Sunday, October 11, 2009

Making Halloween fun on a budget:

Its that time of year again when the air turns chilly and crisp and children start thinking of candy and costumes. I am not a big Halloween person, I have a few small things that get put out if I remember but I have a friend who lives for this holiday so she has been a big influence in writing this piece. If you are looking for creative ideas for your home there is no need to buy one of the tantalizing glossy covered magazines at the check out counters of the grocery stores or mass market retailers, now days you can find so many things on line that offer great suggestions. Of course the number one source for all things decorating or entertaining is Martha Stewart, her web site features a centerpiece with dark fruit, black candles and plastic roaches that can be found at most craft stores such as Michael's or a dollar store, you can check it out at One of the best places to find fun things for your home are the dollar stores and the thrift stores, don’t be afraid to check out the local Goodwill or Salvation Army, you could find the treasure of a lifetime as well as helping out a worthy cause. Towards the middle of October most of the craft stores start having sales on their Halloween items, but like with Christmas, if you can wait and go the day after you will net the biggest savings as well as have something to look forward to next spooking season. There are also a lot of things you can create on your own as well, even those who aren’t crafty can do something as simple as a bouquet of fall branches with colored leaves, and the best part is you don’t even need to add the water, once they are withered and done just toss them out and get more. If you have roses in the garden that are frost bit don’t be shy about using them either, just cut them and put them in a vase and use some food coloring to make colored water (orange or black works well, you can get black by adding a little bit of all the food colors) and tie a black or orange ribbing around the vase. If the petals start to fall off you can just cut the tops off until your left with a bouquet of thorny stems. (Remember the Adam’s Family?)

For outside you can always go with the traditional carved pumpkin, before you buy on at your local grocer though check with your friends and neighbors, a lot of people seem to have planted pumpkins this year and I have not been able to give away my extras. There are great kits out there for carving a pumpkin but you really don’t need them unless you have kids that want to help, then you will want the carving knives that won’t cut your little ones hands. If you would like something that is child friendly for carving your Jack-O-Lantern check for a Pumpkin Masters Kit, usually Sears has these at very reasonable prices. If you don’t want to go for the full traditional pumpkin Better Homes and Gardens has different stencils for dog breeds and just plain creepy, weird and fun. The free stencils can be printed from their web site: . If you have old clothes that have become too worn out or torn these are great for creating your own scarecrow. All you need is the leaves raked from your yard to stuff the clothes. There are easy directions at

If the kids are looking for something to do to help with decorating there are free pages that can be printed and colored for the fridge. This page has 25 nice designs to choose from: Yes, I know it says its for teachers, but really, aren't all parents teachers?

That’s all for now, next up will be costume ideas for little or no cash out of pocket.



  1. Speaking of Dollar Store items. One would think they are cheap, but they really work! We bought some rats and spiders and put them up all over the house. I will post a picture later of a cool rat in our bathroom.

  2. The Dollar Store is also great for Halloween classroom goodies; pencils, games, treats, spider rings, etc.


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