Cheap & Easy Halloween Decoration Ideas.

Welcome to my house at Halloween.  If you like creepy as opposed to cutsie Halloween decorations (yay for you by the way), you’re in the right place. Cheap Halloween decoration inspiration for your own haunted house this October.

Handmade witches broom hanging over porch entrance with gauze covered pumpkins flanking a black front door for Halloween.

There are two kinds of people in the world.  Halloween people or Easter people.  I am a Halloween person and I tend to get along with other Halloween people. You’re my kind of crowd.  Let’s look at this scientifically:  100% of the food associated with Halloween is chocolate or potato chips. 100% of the food associated with Easter is gross or disgusting. That’s really all the motivation smart people like you and I need.   

The trick to cheap but impressive Halloween house decorations is to use a few key pieces for haunting up your house.  They need to be creepy and/or elegant. A few carefully placed skulls and hits of black will convey that “I’m living in a very stylish Transylvanian home just waiting for my good friends Cruella and Dracula to show up for the party.”  Please wipe your feet.


Decorating for an Elegant & Creepy Halloween

Halloween Stuff

  • Use skulls. Pop them everywhere and get the most realistic ones you can.
  • BLACK GAUZE. Dollar stores have a ton of this stuff for really good prices and if you can only buy ONE thing for your Halloween decorating, make it black gauzy fabric.
  • Chicken bones.  Chicken bones are my favourite way to create some ghastly Halloween vignettes.
  • Candles
  • Doll parts.
  • Spiders.
  • Black Feather boas are also GREAT.  They’re creepy but opulent feeling.

If you have a few of those things you’re set for creating a haunted house feel in your home.


Let me walk you through a few of the rooms in my house for some Halloween decorating inspiration. 

BOOOOOOOOO!!!  Sorry to scare you like that but I’ll be doing it a few times through this post so prepare yourself.

Halloween Decoration Ideas.

For a Halloween party or just for the helloween of it. 

 
Elegant dining room with Panton S chairs, a lifesized antique portrait draped in black gauze and a mummified cat on the floor.

  1. Don’t go cutesy, go creepy.  

The mummified cat on the floor in the dining room is basically terrifying. Chances are you won’t be able to find one exactly like mine, but just always keep in mind your goal is creepy not cute.

It was bought after Halloween, on sale, from Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada a couple of years ago for $10. 


Halloween decoration of a simple black candelabra and white taper candles with bones stacked in between and around the candles.

2. Candles and Bones.

Putting bones anywhere makes things automatically startling and “Halloweeny”. Is that a word? 

Here’s my whole tutorial on how to clean your chicken and turkey bones for decorating.

The candelabra is one I own, but to get the same effect get some cheap candle holders, spray them black and group them together.

I really like these super-plain cast iron window candle holders that are $30 for 12 of them but I have no use for them so hopefully one of you will.


BOOO! Gotcha again.  Heh.

 
Dining room decorated for Halloween with life sized antique portrait draped with black gauze on a white wall, with a harvest table and modern chairs.

3. Black Gauze.

Draped over tables, curtains, mirrors of the life sized oil painting of Margaret like you see here gives you more bang for your buck than anything else. 

Your best bet for getting black gauze is from a dollar store. 


A single large black spider hanging from a white modern pendant lamp.

4. Spiders.

Placing spiders on surfaces is the easiest way to use them but hanging them is even better.  Just run a line of fishing line or string for a pendant light and attach the spider.

Big old spider from the dollar store.  Cheap.


 

DIY Halloween craft of an open book with eyes set inside the pages.

5. Books.

Stacked hardcover books with a Halloween theme (think Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Allan Poe …) are a subtle way to give the haunted house feeling without being kitschy.

If you’re feeling in a DIY mood you can craft this book with eyes in it for a total cost of about $2.  Read the tutorial on how to make Book Eyes here … you can do it with a book, a drill and some fake eyes in an hour or less. 


Clear glass skull tea light holder on a round glass riser.

 

6. Skulls.

You need a skull. Skulls are to Halloween what Christmas trees are to Christmas. That’s all there is to it.  If you’re desperate for some sparkle in your Halloween get a glass skull because it will shine and reflect light.

Skulls can be bought anywhere from Amazon to Dollar Stores but the best ones are usually found at places like HomeSense (HomeGoods).  Dan Akroyd also makes vodka with a skull shaped bottle so look for that if you’re having a party.  Where everyone plans to drink a lot of vodka.

Life sized anatomically perfect skull candy dish sitting on a stack of books at Halloween.

This skull I got from Homesense.  That’s Homegoods to you American folk.  I love it. It’s a candy dish but would work well as a festive flower vase as well.  I love it so much because of the attention to detail.  It actually looks like a real skull, right down to the spinal cord coming out of the back of the skull.

 


Dolls hand peeking out of antique copper Burmese Monk's begging bowl.

7. Doll parts.

Grab a doll and rip it apart.  It’s as simple as that. Dolls are scary in general if you ask me, but when you disassemble them they’re downright terrifying.  Just place the doll parts (head, legs, hands) in random places and prepare yourself for people to run screaming from your house.

