If the first autumn leaves have already fallen in your neck of the woods, try this: Rake some into heaping piles, then instead of bagging them up like you normally do, pack the leaves into festive, bright-orange jack-o-lantern lawn bags. Hey, if you're going to be cleaning up outdoors anyway, why not do a little decorating in the process? Not only do you a save a little time, but you also stand a chance of getting your kids to help out with the lawn work for once! Available at Amazon; $5.25.
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- 20 Ways to Decorate for Halloween on a $10 Budget
20 Ways to Decorate for Halloween on a $10 Budget
Jack-O'-Lantern Leaf Bags
Paper garlands certainly don’t stand the test of time, but for a quick, low-cost jolt of Halloween spirit, there may be no better option. Choose from a range of spooky designs—pumpkins, spiders, bats, ghosts and skulls—or purchase a set like this one, which comes with five different garlands, each measuring ten feet long (that's 50 running feet of festivity in all). Hang them together or apart, indoors or outdoors. Anything goes! Available at Amazon; $8.99.
To add instant spook for Halloween, download this festive printable from RosaLillaPrints on Etsy. One purchase gives you JPG and PDF versions of the print in two font colors: black and orange. Print the digital download instantly, then pop the artwork in a frame for a touch of autumnal charm. It’s the perfect accent for any Halloween-themed festivity! Available on Etsy; $6.60.
If you’re planning a Halloween party, don’t let your kitchen table get covered with melted chocolate, sticky apple cider, or messy crumbs. Instead, create a protective barrier with this black tablecloth from Hyde and Eek! Boutique™. The spiderweb print contributes to spooky holiday-themed decor, while the waterproof surface protects against any spill. Available at Target; $5.
Bare Bones Decor
No time to carve a creative message into your hollowed-out pumpkin this Halloween? Decorating your front porch for visiting costumed Trick-or-Treaters can't get cheaper—or easier—than this set of gel clings that presses to your window in seconds. Since you'll apply them to the glass pane from inside the house, just make sure to adhere each three-inch black letters so that they appear backwards when viewed from inside in order to be legible to all who approach your door. Available at Target; $2.
Animated Eyeball Doorbell
This year, you could find yourself living in a haunted house—or, at least, one that appears to be guarded by a glowing green eyeball. Hang this hair-raising animated doorbell on your front door to have plenty of fun with this season's visitors. In addition to its eery iridescence, the device also periodically cycles through the spooky sounds of creaking doors and sinister laughs. Available at Target; $10.
Summon spookiness to a swath of decorative cobwebs hung over the entry or sprinkle something creepy on the drinks table at your next kid-friendly party. Wherever you need a dose of fright, these lifelike plastic critters will do the trick. Sold in a pack of 144 pieces, you'll have more than enough to display in the dark corners of your haunted Halloween house or to hide in a candy bowl for a scary-fun surprise. Available on Amazon; $5.94.
Worse Than Weeds
As you're winterizing your garden beds this October, keep an eye out for the rare zombie plant, which tends to pop up sometime between Friday the 13th and All Hallows' Eve—and looks strikingly similar to a pair of corpse-like hands. Add your own plastic "plant" to your fall landscape when you bring home this plastic pair of garden stakes. When hidden among the mulch and mums, they're sure to give your trick-or-treaters a fright. Available on Amazon; $6.75.
While you typically wouldn't want to see a colony of bats hanging around your house, these paper bats are an exception. This bag of bats comes in a set of eight with strings and feather accents already attached. Give your visitors a spook by dangling the bats from chandeliers, ceiling fans, or wherever your heart desires. The creepy effect will make it seem like bats are swooping above your heads. Available at Cost Plus World Market; $9.99 for a bag of eight.
Day of the Dead Dew Drop Lights
Add a colorful glow to an otherwise eerie Halloween with these Day of the Dead string lights. With a flexible wire, the color-changing skulls can be wrapped or draped around almost anything. No need to plug them in, either. Because these beauties run on a battery-operated power pack, you aren’t constricted to using them only in areas closest to an outlet. Available at Target; $6.
Super-Stretch Spider Web
Give your porch or party room a creepy haunted-house look with Super-Stretch Spider Web. The web comes packaged as a soft 16-foot rope that you can spread out to cover up to 200 square feet. Attach it to trees, walls, or posts with tape or thumbtacks for a spectacularly spooky and spidery effect. Available at Target; $3 (also offered in a glow-in-the-dark version).
For the ultimate in unnerving accents, place one or more severed Scented Beeswax Fingers in a bowl of Halloween treats or use them as grisly table-top décor. You get four realistic wax fingers and one blackened wax spider, all infused with seasonal scents. As the party progresses, drop one of the fingers in an aromatic wax warmer to fill the room with your choice of holiday aromas, including caramel apple and cinnamon vanilla. Available on Etsy; $7.50.
Suction cups are the secret behind this ghostly invader that appears to be passing right through your window! This wicked but whimsical Crashing Ghost has all the potential to be the most talked-about decoration at the party. Filled with lightweight foam, it measures just over 15 inches from tip to tip and comes with a face that's frightful yet adorable. Available on Plow & Hearth; $9.99.
Black, White, and Ate All Over
Set a scary mood with this dark and devilish table runner that features black crows, laughing skulls in top hats and wicked witch silhouettes, all tastefully rendered in black on a white background. The 100% cotton table runner measures 14” by 72” and is machine washable. Available on Amazon; $8.99.
A well-respected witch always has the pantry stocked with Bat Eyes, Moldy Grapes, Brain Juice, and other questionable ingredients to create the perfect brew. Delight—or gross out—guests with these printable Victorian Apothecary labels that will make one question what’s really in your jars and containers. Available on Etsy; $5.77.
Paired with tea light candles, these black jack-o-lantern candle holders will illuminate a darkened window or table with their smiling grins. Measuring 5.5 inches high and wide, they’ll fit just about anywhere, adding delightful detail to your Halloween decor. Made from metal, these jack-o'-lantern candle holders won’t melt, but like all sources of flame, keep them away from little fingers. Available at Target; $10 for a 2-pack.
Welcome guests and little goblins with this cute-as-heck ghost windsock when you hang it from a tree branch or from a covered porch ceiling. Made from lightweight polyester, this 18-inch weather-resistant windsock fills with air in the slightest breeze, fluttering and flitting a smiling welcome to all. The bright white cloth makes the windsock visible even after dusk. Available on Amazon; $9.52.
What could be more freaky than black candles that “bleed” when lit? This 2-pack of taper candles will fit standard taper candleholders to create the perfect centerpiece for your Halloween dinner table. Alternately, use them for mantle or windowsill decor. Each candle measures 10 inches in height and will provide hours of spooky illumination. Available at Cost Plus World Market; $5.24 for a set of two.
Create the illusion of a bat cave with these flying bat decals. Die-cut from premium vinyl, they will stick to any smooth, hard surface and will withstand weathering if you decide to put them on outside windows. You’ll receive 24 different bats, and you can choose from small bats, up to 2.5 inches wide, or medium-size bats up to 5 inches wide. Available on Etsy; from $4.99.
Related: 21 Ways to Color Your Yard This Fall
Artistic renderings of Halloween images outlined against a contrasting background, these painted wooden plaques make a perfect addition to your festive decor. Choose from a winged bat, a black cat, a leafless tree, a wise old owl, a witch in flight, or a spooky graveyard scene. All plaques feature black paint on a yellow-orange background reminiscent of a full moon. Available on Etsy; $4 per plaque.