When I moved into my first apartment, I didn’t have much money, but I loved the holidays. It was important to me to be able to decorate, even if I didn’t have much space or cash to put into my projects. Without a yard, I was somewhat limited, but I tried to be creative enough so that it didn’t matter and my home still felt festive. Decorating an apartment for the holidays poses definite challenges, but it can be done.Halloween brings to mind certain images: jack-o-lanterns, creepy crawlies, pretty leaves, black cats. Using these throughout your apartment can bring a sense of unity and liven up almost any space.
Craft pumpkins, which can be found at Garden Ridge, Hobby Lobby, and Old Time Pottery, are very easy to make into reusable jack-o-lanterns. They may be carved or decorated with felt or gauze. Cut out felt features and googly eyes can transform a craft pumpkin into a vampire, Frankenstein monster, cat face, or goblin. First aid roll gauze can be used to create an adorable pumpkin mummy. Electric jack-o-lanterns can be placed in windows or on the tops of furniture, creating a fun effect without the mess of the real thing.
Many decorations can be purchased inexpensively at the aforementioned stores or any major retailer. Window clings can be applied easily and without damage to any window or even your refrigerator or mirrors in your apartment. Leaf garland can be draped over the tops of mantelpieces, furniture, even across curtain rods. Plastic Halloween bowls and dishes can be used for serving or displaying other Halloween goodies.
Halloween string lights – some are similar to Christmas lights but in Halloween colors, others are Halloween shapes, like bats, candy corn, etc. — can be used on any windows or strung across the ceiling. Halloween tablecloths can be purchased or made using Halloween fabric (often as low as $2 a yard at many stores) that is hemmed up either by sewing or using fabric glue. Purchased costume masks can be hung on the wall (sticky tack works remarkably well for this!).
Spiderwebs, either purchased or created with yarn, can be draped over your front or patio door or festooned from the ceiling, using simple tape to attach, to avoid nail holes in the walls. Add some small plastic bats or spiders to increase the creepy effect. Cheesecloth or gauze can be cut and tied with ribbon, raffia, or fishing line to create little ghosts that can be hung from the spiderweb or ceiling and that will waft in the slightest of breezes.
A Halloween tree can be a fun centerpiece or other tabletop decoration. Find a branch with many small branches coming off it, stripping it of any leaves that remain. Place it upright in a pail or vase (use florist foam to keep it straight), then decorate with clear glass balls that you’ve painted and decorated with Halloween themes. Or you can fill large clear glass jars with candy corn or pumpkins and add a large pillar candle (do not light this candle, it is merely for decorative purposes) for a really pretty fun effect.
For your front door, nothing says Halloween like a wreath. Buy a simple grapevine wreath and spray paint it black. Add little plastic Halloween trinkets, little orange, yellow, green, and purple pipe cleaner curlicues and squiggles, and little gauzey ghosts using craft glue or hot glue.
Just because you live in an apartment does not mean it has to look sterile. Enjoy your space, however small, and rock your holidays in style.