Want some Halloween decorations so you can celebrate this spooky holiday in style — but without the terrifying prospect of emptying your wallet? Look no further than this list of easy DIY crafts that are easy to pull together and cost less than 10 bucks. Some are even free! Check out these eight decorating ideas to get your spook up and running quickly.
What’s easier than marching into the backyard to trim branches — or take a few off the lawn? Plain sticks in a glass vase instantly send a Halloween feel all on their own. But you can also jazz them up with little construction paper bats or spider rings tied with fishing line.
You can also borrow the candy-in-a-vase idea from Jamie Novakthe organizing pro at BiteSizeLiving.
“I’ll fill a vase with dollar store candy corn and then put branches and twigs in the middle,” says Novak.
Photo by Mary Prince Photography
A few corn stalks are only a few dollars at a farm stand or grocery store. (You might even find some for nothing in an abandoned field.) Try tying them to your mailbox, on the front fence, around a lamp post, or on the columns that flank your front door. This Halloween look is made even better with the addition of some mums (often three for $10 at home and garden centers).
Stop a scarecrow
Check your Goodwill bound clothes bags for a pair of trousers and a shirt then rake up a pile of leaves, suggest Cynthia O’Connor O’Haraaka The Harried Housewife.
“Stuff the arms and legs with leaves and then tie them with string,” she says. Pin the shirt to the pants, use a Halloween mask or old ball for the head, then prop him under a tree or covered porch. You can also fit the legs into an old pair of boots to stand him up.
For another filling idea: Grab those pool noodles before you put them away for the winter, say Julie Coraccio, the home organization pro at ReawakenYourBrilliance. “Tuck the noodles into jeans and a shirt or make a ghost by twisting them into circles for a head and body and throwing a sheet over them.”
Photo by Seaside Interiors
Think white, not orange, for this idea. Make a black marker design on white gourds or small pumpkins. Or glam them up with glitter glue, says O’Hara.
“Thin regular glue with a little water and paint it on any squash that is for sale,” she explains. Cover the glue with colored glitter (orange, gold, silver or black).
Wrap a jar with cheesecloth
Cheesecloth and gauze are kitchen/drugstore staples that can be wrapped around a container to look like a mummy or ghost. Grab an empty peanut butter or spaghetti sauce jar, wrap it with cheesecloth, tape the back, then stick on googly eyes.
“You can also turn a cardboard berry box upside down, place a Styrofoam ball from the dollar store on top, and then drape it with a piece of cheesecloth or a section of an old sheet,” says O’Hara. “Then draw on a face with black marker.”
Keep your eyes on the bushes
Got some empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes? Add colorful glow sticks, and your bushes will suddenly become whimsical.
“Cut eye holes in the side, stick a glow stick inside, and then place or tie them into your bushes,” explains Novak.
For added spookiness, you can drape white yarn or cotton batting on the fences and trees to look like cobwebs.
Pumpkins are in season now, but sometimes the price of this Halloween staple can make you gasp. Instead of paying through the nose for a pumpkin, grab a bag of navel oranges for half that amount. Making jack-o’-lanterns with this fruit is less messy, much cheaper and much easier than using big, tough pumpkins. Pop a votive candle in each and arrange them on a windowsill.
Design a plastic cup
A gallon-sized plastic milk jug can also serve as a good stand-in for your typical pumpkin, says Novak. Just use a permanent marker (or black paper cutouts) to make a face, and fill in with a candle or a string of battery-operated twinkle lights.