Sure the candy and the costumes are important, but there's something about the feel of slimy pumpkin seeds in your hand that truly evokes the spirit of Halloween. Get friends and family in on the sticky mess -- and the creative process -- by throwing a pumpkin-carving party.
Of course, every great gathering starts with the perfect invitation. We opted for fun, rather than frightful, in our design, but the tone is up to you -- Halloween clip art is plentiful online. So find that sinister black cat or spooky white ghost and get ready for an eerily easy Halloween craft.
Clip art image
Step 1: Finding your images
Download free clip art from the web. We found the adorable pumpkin carver by doing a search for the keyword “pumpkin” at Microsoft Office Online.
Step 2: Preparing your cards
Open your photo-editing program and size the new document to the card stock you'll be using (business-supply stores carry several choices, like pre-cut postcards and note cards). Insert your clip art image and enlarge it to meet the top and bottom edge of your canvas.
Step 3: Making minor adjustments
The pumpkin carver was originally black and brown. To alter the colour, use the photo-editing program's hue and saturation tool and play with the levels until you find a colour you like. For the back of the card, resave the colourized version with a new name and then horizontally flip the image. To delete the black lines, use a fill with color or texture option in your program -- click on the orange and all the black will be eliminated.
Step 4: Adding text
Add text to your invitation by clicking the insert text option in your photo-editing program. A text box will appear that you can manipulate in size and location. Select an appropriate font (we used “Andy”) and size and type your message, including who's throwing the party, where it will be held, when guests should arrive, what they should bring (like a pumpkin and a picture of their pet â€“ see article Carve it up!) and a phone number for RSVPs.
Step 5: Printing
Test-print your card on regular paper, making sure the front and back of the design match up evenly. Insert your card stock according to the package directions. Choose your printer's highest print setting for the brightest colour and select the type of specialty paper. Then flip the paper according to your test page to print the second side.
Step 6: Finishing touch
Cut out the image, then pop the card in an envelope and mail.
Heather Camlot and Tara Nolan have honed their digital crafting skills writing and editing for Microsoft Home Magazine. Their work has also appeared in Style at Home magazine.