Homemade Halloween Decoration Ideas

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Aside from cooler temperatures, October brings back-to-school nights, fall carnivals, and the candy-lover's favorite Holiday-Halloween. The time for ghouls, ghosts, and bumps in the night has returned. For many, it's all about the costumes; getting decked out in your All Hallow's best is a chance for you to just let go and have a turn at being someone else for the night. It's also the only time of year where purchasing 10-pound bags of candy is accepted as commonplace and not just an excuse to chase your feelings with chocolate.

In the rush and thrill of it all, you can't forget to deck your house out with spookiest of Halloween decor. Store-bought items are not only pricey, but with everyone clamoring to the store to purchase the same items, they can be generic as well. If you're up for the challenge, here are ten DIY Halloween decorations that are sure to spook even the harshest Halloween critics.

Halloween Paper Lanterns

When it comes to Halloween, there is nothing more iconic than a jack o' lantern. Break free from the confines of pumpkin carving, and try this easier-to-clean-up paper project.

What you'll need:

  • Black and orange paper bags (can be found at most craft stores during the Halloween season)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Flameless tea light candles

Use the pencil to sketch a jack o' lantern face on the front of the paper bag. This can be a great activity for kids, if they're looking to join in on the fun. You can use stencils or cookie cutters to help with fun patterns. Be creative! You don't have to stick with a spooky face; try bats, cobwebs, or other spooky designs. Cut along the lines, so that the face or image appears as it would on a true jack o' lantern. Place the tea lights in the direct center of the open paper bag. These look great if they're set against a wall, with the cut images facing the wall, the images will appear as shadows!

Ready for Planting Finished Product

Real-Pumpkin Candles

Gone are the days when pumpkins could only be useful in carving and pie-making. These fun and easy-to-make candles will make you look like a crafting wizard (even without the costume!)

What you'll need:

  • Miniature pumpkins
  • Candle wax and wick kit (most craft stores will carry multiple versions of these)
  • Knife
  • Spoon

Start by removing the lid of the pumpkin and scraping it clean like you would if you were prepping to carve it. Smaller pumpkins aren't usually hollow, so you'll need to cut and scrape the inside to leave space for the wax. Melt and pour the wax per instructions on the kit. Don't forget to place the wick directly in the center to ensure even melting. If you did a thorough scrape before the wax pour, these candles should stay good for several weeks, but keep your eyes out for mold and dispose of quickly.

Candy Corn Wreath

Who doesn't love candy corn? When October rolls around it's hard to escape. Utilize the mass quantities of this sweet and affordable treat with this project.

What you'll need:

  • Styrofoam or plastic wreath base
  • 2 bags of candy corn
  • Duct tape
  • Glue gun

Begin by wrapping the wreath completely in tape. Make sure you don't leave any free space. Individually glue candy corn in a circle around the outside ring of the wreath. Gradually stack circles of glued candy corn until the wreath is completely covered. To maximize space, switch the directions to which the tips of the candy corn face. (The outmost row faces left, new row right, etc...) Continue until you've completely covered the wreath in candy. You can use a ribbon, twine, or string to hang the wreath, when finished.

Foam Tombstones

What yard is complete without a few tombstones here and there. Decorate your front yard with a few of these deadly favorites.

What you'll need:

  • Styrofoam squares
  • Gray and black spray paint
  • Gray and black acrylic paint
  • Black permanent marker
  • Paintbrush
  • Knife

Trace the outline for the tombstones and cut it out with the knife. Sketch the tombstone design directly on the Styrofoam. This can say anything you want. There's always the traditional "RIP" or you can opt for a funnier, light-hearted option. If you or anyone in your family is artistic, try drawing spooky pictures. Use the acrylic paint to paint over the sketched words and images. Spray paint varying degrees of both black and gray to make the tombstone appear older.

Creating Halloween décor is as fun as you make it. Be creative and use items that aren't considered commonplace for holiday decorating. To keep the Halloween theme, use mostly fall colors: orange, brown, yellow, and black. Don't be afraid to be a little scary, it is Halloween, after all.

Last Updated: August 28, 2012
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About Chanti Burnette Chanti was a freelance writer for IdealHomeGarden.com.

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