The ultimate Halloween DIY Decorating guide on a budget

As the days grow longer and October creeps ever closer, Jack-O’-Lanterns are appearing on doorsteps, fake cobwebs are being stretched across front yards and spooky looking lollies are taking centre stage on supermarket shelves. All telltale signs that Halloween is on its way.

This widely celebrated holiday, which is believed to have originated over 2000 years ago at a Celtic festival known as Samhain, was popularised in the United States. However, Halloween has carved out its own special place in the hearts of many Aussies (we have a soft spot for creepy crawlies), with people young and old right across the country decking out their homes in ghoulish decorations and dressing up in creepy costumes on October 31.

If you’re keen to create some impressive decorations for your home without racking up a scary bill, check out our ideas for celebrating Halloween in Australia on a budget.

  1. Do-It-Yourself Paper creatures
    You don’t have to splash out on fancy decorations at a retail store, you just need some scissors, craft paper, and a bit of creativity! Using a template, cut out the outline of a creature, such as a bat or a spider, on thick black craft paper. Pop some wall-safe sticky tape or blu-tack on the back, and stick them in or around the house (if you’re feeling extra clever, you could hang them from the ceiling with ribbon, string or thread.)
  2. Carve and hollow out a Jack-O’-Lantern
    Why mess with a classic? Like a Santa hat is to Christmas and an Easter egg is to Easter, a Jack-O’-Lantern is synonymous with Halloween and instantly captures the style and atmosphere of the spooky holiday.

    To create your own, all you need is a pumpkin or squash, a sharp knife to do the cutting (cut the stem, cut off the crown and carve out the eyes, nose and a mouth), a spoon to scoop out the seeds, fibres and some pumpkin flesh, and a tealight candle for the inside! (an LED tealight works too!) Be sure to carve with care and keep the kids out of harm’s way.If you’re looking for a quick and easy alternative, or you want to involve a younger child, you can skip using the knife and instead use a thick black marker to draw the face on. You can even use an orange balloon if you don’t want to commit to a pumpkin (just don’t try carving it!)

  3. Mason Jar Luminaries
    Mason jar luminaries are a fantastic way to add a spooky glow to your Halloween decor. Before tossing out empty pantry jars, consider upcycling them for this craft. After washing out the jars and removing any labels, decorate them with eerie paintings or designs that capture the Halloween spirit. Then, place leftover LED tea lights from your Jack-o’-Lanterns inside. Alternatively, don’t add the LED tea lights and instead use the decorated jars as candy containers for trick-or-treaters!
  4. Balloon Ghosts
    If you’re looking for a decoration guaranteed to raise spirits, Balloon Ghosts are simple, quick, and plenty of fun.

    All you need to do is blow up a white balloon, drape a piece of white cloth over it (make a small incision in the centre of the cloth to allow for the tied part of the balloon to be threaded through) and draw ghost eyes and a mouth onto the cloth. Then attach invisible hanging wire to the balloon tie and hang it from the ceiling or an archway. Before you know it, you’ll have a gaggle of ghouls providing the cutest haunting possible to your home.

  5. Monster Doors
    Make sure you’re delivering on the “trick” part of Halloween by tricking up your door with a monstrous face! You can use tape, paper plates, markers, and cardboard to transform your front door into a monstrous face that’ll make sure your home stands out on the spookiest night of the year.
  6. Cardboard Tombstones
    A Halloween décor staple, the cardboard tombstone, is a great addition to your front yard in the scary season. This is a bigger project than some of the other decorations on this list, but the payoff is worth it!

    Using a leftover cardboard box, cut out 2 arch-like shapes, then papier-mache them together with newspaper and craft glue. Once fully covered and dry, paint your faux tombstone stone grey and add the text ‘RIP’ with a funny name below it (we suggest “Daisy Pusher” or “Ben Better”) .

Hopefully, this guide inspires you to embrace this fun (albeit slightly frightening) holiday and has you daring to dress up your home. Have fun, stay safe, and share your creations with us on social media!

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