Having a Halloween Party? 13 Creepy Decorations You Can Make for Under $5

Updated October 20, 2016
by Teyonna Edwards
Editorial Intern
Diy halloween decorations

Besides dressing up and stuffing my face full of sugary goodness, decorating is my favorite part of Halloween.

However, store-bought decor can come with a hefty price tag.

And if you’re anything like yours truly, you don’t have the funds to drop $130 on something like these skeleton pallbearers.

But there are so many ways to be resourceful when it comes to Halloween — and creating your own ghastly creatures at home is a great way to spook your guests, not your wallet.

13 DIY Halloween Decorations Under $5

These are great projects to do during your downtime or with your family. You can even get most of your supplies from Walmart or Dollar Tree.

We’ve all seen DIYs gone horribly wrong, but these Halloween projects are not only fun — they’re also super easy! Even if you’re crafting-challenged, I guarantee these will turn out BOO-tifully.

1. Spooky Candle Light Cups

Photo by Teyonna Edwards/The Penny Hoarder

What you probably have:

  • Sharpie

What you need:

  • Clear or tinted (green or orange) plastic cups: $1
  • LED tealights: 2 pack for $1

These little creatures from Thrifty Momma Ramblings are perfect for a not-so-scary Halloween party. Draw faces on the cup, open-end facing down.

Turn your clear cups into a ghost or mummy, your green cups into Frankensteins or your orange cups into jack-o’-lanterns.

When you’re finished, place an LED tealight under each cup for an ominous glow.

2. Bloody Handprint Clings

C0046T01
Photo by Teyonna Edwards/The Penny Hoarder

What you probably have:

  • Plastic wrap
  • Cutting board or a smooth surface
  • Tape

What you need:

  • Food coloring: $3.65
  • Bottle of glue: $1  

Beware: These reusable clings from Felt Magnet can be a bit messy.

First, smooth out the plastic wrap and tape it to the cutting board.

Mix together glue and one drop of blue food coloring, then add the red food coloring. Keep adding drops until you get a color slightly lighter than the one you need. (It will dry darker).

Now for the messy part: Cover your hand with the white glue. Feel free to use gloves, but the prints will turn out better if you don’t. Make handprints on the plastic wrap.

Next, cover your hands with the “blood” and make another set of prints on top of the ones you already made. For an extra touch, shake off any excess blood onto the plastic wrap to make spooky splatters.

Allow your creations to dry, then peel them off the plastic wrap and stick them to a window so your neighbors will have a killer view.

3. Designer Pumpkin

Better Homes & Gardens - Halloween Tricks & Treats 2011
Photo from Pomp and Circumstance

What you probably have:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Sharpie

What you need:

  • Buttons: $1.96
  • Ribbon: $1
  • Mini pumpkin: $2

This one is all the fun of decorating pumpkins without the mess of carving. (Thanks Pomp and Circumstance!)

Draw the word or design you want on your pumpkin, then glue the buttons on top of it. Tie the ribbon in a bow around the stem for a more preppy decoration.

The best part? You can reuse this pumpkin once Halloween is over!

4. Colony of Bats

Photo from Made Everyday

What you probably have:

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pencil

What you need:

  • Black construction paper: $2

Bats never looked so pretty!

Fold a piece of construction paper in half. Along the crease, draw half of a bat. If your drawing skills border on kindergarten level, Made Everyday has a handy bat stencil you can print out — just trace it onto the construction paper.

Cut out the bats and tape them to the wall. If you’re decorating the outside of your home, make sure to use duct tape instead.

5. Glowing Ghouls

Diy halloween decorations
Photo from MarthaStewart.com

What you probably have:

  • Sharpie
  • Tape

What you need:

  • Glow sticks: $1
  • White balloons: $1

This one is from Martha Stewart. Put glow sticks inside blown-up balloons, tie them off and draw on ghostly eyes.

Tape your new guests to the wall or let them glide along the floor.

6. Halloween Soap

Diy halloween decorations
Photo from Little Bins for Little Hands

What you need:

  • Halloween confetti: $2.61
  • Bottle of clear soap: $1

Thanks to Little Bins for Little Hands, you can bring the Halloween spirit into the bathroom as well.

Just place the confetti inside the soap bottle and mix it up (you may need to take out some of the soap to get it all to fit).

Make sure to use a transparent soap bottle so your guests can see your decoration.

