The countdown to one of the most expensive vacations is on, and no, we’re not talking about Christmas; we are talking about halloween. A new CompareCards report by LendingTree found that 32% of Millennials and 25% of Gen Xers report spending more on Halloween than on any other holiday.
As a Halloween lover who almost always ends up throwing some sort of festive party, I admit spending embarrassing amounts of money on this holiday. This year I had almost decided to skip Halloween entirely in order to crack down on building up my savings, but after talking to business and decorating experts, it occurred to me that I could take advantage of these vacation as I normally would (throwing a party), without sacrificing tons of money or time.
Use social media to inspire less purchases and more sustainable decor
The CompareCards report found that 48% of millennials (along with 37% of Gen Z and 30% of Gen X) buy Halloween items so they can be included in social media posts. Rather than using social media as a motivation to spend, use it as a motivation to tinker; you won’t run out of inspiration on platforms like Pinterest.
“This year, people are looking for and saving some DIY decorating inspiration, with ideas for recycling items you might already have in your home,” says Swasti Sarna, Insights Manager at Pinterest. “Not only does reusing old items save money, it’s also a great way to practice sustainability. “
Be creative with what you have on hand and focus on a few key areas
“When it comes to seasonal decorating, especially Halloween, a simple and affordable approach is to consider the existing year-round decor that you already have and then add a holiday-specific element to it. You don’t need to revamp it to be effective, “says Kelley Nan, creator of Gracious life. “Spider webs are cheap and easy to drape quickly; spare bones (which can be found inexpensively at retailers like At home) can be used in a centerpiece, cutlery or beverage station; and scattered candles – the more, the better.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to decorate your entire home, or even much of the interior, to create a lavishly macabre destination.
“For a holiday like Halloween, I suggest focusing on just a few focal areas to decorate. First of all, your front door and / or your porch. Add lanterns with LED candles to your porch, scatter a few pumpkins with fake hot-stuck spiders and a big spider crawling on the wall, ”explains Jennifer griffin, the spirit behind the DIY lifestyle and interior design blog Dimples and tangles. “It’s easy to add a few accessories to it to have a big impact. Gather sticks or branches in the yard, put them in a vase and add a few mock spiders to the twigs, then add a few small pumpkins from the grocery section next to the vase. “
Avoid buying seasonal / Halloween themed items
“Yes, this tablecloth covered in bats and cobwebs is perfect for a Halloween party,” says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com. “But if you give your party a color theme, plain tablecloths are cheaper than themed ones and will fit perfectly with your spooky aesthetic. Don’t buy sugar cookie dough with the bat pattern or ghost – go for regular pasta instead, then decorate yourself.
Go for a big batch of punch instead of individual cocktails
“Creating individual cocktails can be festive, but it’s also a sure-fire way to make sure you’re consuming a ton of alcohol or other ingredients, depending on the size of your guest list,” says Ramhold. “Instead, choose a simple seasonal punch recipe and make a big bowl of it. Check it periodically throughout the party to refresh it if necessary.
Make it spooky by adding eyeballs or plastic spiders (which you can buy at the dollar store). Or go further and create a floating hand by freezing water or juice in a plastic glove.
To make your gathering friendly for non-drinkers, put alcohol aside and not in the punch. Or, just remind the folks at BYOB.
Make your own pastries
“It’s so tempting to buy ready-made goodies like Rice Krispy candy, but you’ll save more money just by making a jackpot on your own,” says Ramhold. “Not only will you save on ingredients in the long run, but you’ll also know exactly what’s going on in your party supplies. The same goes for cookies and brownies, you will get a lot more for your money and your ingredients if you bake them yourself.
Discover thrift stores and Facebook Marketplace
Check local thrift stores for trinkets (you’re almost guaranteed to find things like excess vases for those bunches of broken twigs). You can also turn to Facebook Marketplace for last minute deals on just about anything.
