In case you forgot, Halloween is almost here! There are reminders of it at almost any store you go, where you’ll see aisles of colorful but pricey Halloween decorations. But you don’t have to empty your wallet to get your home Halloween-ready! Instead, use these money-saving tips to decorate your home and get a little crafty in time for trick-or-treating ghosts, ghouls and goblins.
In most areas of the U.S., the most abundant decorating item is all around you, and it’s free. Have the whole family go outside with a bowl, a bag or a bucket, and pick up beautiful dried leaves in red, orange and gold. Spread these around as centerpieces, and add them to tabletops. Bowls of candy corn here and there add more color and really say “Halloween.”
Jack-O-Lanterns: A Halloween Favorite
A hand-carved jack-o-lantern adds that special spooky appeal your home’s door, window or porch, and making a jack-o-lantern is fun for the whole family. This time of year, pumpkins are plentiful and they’re inexpensive, especially at your local farmers markets or pumpkin stands. Many churches also sell pumpkins in October as fund-raisers.
Have the kids draw the design they want on a piece of paper, then draw it again on the front of the pumpkin. When carving out the design, make sure to have a lined trash can ready to catch all the seeds and strings. Be sure to save the top of the pumpkin, to keep your candles safe. Cut in a large circle around the stem, so you can easily remove and replace it.
Another cool alternative to jack-o-lanterns is using empty one-gallon milk jugs, with a face drawn on the front in black magic marker. Put a string of low-voltage Christmas lights inside, leaving a hole in the back to run the cord to an outlet. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding Christmas lights this time of year, either!
You’ll also find decorations in inexpensive “dollar” stores, drug stores and groceries. Think outside the box: twisting long ribbons of orange and black crepe paper and then covering the front door with them says “Halloween” with very little effort or expense.
Even Bedsheets can be Scary!
And what would Halloween be without ghosts? To make your own, just use an extra sheet from the closet, a little tape and paper for the eyes, and something lightweight to fill out the head, like a small beach ball. Use fishing wire around the neck to hang your ghosts from doorjambs, trees, or anywhere else you want to create a spooky effect.
Create Ghastly Family Portraits
Here’s another fun one: paranormal family portraits! Just follow these easy steps to show the ghostly side of your family:
1. Make a black-and-white copy of a portrait on printer paper and cut out.
2. To “age” the picture, lightly brush it with a sponge dipped in a solution of a few drops of black craft paint mixed with water. Let the paper dry.
3. Cut a piece of card stock the same size as the photo, glue to the photo’s back, and let dry. Using an X-Acto knife, cut out the eyes of the picture’s subject(s), piercing through the card stock and creating holes about 1/4 inch in diameter.
4. Open the frame’s back, remove the glass, then fit the photo inside.
5. Insert red mini LED Christmas lights through the back of the eyeholes. Plug in the lights, then replace the frame’s backing, securing it with tape if necessary.