Cheap Halloween Decorations ... From Your Trash!

Megan Van Schaick

halloween craftsFirst I was cheap and lazy, now I’m getting downright trashy. Whatever will you all do with me? (Don’t answer that.)

Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday. But I still do my duty and leave candy out, and I wrangle the kidlets in my life and we have a little Halloween-crafting party where we can all get down and awesomely dirty. With trash.

I’m going to share some of those trashy decorating secrets with you. But first, here’s what you should start saving (or digging out): toilet paper and paper towel tubes, baby food jars, egg cartons, milk cartons, plastic jars with lids (any size -- mayo, pickles, peanut butter) -- are you starting to get the idea?

Read on to see just how you can turn this ... crap ... into bona fide Halloween decorations!

You can do this two ways. You can do kids’ decorations, which are awesome and fun and interactive, or you can take the same projects and amp them up to make them a little more adult by using more detail and slightly different materials (interesting beads for eyes, dyed feathers for wings, and so on).

Cardboard tubes -- With a little paint, glue, and construction paper, you have instant bats. Giant, killer ones if you use the cardboard tubes and big paper. Hang them with yarn or stretchy string for a flock of swooping bats. For a party, wrap the tubes in sparkly black tissue paper and tape the openings to seal in candy.

Egg cartons -- Make creepy spiders by cutting cartons into individual sections, painting, and attaching googly eyes, fangs, and pipe cleaner legs. Take two separate sections and glue them together to make a pumpkin shape, then paint and decorate. You can turn a section of three cups into a bat by using scissors to cut out part of the bottoms of the end cups to create wing shapes. Leave them in surprising places or hang them to make a cool mobile.

Milk cartons -- Ideal for Frankensteins or other monsters, use paint or printed clip art for spine-chilling creations. Wrap the screw caps from the cartons or soda bottles in tin foil to make Frankie’s neck plugs. White paint and wrapped crepe paper streamers can turn a basic carton into a haunted mummy. Cut the tops off to display candy or other goodies.

Jars -- Turn ordinary jars and string lights into a supernatural light show. Poke holes in all lids with an awl or drill, and use tinted Mod Podge (an acrylic paint or even food coloring) to paint the jars. Once dry, draw on faces, spiders, or other fun Halloweenies. If you don’t want to paint, cover each jar in colored tissue paper, and glue on cut-outs of facials features. Insert one light into each jar and either hang or group on a tabletop.


Image via Lachlan/Flickr

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