As Halloween draws near, people across the country are getting excited for costumes, candy and decorating their homes. Whether you put up one decoration or have the scariest house on the block, Halloween can be a fun time for both children and adults.
If you’re looking for big screams at a low cost, making your own decorations could be the answer. Reusing past decorations can certainly save you money but creating new, homemade additions could be fun for the whole family. It could also be a chance to get creative and make decorations you can’t buy in a store.
Here are some DIY Halloween decorations that won’t scare your budget:
Spider web wall
What you’ll need - yarn, double-sided tape, plastic spiders and bugs, large wall space
Do you want to create the spider web1 of your dreams (or nightmares)? It may be easier than you think. First, find the location for your giant web. It may help to choose a blank wall so you don’t have to take down pictures or artwork.
Next, cut and fold the double-sided tape into tiny squares. The amount you cut will depend on the size of the web. Place the squares upon the wall a few inches apart to shape the web and provide a strong hold for the yarn.
Once the tape is in place, apply the strands of yarn to create the web. After you connect all of the yarn pieces, you can now choose where you want to place your spiders and other insects. The size, type and number of bugs in your web is up to you!
What you’ll need - double boiler, candle wax, dye, scented oil (optional), wicks, thermometer and mason jars
Creating homemade candles2 requires the use of a stove and high heat. Please exercise extreme caution and only perform under adult supervision
- Place the double boiler on a stove with wax in the upper pot.
- Melt the wax over medium to medium-high heat.
- Once it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the upper pot from the heat and add 1/4 to 1/2 block of dye to the melted wax and stir until dissolved. If you want the candles to be scented, allow the dyed wax to cool to 175 degrees and add scented oil.
- While the wax continues to cool, arrange your wicks in the jars. Wrap the top of the wick around a toothpick or similar long object and lay it across the jar opening. This should allow your wick to hang in the center. Also, place waxed or parchment paper under your mason jars in case you spill when it’s time to pour.
- Once the wax gets down to 120 degrees, pour it through a funnel into the mason jars. Only pour about 80% of the candle so the wick extends above the wax but can be trimmed below the rim of the jar. Save about 1/2 cup of wax in the pot.
- Poke holes around the center so any trapped air can escape and let the wax to cool for 30-45 minutes.
- Reheat the remaining wax to 175 degrees and pour it into the jars to even out the top of the candles.
- Let the wax cool completely (about 6 hours), then cut the wicks to your desired height.
- Once molded, you can either remove the candle or leave it in the jar.
Horrifying hanging bats
What you’ll need - black craft foam or cardboard, scissors, fishing line, googly eyes, pencil, glue, hole punch
Whether frightening or friendly, DIY bat decorations3 are a great addition to any Halloween-focused theme. To get started, you need an outline of a bat - you can either draw your own or download and print a bat template from the internet.
Next, use a pencil to trace the bat shape onto the black craft foam or cardboard and cut it out. If you plan on using a large number of bat decorations, it may be faster to trace them all first and cut them second.
Once your bat shapes are cut, use a hot glue gun or craft glue to attach the googly eyes. Depending on how you want your bats to hang, punch a hole in the head or tail region. Last but not least, run the fishing line through the holes and hang the bats above a doorway or stairwell.
Ghoulish garage door art
What you’ll need - cardboard, markers, scissors, tape, garage door
If you have a favorite Halloween theme or landscape, why not share it with the neighborhood? Garage doors and large exterior walls are perfect canvases, so let your imagination run wild!
As for supplies, the basic list above should suffice but some ideas may require additional materials. It may be wise to design your scary scenery first so you can price out materials before buying them. If your garage door has panels, be sure to accommodate for the panels folding when the door goes up and down.
Here are some suggestions for garage door art4:
- Spooky tree
- Haunted house on rolling hills
- Line of pumpkins with different faces
- Scary landscape with huge full moon
Frightening front porch draperies
What you’ll need - cheesecloth, black tea bags, tape measure, scissors, staple gun or strong tape
Distressed, ghostly draperies5 are a great way to give your home spooky curb appeal. To get started, measure your porch to see how long it is and how far down you want the draperies to hang. Once you know how much material you need, cut the cheesecloth into sections.
Next, boil water and pour it into a bucket. Add bags of black tea to the bucket and stuff your cheesecloth fully under water using a broom handle or another long object. Let the cheesecloth soak overnight.
Remove it from the bucket the next day and lay it over a fence or door to air dry. Once dry, staple or tape the cloth to your porch’s overhang. The black tea will give it a dingy, aged look. If you want to make the draperies look even more distressed, use a pair of scissors to create a tattered effect.
What you’ll need - Styrofoam sheets, serrated knife, spray paint, permanent marker, wooden stakes
From famous monsters to family members, a group of fake tombstones6 can instantly turn your front yard into a makeshift cemetery. To begin, purchase some Styrofoam sheets from your local craft store. Next, use a permanent marker to draw the desired shape of your tombstones on each sheet and carefully cut along the outline.
Once they’re cut out, lay the tombstones on an old sheet in a well-ventilated area and paint them grey with spray paint or regular paint. Use long, even strokes to ensure even coating. After the paint is completely dry, use the marker to write names of famous monsters like Frankenstein or Dracula. You can also use funny fake names such as Al B. Backe and Dee Cayen.
Bone-chilling on a budget
As the predecessor to Thanksgiving and Christmas, Halloween is the start to decoration season for millions of Americans. If you have Halloween spirit but want to stay on budget, hopefully these suggestions will help you accomplish both objectives.
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