Get a Little Batty
Of all the countless creatures in the animal kingdom, the bat comes probably closest to embodying the dark, hair-raising spirit of Halloween. Lucky for you, their unmistakable, web-winged silhouettes are a cinch (and highly affordable) to recreate with construction paper. Start by making a cardstock template, then use it to guide your scissoring. With nothing more than Scotch tape, mount your paper bats in a trailing, flight-like grouping on the wall.
Related: 10 DIYs for a Frightfully Fun Halloween
Creepy Candy Dish
Sure, you can use any old ordinary mixing bowl to hand out fistfuls of candy to costumed trick-or-treaters—or you can get into the spirit of the holiday with a glass bowl patterned with painted-on spiderwebs. The DIYer behind Madigan Made chose a frosted glass enamel paint with (a fine tip for application) to capture the translucent intricacies of real-life spider spinnings. Create a dish of your own for the perfect complement to store-bought fake cobwebs.
Related: How To—Paint EVERYTHING
Paint a Skull
If you favor bright, playful colors rather than ghoulish, ghastly decorations, consider this take on the Mexican sugar skull. Purchase a plastic craft skull at any hobby store, then trace along the eyes, nose, mouth, and add a few flowers using a Sharpie or paint marker. After that, all that remains is to fill in with colorful acrylic paints.
Related: 10 Quick and Easy DIYs to Do with a Sharpie
Dinner to Die For
Planning a holiday party is enough to drive anyone mad. But spooky doesn't have to be complicated—and this serving tray proves it! If you have a steady hand, chalkboard paint, and a chalk pen, you're already ahead of the game. Head over to Design Love Fest for the full instructions.
Related: The Greatest Haunted House You Could Ever DIY
Are you deadly serious about Halloween decor? These DIY ghosts are a perfect way to deck out your porch, and they'll light the way for tiny trick-or-treaters, too! Grab some string lights, a marker, scissors, and some spare fabric to make them yourself—and head over to Design, Dining, and Diapers for the full how-to.
Related: 7 Ways to Transform String Lights from Holiday to Every Day
Go Out of Your Skill
You can make a tongue-in-cheek, festive DIY planter like this one even faster than it takes to shout, 'Boo!' Ideal for small spaces, the decoration easily fits on a desk, windowsill, or mantel—wherever you want to add a mischievous note of Halloween flair. To make yours, shop online or at your local crafts store for a decorative, preferably grinning skull, made of styrofoam, cardboard, or plastic resin. Next, simply lop off the top and place in your plant of choice.
Related: 10 Totally Unexpected Things to Remake as Planters
Out of the Closet
You don't have to scare up any extra cash to have a great Halloween. Get the kids to help make this simple skull garland, made from old cereal boxes and leftover wrapping paper. Print out the stencil from Dream a Little Bigger, glue the wrapping paper to the box, and cut out the design. Use a hole-punch to string them together, and you're done!
Related: 10 DIY Ways to Dress Up Your House for Fall
A Real Live Wire
Here's a DIY Halloween decoration that's sure to give trick-or-treaters and passersby a case of the creeps. This eerily see-through ghost comes together by molding chicken wire to a dress form. When building your own, make sure to wear protective gloves, and to build a sturdy base that will support the weight of your creation.
It doesn't get simpler—or more genius—than this. Wow your party guests with the ultimate in pumpkin decorations—a clever drink dispenser. First scoop out the pumpkin innards, then fit with a spigot to serve up your favorite cider, beer, or autumn-spiced punch. Read on for more details.
Related: 8 Other Things You Can Do with a Pumpkin
Mummy’s the Word
Give your guests a ghoulish welcome by decking out the front door with a famous Halloween character. Although there are plenty of variations on this fun and festive project, this friendly mummy theme is so quick to re-create: Simply wrap some leftover white fabric around the door and secure it on the back. Cut out a few circles from felt or fabric for the eyes, and you’re done!
Related: 15 Eye-Catching Options for Your Front Door
You would never believe that these spooky apothecary jars were plastic medicine bottles in a former life. This clever blogger used a glue gun, a few coats of paint, and some imaginative add-ons to transform her household extras into decorative Halloween DIYs. See her full tutorial to learn how you can craft these creepy creations to display on your own mantel or tablescape.
Related: 7 Creative DIY Ways to Reuse a 5-Gallon Bucket
Freak out the kids or neighbors with these super-easy glowing eyes that come together with a cardboard toilet paper roll, a glow stick, and some duct tape. Display the fun final products in the bushes, the basement, or any other dark area to spook and delight trick-or-treating visitors. Visit Eclectically Vintage for the full instructions.
Related: 13 Terror-ific Yards All Decked Out for Halloween
An Eerie Glow
Turn nearly any jar or glass into a spooky luminary with the DIY treatment that Adventure-in-a-Box bloggers concocted last year: A light mist of purple spray paint provides color without a total opacity that keeps light from shining through. Then, this crafty mom layered on a shadowy scene sketched in Sharpie, which really comes to life when you insert a candle.
Related: 8 New Ideas for DIY Outdoor Lighting
Crafting Halloween fun is easier than you think.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!