Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cheapy and Creepy

Halloween is probably our favorite holiday, so we like to make sure that the house feels just a little creepy to get everyone in the mood. We didn't want to spend a lot this year, though, so here are some of my secrets to a wallet-friendly spooktacular space.

There are a couple of small details around the house that I love. We don't have a mantel, so under the TV acts as a nice decorating platform.

Black fabric draped over stacks of books or blocks gives a nice 'uneven ground' to start with. I then layered it with white spiderwebs to give it a spooky feel. Add props to give it dimension and one more thin layer of spider webbing and you're done! Webbing can be reused year to year if it's stored in a ziplock bag, so we haven't purchased webbing in a couple of years. The props came from the dollar store or knick knacks that were 90% off at Target after last year's Halloween. Keep interesting (and non interesting such as salsa, sauces, etc.) jars and clean them out really well. There are printable fun tags online that you can tape or glue to them. You can even skip the labels and just add water and a little food coloring to add a creepy mad scientist effect.

Our french doors needed a little something more than being strung up with spider webs (like last year), so I decided to take a hint from The Walking Dead and make them look really spooky. I saved up cardboard for a month or so and cut it so that it looked like boards. I then just hot glued them together in layers until it created a good canvas for my signs. Lastly, I sloppily spray painted the words and allowed them to dry in the garage.

Remembering that we had left over wreath hangers around, we just used those to hang them on the door. Depending on if your doors are opened or closed most of the time will depend on what door gets what sign, but when ours are closed they look like this. (They do tend to stay open more often then not).

In the old dining area (which has been dubbed by a friend of ours as 'The Salon'), we just replaced our regular pictures with some smaller haunted pictures that were at Target for $1 each. They're kind of small so I'd like to replace them at some point, but for now, they do the job.

The guest bathroom is always fun. I reused the 'bloody' shower curtain from last year (made with a dollar store shower curtain, some red craft paint, and my hands) and the fake dead hand that I found at Walmart for $2 probably 5 years ago. If you want to make your bathroom really feel like it's from Psycho, unscrew all but one bulb just enough so that they don't glow. It makes it so guests can still see, but it gives it an eerie effect, too.

The most fun we had this year was in the front of the house. I had seen something on Pinterest about silhouettes and decided that the garage could use a little zombie love. I took some of my leftover cardboard and used hot glue to make four pieces the size of our garage windows. Then, I traced my left hand repeatedly with sharpie in different gruesome positions. Once I had a configuration I liked, we cut them out of the cardboard with an X-acto knife.

Then they were painted with some black spray paint we happened to have in the garage.

I then just used some duct tape to attach them to the door. I also placed some wax paper behind each one so that the green-light-bulbed work lamp we hung from the garage door opener would be diffused a little.

The results were pretty amazing from the outside.

It looked great, especially with our larger window harboring a grim reaper large window cling ($4, after Halloween special at Target, but could be made like the hands out of cardboard) and a couple of foam tombstones (dollar store). We just replaced the regular light bulb with a green one in a stand up lamp in our dining room to match both window colors.

Together, they really set a creepy mood for anyone approaching the house.

Later on, we were able to turn on a jack-o-lantern in the bottom left corner of the large window.

On the outside, though, it adds just a hint of a haunting.

We really love the way everything turned out, and nothing says Halloween more than approaching a house that looks either haunted or full of Halloween fanatics!

We hope this inspires you to really spook up your own haunt this October! Do you have any other great tips for awesome Halloween decor on a budget? Let us know in the comments!

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