Saturday, October 1, 2011

Decorating for Halloween on the Cheap

As I mentioned in my first post for "31 Days of Halloween," this is the first year I am personally decorating my own place. This being the case, I have had to acquire some Halloween decorations, at least enough to make the house feel like Halloween.

As you may have guessed from the title, I am doing this on a budget. With only the Mortician working and our desire to pay off our debt quickly, we don't have much money left over for decorations or anything else for the matter. So how am I doing it?

1. Shop at Dollar Stores and for Sale Items

First of all, I shop at the Dollar Tree. So far you have seen my mantle, floral arrangement, and birdcage, but each of these has been decorated using stuff I bought at the Dollar Tree. The fall leaf garland I purchased is roughly 4 feet long. I have so far bought four links, spending a grand total of $4 on garland. I found the same garland in a pack of two at Big Lots for $5 a package. So $10 or $4? I think I'll take the $4!

The ravens? Also from the Dollar Tree. I only purchased two, obviously, but that was all I needed for this year. After buying them, we visited the Party City next door. The same ravens were for sale there for around $2 each. Spend $2 or $4? I'm going with $2 again on this one!

The same goes for the fall floral arrangement. I bought three springs for $3. The same looking sprigs cost between $2 and $5 at Micheal's; clearly the Dollar Tree is a better option.

I have several other decorations I picked up from the Dollar Tree too, including a gargoyle statue, pumpkin spice candle, ceramic pumpkin, and spider webbing. Comparing them to Michael's and Target, I saved between $15-$20 by shopping at the Dollar Tree. I'll show you what I've done with each later in the month.

2. Get Creative

Making your decorations is also a great way to save. I have currently made a wreath and a Halloween tree with ornaments, all for a few dollars. Again, these will be posted later in the month, but I'll give you totals now. The wreath cost $12 dollars to make. To get anything remotely similar and around the same size would cost over $20. My Halloween tree and decorations? I only spent $5 making it. Comparing to one in the store, I've saved at least $30, but its probably a lot more.

Just get creative when it comes to the holidays. You needn't buy everything nor buy the most expensive stuff to decorate. Can't think of anything? Go to the stores and see what they are selling. Most of the stuff you can easily make. For example, a 3 pumpkin felt runner from Target costs around $6. You can make it for less than $2 by buying some felt, cutting out the shapes, and stitching them together. No reason to spend so much money for something so simple!

3. Shop Day After Sales

I have never been able to do this, simply because I've never had a reason to spend money on decorations I had no use for. However, this year I plan to get up early and shop the day after sale for Halloween decorations. Each year I'd like to add more items to my collection. However, only buy things you plan on using. There is no point is saving a bunch of money on a item you never plan on using. In the end, you are just wasting money. If you don't love it, don't buy it!

How are your decorations coming along? How do you save money? Are there any particular stores you think have the best deals? Let us know!

Look Alive!
<3 The Mortician's Wife


  1. I already have hit our Dollar Tree (and really Dollar Tree is the best because everything really is just $1) I almost got a few of the birds and I may actually go back for them. I picked up some of the "classic" paper decorations they had and cheesy blow ups. I know my kids will love them. We're all for the campy 1960s type Halloween around here.
    I can't wait to see more of what you came up with!

  2. We don't have the Dollar Tree here in Norway, but we have a couple of similar stores. And although we're not poor, we do have our bills. So I regularly check these for what I need. Weather it's decorations or gloves to make glove poppets.

    I decorated for Halloween for the first time last year, because I had planned a gathering on the day. Nobody turned up, but I've still got all the decorations. So I'll be putting them up this year as well. I haven't started though. My house needs a good cleaning first, and I'm procrastinating (as usual)

    I should probably mention that I don't celebrate Halloween or Samhain, but my Winter Nights is close by, so I take the opportunity to decorate anyway :)

  3. Velody,

    My mother LOVES the classic decorations. She always decorated with antique Halloween witches and pumpkins and cats. I think some of those things look creepy. Haha! I know that Martha Stewart has some older looking decoration ideas on her website. You should check it out!

  4. Svenex,

    Norway, eh? I guess you wouldn't have a Dollar Tree. Haha! We aren't poor either, but I hate spending money excessively if I don't have to. I hate wasting anything, you know?

    Thanks for reading all the way from Norway!

  5. Lesley,
    I've grabbed a few ideas from Martha Stewart, I love Silhouettes. I wish our stairs weren't carpeted so I could do the one craft she has were you put a witch on the front boards of the stairs. I may do her idea for little black silhouette mice all over the place.

  6. Velody,

    I love her idea for the staircases. Ours are carpeted too, but I wish they weren't. Haha! I've been thinking about ways to make the silhouettes work on the carpet without ruining it. I'm not sure which would be the best way just yet since I know the cats will mess with them. Haha!


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