Browsing your local Halloween mega-store can inspire great costume and decoration ideas. But all that inspiration can really add up at the cash register. What's a Halloween fan to do to decorate the yard for the season while on a budget?
We have five, frighteningly easy - and cheap - ideas to make your yard spooktacular. Read on for more!
Picking out the right pumpkin to turn into the jack-o'-lantern for your entryway or porch is an autumn tradition for many people. And who doesn't love the orange glow from a pumpkin's toothless (or toothy) grin?
While you could pick up a pumpkin carving kit to ensure you have the right tools for the job, you probably have the right tools in your kitchen and garage. Some carve easily with a knife and spoon but don't overlook things like melon ballers, ice cream scoops and small, serrated saws (they'll cut better than a kitchen knife). Another tip: Use a small, battery powered light or a glow stick instead of a candle to keep visitors (and your pumpkin) safe from burns.
Looking for a way to bring jack-o'-lanterns into your yard without the fuss of carving? Pick up a few orange, pumpkin-faced trash bags to fill as you rake the leaves in your yard.
Making your own graveyard, or just highlighting your yard with just one spooky grave, can be a DIYers dream. Heavy duty cardboard, scraps of wood or even thick Styrofoam can be repurposed to make gravestones.
Cut your graves into various shapes and don't hesitate to use pictures from the Web for inspiration. Paint them gray, then write epitaphs for the dead in black paint or with a large marker. And don't forget to include a "freshly dug" grave in front (read: pile of dirt about the length of a human body).
Add to the fun (or is it fright?) by scattering body parts near the graves, maybe half-buried. Arms and legs are easy to craft - cut the arms and legs off of an old shirt and pair of pants, stuff with old rags or batting from the fabric store, and sew shut.
While many of us don't like spiders on a regular day, they seem to become especially creepier around Halloween - and therefore make fantastically frightening decorations.
The spiders themselves can be crafted out of various materials. Paper is a good choice, or, to create a more realistic 3-D version, glue together Styrofoam balls that you've painted black. Add pipe cleaners for legs. Where to put your spider? In its web, of course.
Spider webs can be crafted out of string, especially good material if you want to make a web with intricate detail. If you'd rather have a wispy web, try stretching cotton balls or gauze, perfect for corners or a room or over bushes outside. You can also buy very inexpensive, pre-packaged "webbing" at most discount and drug stores.
Bring ghosts and witches to life in your yard. All it takes is some balloons and fabric. Ghosts are one of the easiest to conjure up - inflate balloons with helium and cover them with white sheets or white plastic trash bags. Use black marker to give them spooky faces and tie them to tree branches. Don't need your ghosts to float? Use a regular balloon or stuff the ghost's head with crumpled newspaper.
Make other monsters and zombies on a dime with old clothing - flannel shirts, overalls and T-shirts, for example - stuffed with leaves. Use a real or plastic pumpkin for the head instead of a balloon (unless you'd like your zombies to hover).
Use a similar formula for your outdoor witches. Simply use a black dress from your closet or hit the discount fabric store for some black remnant material. Accessorize your with a broomstick and pointy hat. To make the perfect accompanying prop, paint a large flowerpot black and add dry ice to create a witch's cauldron.
A cheap, quick and yet still fun way to transform your home from everyday to eerie is with lighting. Replace the regular incandescent bulbs in your outdoor fixtures with colored ones. Using colored light bulbs indoors will make a big impact on the outside appearance of your house, too. Neighbors will want to know, "what's going on in the glowing red house down the street?"
Do a trial run of your lighting idea the night before Halloween. This will ensure trick-or-treaters (and their parents) can see. Be strategic where you place your jack-o'-lanterns, too - placing one, or a few, outside can help light a pathway or porch for visitors.