal boxes; if using larger boxes, adapt the measurements accordingly.)
• One-serving (.95-ounce) cereal boxes
• Colorful fake fur fabric (1/4 yard or smaller)
• Small Styrofoam balls and/or pom poms (various sizes)
• Pipe cleaners
• Box cutter
• Sharp scissors
• White craft glue, such as Elmer’s
• Ruler or tape measure
• Heavy-stock paper or poster board (for template)
Optional craft supplies:
• Felt (various colors)
• Googly eyes
- Tape the cereal box closed. An inch to 1 1/2 inches from the top, and using box cutters or sharp scissors, cut the box on three sides: both ends and one front side, so the box flips open.
- With the heavy-stock paper, create two templates: one for the monster body and the other for its head. For the body, measure the box length and width from the cut made in step 1. (Note that not all one-serving cereal boxes are the same size. The .95-ounce box measures 5-by-9 1/4 inches.)
- For the monster head template, fold the heavy-stock paper over the top of the box (the end with the cut made in step 1). Mark where the paper hits the cut edge along the box circumference. Using this as your guide, cut the paper into the shape of a “plus” sign, and according to the width of the box’s four sides (e.g., for a .95-ounce box, the two larger sides are 3 inches and the two narrower sides are 1 3/4 inches). This template makes it easier to cut fur fabric that drops right over the four sides of the box.
- Once the templates are made, use them to cut out the monster body and head from fake fur fabric and/or felt. Beginning with the body, glue this onto the box. Use a lot of craft glue, and hold for a few minutes to secure. Then, glue the monster head fabric or felt into place.
- Decorate with the accessories, making sure an older teenager or adult pokes the holes necessary for adding arms, antennae, etc.
- Once dry, these can be filled with wrapped Halloween candy.