As for decorating your place for Halloween on the cheap —

Decorate your home and yard with everyday items and almost-trash, like leftover candle stubs and toilet-paper ghosts, the glossy magazines tell you. Right. Not.

What genius was the first to suggest that lighted candles and paper products could be a safe mix? Now throw in gangs of rambling trick-or-treating kids wearing capes and robes and all manner of flammable costumes? Uh-uh.

Not only that, it has been known to rain on October 31st… So what happens to your elegant glowing lights and drifting ghosts, if it rains? Soggy toilet paper draped over trees. In the dark. Not so chic and clever after all, is it? And you’ll just have to clean it all up the next day…

You can do better, even on a tight budget.

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Tips for Frugal Halloween Decorations

Get yourself a pumpkin and make a traditional Jack-o-lantern. If you draw the face on your pumpkin with magic marker, instead of carving into it, you can cook it up later and make a pumpkin pie. How frugal is that?

If the kids want to know why you’re not investing in the latest inflatable three-witches yard art, or strings of flashing ghost lights, just tell them you’re doing your part for the environment. Ninety-nine percent of school-aged kids know more about saving energy than David Susuki does, and they dig it. Get them involved in thinking of other ways to decorate —

  • Homemade orange-and-black paper chains looped across the porch railing?
  • Watercolour paints to make scarey scenes on the windows?
  • Construction paper cut-outs of spooky cats and haunted houses?
  • An old white bedsheet pinned up in a shadowy corner of the yard, to spook all your little trick-or-treating visitors when it moves in the slightest breeze?
  • …you get the idea.

And if you’re fixed on decorating with Halloween string lights around your home and garden, why not re-purpose the ones you use for Christmas and patio parties? This works especially well if you tend to go with plain white lights (very elegant) — and they’re low-energy, low-heat LED mini-lights, right? Add a few fake spiderwebs (and dangle a few pipe-cleaner spiders, if you’re feeling artsy-crafty)… you’re good to go.

Not quite enough festive Halloween decorating, yet, for your taste?

Decorate your front steps with an over-sized bouquet of dead branches (pick ’em up when you rake the lawn) in a wide-mouthed container — I like an old stew kettle for this, but use what you’ve got — and tuck in a couple of mini gourds.

Or more of those pipe-cleaner spiders and artifical webs.
Or bits of orange and black ribbon, tied in bows.
Or a photo of your mother-in-law.

Whatever scares you.

And here’s a bonus idea — you can save time and money, both, if you simply go with more general “seasonal” decorations, and simply add a touch of spooky Halloween goodness for the night itself.

Think of a wreath of colourful autumn leaves, or a harvest-themed display of gourds and pumpkins, or a decorative scarecrow.

Instead of having a box of special Halloween decorations that will be used for a week or so at most, you’ll decorate once — and the decorations will do you for Thanksgiving too!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. domestika

    Speaking of frugal holiday decorations, Suz, I do think you’ll like what’s coming up next (in the Christmas theme)! My friend Ching Ya has been teaching me how to fold tiny stars out of strips of paper… and she’s put together a photo tutorial for us :D Stay tuned!

    edited to add:
    I astonish myself with my efficiency (*snort*)!!
    Here it is, posted already — — Ching Ya’s instructions for how to fold paper stars! I think she did a beautiful job of explaining it.

  2. Suz at Popular Home

    Fair enough! I suppose it’s all relative :).

    Thank you for visiting – we’ve got a long way to go, but we hope to be able to provide useful content for home decorators in all facets of the phrase!

  3. domestika

    Hey, I don’t know about “my inner creativity isn’t very vast”, Suz – LOL – I mean, there’s that whole bit you’ve got about decorating the bathroom for the holidays! Nice looking blog you’ve got there – thanks for sharing it. :)

  4. Suz at Popular Home

    Hi Rebecca,

    Great site! Have you thought about writing a similar post for the rapidly approaching December holidays? I added a few suggestions on our recently created blog, Beautiful Home Accessories, but my inner creativity isn’t very vast. The best that I could come up with was using cleaned out mayonnaise/jelly jars as candle holders, or painting old bulbs or balls festive colors and then placing them in a clear mixing bowl for a unique decorative piece.

    Anyway, Happy Holidays!


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