Transforming what you have into Halloween décor

Decorating for Halloween doesn’t have to bust your budget. Using common items around your home, you can easily create decorations that are spooky and sophisticated. Follow the tips below and you may even be able to create Halloween decorations that look better than the props and accessories you’d typically find at a store.

Halloween potpourri

1Picture frames

Remove the photos currently inside the picture frames displayed throughout your home. Replace these photos with Halloween cards or spooky images you’ve found on the Internet. When searching the Internet for images, use search terms such as “bat skeleton,” “vintage Halloween,” or “skull art.” These terms will lead you to a wealth of spooky black-and-white images. To give the images an aged appearance, stain the paper in coffee or tea.


Adorn your walls with flickering, eerie shadows using candles you already own and paper cutouts you can create yourself. Emily Widle, the e-commerce marketing specialist for Pegasus Lighting, offers this tip: “Cut out shapes of menacing pumpkins or black cats onto card stock and attach them to the back of the candleholder using wire. Once you light the candle — make sure the flame has a good distance from the paper cutouts — shadows will project onto the walls. It’s a look that will elicit goosebumps!”


You can easily and inexpensively create spooky, sophisticated Halloween décor using elements all around the outside of your home: branches, leaves, mums, pine cones — you name it! You can spray paint these items to suit the color palette of your Halloween décor. Black, white and silver are popular color choices, and work well with brighter accent colors such as orange, lime green or red. You can place these elements inside vases, jars, planters and hurricanes.


The dry texture of potpourri makes it perfect for Halloween décor. You can sprinkle it inside glass vases and on candle plates. If you have a prop such as a skull or a severed finger, use potpourri as a base for it.


Using a wire hanger and a few old T-shirts, you can easily create a Halloween wreath. Form a circle using the wire hanger. Then cut the T-shirt into small strips. Try to create strips that are eight to 10 inches long and a half-inch wide. Knot these strips around the wire hanger, pushing the knots tightly together. The tighter your knots are packed together and the more layers you add to the circle, the fuller your wreath will appear.

6Cotton balls and cheesecloth

Cheesecloth can be draped over decorations, mantels and furniture to give your home an ominous, abandoned appearance that’s perfect for Halloween. Cotton balls can be stretched apart and strewn across props, decorations and picture frames. You can also create “spider sacs” using cotton balls: Just bunch together several cotton balls and add a few plastic spiders.

7Costume accessories

Bring your old Halloween costumes out of storage and find creative ways to incorporate them in your home’s Halloween décor. Masks, witch hats and brooms make excellent decorations; fishnet stockings can be pulled over glass candle holders. If any of your past costumes include tulle, rip the tulle out and use it to create a spooky Halloween wreath, wrap it around candleholders and pillars, or weave it around chandeliers.

8Wine bottles

Rather than throwing empty wine bottles into the trash, use them to decorate. You can place tall, skinny candles in the top of the bottles. As the candles burn, the wax will drip down the sides of the glass. Another option is to place vintage labels on the bottles using Gothic-style type. After the bottles have been labeled things such as “bat’s blood,” “goblin sweat” or “poison,” you can prop them inside cabinets, on tables or near the food and drink area.

Watch: How to decorate with pumpkins

Pumpkins are good for other uses besides pies and carving. Here are two!

More ideas for Halloween

5 Halloween activities kids and adults will love
5 Fun Halloween party themes
Halloween costume trends for teens


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