Sunday, October 07, 2007

31 Days of Halloween - Day 7

For well over a decade now, if you wanted to find a magazine with some do it yourself halloween craft projects that weren't those nauseatingly safe-cute preschool, and grandma, type crafts featured in "Women's Day," and "Family Circle," the only option was "Martha Stewart Living." There's nothing wrong with this. There's usually some pretty great looking stuff in there. Even so, I've yet to actually want to construct any of it for my own house.

I think David J. Skal nailed the reason why perfectly in his fantastic 2002 book "Death Makes a Holiday." In an era when everyone from conservative Christians to mavens of political correctness are trying to tame the holiday into something "nice," Martha completely tames the holiday. "For Stewart, everything about Halloween is Perfectly Under Control." The chaotic spirit of the holiday does not have its presence felt in her orderly, decorated version of it.

For those of us who want to make some Halloween decorations, costumes, and so forth with a bit more bite and grue to them, then look no further than the special Halloween issue of "Make". It's worth buying just for the cover and interior illustrations by Seth, but there's a lot of great stuff in there, from nauseating looking cakes, to a fantastic decapitated Marie Antoinette costume, to a jack o'lantern carved to look like a cylon, complete with scanning red eye and sound effects, to an easy to build, inexpensive way to turn your store bought fog machine into a turbo charged deluxe fogger. If I actually had the time to do it this year, this project I would tundertake.

They're also having a contest for DIY projects to be included in the next Halloween Special Issue. You can find the information via their website at the link above.

I'll still pick up "Martha Stewart Living" each October, but "Make: Halloween" is the magazine I'll be looking forward to.

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