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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Holidays & Seasons > Halloween

Quick and Easy Halloween Decorating Ideas
by Kathy Wilson, The Budget Decorator

Need some quick Halloween decorations that even the kids can help with? Here are three great Halloween decorating ideas using easy to find, inexpensive materials.

Craft Foam Creepies
Craft foam is sold in sheets at the craft store in a whole array of colors. It is similar to construction paper, but made of thin, durable foam you can easily cut with scissors. Trace simple Halloween shapes onto the backside of the foam sheets and cut out. Use contrasting colors and a glue stick to add details such as a jack-o'-lantern face, red eyes on a bat, or the face of a silly ghost. You can make these cutouts as large or as small as you want. Hang them in windows or hang them with clear thread form curtain rods, doorways, or in your front entry. (This works really well with bats; hang them from the tips of each wing, and one place on the body to make them appear to be flying.) These can even be used on protected porches as the foam is water resistant.

Graveyard
A graveyard near your front walk is a creepy and creative touch to the Halloween spirit. We used scrap pieces of plywood and siding and cut them into rectangles with the tops rounded, like a gravestone. We first painted them gray, then washed over them with a watery white paint for age and spook factor. We used black paint to add amusing names and epitaphs, such as "I.M. Gone" or "Ben Dismembered". Screw a wooded stake to the back and pound into the ground. I like to group them together on an area of grass, then rope them off with chains, add a few pumpkins (and in my neck of the woods, tumbleweeds are a nice touch) and line the edge of your "graveyard" with lighted jack-o'-lanterns for Hallows Eve. My kids have the most fun with this!

Giant Spiders and Webs
First of all, set the stage for your spiders by picking up some webbing; it is really cheap, and stretches a LONG way! Corners of rooms or porches, or stretched over a door are great effects. To make the spiders, pick up large black pom poms and large black chenille stems from the craft store. Take 4 chenille stems and twist them together in the middle. This creates the eight legs. Bend the stems downward about halfway down each leg. Now use tacky glue or a glue gun (glue gun is my choice as it sets almost instantly, but the adult must handle this!) to secure a large pom pom in the center of the legs at the twist to form the body. You can add google eyes as some do, but I prefer to cut scary red eyes from felt or craft foam and glue on. Set your spiders in their webs, and you can bend the leg tips to attach them to a picture frame or a lamp chain. Remember, with this project, the bigger, the better, so buy the largest legs and pom poms you can find!

Three great projects for Halloween . . . make enough of any of these and you can turn your home into a haunted house without the huge price tag. (Don't forget to pack them away for next year!)

About the Author:
Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator and Decorating Your Small Space. You can find thousands of budget home decorating ideas at her website at http://www.TheBudgetDecorator.com. Don't forget to sign up for her free home and garden newsletter while you're there!

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