Cheap Halloween Decorations: 12 Easy Homemade Ideas

Whether you caught the DIY bug from creating homemade Halloween costumes for your kids, putting together pretty decorated pumpkins, or you're getting crafty for the first time, these homemade Halloween decorations make it easy to trick out your house for the holiday inexpensively — but without looking cheap.

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Boo Bottles

Lucas Zarebinski for Reader's Digest

Raid your recycling bin to make these glass ghosts in four easy steps: First, remove labels and caps from bottles (we used Perrier ones here). Spray-paint them white, then draw faces on with black marker. Finally, throw in colorful straws for cute centerpieces. See more in the video below, featuring InstaCraft:

Cobweb Coasters

Lucas Zarebinski for Reader's Digest

Cups look creepy when sitting on these spindly saucers. Hook five bobby pins onto a 3/8-inch flat metal washer. Then, wrap twine around and thread through each bobby pin. Spray-paint everything white for that ghoulish look, and scatter small toy spiders around the table.

Spooky Terrarium

Courtesy Todays Creative Blog

Today’s Creative Blog gives a creepy twist to the cute woodland world. After you search the backyard for twigs, moss, and rocks, scour the house for small Halloween-themed decorations like skulls and scary birds. Then, build your scene on an upside-down lid of a Mason jar. When your miniature landscape looks complete, screw the jar onto the lid and place in the window or next to your front door in lieu of a pumpkin.

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Vampire Napkin Rings

Lucas Zarebinski for Reader's Digest

Serious chompers make your table settings look so cute it’s scary. Splash white cloth napkins with red Kool-Aid, thread a white twist tie through a set of plastic vampire teeth, and finally secure a twist tie around the center of your napkin.

Creepy Wall Hangings

Courtesy The Graphics Fairy

The Graphics Fairy makes Halloween decorating easier with three free printables and a simple technique to transfer the images directly onto fabric using your regular printer. (Make sure you have a full black ink cartridge.) Wooden embroidery hoops come from the craft store for under $2. If fabric hangings aren’t your thing, pop images into frames and hang them up around the house.

Ghostly Lanterns

Cheap and cheerful: Draw spooky faces on empty, clean gallon milk jugs, then fill with white holiday lights to decorate your porch or walkway with a ghostly Halloween glow.

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Wicked Witch Candy Dish

Turn a pair of old heels into a bewitching candy bowl. Wrap the heels in cheap sparkly paper, then decorate and fill with Halloween treats.

Hanging Bats and Ghosts

Kids can help turn egg cartons into bat decorations; just cut, paint, and add googly eyes. Make cute, cheap Halloween ghosts by painting leaves white, then drawing a spooky face with a marker.

Forever Pumpkins

For cheap jack-o-lantern decorations that will last past Halloween, cover clean, empty jars with orange construction paper or tissue paper. Add features with black construction paper, then pop in a tea candle—with flames, or battery-operated—and watch your "pumpkin" glow.

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Crafty Spider Sacks

You won't want to dust away these Halloween cobwebs: Create chic, cheap yarn spider webs to decorate light fixtures, drape over curtains, or hang from a railing. Don't forget to attach a tiny plastic spider to each sack.

Bloody Table Runner

Courtesy Brit+Co

The geniuses at Brit + Co. have made Halloween that much more festive with this so-simple-its-insane DIY. Your materials: Gauze, red acrylic paint, and a paintbrush. Dab your paintbrush into the red paint and sporadically brush along the gauze runner. For a truly Dexter-inspired look, swipe some red paint onto Mason jars for candle votives and on plastic cups (add a handprint or two for really gruesome settings).

Lace Pumpkin

Courtesy Positively Splendid

To give the classic lantern a new look, do like Amy from Postively Splendid and spray your pumpkins with white paint before wrapping them in strips of lace. No lace fabric handy? Try using a thick lace headband, or cut a strip of lace stocking and fit around the widest part of the pumpkin.

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Spider Garland

Courtesy OhMy Creative

We screamed when we saw this creepy, crawly banner from Oh My! Creative. Glue black yarn “legs” onto a pom and add a small dot of glue upon which to sprinkle orange sparkles. “While the spiders are drying (2-3 hours), cut the paper straws in half with scissors,” blogger Susan writes. “Sew through the belly of the spider...Then string them along alternating spiders and straws.”

Candy Corn Garland

Using paint chips in shades of yellow and orange, you can knock out these cheap candy corn garland decorations—sweet! Another idea: turn the paint cards into mini jack-o-lantern shapes.

Boo-tiful Wreath

Make a ghostly wreath decoration with cheap white felt ghosts and a black bow. You can spray your wreath gray or black, or leave it natural. Even sweeter: Wrap lollipops in tissues to make ghostly Halloween treats, then cover a wreath by tucking under a ribbon or attaching with glue.

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Candy Corn Vases

Set the scene with cheap candy corn vases by decorating a Halloween table, windowsill, or mantel. Simply spray clean, empty bottles with orange, yellow, and white paint.

Front Door Mummy

Courtesy Honey & Fitz

Make a ghoulish first impression with this five-minute Halloween door DIY from Honey and Fitz. First, tape paper streamers to the front door, overlapping the strips to give a wrapped look. Then, cut sheets of black and white construction paper into circles to make eyes. Place the eyes on the top of the door and tape to secure.

Halloween Ornaments

Christmas ornaments make festive, cheap Halloween bulbs to decorate a house or yard. Cover ornaments in paper mache, then paint with Halloween designs like striped witch's stockings, pumpkins, or ghosts.

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Mummy Seating Cards

Courtesy Curly Birds

Decorate inside and out for Halloween with this ingenious idea from Curly Birds. Glue gauze, googly eyes, and cardboard to fashion small, square mummies. Set them out as place cards for a Halloween party, drop a few into the candy bucket for trick-or-treaters, or send to school with the kids to give out to classmates.

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