Halloween Decorating on a Budget

You don’t need to break the bank to decorate for Halloween. As long as you have the time and imagination, you can make your house a spooky delight for visitors of all ages. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Luminaries
These decorations can be made from tin cans or mason jars, which ever you happen to have around the house.

Tin can luminaries are probably the easiest. Figure out what you want to decorate your luminary with and draw it on the can. Punch holes in the can and then paint it whatever color you want, although black is a wonderfully spooky color, particularly at night. Put a battery powered candle in the luminary and enjoy. You can even make hanging luminaries by punching extra holes in the top of the can.

For mason jar luminaries, a fun idea can be making them look like jack-o-lanterns. Use black construction paper to create the face and glue orange tissue paper on the outside of the jar. Putting a battery powered candle in the luminary gives you an excellent decoration, and you can adapt this technique to create ghosts, mummies, or any other Halloween creature you can imagine.

2. Cheesecloth Ghosts
Whether you want hanging ghosts or a shrouded grim reaper, you can use cheesecloth and a few other construction materials to create spooky ghosts. Use Styrofoam balls to create traditional hanging ghosts, or create a shape to hang the cheesecloth on for a more humanoid figure. Tatter the edges of the cloth to make the ghosts look more realistic and eerier.

These ghosts can be made to glow, regardless of size. You can make exterior ghosts emit light by inserting a glow stick into them, giving any figure an unworldly glow. Smaller ghosts can be placed in front of a string of lights, causing a similar effect.

Whatever size ghost you use, these decorations can be effective both during the day and at night. As long as you put the effort into making them suitably creepy, you can have inexpensive and spooky ghosts.

3. Pumpkins
One of the common problems with traditional jack-o-lanterns is that they don’t last very long. If you want to decorate with pumpkins but don’t want to keep buying squash for the season, you can use several techniques to liven up your pumpkins.

Paint is very good for decorating pumpkins. You can use whatever color paint you want, and you can even create complex designs with this technique. Whether you paint the pumpkins a solid color, make abstract designs, or use stencils, you can make attractive decorations that will last for the entire season.

If you don’t want to use paint to spruce up a pumpkin, you can use glue and ribbons to make a design, or even just use markers to decorate. The benefit of not painting the entire squash is that not only will it last the entire season, you can also eat the pumpkin when you’re done using it as a decoration.

4. Spiders
Dollar stores usually sell spider rings in bulk. If you aren’t afraid of spiders, you can make any number of creepy decorations with these rings. You can make spider ‘nests’ with cheesecloth, and for an extra spooky touch, you can make the nest glow by using glow sticks. If you make cobwebs, you can tangle the spiders in with them for an additional touch.

You can also make these spider rings magnetic and put them on a metal front door for an additional creepy outdoor touch. If you have loose magnets, just use a hot-glue gun to attach the magnets to the spider rings. Once the glue has dried, you can stick them to any magnetic surface, whether that is a mirror frame, a refrigerator, or an exterior door.

5. Cutouts
You can make great decorations with just construction paper and corrugated cardboard. Just cut whatever designs you want out of the construction paper before gluing the paper to the cardboard. If you intend for the decorations to only be seen from one side, then you just need to glue the construction paper to that side of the cardboard.

Whatever design you want to make, it is simple to use this method. You can make any number of animal designs, fall leaves, or even jack-o-lantern shapes to decorate windows and displays. Spiders are harder, but rats, bats, and cats are all simple designs and you can make any of them with black construction paper alone.

A final way to use a cardboard cutout is to turn an entire window into a jack-o-lantern. Fit cardboard tightly to a window and then cut out a design. As long as there are lights on in that room, your house will be your jack-o-lantern.

Any of these are ways to decorate your house using materials that you may already have. This Halloween, you can have spooky decorations with an investment of time and, in some cases, a minimal amount of money.


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