The BEST dolls for this are vintage or antique dolls. You can get them cheap at flea markets if they’re broken and not in great condition which is PERFECT and exactly what you want when you’re decorating for Halloween.

Seriously creepy Halloween decoration of an antique doll torso under a glass cloche on dining room table.

DOLLING UP HALLOWEEN


Black gauze with spiders draped over 7' high mirror resting on floor.

 

8. Black Feather Boas.

Feather boas might seem a bit frivolous for Halloween but if they’re the right colour they’re perfectly dark and elegant. Drape them on paintings or mirrors.

Yet again, the dollar store for the win on your cheap Halloween supplies. One year I got black feather boas for $2 each at my local Dollarama. They carry them from as cheap as $5 on Amazon.


So as you can see with a few cheap things you can get a really good look for Halloween.  In fact, if it weren’t for the dollar store my house wouldn’t be scary at all. Other than the actual cobwebs that are so big they seem to have pulsating organs, there’d be nothing scary in my house at all.

And no.  I don’t have kids.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t partake in the season. I don’t have to have kids to trim my house out to the best of my Halloween ability.  Besides.  How else am I supposed to catch one?  A kid I mean.  A kid with a pillow case filled with chocolate and chips.  Lots and lots of chocolate and chips.
 

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

 

Cheap and easy Halloween decorating ideas that don\'t LOOK cheap and easy. How to haunt your house so it looks genuinely creepy for Halloween.

92 Comments

  1. Jan in Waterdown says:

    I’ve had no luck in finding gauze this year. I want white to make some floaty gowns for the white styrofoam heads (from Value Village) stuck on sticks that I put in my front garden. My Dollarama has zip and same for Fabricland. Maybe I’ll have to try another $ store…. I wonder which one is the biggest?

    • Karen says:

      Try Value Village. They might have something. They’re big on Halloween. Also check to see if they have sheer curtains. Those would work too. ~ karen!

      • Jan in Waterdown says:

        Thanks! I shoulda thought of VV since I’m there almost every 30% seniors discount Tuesday. Have you noticed IKEA has glass cloches very similar to your creepy doll ones? I scored one for $3 in the “as is” section last week. Woohoo start the car, start the car!

  2. CathyR says:

    I can’t do real pumpkins outside due to the desert wild life; Javelinas are the ugliest, creepiest, stinkiest (Non orange human) beings on earth.
    But this guy showed up waaay too early, Sept 1 I believe so I dispatched him with my broom, witch that I am…oh can’t post a pic, well it was a huge and very alive tarantula.

  3. Darla Ragland says:

    I always enjoy your halloween decorating. We quit decorating a couple years ago when we moved to the country and our grandkids moved too far to trick-or-treat us, but it was always my favorite holiday to decorate. For your US readers I have found a lot of your dollar store treasures in US at the Dollar Tree store and not at the Dollar General Store.

  4. Avril says:

    Everything about your Halloween decor is fabulous! I especially like the candelabra with the bones! Waiting to eat more chicken so I have enough bones to make a crown…don’t think it will happen before Halloween this year though…….(I just threw out a whole bunch of chicken bones about 4 days before your crown, and was sad that I couldn’t retrieve them as the garbage truck had already whisked them away.) ..Next year for sure! Thanks Karen for all the great posts, they are truly inspiring!

  5. Alena says:

    I always look forward to your Halloween decor. Not that your other posts are not nice but the Halloween stuff is usually one of the best posts of each year. We did not celebrate Halloween in the country where I grew up so I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do.
    Two years ago, I won the best Halloween-decorated cube at work (and we are a large company and Halloween is dearly loved here). Last year, there was a total ban on any kind of Halloween decorations, this year, the contest for the best decorated workplace is back. Go figure.

  6. TucsonPatty says:

    I love it all. I wish the Dollar Stores, or Big Lots that I love, have good stuff like you find.
    I have the graveyard, and lots of used mannequin heads from years of hair classes.
    Pretty ghoulish. Kids love my over the top witch costume for handing out treats.
    I love it more.

  7. Toronto Boy says:

    I had read this article earlier this week but decided to chime in today. After scrolling through the various pictures I noticed that one of the books that the skull rested on was titled “Freshwater Fishes”. Karen did you once own an aquarium and if so, what kind of fish did you have?

    • Karen says:

      That was actually a book of my fathers’. (neither of us ever had an aquarium 🙂 ) I like it for looking at the variety of freshwater fish around our area. ~ karen!

  8. Teigan says:

    I spell it Mwahahaha 🙂

  9. Jacqueline says:

    Hi Karen! One part of your decor that I don’t think is mentioned in this post (or the comments, thus far) is the dried plant that you have hanging on the wall (in what is currently the second photo above). I love the fact that you saw the beauty not only in the plant itself, but also in its root structure, which you kept intact. It’s a little piece of natural wonder on the wall. I’m assuming you grew it in your garden (though I can’t name the plant)? The painting of Margaret is beautiful as well. Do you know the name of the artist who painted it?

  10. Cindy says:

    That mummified cat looked like it died trying to take a shit! Seriously…..

  11. Bonnie says:

    Mwah hah ha.
    Love your style.

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