As cozy bonfires begin to flare and the first pumpkins appear at the farmer’s market, all the rich, colorful warmth of the autumn season approaches, electrifying even the seasoned witch with anticipation for the coming months.
1. Design and sew your own voodoo doll or poppet. If you’re a sewing whiz, you can modify a pattern for a regular stuffed doll to make it all creepy. Or, just kind of wing it. That’s what I did with this one, which came together from a mishmash of sewing scraps. The best part is that it doesn’t need to be perfect. Odd, asymmetrical limbs, “sloppy” stitches and mismatched button eyes add to the effect.
2. Use your kitchen scraps and spices to craft the perfect fall incense blend. Make creative use of orange peels, fall spices like cinnamon & star anise, or pine needles collected on an autumn walk. Blend your own fall incense for use during Mabon & Samhain rituals, or to celebrate the harvest moons.
3. Create a scrap book for you ancestors. Samhain reminds us to remember those who came before us. Honor them in the coming months by researching their lives, gathering pictures from relatives and putting together a “family history” album. Bonus: When you’re done, it makes a great Yule gift.
4. Make your own scrying mirror. I love projects that make use of odds and ends. Who doesn’t have an old picture frame?Use it to make your own scrying mirror. It’s easy. fun and opens up a new “window” to explore divination and fortune telling. As the days grow shorter, the “veil between worlds” thins, making this the perfect time to peer into otherworldly affairs.
5. Make black salt. As the days begin to wane, autumn makes the ideal time to make ingredients for protection and binding spells. Make a batch of black salt from your fire pit ashes to store for this type of ritual.
6. Decorate a mask for Samhain. Whether you have big plans for a Samhain party or you’re just answering the door to pass out treats, decorating a mask is an easy way to get in the spirit of the season. Blank masks are available at craft stores and online. They come in a variety of styles and the creative possibilities are endless!
7. Adorn a pillar candle with fall leaves for the perfect Mabon altar. Choose a white candle of the appropriate size (large for large altar, tiny for a small one.) Gently melt a thin layer of wax in the bottom of a frying pan or large pot. Roll the candle in the wax, then press beautiful leaves into the surface for a gorgeous, natural altar piece.
10. Glam out a pumpkin. Forget the same, tired pumpkin carving party. Go glam. Spray paint your pumpkin gold or black, glue rhinestones on it, cover it in glitter, adorn it with old costume jewelry or do what I did one year, and slip half a pair of lacy stockings over it.
11. Blend your own Samhain oil. If you have a drawer or box full of essential oils you never get around to using, try making your own samhain oil from earthy, autumn-inspiring oils like cinnamon, nutmeg, orange oil or patchouli. Or, if essential oils aren’t your thing, try steeping orange peels and cinnamon sticks at a low temperature in olive oil until you get something you like. (Or you can always let me make some for you!) Be sure to pick out a lovely glass bottle from the thrift store and adorn it with ribbon or charms if you like.