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Frugal Tips and Ideas for Halloween House Decorating

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

Looking for frugal tips for Halloween decorating? Here are plenty of fun and easy ideas you can incorporate into your holiday decorating this year, both big and small, and no matter what time you've got. Yes, quick and spooky decorations are covered too in less time than it takes to say "Trick or Treat!"

Create a Spooky Atmosphere

Lighting is the key, when it comes to cheap Halloween decorating, and there are two ways this can be achieved.

Halloween Night Scene

1. Get together all your battery operated torches, or buy some cheap ones, and decide on a simple spooky design - ghosts and spiders work well.

Place your torch, bulb side down, onto some black paper, and draw around it to create an outline. Now draw, or trace, your spooky image within this outline leaving a border. Cut out the basic shape, and tape or glue this to the bulb side of the torch.

You can now either place these on the floor to project onto the ceiling, or hang them from the wall, or ceiling, to project your spooky image onto the floor.

2. Create a spooky Halloween atmosphere on the cheap with candles. Tealights or small candles can be bought by the hundred for just a few dollars, and plain glass votives to present them in are a bargain too.

Decorated Halloween Candle with Bat silhouette

Set to work creating a spooky image using glass paints, or black paper, making sure the design is secured on the outside of the candle holder. Group your candles together, or make a feature of certain areas of your Halloween home.

Remember to be candle safe, or alternatively use the safe, battery operated, tealights that look like candles.

Create Big Features with Papier Mache

One of the cheapest ways to create big Halloween house decorations, is with papier mache.

Rip up squares of newspaper, apply glue (wallpaper paste works well), place your paper squares where you need them, and paint the glue over the top, layering up as you go. You can either create this on an old shoe box or around a balloon.

Paper mache pumpkin head

When you have finished covering the balloon, and all layers are hard and dry, pop the balloon and remove to leave a perfect head shape.

This can then be painted to whatever spooky face you choose. If you've created this around a box then you could go for a Frankenstein's monster, or go down the robot/Sci-Fi route.

If time doesn't allow to complete a whole head, then why not create lots of little eye masks, in the same way. Hung them up around the room, to create a spooky sight.

This method can also be used to create tombstones, in fact the uneven effect of papier mache is perfect to create an aged, stony, appearance. Cover over a cereal packet with papier mache, and when dry, cover with grey paint, and add details of 'who lays here'.

Get Creative with White Glue

Top Tip

Your ally in the frugal Halloween decorating war, is definitely white glue, as it can be put to so many uses. Using a similar technique to that of papier mache, you can create scary ghosts with real 'boo' factor.

Ghost decoration

Water down your glue, using equal parts water to glue, and layer up cheesecloth, or muslin fabric, this time draping the material over the balloon and letting the excess hang down. Make sure each section is saturated in the glue mixture so it dries hard. These should be able to stand up on their own, or can be hung with invisible nylon thread to appear as if they are floating in the air.

Create spider webs using a thin nozzle on your white glue bottle (or create a piping bag with baking parchment and snip off the end). Draw out a spider web design, and place a transparent or semi opaque plastic lid over the top. Trace the spider web design with your glue and leave to dry. You should then be able to peel off a perfect spider web to hang over the door of your Halloween house.

Finishing Touches

It's the finishing touches that bring a scheme together so don't overlook them. Consider these inexpensive Halloween house decorating ideas to complete your scheme.

Fake spiderweb
  • Create fake mildew by using a spray mist bottle and scattering flour over the top, to create a 'mildew' appearance over items you may already have.
  • Fake scabs can also be created using oatmeal and water, and leaving plenty of drying time.
  • Use clothes hangers with old clothing hanging from them and hang them on curtain rails -- add balloon heads if you wish. If you light it from behind it will create a great illusion of floating, zombie-like bodies to anyone passing from outside.

With just a little bit of effort, these frugal tips for Halloween decorating can be a real scream!



Jun 15, 2012 11:15pm
I think i am getting fan of your articles.

Thumbs up.
Jun 16, 2012 2:44am
Aww Matt that is lovely thank you!
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