Say No to New; Spook Up What You Have This Halloween, Instead

Stretch your (boo)dget this Halloween by giving your existing decor a frightful, money-saving makeover. If you've got it, haunt it.

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September 13, 2020

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Pop Fizz

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Marian Parsons Mustard Seed Inte

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styled by Jill Tennant Designs

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styling by Jill Tennant Anderson

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Pop Fizz

Photo By: Gabriela Hardan

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styling by Jill Tennant Design

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styling by Jill Tennant Design

Easily Mummify a Front Porch Planter

Spook up your front porch in a snap (and for less than $10!) with this totally removable mummy makeover.

Get the How-To: Halloween in a Hurry: Easily Mummify a Fall Planter

Or, Mummy Up the Front Door

Haunt your home with this creepy-meets-cute mummified door. Just criss-cross your front door with sections of white crepe paper streamers, securing the ends with tape around the sides of the door so it can still easily open and close. Finish off your mummy makeover with a pair of oversized googly eyes.

Get the How-To: How to Mummify Your Front Door for Halloween

Turn a Houseplant Into a Man-Eater

Kids will love helping you craft these monstrous-looking tentacles that look kinda cute, but don’t be fooled. They’ve only got one thing in mind ... dinner!

Get the How-To: Halloween Decor: Turn a Peaceful Plant Into a Man-Eating Monster

Or, Monster Up a Pop-Up Canopy

Be the coolest house on the block this Halloween by using dollar store scores to turn a pop-up canopy into a friendly monster that's stocked with grab-and-go snacks and beverages for both adults and the littlest trick-or-treaters.

Get the How-To: Monster Up a Pop-Up Canopy for Outdoor Halloween Fun

Craft a Cool Ghoul

Friends may think twice before reaching for another pumpkin ale from this mummified beverage bin. Transform a galvanized tub into a beverage station that just so happens to moonlight as a googly-eyed mummy bartender.

Get the How-To: Halloween Entertaining: Make a Mummy Beverage Tub

Or, Conjure Up a Friendly Monster

Give a beverage tub an inexpensive Halloween makeover to serve up kid-friendly beverages to trick-or-treaters or your favorite little monsters.

Get the How-To: DIY a Friendly Monster Party Tub for Halloween

Jinx Petite Pumpkins Into Bitty Bats

Mix a little mischief into your Halloween decorations with these tiny winged charmers. Just add craft foam or card stock wings to mini fall pumpkins or gourds painted black and let kids give them a personality with painted-on eyes and a smile.

Get the How-To: Mini Bat Pumpkins

Or, Craft a Colony of Paper Bats

Our free bat template, scissors and black card stock are all you need to give your front door a batty transformation. You can keep it simple and just add a few flapping paper bats or really make Halloween magic and first cover the door in purple bulletin board paper and add a glowing city skyline.

See More Photos: Cover Your Front Door in a Spooky Swarm of Bats for Halloween

Boo Your Bar Cart

Hit your local craft or dollar store for googly eyes in assorted sizes and shapes to give everyday objects big and small an ever-watchful gaze.

See More Photos: 7 Super-Easy Decorating Ideas for Halloween

Or, Haunt a Kitchen Cookie Jar

Add a little Halloween spirit to your kitchen counter. All you need is a large glass jar, basic craft supplies and a little imagination. This easy project is perfect to do with kids, they'll love coming up with ideas for the terrarium's spooky scene.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Haunted Terrarium for Halloween

Transform a Fall Mum Into a Black Cat

Add a little personality to your planters with our tips for magicking a fall mum into a lucky black cat for less than $10 and right before trick-or-treaters or Halloween guests arrive.

Get the How-To: Monstrous Mums: Craft a Lucky Black Cat

Or, a Fern Into an Alien

Hanging Boston ferns are a front porch staple that are easy to transform into hovering aliens in time for Halloween. Our tutorial will help you inexpensively magic up a googly-eyed alien in a flash with craft-store materials that can be just as easily removed when All Hallows' Eve has passed.

