Time-honored traditions of Halloween include costumes, trick or treating, and pumpkin carving. If you want to add Halloween décor this year, don’t miss these budget-friendly ideas. Whether you are financially recovering from a PCS or just want to be as budget-conscious as possible, these ideas are for you.
What witch or wizard doesn’t have candlesticks on their table or mantlepiece? While candlesticks were commonplace in years past, they aren’t part of the normal pieces in our homes now. If you don’t have any candlesticks at home, you can flip wine glasses upside down to make candlesticks. These won’t hold long tapers but do well for shorter candles. After flipping the wine glass upside down, spray paint or paint with black or white matte for a spooky candle look.
Looking for a flame-free candlestick? Try out paper towel roll candlesticks. Cut paper towel rolls in various sizes. Put tape in the top of the tube, creating a pocket for a battery-operated tealight. Test out the tealight to ensure the tape up top is secured, will handle the weight of the tealight, and will last for prolonged use. Use a hot glue gun to add “dripping” at the top of the roll and down a third or halfway – this can be done haphazardly to represent what a natural dripping candle look. Once the glue is dried, paint the glue-covered tube with black acrylic paint. This paint is cheap, usually a dollar or two at Michael’s or even Dollar Tree. Once dried, cover the raised areas with white tape to give the illusion of prolonged dripping. When ready to use, put the tealight on the top turned on, and display your spooky candles.
A word about button batteries – be sure to use tealights with the battery pack secured with a screw that a small child cannot get out to avoid accidental swallowing. If there is ever a concern that a child may have swallowed a button battery, this is an emergency and requires an immediate ER visit to evaluate.
Found jarred white candles? Make them spooky by removing the labels and using a Sharpie to add ghost faces to the front.
Or mix up the jarred white candles by adding fall-themed washi tape around the outside of the candle jar.
A countdown candle can be made by adding dash marks to the jar, making sure to burn the candle every day, counting down to the end of October 31st.
Making image transfer candles can be done at any time or season. It is especially fun at Halloween because you can put almost anything on the candles. The trick is printing onto tissue paper – you will have to wrap the tissue paper around a piece of printer paper or secure it with invisible tape, being careful to secure it to printer paper with invisible tape at the top and bottom (this will be cut off). You need to print on the non-shiny size of the tissue paper. Cut out the tissue paper image. Place the tissue image on the candle, and place wax paper over the top of the image and candle. Using a hair dryer, continuously blow air on the image for 20-30 seconds. If holding the candle and wrapping paper, wear an oven mitt to avoid heating your hand or fingers. Test the edges of the image by gently pulling the wax paper back to see if the image transferred. If it didn’t completely transfer, repeat the process. Once heated, run over the image with your oven mitt hand to add pressure to the image transfer.
Make a candy corn centerpiece with wine or liquor bottles and paint. Remove the label from the wine bottle, and prepare spray paint or paint in orange, yellow, and white colors. Spray the entire bottle white and allow to dry. Then add a yellow portion on the bottom 2/3; once dried, add an orange portion on the bottom 1/3. Allow the centerpiece to dry completely before adding it to a table and filling it with fake flowers or leaves. Always use cardboard under your spray or paint surface to avoid leaving behind paint colors that do no desire to do.
If you prefer your candy corn in candy form, add some to the bottom of a wide-based vase and add a candle in the center for another fall-colored look.
Looking to add a spooky element to a vase you have at home? Grab a cheap spider web and some spray paint – purple, black, grey, and silver are all good choices. Wrap the vase in the spider web and spray paint with your color of choice. If you have a plastic spider at home, you can add the spider before or after spray painting. Another option is using hot glue to make the outline of a spider web on the vase, glue a spider down, and then spray paint it. Fill the vase with purple, black and orange flowers for the ultimate flowered centerpiece.
Eyeball flowers: Yup, you read that right. Make any plastic flower spooky by hot gluing plastic eyeballs in the center. You can leave the flowers like this or spray paint to the desired colors.
Need some bowls for treats or a party? Wash out and spray paint the dollar pumpkin/cat/ghoul trick-or-treat pails and spray paint in black.
The Skull and Bones dish was a hit last year. Using items from the Dollar Tree of a short glass candle stick, a glass dish or plate, and a plastic skeleton are dressed up with pain. Hot glue the dish to the top of the glass candle stick. Take apart the skeleton and arrange its pieces on top of the dish, hot gluing each piece. Let it dry for a few days, and check for loose pieces before painting. Once completely secured and dried, paint with white for a uniform base color. Once dried, spray paint with rust-oleum metallic – silver or gold – to give a complete look. This will give it the look of a real dish. If serving food without wrappers, make sure to place a liner on the dish before placing the food.
Have some old mason jars, paint and candles at home? You have all you need for DIY luminaries. Search “Halloween Village Printables” online, and several free images pop up. Bring these out. You will need to cut them out, including cutting out the holes in the windows. The first step is cleaning the jars to prepare them for painting. Paint the jars with what you have on hand or desire – you want a shimmer paint so the jar remains opaque for the light to shine through. This is not a necessary step. Place the printable stencil in the jar, and trace the outline with a black paint pen. Fill in the outline. Once this is complete, let it dry. You can place candles or battery-operated string lights in the jar, which are ready for use. Another idea is the Mod Podge the stencil, with all windows cut out, on the outside, but this is not water resistant, so keep that in mind if the luminaries are being used outside.