1. Ghosts in the Night
There are three relatively easy and cheap ways to make ghosts. White plastic garbage bags can be opened, a ball of wadded up newspaper stuffed into the head area, then a rubber band used to secure the neck. You can draw a face on the head with indelible black marker and hang these plastic ghosts from trees, the eaves of your house, and just about anywhere else. They are waterproof, too–a distinct advantage. You can also pick up white sheets at garage sales throughout the year, make a solid wad of newspaper for the head, and secure the neck with string. Another fabric that makes great ghosts is cheesecloth; use a white or clear balloon for the head and these ghosts will really float.
2. Scarecrow Fashion
Scarecrow clothes are a cinch to find at garage sales (ratty jeans, plaid shirts, old gloves or mittens, hats, etc.). Because straw can be a bit hard to find, use wadded up newspaper to stuff the clothes. Make the head out of plain muslin (usually less than two dollars a yard at fabric stores), and draw on the face with markers.
3. Ghoulish Graveyard
Cut headstones out of stiff cardboard or plywood (if you have access to power tools). Attach a garden stake to the back of each headstone, then pound into the ground. Paint the stones white and add goofy epitaphs.
4. Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkins are easy to grow, so why not grow your own for carving or using in arrangements? The kids will love watching the patch as it develops. If you have to buy pumpkins, you can usually pick them up cheaply — check out farmers’ markets for specials.