A Felt Bat Garland :: DIY Halloween Decorations

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DIY Halloween Decorations Felt Bat Garland

I don’t know what is up with me, but I’m really getting into Halloween and Halloween crafts this year. And have been making lots of DIY halloween decorations.

I’m usually not so into Halloween as a holiday. Christmas? Yes. Valentine’s Day? Yes. But Halloween and ghosts and spooky things? Not so much. So when I read Dana’s post on Dana Made It about decorating with paper bats and saw that she felt the same way about Halloween scariness, it was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one.

I mean, Severed finger cookies? I don’t think I could even look at one, let alone eat one. And certainly not serve them to my family or friends.

DIY Halloween Decorations Felt Bat Garland

But I can get into pumpkins and leaves and witches and black cats and yes, bats.

I love Dana’s paper bats but have been wanting to make a Halloween garland so decided to try that with the bats instead. I used the same bat template (from Country Living), but cut mine out of black felt rather than paper…

DIY Felt Bat Garland for Halloween Decorations

…and sewed them together (just one long stitch straight through the center of each to connect them).

DIY Halloween Decorations Felt Bat Garland

First I hung the new bat garland on the wall inside…


but then I decided I’d rather have the bats on the front porch.

Halloween Pumpkins

hanging out with the pumpkins.

DIY Halloween Decorations Felt Bat Garland

These bats are perfect and I especially love how they move in the breeze. Pretty awesome as DIY halloween decorations go!

The garland was so easy to make, too. A bit repetitive to cut out the individual bats, but not so bad. I’ve actually since cut out a bunch of paper ones as well and plan to put them on the walls inside, more like Dana’s.

Okay, informal poll. Do you get into the spooky aspect of Halloween? Or not so much?

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  1. says

    I like that garland, quite a bit! I don’t do a lot of Halloween decorating usually. I keep meaning to, though. The boys keep asking to.
    Hmm, no strong feelings either way on the spooky. It can be fun for the kids to be just enough scared–I think there’s a nice feeling about that, underneath. Scared, but still safe. And there’s a difference between spooky and flat-out gore. But I have two boys, and I bet they’d love severed finger cookies.

  2. maria says

    I don’t like being scared and I don’t like the gory gruesome stuff that people come up with at Hallowe’en time. In addition, the battle with my daughter over the sugar aspect of it is really tedious and frustrating. So I guess while I like pumpkins and apples and I don’t mind witches, black cats, and bats, I am not a big Hallowe’en fan. I may try your bat garland though, that seems like a fun project and definitely not over the top.

  3. says

    I feel just the same way. I’ve been sort of avoiding Pinterest lately because, frankly, some of it is too scary for me. I don’t like horror movies, excessive gore, blood, or scary things in general. I do however love fall, pumpkins, pies, leaves, bats (I don’t find them scary, they eat mosquitoes), etc. I guess my one exception, which isn’t necessarily an exception because it isn’t SO scary, is stop animation films like Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline. (By the way, if you haven’t explored the Coraline website on how they made it, you might really like it. The video of the woman who knit all of the tiny sweaters for the puppets is one of my favorites.)

  4. Holly says

    I love your BATS!!! I am a huge fan of Halloween. It has always been one of my favorites. We never did the ScArY stuff when I was growing up, but my Mom made every Halloween costume I wore….and has even attempted to make one for my daughter, from Cali…we live in GA. I love the dressing up part…love the fun about it. Not the ScArY gory stuff. I think for me it’s celebrating Fall, Friends…and Family. I think that it really depends on how you decorate…you can definitely have a bit of the scary, but maybe in a fun way.

  5. says

    Your garland is just perfect! Where do you buy big sheets of felt? I love Halloween and all the fun stuff about it. Not so much the gore, but the quirky, silly spooky fun. It must be rubbing off on my kids because my 3-year old has been busy coming up with her own Halloween decorations and one of my one-year olds few words seems to be “pumpkin.” Ha!

