Halloween Creativity Lessons and the “Two Pipe Cleaner Spider Recipe”

Time for a timely re-broadcast of my daughter’s Halloween advice from FIVE (how could it be so long?!) years ago … ENJOY!

Happy Halloween! I am SO excited that Halloween is kicking off creativity week! Could it be more perfect? It seems that even self proclaimed “I’m not Creative.” types can even jump in on the fun. I suppose, sometimes I even fall into the category. I will create such grandiose visions of how things are supposed to go that I end up paralyzing myself. My four year old does not share my affliction and with her help I have been enjoying a fun and creative Halloween season.

For one of our projects, the two of us have been constructing an eerie display in our living room:


It has been so much fun even as it has shown distinct differences in our creative styles. I am strategic, wondering what combination of things will create “the perfect look.” Regular readers, may remember this neurosis, which was revealed when we constructed The Jungle a while back.  My girl has a different approach, she  just jumps in, trying her hand at anything. For example, when we decided we wanted bats, I immediately went to google, looking for a “perfect template.” Meanwhile, my girl just started cutting and taping with the black paper I had liberally strewn about. When we were done this is what we had:

The first bat is mine. I spent WAY too much time searching for a great template because I feared I wouldn’t be able to “get it right” on my own. My girl just had fun and got to work. In the end her bat is even more realistically depicted hanging by it’s feet. I was trying way too hard and once again my four year old taught me something. When it came time for ghosts I totally lightened up and even let a couple of mine wear “unrealistic” smiles (as if any of us have any idea what a proper ghost should look like!)

Have you also been a victim of “Trying too hard” or trying to “get it perfect?”

If so I would heartily recommend lightening up.

Take some advice from a very wise four year old and just jump right in.



The Two Pipe Cleaner Spider Recipe – a tutorial, narrated by my four year old.

Some of the many inhabitants of our living room web include the bats mentioned above, now several kinds of ghosts and lots of spiders. I decided I didn’t want to buy a whole bunch of plastic spiders but instead wanted to make some. We experimented for a while and eventually came up with this very satisfactory pipe cleaner spider. Googley eyes could be added for additional fun, but we chose to keep ours plain.

“Mommy, can I give the recipe for the spiders?”

“Sure, go ahead. I am sure everyone would like to learn how.”


Step 1 – Take two pipe cleaners.”

Step 2– Bend it up.”  (Fold one in half and then in half again)

Step 3 – Make a circle with next pipe cleaner.”  (Wrap second pipe cleaner around first to make spider body)

“Step 6…”

I interject, “I think we were on four.”

“Oh four. I’m silly.

Step 4– “Cut the loops. Mommy’s scissors work better.”

Step 5– Bend the legs and spread them out.”

Step 6– You have a spider.”

“What is the next step?”

I reply, “I don’t think there is a next step we are done.”

“No, what is the next number?

Seven. The next number would be seven.

Step 7– Say AHHH YA! and throw it into your web!”

Personally, I totally would have missed the AHHH YA! part!! But let me tell you, it totally completes the experience!

Let us know if you try out our tutorial. Sweets will really enjoy knowing if someone tries her recipe!

P.S. If you enjoyed this you may also want to follow @StuffAKidSays my new Twitter feed where I share all the funny #StuffMyGirlSays as well as other profound and delightful things kids say!

7 thoughts on “Halloween Creativity Lessons and the “Two Pipe Cleaner Spider Recipe”

  1. Karen B says:

    Love this post and thank Sweets for her recipe – I’ll pass it on to my daughter – who is a bit older at 13, but will still enjoy trying it out. She is a bit like Sweets and will try anything with little fear of it not working – this halloween she bought some black fabric and stitiched it into a cloak using my sewing machine – much better than I could have done! She didn’t consider that she couldn’t do it, she just went ahed and did it. I, like you, on the other hand would have searched the net for patterns and then possibly not finished it because it wasn’t turning out perfectly. I have the same problem with my cards and crafting, but today I have resolved to just do it because I enjoy it and not worry how it turns out – I expect it will be better than I anticipate!!

  2. HA!!!! The AAHhhh, Ya! Is the BEST EVER! I love the bat that J made and the spider would be great…if it weren’t a spider. I hate spiders. LOL! She did a fabulous job with the tutorial!

  3. This is the sweetest Halloween post I’ve ever read, Kathy!
    I loved the way you mapped how we can learn to unleash our creativity from the child inside of us. And I also loved the tutorial Sweets shared! Makes me want to be a child again 🙂

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