How to Decorate a House for Halloween on the Cheap

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  • Haunted Portraits

    Haunted Portraits

    Image © A Sanchez

    These are so hilarious, it's scary. Do a Google Images search for "Oil Painting Portrait" or similar, and find something that will look somewhat spooky in the right environment. Download the image, blow it up as big as you can, and print it out. Don't worry if it's blurry, poor quality, or uneven: That just adds to the effect. Use spray mount to stick it onto cardboard, and make a fake-fancy gilt frame to go around it (gold spray paint topped with Sharpie details, easy-peasy huggy-squeezy). This original post directs people how to create glowing eyes out of LED lights; I'm not that advanced, but for those full of the spirit, go for it and let me know how it works out. Hang these portraits in that newly haunted mansion ... so spooooky!

  • Balloon Ghost

    Balloon Ghost

    Image ©

    Hang up some ghosts by tying a piece of white garbage bag or paint cloth over a balloon and tying at the neck.

    More from CafeMom: 14 Ways to Celebrate Halloween With a Toddler That Aren't Trick-or-Treating

  • Mad Scientist Specimens

    Mad Scientist Specimens

    Image © Salisbury

    I know others, like me, have many large plastic toys of dubious origin. If not, there are loads of them at Goodwill or recycle shops. Pop them into glass jars, fill the jars with water, and add green food coloring. Put them in front of a spooky light source for maximum scary effect.

  • Zombie Trees

    Zombie Trees

    Image ©

    Head out to the woods and get some great branches, especially ones that have enough appendages to look like trees. (Note: Do not kill a tree to do this! There should be plenty on the ground!) Drag them home and stick them into buckets, planters, or other big tub-type containers filled with sand, rocks, or dirt to keep them upright. Spray paint the branches black and drape them with cobwebs. Or make them gray and hang creepy ornaments on them -- eyeballs, hands, whatever suits one's fancy. So scawwy!

  • The Un-Dead Lurking in the Shadows

    scary shadow in window

    Image ©

    Every other house has old clothes stuffed with newspapers, set to look like a zombie sitting on the porch. Yawn. But what if someone tacked those clothes to the walls of the house so they looked like ghostly people standing in the shadows? What if someone had them dancing with each other? What if someone had a black dress that he or she draped onto a mannequin and then stood in an upstairs window, back-lit in red with parasol in hand, like a headless widow searching for her long-lost husband? (I have no idea how she lost her head. Let your imagination run wild.)

    More from CafeMom: 15 Celebrity Duos Who Totally Nailed the Art of Couples Costumes

  • Pumpkin Candle Holder


    Image ©

    Use a mini-pumpkin to make a cute candle holder. Carve a hole in the top just large enough to hold a votive candle. Leave plain, or draw on a jack-'o-lantern face with a sharpie marker.

crafts creative reuse diy holiday decorating inspirations thrifty solutions yards halloween

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