  6. says

    I have always loved Halloween — though with costumes and decorations that involve imagination, not gore! And I have a suggestion for avoiding the “sweets dilemma.” We give our kids homemade coupons they can redeem for other “treats” — extra 30 minutes of TV time, stay up 30 minutes late, trip to playground of your choice, etc — and each coupon has an amount of candy to be turned in with the coupon. The greater the reward, the more candy to be turned in — choosing family dinner costs 5 pieces of candy whereas a trip to the playground only costs 3. Our kids have started asking about the coupons as soon as the decorations come out! Last year, all the candy was out of the house within a week — and very little of it was consumed by the kids! Happy Halloween!

  7. says

    Always loved Halloween, but vote for spooky NOT gory. As a kid, coming up with a great costume was always something I got very excited about, and the getting to dress up and come to school in costume for the big parade was a highlight of the school year… not to mention all the full-sized Reeses cups, Snickers bars and Hershey bars we used to collect while trick or treating! Now that my boys are 9 and 12, I get frustrated with how commercialized it has all become…all the catalogs and Target stores full of ready made costumes spoils their ideas for coming up with a cool costume of their own. But our neighborhood really gets into the trick-or-treating spirit and I love that sense of community when everyone is out and about, and lots of houses are decorated and eager to “wow” the kids with spooky surprises. And best of all, our elementary school collects candy to send over to the troops in care packages, so after the kids pick out a few favorites, we donate the rest!

  8. says

    i just love how you have your bat garland hanging across the porch with the pumpkins! so festive and perfectly halloween — not too spooky but not goofy at all! i get more into autumn decor than halloween, but we’re doing more halloweeny stuff this year. having a little one (who is afraid of the dark and of… yetis???) steers me away from the spooky aspect of it at this point in her life. ;)

  9. says

    Nightmare Before Christmas is a Tim Burton movie about Jack Skellington from Halloween who goes to Christmas Town. A bit dark for the kids (though mine have actually seen it) but clever and musical (music by Danny Elfman). Coraline is an adaptation of a book (I think) and is also sort of dark (kids have not seen this one) but really beautifully done. I find the process of stop animation with the puppets and set and everything amazing — really an art to make it all come to life.

  10. Bobbi says

    I almost dread Halloween. Frankly, I don’t get the point of it. At all. I embrace fall wholeheartedly, but Halloween I can do without. I tried to avoid it as long as I could with my children until they were filled in by their friends and complete strangers who ask them what they are going to be for Halloween. I am completely honest with my children about it not being my favorite holiday, but I try not to be a killjoy about it. I still avoid the spooky and gory with them, and minimize the candy intake, but we do make jack o’ lanterns, I help them with costumes (easy ones that don’t require endless hours of creating on my part) and I take them trick or treating. I like the coupon idea. Last year, I was all set to introduce the Halloween Fairy who shows up after 3 days and takes the rest of their candy and exchanges it for a book or toy, but I found that after a few days they had completely forgotten about their stash anyway.

  11. says

    I love this garland. I go for the cheerier decor myself. I don’t necessarily mind the gore, I just don’t prefer it-especially with small kids around. I do like old-fashioned horror movies like Night of the Living Dead, Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining -stuff like that. The new-fangled super gory stuff just seems pointless.
    Happy Halloween!

  12. katie says

    I don’t get into halloween spookiness at all! It is nice to meet a kindred spirit! Combine that with the massive amount of candy greed and it equals one of my least favorite holidays. Now that my son is getting older I will have to think of some fun halloween traditions I can get on board with. Your bats are lovely. I might have to make some!

  13. Valerie Collins says

    Would you tell me which felt you used to make your garland, please? It appears to be very lightweight! I’d love to make one/some for my grandgirls in TX. :D BTW, I’m “down the road” from you in Greenville, SC…my mom lives in Maggie Valley. We’re almost neighbors! Thanks so much for sharing.
    Greenville, SC

  14. says

    I’m using that same bat pattern! but I love the idea for the garland. I was going to hang a bunch on the porch! Great idea! I love Halloween and the fun spooky, but we don’t go gory…

  15. says

    We love halloween. We do spooky and fun, but not gory and scary. For instance, my daughter thinks it’s fun to put a dish towel over her head and pretend to be a ghost. Actually, Halloween is a great time to talk about the feeling of being scared. We saw some jackolanterns in a book, and my daughter pointed out what ones were scary to her and which ones weren’t very scary at all. :)

  16. says

    I am craft challenged, but this looks like one even I can do! I am trying to find some scary Halloween stories to read to my kids to get them in the mood. I thought it would be fun before doing a craft. I would also like to share this with readers on my blog. Any suggestions? My kids are 11, 8, and 5. So nothing terribly horrifying!

