This year I opted to decorate for Halloween with mostly DIY projects versus using store-bought things. Not only did I save a ton of money, but I had so much fun doing crafts and getting into the Halloween spirit! I do have a few store-bought items here and there, but for the most part everything was created by me, myself, and I! So come on in, leave your shoes by the door, and take a look around!
Spooky sign purchased at Michaels (7 dollars)
First we have my paper mâché pumpkins! This project was actually the monthly craft in my Crafty Mommies club. The original craft is posted here however I adapted a lot of it to simplify and use what I already had. (Tutorial below!)
Next up are my glittering skulls! These are probably my favorite decorations because they’re SPARKLY! (Yes, I realize I’m 5 years old…) I bought 3 paper mâché skulls from Michaels for 3 dollars each and painted them orange, purple, and black. While the paint was still wet (very important!) I shook loose glitter (I like Martha Stewart brand because, obviously) in corresponding colors all over it. It’s best to do this in sections so the paint is still wet and the glitter sticks.
View of my dining room
On the wall to the right you will see my handmade Halloween banner! I was looking for something to put on that blank wall without having to buy a bunch of stuff when I stumbled upon this free printable. I simply printed each letter and framed it on a piece of construction paper in a contrasting color. Then I matted the framed letter onto another contrasting color. After that I punched holes in both sides of each letter and used a bunch of different Halloween colored ribbon to string them together. Then I added some Halloween themed die cuts (my local scrapbook store has die cut machines that I can use) and hung it up! So easy and you can use it year after year!
This is the only wall that has store bought items on it. The bats were sold in a pack (Martha Stewart brand of course) at Michaels (I believe they were 7 dollars) and I bought the witch at Target for 20 dollars.
Up next is my skull head centerpiece. I used the same paper mâché skull from Michaels and Mando painted it (he likes to help me with crafts sometimes… shhh!) white with black eyes and missing teeth. Then I just filled this glass bowl with glittery purple craft sand and plopped the skull inside. Simple way to add a spooky element to any room!
Other than that I just put tealights everywhere to give the place a spooky glow along with some pumpkins from the pumpkin patch! I decorated my whole apartment for around 50 dollars! Not bad for a mama on a budget!
Want to learn how to make paper mâché pumpkins for your own haunted house??
You will need:
- Balloons (I used 3 orange ones)
- White Elmers glue (I used 2 bottles)
- A paintbrush
- Orange and yellow tissue paper (try to find the thinnest paper possible!)
- A craft knife
- Flameless candles (can be purchased at Michaels)
First blow up your balloons to the size you want your pumpkins to be. I did 3 pumpkins: large, medium, and small, but you can do whatever you want.
Then cut your tissue paper strips (both orange and yellow) about 1 inch wide. They need to be long enough to go from the top of your balloon to the base. You’ ll need to cut several strips, enough to do 4 layers of strips for each pumpkin. (It goes faster if you fold the tissue paper and then cut instead of doing it individually)
Pour a good amount of glue onto a paper plate or in a cup. Then dilute with water. I did 2 parts glue to every 1 part water. Mix well.
Set your blown-up balloon on top of a wide mouth jar or cup. This will help hold the pumpkin when gluing the strips on.
Dab glue on the tip of your strip of orange tissue paper and attach it to your balloon starting at the TOP of the balloon. Then completely cover the rest of the strip with glue using the paintbrush and working your way down smoothing it out as you go. I used A LOT of glue so don’t be afraid to completely saturate your strip.
Continue this process all the way around the balloon until the entire thing is covered in strips.
Repeat until you have 2 layers of orange and then cover it with 2 layers of yellow. (You do not need to wait for each layer to dry before starting the next one.) You will think the yellow looks weird, but it doesn’t once your balloon dries. Trust me on this one.
Once all 4 layers are applied to each balloon let them dry over night. I tied a string to the knot of the balloon and hung it upside down to dry properly.
When your balloons are fully dry you can cut the knot off your balloon letting the air escape. This might cause your pumpkin to deflate a little bit, but you can blow air into it to pump it back up.
Using small manicure scissors, cut a circle at the base of your pumpkin until it can sit without rolling on a flat surface.
Using a pencil, draw or trace your jack-o-lantern face lightly onto your pumpkin. Use pictures on the internet or in magazines for inspiration! Then ‘carve’ the face using a craft or exacto knife. You can use small scissors to help you out in this step.
Once your face is carved you can either leave it alone or you can glue either yellow or black tissue paper behind the face to ‘ hide’ the inside of the pumpkin. I did yellow, but I think it would look better in black. I suggest cutting small parts of tissue paper to cover the eyes, nose, and mouth versus using one large piece. It will be a lot easier.
Then get a flameless flickering tea light, turn it on, and cover with your pumpkin. Turn the lights off and enjoy your new jack-o-lanterns!