It has been a fun year for Pixar’s Cars with another hit movie, and the introduction of Cars Land’s Haul-O-Ween celebration at Disneyland Park’s California Adventure.
Like its Christmas and holiday makeover, Cars Land’s Main Street has been transformed into a much-publicized fall celebration of haunts and harvests, with car-centric decorations, music, lights, and the even the Radiator Springs residents in costume.
Unfortunately, not everyone can get to see these eerie automobile festivities in person. However, many people have access to a dollar shop or discount store.
Try these three ideas inspired by Cars Land using discount store purchases:
Wrench Spider Webs
When Cars Land first opened, one standout during its winter holiday displays were snowflakes made of wrenches. The spider web idea took a cue from these.
To make a smaller version, get a cheap set of combination wrenches. These can be found for $5 to $7, and a silver colored chain. I used old necklace chains.
Arrange six small wrenches in a web pattern, closed ends in the middle on a good work surface. Using hot glue or clear “Liquid Nails” adhesive, glue each end to a large washer and let dry, one by one. Wrenches are bent slighty at the closed end, so you’ll want to elevate the open end with a book or small wooden block to make sure the closed ends are even with the washer.
Once done, glue a second washer over the center on the other side, to hold them in place. If using a glue gun, you will need quite a bit to hold them in place. Please be careful not to burn yourself, and wait until they are completely dry before trimming or pulling off any excess glue. For this reason, this one isn’t recommended for younger crafters.
For the chain part, glue the end of the chain to one of the wrenches (about two inches from the center), and slowly attach it to the other wrenches around the “web” until it makes full circle. Use wire clippers to cut the excess chain. Repeat this step about two more inches from the original surface, to complete the web.
One of easiest ideas for Cars Land’s Halloween makeover was simply adding Jack-O-Lantern face’s to Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel. The simplest way to do this is to buy a small plastic cone found at school supply or with party decorations. The one I purchased was only $1.20.
Draw the design on lightly with pencil, and fill it in with some black craft paint. These little cones are thin enough to glow by placing a flameless candle or pumpkin light underneath.
There are also “carved” pumpkin cones as well. Make these by gluing together one orange and one yellow sheet of construction paper or thin craft foam.
Cut a cone paper of foam first. The kids craft site First Palette has an easy basic cone template, if you need one.
Draw the jack-o-lantern face on the yellow side, and use a small craft knife to cut out the pattern. Build the cone, orange side out, and trim to make sure it sits flush on the table.
With the rest of the paper, cut a small square and round off the corners. Place a flameless tea candle on the base and set the cone over the top. Make several for a cone “pumpkin patch.”
Ramone’s Car Calavera
This is my favorite piece, from what I’ve seen of the Cars Land images, and is a great Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) decoration, especially in light of Pixar’s next feature, Coco, centering on the colorful Latin American and border region observance.
Ramone’s car resembles a large paper mache skull or “calavera” often seen in Day of the Dead displays.
Find a cheap toy car (the rounder and more cartoonish the better), and decoupage a layer of white tissue paper over the top. Add as many layers as you need to mask the details of the car (about three our four is usually needed).
After the layers completely dry, draw your “calavera” face and details lightly on the car in pencil first, then go over the edges with a black fine line marker. This will look like a coloring page.
Finally, fill in the details with fine line or felt tip markers.
Ramone’s display sits next to a few “tire” pots of the traditional Day of the Dead flower, marigolds. The bright color and scent of marigolds are said to guide the “spirit of the dead” to the “spirit of the living” during the celebrations.
Make a couple of these little “pots” by stacking some small rubber toy tires, or painting a wooden spool or flower pot black. Make the marigolds from yellow and orange pom poms, and set them next to the car calavera.
Display your Cars Land items on their own, or put them together in one larger display. You don’t have to make it to Cars Land to bring a little spirit of Radiator Springs home.
Cars Land Haul-O-Ween runs through the end of October, and Cars 3 Blu-Ray and DVD will be released Nov. 7.