The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

Save Money with Trash-to-Treasure Halloween Decorations

October 13, 2014

Children Trick-or-TreatingHalloween can be a frightful drain on the family budget, what with candy for the trick-or-treaters, decorations for the home and costumes for the kids. This Halloween season, try saving money by reusing some items destined for the trash or recycling bins to create decorations.

Here are a few ideas for DIY Halloween crafts:

Crafty pumpkin: Give new life to old wicker baskets. You’ll need two round wicker baskets of the same size and orange spray paint. Any stains or mold on the baskets can be cleaned with a solution of 50:50 bleach and water applied with a cotton swab. Repair minor breaks or splits in the baskets’ weave. To start, spray paint each basket orange and let dry. Glue several cinnamon sticks together to create the pumpkin’s stem. Glue the “stem” to the bottom of one of the baskets. Place that basket bottom-up on the other basket to create the shape of a pumpkin. Glue on some craft-store leaves near the “stem” and you’re done.

Halloween hand soap: Don’t dump your hand-soap pump dispensers when they’re empty. You can recycle them into Halloween suds dispensers for the guest bathroom. First, clean the outside of your used pump dispenser. Wet and scrape off old labels, front and back. If any label goo remains, soak a paper towel in vinegar and let it sit on the goo for 10 minutes, then scrape off. Buy some inexpensive Halloween-theme stickers with clear backgrounds from a hobby or crafts store. Pumpkins, black cats, spiders and similar are good choices. Stick the spooky symbols on to the soap dispenser, refill with liquid soap, and you’re good to go.

Milk jug ghost: You’ll need a clean, one-gallon plastic milk jug (remove the label), a white plastic kitchen bag, and piece of wire or string 15 to 18 inches long. Remove the cap of the jug. Place the bottom of the kitchen bag over the open top of the jug. Screw the cap back on, securing the bag to the jug. Turn everything upside down, so that the jug is on top and the bag flows beneath the jug, while keeping the jug handle at the back, draw a scary face on the jug with a magic marker. Make two holes in the bottom of the jug (which is now the top) and run the wire or string in and out. Twist the ends together and hang on a tree branch. Make sure the bag is fluffed out so that your “ghost” can “fly” in the wind.

Front-lawn tombstones: Cardboard boxes can be re-purposed into DIY lawn tombstones for Halloween. Collect some sturdy empty boxes from your garage, attic or local store. Cut the cardboard with a utility knife or sturdy shears into tombstone shapes. (You can download tombstone templates to trace the shape.) Paint the tombstones grey by mixing black and white craft paints. Using a black marker, draw spooky characters on the front of each “tombstones” or make up fake names and epitaphs and write them on the “tombstones.” Glue garden stakes to the back of the tombstones so that they’ll stay upright. Place them on the lawn to create a fun graveyard.


Do you have any crafty Halloween tricks of your own? Share them with us on Facebook.

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Categories: Parenting Tips
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