7. Spider Web

Diy halloween decorations
Photo from Crafty Lumberjacks

What you probably have:

  • Tape
  • Scissors

What you need:

  • Plastic spiders: $1
  • Yarn: $2.18

This creative web from Crafty Lumberjacks may take a bit of patience — but it’s worth it.

Make an X with the yarn and tape it to the wall, then tape other lines of string to the center of the X, creating spokes.

Cut another piece of yarn. Pick a spoke, then at the center of the web tie a knot. From there, go to the next spoke. Wrap the yarn over, under, then around the spoke and move on to the next one.

See what we’re doing here? Hint: It’s a spider web.

Continue until you have a spiral pattern. If you run out of yarn before you’re done, tie off that piece on a spoke and cut a new one to finish the job.

Add creepy crawlies until your heart’s content!

8. Glowing Eyes

Diy halloween decorations
Photo from Rust and Sunshine

What you probably have:

  • Empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

What you need:

  • Glow sticks: $1

Want to creep out your party guests? Draw a set of eyes on an empty roll and cut them out; be careful not to cut the area around the eyes.

Place a glow stick inside the roll and tape the ends so it’s secure. Put your glowing eyes horizontally in the bushes along your walkway so your guests feel like they’re being watched.

Credit for all spine-shivering reactions goes to Rust and Sunshine.

9. Mummy Door

Diy halloween decorations
Photo from Honey and Fitz

What you probably have:

  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Printer paper

What you need:

  • White streamers: $1
  • Black construction paper: $2

Deck your door out with this simple craft from Honey and Fitz.

Cut your mummy wrap (aka streamers, or toilet paper if you have some to spare) into scraps and tape them horizontally to your door. Be sure to overlap and change directions so they’re not just straight lines.

Now it’s time for your mummy eyes. Cut two circles out of the white printer paper and two smaller circles from the black construction paper. Tape the black circles on top of the white ones.

Once you’ve taped them to your door, feel free to put some more mummy wrap over the eyes if you want them to have that creepy peek-a-boo look.

10. Ghost Leaf Bags

Diy halloween decorations
Photo from Everyday Art

What you probably have:

  • White trash bags
  • Sharpie
  • Leaves

Sorry, my fellow Floridians, this one is not for you.

Instead of throwing away the leaves in your yard, do what Everyday Art did and use them for decoration.

Gather leaves into a trash bag then tie it off. Placing the bottom side up, draw some spooky eyes and a mouth. Set your ghosts in the front yard to greet people as they pass by.

11. Mice Silhouettes

Diy halloween decorations
Photo from Thrifty Decor Chick

What you probably have:

  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

What you need:

  • Black construction paper: $2

If you’re lacking a staircase, don’t worry — this craft from Thrifty Decor Chick looks great on your baseboards, too.

Draw some mice and mouse holes on the construction paper. No shame if you have to trace them; just find a picture online. Cut them out and tape them to your baseboards or stairs.

The “shadows” will have your guests scurrying with fear.

12. Floating Candles

Diy halloween decorations
Photo from Consumer Crafts

What you probably have:

  • Paper or newspaper
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Scissors

What you need:

  • LED tealights: 2 pack for $1
  • Black thread and needle: $1 sewing kit
  • White paint: $1.61

This will give your home that ominous, haunted mansion feel. Cut the edge of your paper towel roll so it looks similar to a slightly melted candle.

Use the glue gun to create thick, melted lines on the cut edge of the paper towel roll so it looks like melted wax. Coat the entire paper towel roll in white paint and allow time to dry.

Wad up the newspaper or paper and stuff it inside the paper towel roll so the tealight will have something to rest on.

With your needle and thread, loop your thread from one side of the top of the candlestick to the other, creating a hanging strap. Place the tealight inside and have your candles “float” from any hangable surface.

If you can, display them in the window like Consumer Crafts.

13. Wicked Witch Feet

Diy halloween decorations
Photo by Frances Janisch

What you probably have:

  • High heels
  • Paper or newspaper

What you need:

  • Knee-high striped socks: $2.99

Thanks Parents.com for making my day. Who doesn’t love a good “Wizard of Oz” reference?

Stuff your socks with crinkled up newspaper or paper. Make sure to crinkle and un-crinkle it multiple times; this softens the paper and prevents your witch’s legs from looking bumpy.

Place your shoes (bonus points if they’re ruby slippers) on the feet, then stash her legs under your welcome mat or garage door.

Your turn: Which DIY Halloween decorations are you most excited to try?

Teyonna Edwards is an editorial intern at The Penny Hoarder. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, and pretending she knows what she’s doing.

by Teyonna Edwards
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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