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Halloween is fast approaching, and as the situation improves regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, this could be our first opportunity in a long time to throw a party! Of course, we’re now facing another crisis – that of the rising cost of living. This means that it’s probably not a great idea to spend loads of money hosting our friends and family for Halloween.
But don’t panic! There are plenty of ways you can throw a great party, without having to break the bank. And because spooky decorations are often a big expense, we’ve looked at ten of the cheapest decorations you can buy (or make), that still look fantastic!
Jack-o-lanterns are a classic for any Halloween party. And as pumpkins are very cheap to buy at this time of year, these decorations are some of the more cost effective. Not to mention fun to make! Kids love helping too – just make sure they’re being careful!
And you don’t even have to carve the pumpkins if you don’t have the time. Just placing pumpkins around your home should have the desired effect, especially if you use a variety of sizes and colours. Painting on pumpkins can be fun too – whether this is a traditional face design or something else a bit spooky.
Garlands, or bunting, can really transform a room, as just about any wedding guest can tell you! And while paper decorations won’t stand the test of time, they are a great way to decorate for a party. All you need is some Halloween themed paper, some ribbon, and preferably a hole-punch so that you can thread the ribbon through the paper triangles.
If you plan on throwing lots more Halloween parties in future, you may want to buy or make fabric bunting. Many craft stores will stock Halloween fabric leading up to 31 October, or you can buy it online. The pattern is easy, and can be sewn together or you can try fabric glue.
Black paper and card is typically cheap to purchase, and you (or the kids) can have fun cutting out bats to decorate your home with. If you’re not confident in your drawing skills, you can always print out a couple of templates, and use these as a guide. Stick the bats on your windows, above the mantelpiece, or dangle them from the ceiling – you can’t have too many bats for a Halloween party!
Paper silhouettes can be added throughout your house, and there’s loads of ways you can get creative with it! Photos of family and friends can probably be improved with a paper witches’ hat stuck on their heads, right?
If you’ve got any old sheets lying around, or if you can find them cheaply at a charity shop, why not cut and rip them, so that they look tattered? Then, simply hang these up instead of your normal curtains, and you’ll have an instant haunted vibe!
This sort of distressed fabric, particularly if it’s black, can look effective when hung up in doorways too, or even across the ceiling like bunting. Experiment a little, and see what looks best (or creepiest) in your house.
A lot of people get creeped out, if not outright terrified, of spiders. They’re therefore the perfect choice to decorate with at Halloween. Plastic spiders don’t usually cost much, and can be easily scattered around a room. Or even placed in a punch bowl.
You can also buy stretchy spider web online, which, when wrapped around tables and chairs, looks very effective. This spider web often comes with spiders too, so you don’t need to buy both.
Although we generally associate wreaths with Christmas, they can be used for just about any occasion! There are tons of different designs you could try, and if you’re stuck for ideas, Pinterest is a great place to start. Some of the concepts are very inventive – you could even try making a wreath out of classic sweets, like Love Hearts and Sherbert Fountains, tempting trick-or-treaters to your door.
One of the easiest wreath designs includes wrapping black ribbon or fabric around a foam wreath form, creating a ruffle effect. Then, simply cut out a silhouette of a witch, pumpkin, ghost or other Halloween themed image, and place it on your door, in the middle of the wreath.
If the food you’re serving is the centrepiece of the party – perhaps you’ve made themed cakes and nibbles – you can’t just plonk it on a table. There are loads of spooktacular tablecloths you can buy online (or in a lot of shops this time of year). Alternatively, you could try making your own.
A simple design to try is a spiderweb. If you get a plain black tablecloth, or other piece of fabric, you can paint giant spiderwebs onto the material. Or, if you’re really careful, you can use bleach to paint the design onto the fabric – this will ensure the spiderweb doesn’t come out in the wash.
There’s something quite compelling about black flowers – sinister but beautiful. And while you could buy some darkly coloured flowers to decorate your home with at Halloween, it will almost certainly be cheaper to make some from crepe-paper.
There are loads of tutorials on YouTube to make these flowers, but the general idea is to cut out strips of crepe paper (or use a streamer) and then wrap this around a wire, gathering the paper at the bottom so that the petals fan out at the top.
In a lot of horror movies, you can tell a house has been abandoned by the fact that dust sheets have been draped over the furniture. This is very easy to replicate – simply use bed sheets to achieve the same effect!
Putting up fake cobwebs will really bring this look together, which you can find online. Alternatively, you could use cheesecloth or some form of mesh fabric like tulle. And if you don’t mind clearing up a mess afterwards, you could try sprinkling a fine layer of flour on surfaces, to replicate dust.
What Halloween home isn’t complete without a few bottles of poison? These can be lined up on your mantelpiece, or even be the receptacles for the drinks you’re serving that evening. Simply use old bottles and make new labels, with lists of horrifying ingredients included underneath the name of the poison.
And if you’re not really a crafty person, you can always buy printable labels or stickers on sites like Etsy. These shouldn’t cost more than a few pounds, and are bound to really impress your guests!