How to Decorate for Halloween on a Budget

I love decorating for Halloween, but being a full-time student and mom of three living on a truck drivers’ pay doesn’t leave me with a very big budget. Over the years I have built up a great collection of weird and spooky Halloween decorations from some very unlikely sources.

My front yard is usually adorned with items I have garnered from thrift stores and trash cans and some handcrafted items. My favorite idea for this year is a pathway of slightly melted baby doll heads stuck upon “bloody” dowels with their dismembered arms and legs randomly protruding from my flower beds. The discarded baby dolls are easily found at garage sales and thrift stores for 50 cents or less, a couple of mine were free.

The older, grungier, and balder the doll the better. The softer type of baby doll works better with a much longer face “droop” created in the melting process. I melted them by placing the doll heads on some old marshmallow skewers and hanging them about 2 feet above some hot coals in my grill, turning and maneuvering the doll heads to get the gruesome effects I wanted. In the process, the doll hair usually melts, although I managed to preserve it a few times.

A propane torch, carefully used, would have produced some great effects too. The total price on 8 doll heads on the dowels came to just 3 dollars.I have a great friend who is a florist. Every year I gather a few of her flower boxes (the long thin boxes that the wholesaler ships her flowers in).

The boxes make great small coffins, just duct tape, paint and a little imagination and I have little coffins for my door steps. I remake these almost every year because I end up giving them away. These boxes are usually free for the asking so the cost is usually just a roll of duct tape (I buy the “off-brand” for a dollar) and some black or brown paint.Christmas dollar store electric candles with a small plastic jack-o-lantern atop makes eerie lighting for my window sills and lets neighborhood kids know that I am open for business Halloween night.

I can usually find both at thrift stores throughout the year and I have yet to pay more than a quarter for the electric candles. I bought a bag of the jack-o-lanterns for 75 cents a couple years ago.Don’t let a rough economy damper your Halloween. With a little imagination and a slightly warped sense of humor, your yard can be the talk of the neighborhood for the price of the change under your couch cushions!



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