Halloween gets bigger and better every year. Haunted houses pop up all over the place. Everything is covered in fake spider webs. Jack-o-lanterns adorn porches and walkways all over town.
You get excited about it too, until you visit the Halloween store that suddenly appeared where the old video store used to be. You start to realize that Halloween is expensive! Sure, you could go all out and buy a 10-foot mechanical zombie, or spend $100 or more on a Jack Sparrow costume. The good news is that you don’t have to do any of that. Whether you’re having a party or just making it fun for your family, Halloween can be done cheaply. In fact, the best decorations are made with things you may have around the house.
Scary haunted houses are just run-down places, and the outside of your home can be made to look that way, too. Throw some plastic bones in a wheelbarrow full of dirt. Fill some old clothes with leaves, secure the holes so the leaves stay in, and place them around the yard to resemble bodies that have been torn apart. Get some dried corn stalks, tie them in bunches, and place them around light poles, fences, or pillars. If you have some chain, wrap it around your shed and hang up a sheet on which you’ve spray-painted the phrase, “Don’t open, dead inside.”
If you have some old pallets lying around, you can use them in various ways. If you’re feeling crafty, take them apart to make a rustic, rundown fence, or perhaps a makeshift coffin. Alternatively, lay it on the ground, splatter a little red paint on the top, wrap a thick rope or chain around it, and put a fake hand sticking out of the slats. Tip: Dollar stores are a great place to pick up cheap bones and body parts (fake, of course).
Think about using some of your gardening tools, or some old furniture. Raid your basement, garage, and shed for anything that could be used to make people wonder if there might be zombies, vampires, or monsters lurking nearby!
Here are some more ideas for a fun and cheap Halloween.
Choosing the Right Food
Let your imagination run wild with food choices. You can scare up a good feast without spending much at all.
Put googly eyes on everything, from chocolate-covered pretzel rods to store-bought cookies dipped in candy melts. Everything looks like a monster with googly eyes!
Hot Dog Fingers
Heat hot dogs, cut a small fingernail shape at one end, and insert a sliced almond. Tell everyone that they’re amputated fingers!
Pour melted white chocolate onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and quickly top with Halloween-colored sprinkles, candies, and candy corn. Refrigerate and break into pieces.
The Ideal Costume Ideas
It isn’t Halloween unless you’re dressed to impress. Forego the store-bought items and put together your own fun ensemble.
All you need are black sweatpants, a black hoodie, black construction paper ears, and black fabric glued to the underside of your arms and the sides of your body.
You’ll need a black long-sleeved shirt, black pants, a swimming mask, a snorkel, and two empty 2-liter soda bottles spray-painted and glued to straps for scuba tanks.
Glue white balloons to a white T-shirt, and wear white shorts with it. Wear a shower cap and carry a loofah.
The Decorations Can Make or Break an Event
Even the decorations can be done on the cheap, ensuring you have some money left over to buy extra candy that you know will be left over after the trick-or-treaters stop coming.
Candy Corn Garland
Simply string it as you would with popcorn garland during the winter holidays.
Drape them over your furniture to give the look of a haunted and abandoned house.
Black Spray Paint
It makes everything spookier. Spray some candleholders, vases, picture frames, gourds, and twisty branches.
Roll newspaper into a ball of the desired size, cover with fake spider webbing, place plastic spiders all over it, and then hang it using more webbing.
The best Halloween ideas for decorations, food, and costumes come from your imagination, and maybe a little help from the internet. Start gathering items for your scary home early so you’re not tempted to hit the Halloween stores at the last minute.
If you really have your heart set on some of those pricier decorations from the stores, think about next year. Stores begin slashing prices the day after Halloween, so you could make a killing!