Make your own Halloween party essentials

How to make Halloween Party Bunting, Meringue Ghosts, Chocolate Spider Cupcakes and Pumpkin Lanterns

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Make your own Hallowe'en party essentials

HALLOWEEN PARTY BUNTING
You’ll need: scrap paper (spooky colours and patterns of your choosing); string; sticky tape; craft knife; scissors.

1. Cut out your bunting triangles. You can measure out your triangle shapes or use a template to keep them uniform. Create slightly jauntier bunting by cutting different sized triangles.

2. Decide what Halloween shapes or messages you want to feature on your bunting. With your craft knife, cut out shapes/lettering from your triangles. Easy!

3. For a quick, pre-party approach to putting your bunting together, simply lay your triangles out in order (face down) and cut a length of string (leaving enough spare at each end for hanging). Place the string along the straight edge of your line of triangles.

4. Make a 1cm fold on the straight edge of the triangle over the string and hold in place with a little bit of sticky tape. Work along your triangle line until each is secured onto the string. Voila! Easy peasy DIY decorations.

MERINGUE GHOSTS
You’ll need: 3 egg whites; 1/4 tsp vanilla extract; 150g caster sugar; 1/4 tsp salt; round sweets or cake decorations; chocolate chips.

1. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’re very fluffy and hold a stiff peak.

2. Whisk in the vanilla slowly, a teaspoon at a time, and incorporate the sugar. Once all the sugar has been added, sprinkle in the salt.

3. Continue whisking until shiny and stiff. When the mixture is rubbed between the fingers there should be little to no grittiness.

4. Line a baking sheet with non-stick greaseproof paper. Fit a piping bag with a large plain tip and fill with the meringue mixture. Pipe a mound of meringue onto the sheet while drawing the bag upwards to make the ghost shape. Continue until all the mixture is used, leaving a little space between each ghost.

5. Place the sweets and chocolate chips onto each ghost shape to make eyes and a mouth.

6. Place the sheet into the oven and bake at 110° for approximately one and a half hours. The meringues are done when they are dry and crumbly and can be removed from the sheet without sticking. Turn off the heat in the oven and leave the meringues to cool until the oven is completely cold. They will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.

CHOCOLATE SPIDER CUPCAKES
You’ll need: 410g plain flour; 500g caster sugar; 130g cocoa; 1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda; 2 1/2 tsp baking powder; 1 tsp salt; 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk; 300ml milk; 150ml vegetable oil; 300ml hot water; 1 tsp vanilla extract; chocolate sprinkles; white chocolate chips; small round sweets or silver balls; liquorice strings or fruit winders cut to 2” lengths.

1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients; flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. In another mixing bowl, add the eggs and yolk, milk, oil, water and vanilla. Whisk to combine.

3. To make cupcakes, line two 12-cup pans with paper liners. Fill each cup a little more that half full. Bake at 180°for approx. 20 minutes, until well risen and firm to the touch.

4. You will have enough mix left over for five to six more cupcakes, so just bake those once the initial batch are out of the pans.

5. Allow the cakes to cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before icing.

Meanwhile, make the icing …
You’ll need: 500g icing sugar; 125g butter, at room temperature; 100g melted plain chocolate, cooled; 2 tbsp milk plus more if needed.

1. In the bowl of the food processor, combine the butter and icing sugar until lump-free. Add in the chocolate and run the processor until mixed in. Add the milk and let the processor run, drizzling in extra milk as needed to create a smooth, spreadable frosting that will hold its shape.

2. Fit a piping bag with a large plain tip and fill with the chocolate icing. Pipe a generous dollop of icing onto each cupcake. Cover the icing with chocolate sprinkles, insert the liquorice strings into the sides of the sprinkle-covered icing to make legs. Add two sweets to make eyes. Repeat until all the cakes are iced!

PUMPKIN LANTERN
You’ll need: a large pumpkin.
1. Use a sharp knife to cut a hole in the top of your pumpkin (angle the knife downwards if you’d like your lid to stay on better). Next, scoop out the pulp and seeds from the inside using a large spoon.

2. Now it’s time to plan your design. You can go at it freeform, draw on a design with a pen or find a template (there are plenty to download online).

3.Carve along your design using a small, sharp knife, careful to help kids with this step! To light your jack-o’-lantern, scoop a little hollow in the bottom of the inside of the pumpkin to place a tealight in a holder.

4. For a something a bit unusual try a variety of squashes and pumpkins – they come in all sizes, shapes and colours. You might also try carving the top of your pumpkin, making the stem look like a nose. 5.To stop your pumpkin drying out, coat the edges with Vaseline – or if it does shrivel, soak it in water overnight.

DISGUISES
You’ll need: To get down to the Made in the Shade Maisonette, De Courcy’s Arcade, Glasgow.

1. DIY Fox Face Mask (£5) For the truly lazy (and those who like Autumnwatch) you can purchase this lovely soft mask (pictured) from The Maisonette. Wear something furry, skulk, and bingo – you’re a fantastic Mr or Mrs.

2. Moustache-To-Go (£6) A moustache on a stick. That is all. Not the scariest outfit but a good talking point at parties. ‘Where did you get that moustache on a stick?’ ‘Oh, at the Made in the Shade Maisonette.’ Etc.

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