Sage has been celebrating the Wheel of the Year for 25+ years, and being a holiday junkie, she just can't get enough of the sabbats!
How to Decorate for Lughnasadh (Lammas), Mabon, and Samhain
When Pagan holidays are coming, decorating can certainly help create a more festive atmosphere in your home—or at least on your altar. If you have kids, preparing for the sabbats can be a great way to raise enthusiasm and make them feel part of the celebration.
The best decorations, in my opinion? Homemade crafts! Here are some of our favorite fall crafts that have made their way into our sabbat home décor for Lughnasadh, Mabon, and Samhain. Use them for one sabbat, or leave them out the whole harvest season.
The best thing about these crafts is that they’re cheap, easy, and both kids and adults can have a lot of fun with them.
Crafts Included in This Article:
- Paper Piecing Banner
- Hanging Corn Garland
- Autumn Leaf Mask
- Harvest Besom (Witch's Broom)
- Harvest Candles
1. Paper Piecing
This isn’t a coloring project—it’s paper piecing. Each individual element is cut out and glued in place. It looks great in person because it gives a bit of a 3D effect to the finished project. You can then hang it up, frame it, or put it in your scrapbook.
I started with a design—I got mine from the wonderful Pagan parenting website, the Pooka Pages. This came from their 2012 Lughnasadh magazine (which are free, by the way).
- A great sabbat image you draw yourself, or coloring page if you prefer
- Paper in assorted colors (printer paper, construction paper, scrapbooking paper, etc.)
- Glue sticks
- Other craft supplies (optional)
- Take your picture and use tracing paper to trace each part onto a colored paper. For example, I traced the deer antlers on white, the head on tan, the background hills and bushes on different shades of green, and so on.
- Start with the background—for me that would have been the sky, hills and bushes. Cut out the pieces, then glue them in place on a sheet of paper.
- Move on to the next layer, the things that are next furthest back/behind other things. Cut them out and glue them.
- Keep going in this way. Don’t be afraid to get creative—for example, when it came to the grapes and the leaves for me, I ditched the scissors and just used a leaf punch and hole puncher (for each individual grape).
- Change it any way you like—remember, it’s art. Do what pleases you. Add final touches if desired (color in details, add glitter—whatever rocks your socks).
Tutorial Gives Basics of Paper Piecing
2. Hanging Corn
These turned out a lot cuter than I thought they would, especially hanging on ribbons and twines spanning across the house or above the altar.
- File folders
- Paper the color of corn husks (green or use brown paper bags if desired)
- Glue sticks
- Clothes pins
- Make really long ovals on a file folder. You can scribble u-shapes or circles on them as well to give your corn the illusion of texture.
- Cut out the corn cobs and set them aside.
- Tear the paper into long triangular strips, so they’re fatter on one end and longer on the other.
- Apply some glue to the wide bottom end of the paper strip and fold it on one side of the corn, almost like a taco shell. Do the same on the other side so the second paper overlaps the first.
- The paper edges act very randomly—sometimes they are straight, sometimes they give a gentle curve, sometimes they get curly. This gives them a natural look, so just let them fall as they may.
- Hang your corn up with clothespins along a piece of suspended ribbon or twine. If you don’t like the clothespins showing, glue some paper leaves on the front of them.
- You can probably think of a lot of other things to do with these corn cobs—like glue them around a cardboard flat ring to make a corn wreath, or make them colorful “Indian” corn and bunch a few together to hang on the door or the backs of chairs—where ever you want a dash of color!
3. Autumn Mask
You can use this mask on a sabbat, or you can put it on your altar. Masks have long has a place in religious ritual, representing the dead, the spirits, or the Gods themselves.
- A mask form (full or half mask)
- Autumn leaves (i.e. these artificial fall maple leaves work really well)
- Tack glue, or even better—a hot glue gun (for adults and older kids)
- Begin gluing leaves around the edges of the mask. The leaves should be radiating outward, pointing away from the center of the mask.
- Apply the next inner layer, making sure the second layer overlaps the first.
- Continue gluing on leaves getting closer and closer to the center.
- Glue leaves radiating around the eyes.
- Let the glue dry before wearing the mask—or hang it up. This is a great way to make a green man mask for the wall, by the way.
- Trim leaves blocking eye holes if needed.
4. Harvest Besom
The besom is a ritual broom used for cleansing sacred space. Not the physical dirt, but the metaphysical dirt—you don’t literally sweep the floor with it. You sweep the ritual area clean. Some use the broom on the altar to represent home and hearth, as well as to house ‘guardian spirits’ who are invited to live in the broom.
- A decorative craft broom or cinnamon broom
- Dry or silk leaves
- Tack glue or hot glue gun (for adults and older kids)
- Any other desired decorations
- Wrap your ribbon around your broom handle in a spiral or criss-cross design. Tie them in place. A dab of glue can help to hold them where you want them as well.
- Glue on autumn branches or leaves.
- Use glitter, feathers, or any other items desired. Make it your own!
You can have a broom for all seasons if you want. Another option is to strip it every 3 months and redecorate it for the season. Or, make one side a winter/fall theme and one side a summer/spring theme. Then hang your broom over the altar and flip it every equinox to reflect the proper season!
5. Harvest Candles
Little ones love this craft because the display is truly beautiful. This can actually be done on any sabbat, because with Pagans there’s almost always candles.
- Magazines (home & garden and cooking magazines are best). Try to get autumn issues.
- White craft glue or gel glue (I like Elmers)
- Cheap paint brush
- Pillar candles in glass casings
- Glass cleaner and paper towel
- Find harvest images that you like in the magazine and cut them out.
- Clean the candle glass with glass cleaner and dry it well.
- Brush on little glue and affix an image to it. Keep doing this with as many images as you want—cover it good, or just add a few accents.
- Brush a final coating of glue over the images. It will dry clear.
- It’ll look great in the daytime when the candle is not lit. It’ll look even better at night when the candle is lit, because it will illuminate the images.
© 2014 Mackenzie Sage Wright
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on September 12, 2014:
Hi Nicole, yes they are versatile-- a lot of this stuff we start putting up in August and it stays up until Thanksgiving, which is great. In October I just add a few Halloween-y things, and then remove them in early November. For me it's really important to decorate the home to remind me of the changing seasons since outdoors there's not that much of a change where I live. It helps keep me from missing up north too much.Thanks for your comment!
PlainGraces from Nebraska on September 11, 2014:
I enjoyed the corn garland and think I may use it for Thanksgiving. A lot of these ideas are so versatile!
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on August 10, 2014:
Thanks Grand Old Lady, I'm a crafter at heart, so I put a lot of crafting into the Craft, lol. Good to see you, thanks for stopping by.
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on August 02, 2014:
Some of these pieces are really nice. I would use them for other occasions like mask parties, birthday parties, and the like. Great crafts, Wiccan Sage.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on August 01, 2014:
Glad you like them! The best thing about the cinnamon broom is how nice it smells throughout the season. Enjoy!
Liz Davis from Hudson, FL on August 01, 2014:
I'm no Martha Stewart, so I need cheap and easy craft ideas. These are perfect! I love cinnamon brooms, and now I know what they're for--we'll decorate one this fall for sure. I also love the decoupage candle idea. Thanks, Sage!