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Handmade Halloween: Make Spider Sack Decor with the Kids

I’m so excited about this Halloween project, it turned out even better than I’d envisioned.  It’s the quintessential MPMK project – easy enough for kids of all ages to get in on the action and the finished product is a decidedly stylish take on traditional Halloween decor.  And did I mention how inexpensive it is?

 

The basic materials include a pack of water balloons ($1.99), yarn ($3.79), and standard craft glue (already had it but glue should be on back-to-school sale right now). That’s it for the essentials. To really get the full effect, it’s nice to add a few plastic spiders which are on sale pretty much everywhere. Also, to make my sacks glisten like the real thing I opted for white yarn laced with silver strands.

 

 

To make the sacks, I simply adapted this yarn ball tutorial.  The first step is to create a mixture of water and glue.  The perfect glue to water ratio is somewhat of a mystery but you want to err on the side of more glue versus less.

 

 

Next, approximate how much yarn you’ll need to cover your balloon and wrap it around you hand to create a loop (this helps prevent tangles).

 

Then dunk it.

 

Now comes the really hard part, blowing up the water balloons.  I like how the shape of these balloon aren’t perfectly round, like a spider sack, but they’re tough little buggars to inflate.  I’d highly suggest using some kind of a pump or air compressor if at all possible. At the very least, stretch the balloons out as much as your can first (I even filled a few with water and drained them before blowing them up).

 

You probably think I’m exaggerating – I’m not! These suckers are strong and MUCH harder to inflate than regular balloons. Seriously, I was seeing stars with my head between my knees after each tiny balloon. After five I decided I had to quite for fear of passing out and leaving my rug rats to fend for themselves.

 

 

Once you (somehow by the grace of God) have your balloons inflated, squeeze the excess moisture from the yarn and start wrapping.

 

How dense you want to make your spider sack is completely up to you but the finished product should look something kind of like this.

 

When you’re happy with your coverage, give the balloon one last roll in the mixture for good measure. (In case you’re wondering, I did do this project with C and he had one messy good time.  I didn’t include any photos of him because I put the camera away after documenting the first balloon.  I think he appreciates it when I occasionally let him do a craft without sticking a camera in his face.)

 

 

Now comes the second hardest part, waiting around. These little guys take at least overnight to dry and possibly a lot longer. I didn’t practice what I preached on this one and forgot to wring out the yarn before wrapping. As a result it took three full days for the yarn to dry out.

 

 

When the yarn is finally dry, all it takes is a needle or pin and – POP! – you have a spider sack.  After popping the balloon, remove it and throw it away.  Now it’s time to decorate and hang.  I found these sparkly spiders at my local Ben Franklin Craft store, aren’t they fun?

 

 

You only need a very small amount of fishing wire tied around one leg to secure them.

 

 

I also tied a strand of fishing wire to the top of each spider sack for hanging purposes.

 

DIY spider sacks - making these are a Halloween tradition with our kids, they LOVE them.

 

This is how they look suspended from the light fixture above our table.  The fishing wire does a nice job of mimicking the silky thread of a spider in the light.

 

That’s it – pretty spooky right? I really hope you try this one!

 

 

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

feelincrafty September 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Love this idea! I tried to make paper mache with my 3 year old this weekend, but he lost interest pretty fast. I bet his would keep his interest a bit longer. Very cool!!

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Casey September 26, 2011 at 7:50 pm

awesome idea!! another project to add for my Halloween decorating :)

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momdecuisine September 27, 2011 at 11:42 am

This is such a cute, inexpensive party decoration! Love it!

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katieshafer September 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I don’t even have a kid but I will be making these! i just love Halloween!

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Angela September 28, 2011 at 2:27 am

Thanks for this idea! I’m pinning it right now to remember to do with my first/second grade class next month!

Mrs. Lopac Teaches…

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Rhea September 28, 2011 at 4:09 am

These are SO SO cute! What a great idea.

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Amanda October 2, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Just stopping by to let you know that I have featured your project on Fun Family Crafts today! You can see it here
http://funfamilycrafts.com/spider-sacks/

If you have other kid friendly crafts, I’d love it if you would submit them :) If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above.

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Pam (Haslem) Dana October 3, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Loved this idea! I featured it today on Over the Big Moon! Check it out: http://overthebigmoon.blogspot.com/2011/10/pams-fall-and-halloween-decor.html

Thanks!

Pam from http://www.overthebigmoon.com

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Katie October 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Has anyone tried this with embroidery floss? It’s even cheaper than yarn – I wonder if it would work as well.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com October 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm

That’s a great idea Katie, send pics if you try it!

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Aaria October 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm

WOW …Interesting! i like these spider webs… :)

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stephanie October 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm

me to i love them!

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Tattoo art & design October 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Really nice! Try this webs for my kids tomorrow!

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Tattoo art & design October 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Really nice! Try this webs for my kids tomorrow!

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Night_Childe25 October 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm

What a wonderful idea! I’ve no children but you can be sure I’ll be making these myself. Thank you for sharing this.

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Jocelyn Mahoney October 9, 2011 at 12:25 am

I just did these tonight. I used the larger balloons but blew them up smaller. I had a problem with the yarn staying put so instead of wringing out the glue, I left it in the bowl and wound it up all runny but it stayed put that way! Now I just keep rotating the balloons on the wax paper so the glue runs all over and doesn’t make one big puddle. I also didn’t need to roll the balloon in the glue after the yarn was wound up. I assume it will take longer to dry but that’s ok. Great project! Thank you for sharing.

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Anonymous October 10, 2011 at 9:05 am

very cool thanks 4 sharing! i will try this -tomorrow!! :-)

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Claire October 11, 2011 at 10:14 pm

i love it! i haven’t seen something like this yet. great idea!

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The H.I.P. (Helping Inspire Possibilities) Company October 24, 2011 at 6:49 pm

We tried out this craft today with a kindergarten class. They did really well with it.

We referenced your craft on our blog http://thehipcompany.blogspot.com/

Thanks so much for the idea!

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Vicky @ Mess For Less September 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm

These do look simple and are a great way to use up all those water balloons I have leftover from the summer. Pinning now!

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Suzanne October 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

My youngest son’s kinder class has a spider tea party on Halloween and this is going to be the perfect craft to do with them and use for a decoration!

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Susan August 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I am throwing a Lord of the Rings Party for my grandson. We are hiding rings on a leather string for each child inside each sack by putting them in the balloons before we blow them up. They will have to get their rings by going into Shebloms cave and grabbing an egg sack! Thank you so much! I couldn’t figure how to do this until I saw this post!

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Barbara August 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm

I have had round balls made from #10 crochet thread they turns out great. just glue to any shaped balloon, for different shapes. the finer the thread used the thinner the web would be.

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Carol Culp October 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I love this. I just wonder if you could could drizzle your yarn on something like a butter lid. Like you would a funnel cake. And when dried you would have a flat web. I just may have to try…

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Johan October 18, 2013 at 1:44 am

It’s a great idea! However, I had some problem with the string sticking to the balloon. When I popped it the entire thing contracted with the balloon and was a total flop! :( I guess I did one or two things wrong: not enough water with the glue and/or didn’t wait long enough for it to dry. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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