  17. says

    I recently made those bats (in paper) for my wall, but I love yours in felt! Mine keep falling off and I have to restick them. Not sure if you remember the “Batty Bat” song from ’80s era Sesame Street, too, but my 3 year old looooves to watch it on youtube. It felt appropriate to make some bat decor. :) I agree about the not-too-scary stuff, especially with little kids around.

  18. says

    Yeah, Maia is afraid of scary things as well (although I wonder how much of it she’s learned from me?). But she’s so into holidays in general and anything involving dressing up (and decorating and eating treats) that it’s hard not to get excited about Halloween. I find that as she gets older and more into the holidays, I’m also getting more into them. They are so fun to share with children!

  19. says

    Living in Australia for the past three years, we haven’t really “done” any Halloweens yet. The holiday seems to have been recently imported. They seem to get the candy and costumes part, but little else. I don’t see any decorations anywhere, so that took a lot of the Halloween feel out for me. Now that my girls are 6 and 3, they are expressing interest in Halloween, but as a mom who tries to maintain a healthy balance, the pure focus on candy doesn’t seem so great. This year, we signed up to do a Halloween party at the local library. They are hosting a sausage sizzle, costume contest and a “scary cupcake” contest. I figure that’s all the scary we need to do (how scary can cupcake decorations be?)! But your bats, I’m thinking we need to do those too! Thanks for sharing, Jean!

  20. says

    Hey neighbor! It’s just a cheap polyester felt that I bought by the yard. It was on sale at Hancock Fabrics. I think it’s the same weight as the cheap poly felt squares you can buy many places.

  21. says

    It’s not my favorite either, but I’ve found that Maia’s enthusiasm has made me get more into it.
    I may use that Halloween Fairy idea if Maia doesn’t forget about her candy stash… Either that or the bartering for activities idea that was suggested earlier.

  22. says

    Great bat garland! I think I’m going to try this with sewing on paper. I’ve got lots of a heavy weight black cardstock, so I think it could work for an indoor garland. My 4 year old son is CRAZY about bats. (He loves Batman, too, but he really loves real bats.)
    My kids have been seriously talking about Halloween since last October. They love the costumes and they love the decorating (minimal at our house). The other day we drove past a house that was decorated in a super-gory way with severed heads and torture, and the kids were stupefied. I’m not so into that kind of gross, especially now that I have young kids, but I can see how it is one of those special times when people can act out their fantasies in a culturally acceptable way.
    Oh, and I would totally eat those cookies!

  23. says

    Ooh, I love your bats! I’m not so much a spooky Halloween person, but I do love orange, so usually get very pumpkiney this time of year.

  24. Susan W says

    My question has nothing to do with your post. Even though I liked the bat garland, I love the tree outside your house. It is the small tree that is turning red. Do you know what kind it is? Thank you.

  25. shari says

    So cute!
    My take on the spooky/gory/scary Halloween stuff has COMPLETELY changed since I’ve had kids. When I was younger, I LOVED it all — the scarier the better. Now, it just freaks me out and seems a little on the evil side – so at our house we stick to the cutesy halloween stuff — with the occasional skull here and there. :)

  26. Donna says

    Can you explain how you attach them. Not understanding the “one long stitch through the center of each”. Looks like they are attached at the wing tips in the photo.

  27. Jenny says

    Hi everyone, love the garland and your book. My daughter actually uses her candy as props. She got last year’s candy out of the kitchen drawer to put in this year’s Halloween box…again. She asked if she could sleep with it last year and I have a picture of her asleep with it spread out across her bed. It’s the idea of candy that appeals to her more than eating it. She gets organic suckers or fruit chews, dark chocolate, etc. So she isn’t deprived. And we all know that cheap candy tastes bad anyway if you don’t eat it very often. I try to teach her the difference between the good stuff and artificial. You can’t go your whole life without eating dark chocolate can you??? Love Halloween, every holiday is what you make of it. Have fun.