Festive and frugal are two words that can easily go together when you’re thinking about holiday decorations. With Halloween coming up, there is a lot to think about: costumes for the kids, decorations for the house, and candy, of course. Store-bought costumes are not cheap, and buying decorations at the store can really add up. But you can create a festive fall atmosphere (or a spooky haunted house) using items that you already have or that you can purchase cheaply. Here’s how:
A few appropriately placed giant spider webs can elicit the shivers in just about anyone. Use plain white twine or yarn to create a giant spider web on your front porch or between a few trees in your front yard. Start by tying a couple of pieces of yarn across from each other to form an “X.” Keep adding spokes to the “X” to make more of a star shape. Once you have the basis for your web, start wrapping a long piece of yarn in a spiral shape, starting at the center of the star shape and spiraling outward. Every time you cross one of the pieces of yarn that makes up the star, tie a knot with the spiral yarn.
Make spider webs that cling to your windows using glue and plastic wrap. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Draw out a spider web shape using regular white glue. Once the glue has dried, peel off the plastic wrap and press the spider web onto a window.
To make spiders for your webs, paint a cotton ball and toothpicks (or wooden skewers) black using tempera or poster paint. Stick the toothpicks or skewers through the cotton ball body. You may wish to add extra security with glue. If you have pipe cleaners, you can use them for the legs instead of toothpicks or skewers.
Since everything in your garden is probably drying up anyway, take advantage and cut down some dead branches or dried flowers. Spray paint them black and set them out in vases around your house. If you want a more lively Halloween decoration using flowers, create a fall wreath for your front door using colorful leaves that have begun to change color. Go on a nature walk with the kids, and have them collect leaves that have fallen on the ground. When you get home, cut out a piece of cardboard in a donut shape. You can paint the cardboard black, orange, red, or any other fall color. Use a paintbrush to spread a thick layer of glue all over the cardboard, and stick on the leaves you collected. Add a piece of string to hang the wreath from your door.
Add a spooky element to your house indoors and out with a few old white bed sheets. Tear holes in the sheets and smear some black or brown marker on them to make them look old. You can even dye some parts of the sheets with tea. Throw them over your couch and recliner to make your living room a little creepier.
Add some Halloween critters to your front yard by covering an kickball, soccer ball, or beach ball with a sheet. Tie a string just under the ball to gather the sheet at the neck. Let the rest of the sheet dangle. You can hang these ghosts from your eaves, and they will sway gently in the wind.Make smaller ghosts to hang indoors using tissues or paper towels tied around a cotton ball. Hang from doorways and light fixtures. You can also spray paint a spring of dry branches black and put them in a vase. Hang the ghosts from the sticks.It’s easy to transform your home from cozy and comfortable to spooky and macabre just in time for Halloween. Kids will love helping to make these Halloween decorations. If you involve them in the decorating process, they’ll find the decorations delightful instead of dreary.About the author A mother of four, Tricia Stevens contributes to several mom sites and says to also get some great ideas for Halloween recipes with pictures, and check out the history of candy apples, a definite Halloween tradition.