Every year my sons beg to decorate for Halloween. I love it! However, I don’t love spending an arm and a leg on decorations…especially when they look like just that: a bloody arm and a bloody leg. They’re just not pretty like Christmas decorations. Plus, we have two birthdays coming up, Halloween itself, then Thanksgiving all within a month of each other. Then it’s Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, it is my FAVORITE time of the year! However, between budget and time, Halloween decorations go by the wayside. Especially when my sons are begging for the possessed doll or the creepy clown. Ummmm…No thanks.
This year I knew our budget would be super tight, but now that my oldest son is *almost* six, I really wanted to start being more intentional about traditions. He’s getting to the age when he will remember what we do. So I’ve worked really hard to make our house feel festive. I just have three rules for our decorations: they need to be cheap, they need to be easy, and we need to love them (AKA no severed arms or legs).
Here it goes…My tips for keeping it cheap and easy!
1. Decorate with spider webs. I already had spider webs and fake spiders, so this was $0. I needed to find a way to decorate so that my 11 month old didn’t get her hands on it. So I wrapped up my lanterns and felt like it was just enough to be festive without looking too gaudy. Also, I kind of love it. I think this was the most “transformational” of my decorations!
2. Buy gourds and mini pumpkins at Trader Joe’s. I love Trader Joe’s. Each gourd and pumpkin were under $1. I love that I get to use them all the way through Thanksgiving!
3. Decorate with googly eyes. This made my children SO excited. I used glue dots on the back of googly eyes to stick them to the pumpkins and gourds. It’s so silly and kind of adorable.
4. Hit up the Target Dollar Spot. I love the little string lights they sell for $3. I almost never turn them on, but it’s fun when we do. The lights almost look like a little garland, which is what I use them for. I also bought a couple of $1 packs of googly eyes (including the big ones) and some gel clings for our windows.
5. Scour Goodwill. It’s amazing what people give away! My rule: I have to LOVE what I’m getting. I’d rather save the money than buy a “meh” decoration at Goodwill. This year I found a $3 ghost that looks like it is flying between trees in my front yard. My boys are beyond excited about it.
6. Use your letter boards. I don’t know if you have a letter board, but we love ours! I love the added touch a festive quote gives. Plus, watching Hocus Pocus is a favorite tradition of ours (our kids aren’t old enough yet, but maybe next year!). We love it so much that we named our (black) cat Binx after Thackery Binx.
7. Dress up your diffuser. Another $0 decoration. All I did was cut out a jack o lantern face from construction paper. When I’m diffusing I make sure I put it on the orange setting. I have also been wanting to cut out some bats to put on my wall, but I haven’t had the chance yet.
8. Buy large pumpkins from Costco. Costco has large pumpkins for only $6.99. I don’t know if we will have time to go to a pumpkin patch this year, but if we do we most certainly won’t be getting the “HUGE” pumpkins that my boys asked for. Thank you for saving the day again, Costco!
Making the intentional effort to decorate with my kids has already uplifted ALL of our spirits. It’s been so fun watching my kids be so excited about our home and the upcoming holiday. I hope this list was helpful for you too. I’d love to hear about your decorations and traditions in the comments!