How to have a great All Hallows’ Eve on a budget! This year, I’ve learned my two boys are starting to really get into the spirits’ spirit and asking for ever more creepy decorations around the house! I’ve done the usual paper plate and cotton ball decorations but want to really up my game on decorating the front porch. How can this be done on a budget? And with little time (as I seem to lack this too)!
Those inflatable creatures and light shows on my neighbours’ lawns are simply amazing! But, if I want to afford Christmas this year, I had to get creative with help from my family! And I’d love to share my spooky trash upcycling secrets with you!
The Halloween Pom-poms
This one was a craft I stumbled upon many months ago when I was prepping for my sister’s wedding. In order to decorate my house to be fit for a bride, I found white tissue paper pom-poms made my house look elegant and striking. For Halloween, I made the same pom-poms but using black and orange tissue paper – and it looked ghastly!
- Take five pieces of tissue paper, stacked one on top of the other, and fold them over like a fan or accordion.
- Wrap wire around the centre of the fan, tying it tight (I used floral wire because of the abundance I currently find around the house now but you can also use pipe cleaner).
- Gently pull the tissue away from the tips and into the centre, in all directions, until it looks like a large tissue ball.
- Hang it from the trees outside – this is a great part to do with your kids!
The Ghastly Ghosts
As I stopped at the store last weekend, I was shocked that there were no pumpkins left to be carved! The shortage wasn’t going to slow me down though, I thought, so I grabbed a couple of 4 litre jugs of milk instead.
Why? To make a few ghoulie ghosts for my own front steps. Here’s how:
- Empty the jugs into another refrigerable container and store for breakfast cereal.
- Wash out the containers and cut a small hole in the bottom of each.
- Let your kids draw some spooky or silly faces on the milk jugs with black sharpies – don’t forget to colour them in!
- Plug in a strand of Christmas lights, preferably white, and creep them down your front steps, bunching them up in the spots the ghosts will sit.
- Put the ghosts on top of the bunched up lights, ensuring the lights are within the holes cut in the bottom.
- Alternatively, if you’ve got a good ladder and kids that listen remarkably well, you can also hang the lights and use tape to keep the lights within the ghosts so that they are actually flying.
The Sinister Spider
This one might give grandma palpitations – it’s not for the faint hearted – but my kids loved it!
For my sister’s wedding, I strung up a ton of wedding bells in the centre of my room (this was where the bridesmaids were doing hair and makeup morning of). Then I strung streamers from the centre of the ceiling to the walls. To all the ladies, it looked beautiful, but to my four-year old son, it “looks like a spider web.”
Which gave me an idea.
- Fill one black garbage bag with leaves or anything else soft and filling. Tie it shut.
- Tape or tie the garbage bag slightly off-centre so that there is a large section, which will be the abdomen, and a small section, which is the head.
- Take a second black garbage bag and cut it lengthwise into eight pieces so that you have eight long legs.
- Tape or tie the spider together and then to the front porch banisters or to a tree.
- Use white streamers to make a web around the spider.
- You can also add eyes using construction paper – my son found that red was the creepiest.
The Eerie Witch
This is a craft my parents have done a few times in their front yard. It helps if you have a creepy large cauldron full of candy. One year, my brother hid in the cauldron and jumped out when approached. He nearly froze his toes off so I don’t recommend that part.
But do try this eerie, faceless balloon witch! She’s (nearly) priceless! Here’s how:
- Blow up a green balloon and tie it closed.
- Get a black garbage bag and slit it on one side so you could wear it like a cape.
- Put it over the balloon like a hood and tie or tape it to the tied part of the balloon. The green balloon should look like a face with a black hood and a black, flowy cloak.
- Make a witch’s hat out of construction paper by making a cone out of black construction paper and stapling or taping it together. Take a second piece of black construction paper and cut out a large circle (don’t cut out the inside circle where a normal head would fit because our balloon witch can’t hold on to her hat if the wind picks up). Instead, just tape the cone to the centre of the circle, and the centre of the circle to the witch’s head.
- Hang the witch up using fishing line or another type of string and tying her to an overhanging tree branch or soffit.
- Watch her sway unnervingly in the breeze.
The Haunting Howls
Lastly, the most effective and least costly idea – sounds to accompany the sights.
I like to play fun Halloween songs in the house for the kids, namely The Monster Mash, The Purple People Eater, and I Put a Spell on You, among others. It gives the spirit of Halloween an extra kooky theme with dancing and sing-along fun! My siblings and I loved all of these songs growing up and now, so do my kids!
However, if you are looking to really spook some older kids or want an extra unearthly edge over your neighbours’ Halloween displays, nothing compares to werewolf sound effects! Just ensure your neighbours don’t mind the hair-raising vocalizations!
As always, I hope you and your family have a safe and fun holiday! Don’t forget to dress everyone in extra winter gear to stay warm and wear reflective garments to be seen in the dark. If you need reminders or tips on how to stay safe, please check out last year’s Halloween blog here!
Have a FANGTASTIC Halloween!