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I didn’t grow up going to Trunk or Treat, but they seem to be everywhere with my kids. It kind of just seems like another way for moms to show off a Pinterest masterpiece and sugar up some kids all in the name of “fun”. Admittedly, I am a bit of a Halloween Scrooge (probably because my birthday is the day before and it’s always been eclipsed by Halloween), but my kids can’t get enough, so I oblige.
Holiday activities can get out of hand quickly, and Trunk or Treat decorations are no exception. A quick Pinterest search will turn up countless ridiculous trunks decorated full tilt. Don’t get me wrong, they are cute and I can appreciate festive decor. But, all the trunk or treats I’ve been to don’t usually have a ton of set up time, happen on a weeknight, and they get disassembled after a an hour or two on a weeknight. If I’m going to put in a ton of effort, it’s not for something that will only last an hour or two.
So if you’ve got a Trunk or Treat on the calendar, but don’t have ton of time or energy to put into it, we’ve got a couple of ideas for you.
This option is best suited for the Okayest Mom in all of us. Think someone who forgot they signed up to decorate a trunk and has 30 minutes until show time. Or maybe the PTC is begging people to help because they don’t have enough and you’re easily guilted into helping at the last minute.
The ghost is not particularly overwhelming, so go ahead and grab a bag of the good candy (better just get the full size bars) while you’re at the store to distract the kids.
Shopping Time: 5 minutes tops! I found everything at the dollar store.
Prep Time Prior to Trunk or Treat: 0 minutes!
Assembly Time at Trunk or Treat: 2 minutes, possibly less if you aren’t fighting the wind like we were.
- White disposable tablecloth or white bedsheet
- Black construction paper
- Clear packing tape
How to Make a Ghost Trunk:
- Tape the disposable tablecloth around the opening of your trunk or tailgate using the clear packing tape. We recommend tape it vertically if it will fit across your tailgate and leaving it open at the bottom to give a billowy ghost effect.
- Cut eyes and a mouth out of black construction paper and attach to the tablecloth. We went with the classic round eyes and oblong mouth for our ghost.
- If you have enough at the bottom (we didn’t), trim the edges into a wavy line to make it more ghost like.
Possible Add Ons:
- Add a bubble machine. I have never met a kid that wasn’t enchanted by bubbles.
- Cut a hole for the mouth and have kids toss a ball or bean bag in for a piece of candy.
- Play spooky music. Just don’t forget to turn your car on periodically!
Is this ghost going to win any awards at your Trunk or Treat? No. But it’s perfect for a non-crafty mom to still participate and as long as there’s candy, it’s doubtful you’ll hear a complaint.
Black Cat Trunk
Shopping Time: 30 minutes- 1 hour. This one requires a two different stops at the hardware store and the dollar store.
Prep Time Prior to Trunk or Treat: 10-15 minutes!
Assembly Time at Trunk or Treat: 10 minutes, possibly less if you aren’t fighting the wind like we were.
- Black disposable tablecloth
- White foam board
- Black foam board
- Pink construction paper
- Large google eyes or big white paper plates and small green paper plates
- Foam pipe insulation or Black Twisting Balloons (the smallest pack of balloons I could find had 100, so I opted for 3 pieces of foam cut in half)
- Clear packing tape
How to Make a Black Cat Trunk:
Pre-Trunk or Treat Prep
- Cut two large triangles out of the black foam board. These will be your ears. I also added smaller pink triangles for a little more visual interest.
- Cut a pink triangle for the nose. You can use construction paper, or foam covered in construction paper to make it sturdier.
- Cut the foam tubes in half with a serrated knife.
- Cut teeth out of the white foam board.
- If using paper plates, glue the green plate onto the white plate. Cut slits out of black construction paper and glue that to the green plate.
Assembly of the Black Cat
- Hang the black tablecloth around the tailgate using packing tape, just like with the ghost above.
- On top of the tailgate, attach the ears. There is no such thing as too much tape to get these things to stay in place. We taped the back and front to make it more secure.
- Attach the sticky googly eyes (or the paper plates using tape), nose, whiskers and teeth with packing tape.
Don’t feel like you need an elaborate design to participate in Trunk or Treat with your children. There will always be a mom who went overboard (And thank god, because it’s fun and we appreciate it and good for her for doing what she loves!), but don’t let not being that mom discourage you. Each holiday is so loaded with commitments competing for your time. Don’t feel obligated to spend a million dollars and an entire weekend just to make memories with your kids.
Have you ever done a Trunk or Treat event? How did you decorate your trunk?
Here are a few other Halloween posts you might enjoy: