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sparkle craft halloween special: mixed media flashlights

In the By Thistle By Thimble story “The Magician and the Knight,” six-year-old twins Ellie and Arnold share a wonderful idea: what would happen if all the children suddenly turned into their Halloween costumes? What if the children dressed as wizards, tigers, scarecrows, and baseball players actually became wizards, tigers, scarecrows, and baseball players?

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While the twins think that this is just a fun thing to imagine, they don't account for the magic of Halloween. When they step into the beautiful golden light on a particular street while they're out trick-or-treating, for a moment — anything is possible!

While these flashlights will not transform children into their Halloween costume characters (at least, I don't think they will), they are handy for keeping little ones extra-visible when trick-or-treating as the sun sets. And they're extra-fun to carry because, in addition to their utilitarian function, they're little works of art.

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This is one of my favorite kinds of projects because it uses the materials that you have on hand and is open-ended enough to allow for lots of creativity. Smaller kids will probably need some help manipulating the flashlight and wiping paint off their fingers between colors. For older kids, though, you can pretty much just set out a tray of materials and sit back to watch what they dream up.

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These flashlights are great for Halloween, but with dark winter evenings just around the corner, they'll get plenty of use after that, too. It's not quite as magical as turning into a magician or a knight, perhaps, but a late-autumn or winter game of flashlight tag is still pretty good fun.

Mixed Media Flashlights



Mod podge

Any combination of the following, or anything else that occurs to you:


Craft paint

Glow-in-the-dark paint

Paint brushes

Google eyes


Hot glue

Rubber bands

Hole punches



Washi tape


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Set a tray of materials on a work surface that you don't mind getting messy.

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Hand your child a flashlight and let them decide how they want to decorate it.

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They can paint it, add stickers and washi tape, or glue things like google eyes to the surface. They can wrap bright rubber bands around the barrel.

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They can cut a circle out of cardstock that's the size of the light and punch holes in it so that the light comes through in fun patterns. They can stick a sticker to the light itself to get a similar effect.

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When the flashlight is decorated to your child's taste, set it aside to dry (if necessary). Once it's dry to the touch, you can use mod podge to seal in any stickers or tape that aren't fully secured. Then it's ready to go make some magical autumn light!

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About the Author

Meryl Carver-Allmond
Sparkle Kitchen & Craft Blogger

The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.

Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.

When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.

About By Thistle By Thimble

Find magic in nooks and crooks, in baskets and burrows, and on seemingly ordinary back roads and side streets. Listen to the quiet whisperings of the heart. Attend to what nature teaches. Discover the secrets sung on the wind. This weekly series of original adventure tales will open your eyes to new places and characters from around the world and times gone by.