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Halloween DIY on the Cheap

I’m a HUGE fan of Halloween and a recycling/upcycling buff. These inexpensive decorating ideas fill the bill on both! I want to share a few notions with you this holiday season and would enjoy hearing your scary concepts too!!


You can easily prepare this autumn-inspired, Caramel Apple Bar for your party guests!

You’ll need:

· Bag of mini apples- $4

· Tree sticks- FREE

· Kraft melting caramel bits- $2

· Miscellananeous toppers- $5

· Cup cake papers- $1

· Bowls- $4

To facilitate the process, I caramelized small apples in advance using Kraft caramel bits, ready for melting. Clean sticks from trees to hold the apples imbue a rustic look. Spray foil, cupcake papers with oil to cradle your tasty treats while they await the bling!

Fill a few shallow bowls with whatever you desire. I bought inexpensive, salsa bowls from Walmart or dishes from the Dollar Store would work well. Some ingredient ideas for dipping are crunched nuts, chopped chocolate/butterscotch/white chocolate chips, crushed pretzels or brittle and any kind of colorful sprinkles. I included pop rocks in my selection, which guests LOVED!!

Purchase smalls packets of items for decorating and you’ll come out on the cheap. I created my Caramel Apple Bar for about $15, less if you have the bowls.


I’m lovin’ these little buddies!!

You'll need:

· Mini pumpkins- $3

· Silly teeth- $2

· Eyes- $1-3

· Mini LED lights- $1

· Sharpie

· Knife

· Hot glue gun

I found mini pumpkins two for $1 at the Lexington Farmers Market. Silly teeth and vampire fangs were $1 at the Dollar Tree. Kroger's candy eyes were $3 or you can use google eyes from the Dollar Tree.

Draw guides, tracing the teeth onto the pumpkin’s surface with a pencil or thin Sharpie. Whittle away at your pumpkin with a knife or small jack-o-lantern saw until the teeth fit. Hot glue the eyes in place or you can use flat, white, tacks or a black Sharpie to draw the eye balls.

Viola! Merry Country Bumpkin Mini-Pumpkins! I placed my little dudes in a large, transparent vase with mini, battery-powered LED lights from the Dollar Store. Depending on the supplies you choose, your project will run a mere $5-$8.


All you need for this cool spider nest effect:

· Empty used jars - FREE

· Cotton balls - $1

· Plastic spiders - $1

· Glow sticks - 3-pack for $1 at Target

Stuff the cotton balls in a jar while inserting a few spiders along the edges. Crack open the glow stick and push down into the middle. You can prepare three or more large jars, so they’re just $1 per jar and they look awesome!!!


A simple way to upcycle your wine and glass bottles is to soak off the labels and replace with amusing and creepy Halloween labels. I purchased a set of these stamps from the Martha Stewart collection at the Michaels Craft Store. You can design your own or there are plenty from which to choose online.

You'll need:

· Empty glass bottles - FREE

· Halloween labels - $3.99

This interesting display was just $3.99 (about 12 labels) and a great way to reuse those bottles! If glue residue remains after removing a label, just scrape with the back of a butter knife while the jars is still damp. Thoroughly dry and apply the labels.

Fashion a side tablescape by placing branch pieces or small boxes under the bottles to vary the heights. Use labels on full bottles to give as best costume prizes.


This eerie guy was a hoot and simple to construct! And would you believe he’s totally stuffed with recyclables & throw-aways?!

You will need:

· Shirt, jeans, gloves, shoes, hat from Good Will - $8 or FREE from your wardrobe

· Logs- FREE

· Pumpkin head- $1-12

· Left over packing materials- FREE

· Large safety pins- $1

· Empty plastic water & soda bottles- FREE

 Peruse your closet and grab some discarded clothes, shoes, gloves and a hat or visit Good Will.

Pad your fella with old bubble wrap and empty, plastic and soda bottles. These materials are way better than paper because they're suitable for outdoors.

Safety pin your Porch Pal together!

Get creative with the head. You can use a real carved pumpkin, a foam pumpkin, a mask with a ball inside or a trick-or-treat pumpkin container.

Crown your Porch Pal with a hat and plop him on a stool out front. I secured two logs in my boy to stabilize in windy weather. One acted as the lower spine and another for the butt. You can also leave your Pal without his head and lay him on your front lawn, from under a bush. Disturbing!


This sinister project is a super cheap and easy plan to affect an ominous atmosphere indoors or out.

· Tree branches- FREE

· Black spray paint- $1-4

Locate some interesting trees branches and spray paint black. Walmart carries black spray paint for $1. Add a dramatic feature by arranging the branches as part of your indoor or outdoor wallscape. Place them in a big pot or vase and augment with Halloween-colored bulbs, lights, ornaments or cut outs.

So dive into your closets and cabinets or pay a visit to your local store. Join the kiddies or call on friends and family for a Halloween decoration get-together.  All will be thrilled with the spooky good-times!

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