“I use Facebook Marketplace as my first – and sometimes the only – stop for all of my holiday needs,” says Kristin Gambaccini of Perfectly distressed, which scored both a vintage bike and a skeleton for a total of $ 10 on Marketplace. “I paired them up for a fun touch. I [also] bought vintage looking bottles for just $ 3 to create fake apothecary potions. They can even be filled with apple cider or fortified party punch for a fun and totally different way to serve your guests.
If you don’t know what to look for on Facebook Marketplace, think about the following keywords: “mirrors”, “candles”, “theater props”, “skeleton”, “skull”, “clowns”, “gothic” and of course , “Halloween”.
A DIY decoration buying guide for less than $ 25
This coming weekend, I’ll be launching yet another Halloween shindig, aiming to spend no more than $ 25 on decoration for the common areas of the house. I came up with the hard spending limit of $ 25 in a rather ambitious way – thinking it was probably half of what I would end up spending – but after scouring Pinterest and Instagram for ideas, I thought about it. realize that this is a fairly reasonable budget.
Here’s a look at some of the coolest and simplest DIY Halloween decorating concepts circulating on social media. While you really only need to implement a few of these decorations to create a spooky party vibe, you can have them all for under $ 25 as well.
Making your own cut out bats with black construction paper is incredibly easy, fun for kids, and can add understated elegance to any wall, table, or shelf. You can download a free printable bat model from sites like FirstPalette, or you can do it the old-fashioned way with a sheet of paper, a drawing utensil, and a pair of scissors. The beauty here is that you don’t have to be too specific in your crafting. You can also get creative by trying out crows, mice, cats, and other creatures. You can order a stack of 50 sheets of black construction paper on Amazon for $ 6.95. If you plan on making a lot of cut out creatures, this might be your cheapest bet, otherwise I recommend going to a dollar store. For the sake of this $ 25 guide, we’ll go ahead and price this decoration at $ 6.95, in which case you would have a remaining budget of $ 18.05.
Serving wine at your party? Wrap thick white ribbon (or gauze) around the bottles instead of ribbon and slap a pair of googly eyes to turn them into mummies. You can also use this decoration with used wine bottles that were otherwise intended for recycling. The same goes for jars, pillar candle holders and even water bottles. You can make googly eyes using black marker, white paper, and a pair of scissors – or grab a bag of 500 peepers on Amazon for $ 3.56. Remaining budget if you follow the Amazon route: $ 14.49.
A bag of an assortment of toy cockroaches costs $ 4.60 on Amazon. To give your guests an unexpected scare, place a few of these creepy creepers in your bathroom soap dispenser to make these bugs look like they are steeped in mud or formaldehyde. You can also use them to give a punch bowl or jello molds an additional “ew” factor. If you go for something edible, you can save money by just adding gummy worms instead of bugs, which I will do. A bag of gummy worms shouldn’t cost you more than two dollars in a supermarket. Remaining budget if you go the gummy route: $ 12.49.
Serve jello shots? Prepare them as you normally would, but rather than letting them sit in a paper shot glass, suck up the liquid with plastic syringes and place them on a track in the fridge to cool. For kids and / or sober guests, alcohol-free jello syringe shots are just as easy and cheaper to prepare. A pack of 12 plastic syringes (without a needle, of course), aka, “Gelatin Injectors” costs $ 7.89 on Amazon, but you can probably find them cheaper at your local medical supply store. If you buy from Amazon, you have a remaining budget of $ 4.60.
As Nan notes, fake spider webs are inexpensive, and stretch webs can go a long way. You can receive 200 square feet of stretch cobweb on Amazon for $ 4.35, leaving you with 25 cents to burn.
There are tons of other party decorating tips that you can DIY without spending any money – just use your imagination. For example, do you have a pair of old stockings and black heels lying around? If so, there you have a free and easy to assemble decoration.
“Pad the stockings with newspaper and put them in the shoes, then place it under a welcome mat or hang it in a tree as a fun display that looks like a witch or other trapped person,” explains Stacy Caprio, Blog Manager at Scoop Offers. “The key is to use what you have on hand and be creative to make fun decorations that those around you will notice and appreciate.”