Easy Halloween Kid's Craft Thaumatropes TutorialIf you ask me, Halloween is one of the craftiest times of year. I remember getting up to all sorts of crafty projects around now and it was super great!

One of the things that I remember quite fondly from elementary school was making thaumatropes. A thaumatrope is basically a piece of paper with an image on each side. There are strings on the left and right side that you twist to make the disc spin. As it spins, it appears as though the images are combining.

This can be a lot of fun with lots and lots of concepts. For ours we made mostly jack-o-lanterns but at the end I made another with a haunted house theme with paper cutouts. Want to see how to make some of these fun, little thaumatropes?

For this project you will need:

  • cardstock
  • means to cut cardstock
  • markers, crayons, paper cutouts
  • string

Easy Halloween Kid's Craft Thaumatropes TutorialSince we were making up a whole mess of thaumatropes I went ahead and created Silhouette cut files and used my machine to cut everything out. I cut out the discs out of white cardstock and some pumpkins out of scrapbooking cardstock. And since I knew we’d want to color our own pumpkins, I also used the pumpkin cut file to draw pumpkins on the centers of a handful with sketchpens.

If you don’t have a cutting machine, never fear! You can either cut out circles by hand and use a hole punch for the string cords or use a circle shaped paper punch. And if you want pumpkins in the center you  can run your paper through the copier first!

You can download the Silhouette files for the thaumatrope shape here and the pumpkin shape here. You can download the image files for the thaumatrope shape here and the pumpkin shape here.

Easy Halloween Kid's Craft Thaumatropes Tutorial

For the jack-o-lanterns we drew a face on one side and the pumpkin on the other. You want to have one side be upside down so that when you flip it looks right.

Easy Halloween Kid's Craft Thaumatropes Tutorial

In my opinion, the most impressive thaumatrope was the one that we glued the paper cut outs down and it was really simple to do. Again, you’ll want one side to be upside down to the other.

Easy Halloween Kid's Craft Thaumatropes Tutorial

Tie string onto  both sides of your disc (I used baker’s twine because it’s cute!)

Easy Halloween Kid's Craft Thaumatropes Tutorial

Place the string in each hand and twist as fast as you can! It tends to be easier to see what’s happening if you watch someone else doing it!

Easy Halloween Kid's Craft Thaumatropes Tutorial

Above is what the disc kind of looks like when it is combined. Click the pic to see the spinning version.

Will you be making this simple kid’s craft this Halloween season?