You know that Halloween is just a few weeks away, right? Don’t worry: it snuck up on us too, and now we’re scrambling to decorate the house with a suitable number of scary items so we can celebrate in style. If your place is looking a little sparse in the spookiness department, there are some fun, easy decorations you can make with stuff that’s probably already lurking around your home. Read on for some fun-yet-creepy DIY ideas that you can put together in no time.
Glass Jars Filled with Creepy Stuff
You’d be amazed at how many items around your home (both inside and out) can be repurposed into Halloween decor pieces—they just need to be dolled up a little bit. To create containers of “ugh”, you just need some empty glass jars and a bit of creativity. Shove strips of moss into an empty Mason jar and label them as “Troll Scabs”, or pour some glitter and glycerine into a jelly jar for “Unicorn Tears”. The “Bundle of Nerves” (as shown above) was made from a handful of lichen that we painted red and then tied together with string.
If you’re a little short on creativity, you can always get some spooky stickers or downloadable labels for your jars and just pour in whatever might work with the title. You’d be surprised at how unnerving everyday items can look when floating in liquid, especially with creepy labels on them. If you’re stuck for ideas, try using peeled lichee or longan fruit, chestnuts, palm hearts, or bocconcini pearls.
Glowing Eyes Made from Paper Towel Rolls
Paper towel and toilet paper rolls aren’t just great fire starters: they’re ideal for creating spooky eyes that peer out from the bushes in the dead of night, like these ones from Rust & Shine. Just grab an X-acto or utility knife and carve some creepy-looking eyes in the roll, then pop in a glow stick, and duct-tape the ends shut. Hide these in amongst bushes and evergreen tree branches, and eerie glowing eyes will follow trick-or-treaters as they slink up to your door for candy.
Aluminum Can Luminaries
If you have some large empty cans left over from that last batch of veggie chili you made, you can create some pretty fabulous luminaries for your walkway, like these ones from JollyMom. Just spray paint the cans black, and use a hammer and nails to punch holes in the sides. These can be Halloween-themed messages or images: the goal is to create a cool pattern that will shine and twinkle when a candle or LED light is placed inside.
Dryer Extraction Tube Pumpkins
The scrunch-able tubes that attach to the backs of clothes dryers just happen to be ideal for making pumpkins, like these found on the Diamond in the Stuff blog. Just cut one in half, extend both pieces fully, and spray-paint them in your desired color(s). Use a hot glue gun to glue each pumpkin’s ends together, add cinnamon sticks and some shredded paper or moss for the stems, and display them anywhere you like.
Here’s a tip: if you’re going to place these outside, you might want to fill them with a bit of sand so they won’t fly away at the slightest breeze. To do that, just add a couple of cups of sand before gluing the ends closed.
Living Dead Dolls
Whether you’re raiding a thrift shop for broken dolls or using your kid’s discarded toys, you can create some truly horrific creatures with just a bit of paint and a twisted imagination. Snip a couple of tines off a plastic fork to make vampire fangs (like the doll above from Dracula Stories), break out some acrylic paint to zombie-fy its skin tone and eyes, and roll the doll’s clothes around in dirt or ashes for an aging effect. The results will be terrifying, I promise.
Stocking Spider Sacs
Ew ew ew ew ew. This one from Hello Paper Moon is probably the most skin-crawl-inducing of the lot, but super easy to make. Just cut the legs off some white stockings, stuff one end so it bulbs out (you can use pillow stuffing, tulle, fabric, or even a balloon for this), then pull the other stocking on over it. Stuff plastic or paper spiders of various sizes between the stockings so they appear to be very, very numerous, and then stick some more spiders on the outside. You can also create a humungous mama-spider out of black stockings and hang her nearby for extra effect.
Before you know it, your house will be suitably spooky just in time for Halloween… and hey, if it ends up being too scary for neighborhood kids to visit, you get to keep all the candy for yourself.
Lead image by Nomadic Lass on Flickr