Here are some ideas of things
we did to have a whole lot of fun for very little money. You
can use these same basic principles for any holiday decorating.
1. You don't have to have a
lot of decorations for your display to look nice. I drive by
one home every year and each season the owners put out one simple
something. For example, in the summer they have one beautiful
pot of flowers sitting on their porch. In the fall a pot of mums,
for Halloween, one pumpkin with a smiley face and at Christmas
one pretty lit up wreath on the door. It's never a lot, but I
always get pleasure when I drive by the place and see their one
2. We work all year buying things
at garage sales or thrift stores for our decorations. We started
out with about 25 plastic pumpkins to set out for a pumpkin patch.
The next year we added another 50 and drilled holes in the bottoms
so we could put lights in them. After a few years we had 200-300
of them that we had collected. We never paid more then 5-10 cents
for them. If you want to have a big display, start small and
just add a little bit more to your decorations each year.
3. Cute homemade decorations
make Halloween fun! If you see something in a magazine or somewhere
that you think is cute but too expensive, try to copy it and
make it yourself:
* I saw a cute rake in a magazine that I loved. It was an old
rake that had a few silk flowers tied on it and a sign that said
"Free leaves, rake all you want." I just happened to
have a dead 50 year old rake in my shed I was going to throw
away, so I pulled it out, found an old board and some paint (I
could have used a marker too), painted on the words and tied
on a couple of stray silk flowers that I had and voila! I had
a cute rake and saved about $25.
* It takes nothing to stuff
some old clothes with plastic bags and make a scarecrow family.
* If you are a little handy,
put your talent to good use. My husband took and old metal trash
can and motorized it so that the lid moved up and down and when
it opened it popped out a Sylvester the cat.
4. We found decorations in unusual
places. Once we went to the grocery store where they had a gigantic
pumpkin. The thing was about 8-10 feet across. We asked the manager
if they threw it out at the end of the season and he said no.
We told him what we needed it for and discovered that he had
seen our display and liked it. He said "Come by on Halloween
morning and you can take it to use and then bring it back."
It doesn't ever hurt to ask about anything. Most people aren't
mean and hateful, but are usually kind and helpful.
5. Get more bang for your buck.
Buy things that have a big impact but cost little. A couple of
bags of spider webs and plastic spiders can cover a lot of area
and look "cool" but cost very little. I use spider
webs for everything. They're great to use to cover throw pillows
for a party, put in your hair, hang on the lights or wrap around
the handles of silverware. You just can't have too much.
6. Use what you already have
around the house.
* We were having a Halloween
party and to add to the effect, we dug out some black sheets
and covered all the furniture. It changed the whole look of the
* Another year, my husband found
some 10 foot long, thin metal rods. We stuck them in the ground,
added styrofoam wig heads to each one and hung some large pieces
of sheer fabric I had gotten for free from a friend over the
tops of the heads. Everyone loved them. The sheer material had
a much more realistic see through look then just a sheet. At
night, you couldn't see the rod so it looked like these ghosts
were floating 10 feet up in the air.
7. Start the day after Halloween
to prepare for next year. If your kids get a bunch of plastic
spiders when they go trick or treating, save them and add them
to the decoration box. If your child dressed as a pumpkin this
year, save the costume, stuff it next year and set it out with
the decorations. Try to think of ways to incorporate any old
costumes into your decorations.