Decorating for Halloween on a Budget

A chill has entered the air. The streets rustle with yellow leaves, and grinning Jack-o’-lanterns guard doorways throughout the neighborhood. Spooky season has arrived.

Unfortunately, Halloween décor can be expensive. Specialty stores charge a pretty penny for those scary skeletons and creepy cauldrons, but you don’t have to empty your wallet to turn your home into a haunted mansion. With a few tricks, you can treat yourself to a haunting aesthetic that will thrill your friends and family for the whole season.

Shop at Home First

Your shelves may already be full of items that can transform your home into Dracula’s castle. The black construction paper you’ve had tucked in a drawer for ages just needs a few snips to become a swarm of bats or a spooky spiderweb. Transform a box of tissues into a host of ghosts with a few ping pong balls and some hot glue.

Want to step it up even more? Some inexpensive paint and a little elbow grease can turn your old, unused tomes into a collection of witchy spell books. Those glass bottles you’ve been meaning to recycle just need a few coats of color to transform into some spellbinding candleholders. Don’t be afraid to turn to the internet for a treasure trove of DIY ideas that help you utilize what you’ve already got at home.

Creepy Colors

If you don’t have time for a Halloween craft session, search your spaces for colors and textures that pay homage to the holiday’s theme. Orange, yellow, black, and grey are all common Halloween colors, and more adventurous decorators can also display pops of purple and green. Hunt for pillows, blankets, vases and other décor items that you can mix and match around your home. Combine these with textures like velvet or rattan for a subtle nod to the season.


Thrifted Terrors

Turn to your local thrift store for some inexpensive additions to your chilling collection. Many thrift stores have a holiday section where you can find ready-made décor that won’t break the bank. If not, there are plenty of finds just waiting for their terrifying touch-up. Glass figurines could transform into a little group of ghouls with a creative paint job. Grab a grapevine wreath and attach foam pumpkins or creepy crawly spiders for a front door decoration that will greet your neighborhood’s trick-or-treaters.

Thrift stores typically have a vast array of picture frames and mirrors that you can transform into haunted family portraits or a wicked stepmother’s scrying mirror. Some frames may be perfect as is, but a few coats of black spray paint can add an extra touch that will help them truly haunt your hallways.

Dollar Store Goodies

Dollar stores are incredible resources for budget-friendly holiday décor. You may be picturing an array of cheap, breakable odds and ends, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The shelves are stocked with Halloween supplies that can last in your home for many spooky seasons to come. Common finds include candles, glass figurines, spooky signs, mood lighting, and plastic skeletons.

To make the dollar store décor your own, try customizing some of the pieces. Bring those plastic skeletons back from the dead by attaching beads or jewels to the eye sockets. Light the candles and let wax run down the sides for an aged look. Many dollar stores carry spider webbing, which can be draped over the rest of your decorations to give your displays an extra terrifying touch. Don’t shy away from having fun and letting your creative juices flow!

Stock Up at the End of the Season

DIY décor not your thing? Keep an eye out for end-of-season sales. Large retailers and specialty stores will often offer discounts as October draws to a close.

This works best if you head to the sales with a theme in mind. It’s good to avoid picking up piles of décor simply because they’re discounted; you may end up with a monster mishmash of items that won’t work together on your shelves. Before you go, consider whether you enjoy minimal designs, retro vibes, or eclectic eccentricities. Then pick up items that will tie together to create a haunted home that’s all your own.


When it comes to decorating on a budget, personalization and creativity are key. Bring your friends and family in on the fun with a crafting celebration or turn up the spooky music and have a decorating party all on your own! Show us your haunted mansion by tagging @WalkerEdison on Instagram.