4 Expert Halloween Decorating Tips for the Lazy & Broke

cheap and easy halloween decorationsAre you one of those people who starts decorating in October and doesn't stop until the new year? You may wonder how you can afford to maintain your holiday cheer in this economy, and if the joy it brings people cruising by your house for the better part of three months is worth the money. And don't even get me started on whether or not those drive-bys really appreciate the effort.

From costumes to cobwebs, Alison Deyette, shopping expert for The Find, gave me some tips on stretching the family dollar without losing that holiday spirit. Of course, you could simply be "that family" that no one tricks, treats, or carols anywhere near. But you don't want to do that, now do you?


Halloween Costumes

Costume shopping can sometimes seem endless, crowded, and messy when your kids either don't know what they want to be or they have a definitive idea and the shops you visited don't have the costume. The best way to save time and money is to shop online. I personally use The Find because it allows you access to all retailers at once, while being able to narrow down your search to a specific costume, gender, and size range. After finding the perfect costume, you can view all available coupons, sales, and shipping offers at a glance to make sure you’re selecting the store with the best possible price.

Decorating Indoors

I like to make pumpkin bats to add a little DIY Halloween-themed home décor. All you need are mini pumpkins, black and white paint, and black craft foam. First, paint the mini pumpkins black, adding in eyes with the white paint and black dots. Next, cut the craft foam into the shapes of wings and ears and insert into small slits that you cut into the sides and top of the pumpkins.

Decorating Outdoors

For outdoor decorating, I like to stick to one streamlined theme -- such as spiders. I start by staging small and medium plastic spiders around the front door, along the outdoor stair railings, and around columns or beams. For an added touch, have the path of creepy crawlers lead to one large inflatable spider and stretch gauzy spiderwebs from a craft store over bushes.

Keeping Kids Engaged

To keep the excited little ones happily occupied while counting down the minutes to trick-or-treat time, keep them engaged with a craft project. Set up a table where they can bejewel and decorate their own masks -- all you need are simple black masks with an elastic strap, glue, glitter, feathers, stickers, and fake crystals. If you have photo print paper at home, take a group picture of all the kids in the masks, then send everyone home with a printed photo from the party.

What are you doing to prepare for the trick or treaters?

Image via Randy son of Robert/Flickr

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