I enjoy decorating for the holidays, especially when it comes to Halloween. What I don’t like is spending tons of money on decorations and finding storage space for items I use only once a year. I do buy an item or two every year to add to my “basic” collection, items that are made specifically for a particular holiday (typically after the holiday when I can pick them up on clearance), but I supplement with everyday items I can use in DIY projects.
I like to use items that I pick up at thrift stores that I can repurpose for other events or occasions which means I get more bang for my buck and I don’t end up with things I have to find storage space for. I don’t have lots of time (or talent) for complicated projects so I find simple and easy ways to add to my holiday themes. And I always use pieces that are easily available and can be found anywhere so I don’t waste time or money driving around trying to hunt items down.
Here are some simple ideas on how you can create different types of spooky decor for your house this year. Pretty much everything I used came from Discover Goodwill, with a few materials purchased from the Dollar Tree, and a few other places. Simple, easy, and cheap…my favorite way to decorate!
SPOOKY NATURE –
I love using natural materials like branches, flowers, leaves, pine cones…whatever I can find from my yard, depending on the season. Candle holders and glass bottles are two other pieces I use often since I can find other purposes for them yearlong.
For a table covering I used this fringed black velvet table runner that I will also use as a shawl with my little black dresses during the holidays. I found this at Goodwill for $3.99 and I already tried it on and it looks fabulous. I also paired it with some jeans and booties and it looked equally good in a casual way. Four bucks and I can wear it or put it on a table or even toss it over a chair.
All the glass vases are from Goodwill, as are all the candle holders, ranging in prices from 49 cents to $5.99. Pop a few branches in the vases and you have instant “atmosphere” for free. You could also spray paint the branches black, like the branches twined together on the table. It literally took me seconds to tape a leaf to white paper and stick in the 59 cent frame, also from Goodwill. You can use real leaves or plastic ones, which is what I used, from the Dollar Tree.
To fill in the arrangement a bit I added the black and gold globe (99 cents Goodwill) along with the wood cat (79 cents Goodwill), which I will use in my everyday decor after Halloween. I also added some black beads I picked up from Goodwill (and wear) with some more plastic leaves and berries. If I didn’t have so many cats I’d use real leaves and berries but the naughty cats would just chew/shred them up so plastic it is.
I personally like the layered effect I created with the different textures of velvet, fringe, beads, wood, and glass.
POTENT POTIONS –
Creating potent looking potions is super easy using clear glass pieces like decanters, jars, and vases, along with some food coloring and water. Last year I added plastic Dollar Tree insects and eyeballs to the glass pieces but this year I used items I found in the produce section at the grocery store. Look for root vegetables with long roots still attached so they swirl around in the water. I used a beet and radishes for these pictures but turnips, green onions or even carrots would work well too. As I was wandering around the produce section I saw tamarind pods which looked like fingers so I picked a few of those up too.
For this display I used a black tablecloth I found at Goodwill for 1.99. The black candelabra and all the glass pieces came from Goodwill and like I said earlier, I can reuse these items year-round. You can easily find free downloadable labels you can adhere to your glass pieces too.
Most of the plastic items I used like the skeletons and rat came from Goodwill and I picked up the eyeballs at the Dollar Tree. (Bag of 12 for a buck.) I found my white taper candles at Walmart for 72 cents each.
Spray paint can easily and quickly transform items. I picked up this wicker basket that was painted gold for 29 cents at Goodwill and then simply gave it a coat of black.
Here is an easy way to color clear glass items without using paint. I only used one layer but you can add as many layers as you want, depending on the effect you want. Simply add food color to Mod Podge and using a brush or sponge, apply to the glass and let dry.
EERIE ENTERTAINING –
For an eerie evening of entertaining you can go with a simple black and white colored theme. I just love this entire look!
I used a picture frame from Goodwill that cost 3.99 as a serving tray. After I’m done with it I can pop a picture in it. How easy is that? If you can’t find a frame in the color you want, simply give it a coat of paint.
This metal wine bucket (1.49 Goodwill) had a bit of wear and tear on it but look how great it looks with a coat of chalk board paint! And see the fabulous cat picture in the background? My husband actually picked that up a couple of weeks ago at the Woodland Park Goodwill…which he knew I would love.
The glass vases and metal candle holders were all Goodwill finds that I spray painted black. I found the black plates (99 cents each) and the white frosted drinking glasses (1.29) at Goodwill, along with the white napkins (2 for 99 cents). A simple napkin ring was created with a band of construction paper and a plastic spider taped on. Some small pumpkins from the grocery store, along with the crow and black roses from the Dollar Tree make fun additions.
For an easy treat holder guests can take home I picked up paper boxes from the Dollar Tree (12 for a buck) and simply added some ribbon and glued on candy corn.
My favorite find was this set of black menu holders that was $1.79 for the set of eight at Goodwill. I will definitely use these on other occasions.
As you can see, none of this is complicated and everything is easy. You can use items you already have around the house or explore your local Goodwill or other non-profit or thrift stores for some inexpensive finds. Spray paint can easily change-up practically anything to fit your particular color scheme.
Hope this gives you some ideas for your own decorating needs.