Get the How-To: Easy Halloween Spook-Up: Transform a Fern Into an Alien

Cast a Spell on Front Porch Planters

Our DIY besoms, or witch's broomsticks, are so easy to magic up and use mainly items you can find on a walk through the woods. Prop a besom next to your front door or in your foyer, as if you just arrived home from a midnight ride, or craft a pair and use them to spook up your front porch planters.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Witch's Broom or Besom

Or, Witch Up a Fall Table

Made from a twig, raffia and a scrap of paper, these diminutive brooms add an enchanting touch of whimsy to any Halloween get-together, plus they're a fun party favor that guests can take home with them.

Get the How-To: Witch's Broom Halloween Place Card Holders

Give Arachnophobes a Fright

Inexpensive (and removable) supplies give an everyday shade a creepy-crawly makeover that's only visible when illuminated. Learn how to craft this lampshade with a scary surprise, below.

Get the How-To: Spook Up an Everyday Lampshade With a Spiderweb Silhouette

Or, Give Guests the Creepy-Crawlies

Dollar store supplies, like oversized plastic bugs, hot glue and a little spray paint are all you need to create oversized specimen art. Watch our video and check out our tips for recreating this skin-crawling craft, below.

Get the How-To: 5 DIY Dollar Store Halloween Decor Ideas

Candy Corn Candles? Yes, Please!

Welcome Halloween guests with the sweet aroma of candy-corn-filled hurricanes. To create them, place pillar candles inside clear glass hurricanes of different sizes then fill each hurricane, roughly halfway, with candy corn. For safety, be sure to blow out the candle before it burns below the candy.

See More Photos: 73 Front Porch Decorating Ideas for Halloween

Or, Sweeten Up Your Front Door

Whether you're a fan of the candy or not, there's no denying the appeal of this sweet front door that upgrades a standard white paper pennant-style banner with painted-on bands of orange and yellow. Bonus: This candy-colored makeover works for Thanksgiving too, so just leave it up thru Turkey Day.

See More Photos: 73 Front Porch Decorating Ideas for Halloween

Spook Up Your Fall Wreath

Bright orange tow rope makes it a snap to craft a cheery orange fall wreath you can display from Halloween through Thanksgiving. Just swap out the saying on the mini pumpkins with removable vinyl letters for an easy holiday update.

Get the How-To: DIY Halloween Decor: A Tow Rope Wreath

Or, Sub a Straw Tote for a Wreath

If you have an old straw tote or purse laying around, you're one step closer to a front door decoration that you can easily customize for the quick succession of holidays — Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Bonus: Add vinyl house numbers for a personalized touch.

See More Photos: Skip the Wreath: Try a Holiday-Spanning Front Door Basket Instead

Keep an Eye on Your Neighbors

What’s worse than having all eyes on you? Having all oversized, monster-eyes on you! Recreate this all-seeing and mischievous monster door from colorful card stock, crepe paper and tape.

Get the How-To: DIY Halloween Door Decor That Will Have "All Eyes on Boo"

Or, Bring the Ever-Watchful Gaze Indoors

Break out the Christmas string lights a little early this year, then give them a look-at-me Halloween makeover with ping pong balls and a little craft paint. Drape the eyeball lights along your mantel, around a bathroom or foyer mirror or in any space where family or Halloween guests will gather.

Get the How-To: 7 Super-Easy Decorating Ideas for Halloween

Make Wine More Wicked

Channel your inner spellcaster to transform a plastic cauldron into a wine dispenser, complete with a twinkling bonfire and swirling clouds of smoke.

Get the How-To: Halloween Party Magic: Make a Wicked Wine Cauldron + Ghostly Garnishes

Or, Whip Up a Little Poison

Don't toss that old bottle. Instead turn it into sleek Halloween decor. To get the look: Thoroughly clean the glass; once dry, coat each bottle with one coat of spray primer and 2-3 coats of matte black spray paint. Add one of our free, printable potion labels (linked below) and display your potent potables as a group.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make Halloween Potion Bottle Labels

Give Your Candy Bowl a Hand

Grab a (clean) gardening glove and an old terra-cotta pot to craft this creatively creepy candy display.

