DIY Halloween on the Cheap

Oct 11, 2023 3:23:33 PM

Halloween is coming soon, but don’t be scared about busting your monthly budget! Whether you’re planning to Trick or Treat with the little ones, hand out candy to the kids in the neighborhood, or enjoy a party with friends, here are a few DIY ideas to keep your Halloween costs low.

Skip Plastic, Choose Paper

Decorating for Halloween doesn’t have to take a ton of time, or money. Colored paper is all you need to make cobwebs, witches’ brooms, spiders, pumpkins, black cats and loads more. You can find free patters online, and look for low-cost construction paper, scissors, tape and so on at your local thrift store. An added bonus to paper decorations is that when Halloween is over, everything can be recycled.

Host a Costume Swap

Still searching for the perfect Halloween costume? It’s a good bet you’ve got other friends and neighbors who are doing the same. So, get everyone together for a costume swap. Ask your guests to bring a few kooky items from their closet, plus any makeup, accessories or Halloween decorations they don’t want. A costume swap is a great way to spark Halloween inspiration and get everybody outfitted for cheap.

Get Out and About

If you’re concerned about giving your kids—or yourself!—the full Halloween experience on a budget, check out free community events happening in your area. The public library is a good place to start, and also check out local crafts fairs, orchards and city recreation departments, which often host Halloween events with free entertainment and snacks, not to mention ample people watching.

Buy Candy in Bulk

When it comes to handing out treats on the big night, consider going in on a bulk candy purchase with a few friends. Purchasing candy in bigger quantities, as a team, will mean much less money spent per person. Plus, you might be able to sneak in a few more fun varieties of chocolate and candies if you’re buying in bigger quantities! On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with handing out stickers or erasers if this year’s budget is too tight to allow for the traditional Halloween giveaways.

Eat Your Pumpkins

Halloween decorations don’t have to go to waste! Instead of carving Jack-o-Lanterns, consider decorating with festive edible squash for a few days, then cooking them. Kabocha, Carnival and Acorn are all beautiful and delicious winter squash varieties that will hold up well outside the refrigerator, and taste delicious when roasted on November 1st. On the other hand, if you do want to carve pumpkins, rinse and roast your seeds for a healthy, crunchy snack that gets you more bang for your Halloween buck.

Choose a Low-Key Costume

You don’t have to go all out on a costume. This year, take it easy and spend a little less by choosing a low-key costume made from elements that are already in your home or your closet. The internet is full of low-key DIY costume ideas, but a few to get you started are:

  • Lobster: Dress in all red, with a red potholder on each hand. If you’ve got a Halloween costume partner, tell them to wear a chef’s hat!
  • White Lotus Guest: Pull out your floor-length sundress or button-down Hawaiian shirt, throw on a pair of sunglasses, and tow a rolling suitcase.
  • Smarty Pants: Tape a few roles of Smarties candies to a pair of pants, then wear your reading glasses or borrow from a friend. Costume done!
  • Dice: Cover a cardboard box with white paper, draw or stick on some black dots, then punch arm holes and a head hole.
  • Where’s Waldo: If you’ve got a striped sweater, a pair of jeans and a red or white hat, then you’ve got everything you need for a low-effort Where’s Waldo costume.

Tags: Money Tips, Budgeting