I’m not the kind of person to invest a lot of money in holidays like Halloween. If I’m throwing a party, it’s likely that next year will have a different theme and this year’s stuff will be passé.
But I also like my party supplies and décor to be cool and have a high-quality, upscale feel -- like you see at Pottery Barn (and PB Kids) or Horchow.
So I compromise -- my way: I use those companies for inspiration and then hit up the dollar store. Between what I find there and the supplies I have (paint and adhesives, mostly), I more than outdo the displays on those fancy homepages.
Want to hear all the secrets?
Serving Tray -- This is just an acrylic tray with an image sandwiched between its layers. Know what else it is? A dollar store plastic tray, decorative napkins, and Mod Podge.
PB Kids Price: $19.99 Dollar Store Price: $2
Halloween Tree -- Am I crazy, or is this a sparkly black stick in a pot? You don’t even need the dollar store to re-create this. Black paint and glitter (your kids will love helping with this!), a cheap pot, and floral foam -- add a touch of Spanish moss or even black tinsel and you have your tree! For ornaments, use skulls, crows, and other items from the dollar store. Or raid their Christmas aisle -- I found pumpkin-y glass ornaments that could be transformed with a bit of paint.
PB Kids Price: $44.99
Dollar Store Price: $10 ($1 each for paint, glitter, pot, foam, and moss; $5 for ornaments)
Framed Window Decals -- You don’t need expensive vinyl clings for these silhouettes. Black construction paper will work, adhered with transparent glue dots to the glass of a painted dollar store frame. Just leave off the frame backing and you’ve got the look!
PB Kids Price: $29.99
Dollar Store Price: $7 ($1 each for glue and paper, $5 for 5 frames)
Crow Mobile -- This is a fantastic addition to your Halloween look. A few crows or spiders from the dollar store, fishing line, and wire complete the copy. I like the idea of using loose “bones” in place of the wire, though.
PB Kids Price: $29.99
Dollar Store Price: $10 ($1 each for 6 crows, 3 fake bones, 1 spool fishing line)
Spiders & Web -- A little yarn and a few of these glittery spiders from the dollar store and you can create your own spooky web. Tip: String the spokes of the web first and use clear thumbtacks to attach everything to the walls.
PB Kids Price: $66.
Dollar Store Price: $5 ($1 each for yarn, tacks, and 3 spiders)
Bones Canvas -- This one seems intimidating, but it’s really not. You can use proper canvas, or just get some kraft paper. It’s already brown and aged looking, but use tea if you want to go further. The Graphics Fairy always has awesome hi-res images, including tons of Halloween images. Print some out on regular paper and age it with tea or paint before adhering to your canvas. Or print directly onto pieces of kraft paper. Attach to cheap wooden dowels (or even shower curtain rods, if your store carries them). Ribbon from the floral section completes the look.
PB Price: $239
Dollar Store Price: $4 ($1 each for a roll of paper, spool of ribbon, and 2 dowels)
Creepy Vase Filler -- $29 for 6 Styrofoam spiders?? Guess who has tons of fake spiders (and other creepy crawlies) for almost nothing? Or make them yourself using Styrofoam balls and wire legs. You can pick up a vase (or 24) at the store as well, usually in the home décor aisle. PB also sells these very cool chalkboard rocks. But they’re ... rocks. Send the kids to the garden and borrow from yourself or hit the floral supply and get some. A can of chalkboard spray paint later and you have PB’s spendy vase filler.
PB Price: $29
Dollar Store Price: $12 ($1 each for 6 fake spiders, $6 for chalkboard spray paint)
Cake Stand -- This tiered piece from Horchow is definitely cool, but is it cool enough for me to shell out for? Ehhhhn. Not to me. If you're willing to use a little glue, you can create the same idea using plastic trays and goblets from -- you got it -- the dollar store. I even found glittery skulls! If you don’t like the idea of the goblets, grab a couple of glass candlesticks and use those instead. Just make sure everything is balanced as you start to glue.
Horchow Price: $98
Dollar Store Price: $6 ($1 each for 3 trays, 2 goblets, and 1 glittery skull)
Total designer store price for all these decorations? $556.96
Total dollar store price for these decorations? $56