That’s $8 billion dollars worth of single-use costumes, artificial-everything candy, and novelty witchy tchotchkes. You can practically hear the landfills’ plaintive moans! So here’s an idea: Kick the commercial crap to the curb.
From shrunken apple heads to flayed skin cheese balls and origami bats, skip the wasteful Halloween aisle at the store and craft your own spooky decorations instead. Take that, insipid plastic skeleton!
First up: The Apple Tea Light Holders above. When you’re done with them, give them to a local farm for animal food, or feed them to your compost.
2. Bird’s Nest Ghosts
With paper from the recycling stack and some non-toxic glue, these very cute and perhaps more-sweet-than-spooky ghosts can be yours. See how to make the custom phantoms here.
3. Jack-o’-Lantern Lanterns
4. Shrunken Apple Heads
Nothing says Halloween like decapitation and cannibalism!
5. Day of the Dead Cookies
Edible decorations are the best, they are waste-free and serve two purposes: food and decor. Win, win. And they taste great! Win, win, win.
You can skip the traditional Jack-o’-lantern and opt for a mod drilled pumpkin instead. They’re not going to scare young trick or treaters with a spooky startle, but they are a clever way to light that which may need some autumn ambience.
These simple shady spiders provide an ample arachnid creepy factor with not that much effort. You can make them with recycled construction paper, or use fabric scrap or old fun fur to create creepy crawlies of the hairy tarantula variety.
10. Halloween Pomander
With little more than an orange (a grapefruit would be nice too) and some whole cloves, you can have Halloween decor and a way to perfume your home and closets long after the witches and goblins have left the building.
Any pomander how-to will show you how, but this one at Craft Jr has some extra hints to ease the (already) simple process.
11. Zombie Cupcakes
So not everyone is going to have a drawer full of doll parts to use to make “Rising from the Dead” cupcakes. But if you’re a crafter or DIYer or just a bit, you know, odd, there’s a good chance you have some collection of parts or knickknacks that could make for a convincingly creepy cupcake topper. Simply make your favorite cupcakes, then get creative with random toy parts.
12. Spooky Jar Lanterns
The clever, clever crafty frykitty of frytopia made these spooky lanterns from cheap jars from a discount store, but old jars in need of up cycling would make perfectly good candidates for the job as well.