Decorating for Halloween does not have to break the bank, and it can be a fun project to share with the family. Each year my children and I turn our home into our own private Haunted House for minimal expense using construction paper, markers, scissors, and a good dose of fun!
Construction Paper is Your Friend
- Bats, Rats, & Ravens work best as silhouettes. Cut a dozen of each from black paper. Hang the bats with fishing line from removable hooks (found at any grocery or drug store) attached to the ceiling. Hanging them at irregular heights gives a depth effect. Rats can scurry along the floor boards of any hallway or room. Ravens provide that eerie Poe-esque flair of “Nevermore!” when perched over picture frames and doorways.
- Fall leaves come in all colors and shapes. Choose two or three of your favorite leaf shapes or free hand your own species and reproduce them on paper in various sizes and colors. Yellow, orange, and red provide an eye catching array of color. Cut a dozen of each and create unique wall decorations. Perhaps the rats burrow in a pile of leaves. Or use the leaves to create a fall door wreath. For added impact, using brown paper, create a tree trunk and have the leaves fall from the branches!
- Pumpkins are a must-have Halloween delight. Orange construction paper cut into irregular circular shapes lend themselves easily to the creation of wall mounted pumpkins. Cut faces into some for instant Jack-O-Lanterns. Back the “carved” pumpkins with yellow or black paper to really make the designs pop!
- Plastic noses, eyes, and mouths from everyone’s favorite plastic spud turned movie star make ideal facial features for any small to medium sized pumpkin. These mess-free “jacks” last much longer than carved ones.
- Permanent markers make it easier. Draw faces or other designs on your pumpkins with marker. No mess, no fuss, and best of all, the pumpkin can still be used for baking after the holiday is over!
Save Old Flower Arrangements
- Dried flower arrangements are a great way to create a spooky table or mantle centerpiece. Save those old birthday bouquets and hang them upside down until they’re preserved. Wrap them in a black ribbon or put them in a spooky vase.
- Halloween Trees are made from dried yard cuttings like a rosemary bush or leafless tree branches. Wrap the “trunk” in black cloth and decorate it with skeletons, ghosts, or black cats found by the fist load in toy and party supply stores.
The Versatility of Cheese Cloth
- Cut lengths of cheese cloth, sold by the yard in most fabric stores, to cover various household surfaces like end tables and fireplaces. Once the cloth is cut to the proper size, fray the ends and cut them to points for an “antiquing” feel. The coup-de-gras is the addition of red food coloring drops to resemble blood stains. Voila` a ghostly shroud covers the house.