There are only a few days officially left in summer. As the heat and sunny days make their exit, we welcome cooler days, leaves changing colors, and the glory of autumn. Autumn brings us many things, not the least of which is one of our favorite holidays: Halloween. We’re not sure why we love it; is it the bags of candy, the excuse to dress up as our favorite characters, or even the chance to turn our yard into a tiny pit of horrors. If you’re looking to get into the Halloween spirit, we’ve got some great ideas for you ranging from the outlandish and expensive to the cheap and quick, and a few ideas in between.
Going All Out
If you’ve got the electrical know-how, a few thousand lights, and the time, you can always do what Brandon Bullis of Leesburg, VA does. He synchronizes about 8500 lights in his front yard to music every year, drawing crowds from all over the East Coast. It doesn’t cost that much to run all the lights and sound either. He estimated that it cost him about $35 to run the lights and music last holiday season. Check out one of his displays here:
Keep in mind that while the initial setup can be costly, the computer boards that you use don’t go bad. So once you’ve dived into the deep end with this investment, the sky really is the limit for how crazy you want to go. Synchronize an entire light show to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, complete with dancing zombies? Sure, why not?
Going Big...And Scary
Nothing gets us quite like spiders. There’s something creepy and alien about a critter with 8 legs that doesn’t trip over itself when it’s running after you. (Admittedly, there are some people who like spiders, but there are also people who like to run marathons. Weirdos.) These are really easy Halloween decorations to make. You need 10 big black plastic trash bags, something to stuff them with, and a lot of black duct tape. The great thing about these spiders is you can go as big as you want to. Make giant legs and have them coming over the ridge of your roof. Set up a red light to illuminate the legs, toss around some silly string for cobwebs, and you have an arachnophobe’s nightmare just waiting to happen.
Glow Stick Fun
Glow sticks are amazing and fun for people of all ages. And they come in so many colors now. A trip to a dollar store will get you a multi-pack of 12 for a buck, making decorating with them not only easy, but inexpensive to boot.
Some standard options for glow sticks include taping them underneath a clear punch bowl to light up the treats or drinks contained within, or wearing them as a necklace or bracelet to avoid getting lost in the dark. But for some real fun, try these two ideas for your next easy Halloween decoration.
If you have bushes or a tree, put some eyeballs in them. No, not real ones, we’re talking about glow in the dark ones. Sure, you can head to the local dollar store or discount and get pre-made ones, but making your own is a lot of fun. Start saving up on toilet paper and paper towel rolls now. Cut eye hole shapes into them and put in a glow stick. Cover up the ends with opaque tape and you have spooky glowing eyes that you can hide anywhere you want. Use different colors and shapes to mix things up a bit.
This eerie effect was done by cracking and shaking the glow sticks in their tube. Carefully cut open one end and dribble along the crevices and corners to get this spooky look. Add in a few spatters, and combine with a spider or two, and you’ve got a really spooky walk up to your house. Use some inexpensive black lights to enhance the brightness of the glowing. (Be careful, however. Don’t let your pet roll around in it, and don’t let it get tracked into your house or on your carpet. As long as you keep it outside, you can rinse it away the next day.)
Ghosts and Things That Float in the Night
One of the best easy Halloween decorations that we’ve ever seen is also the simplest. It uses rolls of packing tape to create a ghost that with the help of our trusty friends, the glow sticks, lights up and will definitely give your friends a double take moment. Use a dress form or head form from the dollar store or even borrow a friend. Start wrapping tape around the form sticky side out. This makes it easy to remove it when you’re done. After you’ve created enough thickness that the ghost form holds its shape, put one last layer on sticky side in. Cut a slit in the back to remove the form and tape it back up. Hang it from a tree or use a PVC pipe stuck in the ground to secure it. Attach a blue glow stick and voila. Ghosts everywhere.
Those are some of our favorite easy Halloween decorations that can be done for (mostly) less. What are some of your favorite ways to decorate for Halloween? Let us know in the comments below and watch for next week’s blog when we’ll talk about some great treats to serve at your Halloween (or simple Fall-themed) get together.