Samhain Crafts

Occasionally you will find a beautiful, delicate spider web that has been woven overnight in a spot that simply won't do - for instance in the middle of a stair or entryway.  When that happens, try this technique taught to me by a lovely San Francisco witch 32 years ago:

Gently mist the web using a can of white spray paint (Make sure the spider isn't around - You don't want to hurt her!)  Then take a piece of black construction paper and, placing it behind the web, carefully raise it up and towards you "lifting" the web onto the paper as you do.  Seal your picture with several coats of spray varnish.

After that,  you can either frame it as a work of art in itself (which it is!) or use it as a mat background for a treasured photo.



Ancestor Tree


Find and cut a gnarly old twisted, twiggy branch from a tree.

Spray paint it black and then use screws to attach the cut end to a piece of plywood also painted black.

Now, you know the cobweb stuff you can buy at this time of year?  Get some of that and puff and clump it to make “fog” around the base of the tree.  You can also take some thin strands to weave through the twig “branches” to make spider webs.

On old looking pieces of yellowed parchment paper (available at any stationery, office or computer supply store) that have been cut into small squares, write the names of deceased family members and ancestors – one  name on each square of parchment.  Another option is to actually print out small photos of your loved ones.

Using whatever glue you have on hand, glue more black twigs around each piece of parchment to create a frame.  You can make some frames square, others round, some octagonal – whatever!

Take some natural brown twine and glue that onto the frames to create a loop for hanging the names from the “branches” of your ancestor tree.

It’s fun to dress your tree up with little seasonal decorations that you find in stores at this time: small plastic spiders, owls and crows, tiny skeletons or skulls or even make little ghosts out of tissue paper or gauze fabric to hang from the branches between the names and photos.

Our family likes to skewer candy corn and candy pumpkins with old hooks left over from Yule tree ornaments and hang those for the kids to nibble on.  It draws their attention to the tree, makes it more fun and enticing, and gives you an opportunity to tell them about the people behind the names that are hung there.

You can even try hanging one treat on each name and then before getting the treat, ask your child to remember and tell you something about that person.  If your child is very young, you can adjust this to letting them hear a little story about that person as they enjoy the treat.

The Ancestor Tree makes a nice altar decoration and can be surrounded by more old photographs and mementos handed down through the family.

Text on this page copyright 2003 Lora Craig-Gaddis
Pictures from public domain clipart

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