Take the scream out of Hallowe'en

PUBLISHED: 17:45 14 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:47 10 June 2010

With Hallowe en now one of the biggest seasonal event behind Christmas and Easter, Don t let Devon go to waste is offering Devon families advice and fun ideas on how to take the scream out of Halloween.

With Hallowe'en now one of the biggest seasonal event behind Christmas and Easter, 'Don't let Devon go to waste' is offering Devon families advice and fun ideas on how to take the scream out of Halloween.

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council's Executive Member for the Environment, said: "Figures suggest that last year we spent around £140 million on costumes for the kids, pumpkins for carving, decorations and trick or treat sweets. This year we're offering advice on how Devon families can make some spooky savings, reduce waste and have fun at the same time.

"Over one million pumpkins are sold each year for making lanterns, but the following day many of them find their way to landfill when they could offer families a few cheap and wholesome meals. Our campaign offers recipes as well as ideas for getting crafty with the kids and making your own costumes. People will be amazed at what can be achieved with what we already have in the house."

Terrifyingly good top tips from the county council include:

When making a Pumpkin lantern, don't throw away the insides, you could be throwing away a couple of nutritious meals and snacks. Separate the pumpkin seeds from the 'strings', place on a baking tray, drizzle over a small amount of vegetable oil and roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes for a healthy between meals snack or a tasty topping to soups.

Pumpkin makes a great ingredient for pies, soups, and even as a filling for lasagne - dig out the flesh while making a lantern, roast it in the oven with some herbs for an hour until it is tender and add some ricotta cheese to the mix and use instead of beef.

Use the old lantern shell as a good start to a new composting bin, where it will break down safely and help provide compost for the garden rather than ending up in a landfill. Visit www.recycledevon.org for details of composters.

Everyday leftovers can make a scarily cheap hallowe'en night meal. A couple of beef or veggie burgers from the freezer, spaghetti and some olives can be combined to make eyeball pasta! Simply defrost the burgers and shape them into meatballs, placing a pimento olive into each one. Cover with some spaghetti sauce and bake for an hour at 180 and dish over spaghetti.

Rather than buying a special swag bag from the shop for the kids to keep their treats safe, get them to make their own using an old pillow case. Cut out scary shapes from felt and glue onto the pillow case. Guaranteed they'll be able to carry more than their friends!

Lots of websites offer free downloads to make scary masks. Try: www.freeukstuff.com/freestuff/halloweenmasks.html

www.freefunfings.com/masks/pages/halloween.html

www.hobbycraft.co.uk/LESSONS/hallo_2.htm

A Hallowe'en costume can cost anything from £3.99 upwards and horror of horrors - their best friend could be wearing the same one! Now is a good time to look through the wardrobe and encourage children to use their imagination to make their own individual creations for pennies.

Dad's old brown leather jacket he can't squeeze into anymore and an old cowboy or fedora type hat could be the basis for an Indiana Jones costume. A whip could be fashioned by painting a small pringles tube brown and attaching tinsel or string. For a really up to date affair, make a 'crystal skull' from small carved pumpkin to collect treats.

For a cheap and easy zombie, start with some old tights. If they haven't already got rips in them, add some! Combine with black shorts or cut off trousers and an old black t-shirt, adding rips and some mud to make them look suitably old and put dark make-up under the eyes. Orange peel can be cut into a good pair or false zombie teeth and old drinking straws can be cut up and taped to fingers to make long finger nails.

Make a headless ghost by using an old dress and simply doing it up over the head and adding some eye holes further down. Or for a mummy, take an old light coloured tracksuit and cut up long strips of an unwanted sheet, wrap them around and tuck in the ends.

Create a face white with black eyes and wrinkles with face paint and make hair suitably ancient by sprinkling it with baby powder.

Go bats with that broken black umbrella sitting by the door. Rip the circle of material away from the handle and metal and cut in two to make wings. Sew or safety pin one end of the wing to your all black costume and hold or tie the other end to wrists.

Rubik's cubes are tipped as one of the top 10 must have Christmas toys this year. Make a rubik's cube from painting different coloured squares on an old cardboard box. Cut a hole in to top for the head and add black trousers and shoes.

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