This Halloween, you’ll see a lot of pint-sized Olafs and Elsas from Disney’s “Frozen,” as well as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you’re over four feet tall and over age 18, you’re more likely to be wearing a traditional costume like a witch or a pirate.
This year, consumers are putting a lot of effort and $2.8 billion into their costumes, but many of them will also be dressing up their homes. With Halloween falling on a weekend this year, a lot more people may be hosting parties. According to the National Retail Federation, almost one third of total Halloween spending will be on home decor.
Luckily, there are many resources to help you get your home ready for a last-minute spooky celebration or just a new look for fall, without spending a lot of money.
One affordable option is to do-it-yourself. You can make centerpieces, fall wreaths and more with simple supplies found in your home or local big box or craft stores.
The October issue of All You magazine explains how to craft a fall wreath from burlap cloth, a wire form, floral decorations and ribbon. The total cost is $9.33. That beats buying a ready made wreath, which even on sale can cost $15 to $20.
For fun Halloween decorations, crafting expert Stephen Brown, author of “Glitterville’s Handmade Halloween,” ($19.99, Andrews McMeel Publishing), suggests using Styrofoam balls, skewers, paint and pipe cleaners to make mini pumpkin decorations. It can even be turned into a make and take activity for party guests of all ages.
Stephanie Nelson, aka Coupon Mom, proposes using string, glue and waxed paper to make ghosts that you can hang in the windows.
Check thrift stores for decor pieces and other items such as drinking glasses or serving platters that you can paint or that come in darker hues. Also be on the lookout for thrift store finds you can use to create DIY decorations. Swing by big box and specialty stores now through Halloween to check out the discounts on decor, some of which are already as high as 50 to 60 percent off.
Look for discounts on items that have uses beyond Halloween to get more bang for your buck. A silver hand candle holder ($39.99) from Kohl’s is creepy enough for Halloween, but cool enough to keep on display once the scaring season is over.
Specialty candles in fragrances like Candy Corn, Ghostly Treats or Witches Brew ($25 each at Yankee Candle stores) can set the scent for Halloween and beyond.
When it comes to candy and treats, be sure not to overbuy. Coupon Mom suggests purchasing candies for trick or treating or parties that you can also use in recipes. Leftover Hershey’s Kisses or other chocolate treats can work well in a range of holiday desserts
Finally, plan ahead. Go to the clearance sales after Halloween weekend and stock up on everything you’ll need for next year.