Get the How-To: 3 DIY Terra-Cotta Halloween Candy Bowl Ideas

Or, Give It Some Serious Teeth

Covered in wild green faux fur fabric and rimmed with a feather boa and pennant-flag teeth, a pop-up privacy tent becomes a not-too-spooky monster that brave trick-or-treaters can reach into for a treat. Simply prop up your candy bowl inside the tent for a fun, interactive (and socially distant) way to hand out Halloween candy.

GET THE HOW-TO: Monster Mash-Up: Turn a Pop-Up Tent Into a Trick-or-Treat Station

Spook Up Thrift Store Scores for Display

In just a few steps, you can turn your own one-off dishes or thrift store finds into Halloween dinnerware you can display year after year. Note: Mod Podge (and most glues) aren't rated as food-safe by the FDA so these dishes are for display purposes only.

Get the How-To: Turn Classic Dinnerware Into Stylish Halloween Plates

Or, Paint Plates So You Never Dine Alone

Food- and dishwasher-safe paint (plus a steady hand) make it easy to give basic white dinner plates a creepy-crawly Halloween makeover.

Get the How-To: Hand-Painted Insect Plates

Give Candles a Ghoulish Upgrade

Spook-up your space in a pinch by decorating basic white pillar candles with ghostly faces made from adhesive black vinyl. The best part? Vinyl is easily removable, meaning your Halloween decor can vanish without a trace once the holiday is over.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make Halloween Ghost Candles

Or, Spook-Up Spare Wood

Turn scrap wood into a gaggle of ghosts by painting each piece white, adding spunky poltergeist features, then distressing with a hand sander for a well-worn look.

Play Peekaboo With Mini Pumpkins

Find pumpkins that are small enough to fit in pots and vases and then add googly eyes for a peek-a-boo effect.

Get the How-To: How to Make Peekaboo Pumpkins

Or, Light Up the Night With Funny Faces

Ensure trick-or-treaters find their way to your door by adding festive jack-o'-faces and battery-operated tea lights to your existing outdoor lanterns.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Jack-o'-Lantern Luminaries

Haunt Your Front Porch

These billowing, tattered draperies made from budget-friendly cheesecloth will add an eerie atmosphere to your front porch or an interior doorway.

Get the How-To: Make Ghostly Outdoor Draperies for Halloween

Or, Invite a Ghost to Dinner

Use gauzy fabric and inexpensive cheesecloth to give your dining chairs a haunting, slipcovered silhouette for Halloween.

Get the How-To: Easy-Sew Ghostly Chair Slipcover

Welcome Spiders Into Your Kitchen

Is there anything more frightening than a family of inky spiders, crawling across all your kitchen appliances? Add arachnids to your fridge and stove but don’t be surprised if dinner guests lose their appetite. To create the little buggers, just snip the ring back off inexpensive plastic spider rings, then glue on a small magnet.

Get the How-To: Easy-to-Make Magnetic Spiders

Or, Make Them a Home of Their Own

Using a basic machine and beginner sewing skills, you can easily make a pair of these spider web pillows to spook up your sofa this Halloween. Attach fuzzy white yarn to gray wool pillow covers with a sewing needle and white thread, then finish with plastic spiders for the ultimate spine-tingling effect.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Spider Web Pillow

Scare Up Some Superstition

Dust off last year's faux pumpkins and welcome trick-or-treaters with a litter of black cat pumpkins. These carve-free kitties are easy to craft, making them a fun project for older children or small kids with a little help from a crafty adult.

Get the How-To: How to Make Black Cat Pumpkins

Or, Craft a Witchy Welcome

Pair your litter of pumpkin kitties with a bewildered witch you can make from items you likely already have on-hand.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Bewitching Halloween Pumpkin

Creep-Up Apothecary Jars

For a quick but frightening fix-up, fill lidded jars with water, green food coloring, rubber creatures (like mice, snakes, bats or insects), leaves or dried flowers to give any room the look of a mad scientist's lab.

See More Photos: 20+ Hip Halloween Decorating Ideas

Or, Turn Vases Into Terrifying Terrariums

DIY terrariums are easy to make, affordable and offer endless ways to create spooky scenes. Pick up wooden bases and glass cylinders or fishbowls at your local dollar store. Fill with twigs, preserved moss and leaves topped with plastic insects, snakes or faux birds.

See More Photos: 20+ Hip Halloween Decorating Ideas

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