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Decorating for Halloween is cheap and fun

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Published 2010-10-25T19:50:00Z”/>


Staff CommentarySarah Brown

Trying to <a href=”” target=”_blank”>decorate</a> for Halloween on a student budget can be a trick more than a treat.

I decided to accept the challenge – not for my sake alone, but for the sake of the entire student body.

<strong>First step: Decide on a theme</strong>

Halloween decorating isn’t a time to be eclectic. Choosing a theme helps narrow down choices and keeps your focus on the necessary items.

Obviously there’s the fear factor to consider first. Stores offer lots of scary items for your haunted house, gothic or basic Halloween decor. It’s easy to find witches, bones, spiders and more at nearly every store you visit.

If fear isn’t your thing, you can opt for cute and whimsical or choose the natural, autumn look.

I chose the latter because it can be stretched over a longer period of time into Thanksgiving.

<strong>Second step: Browse for ideas</strong>

Get your hands on ads, catalogs, magazines and Google searches to study decorating ideas. This really helps get the creative juices flowing and assists you in thinking outside the box.

<strong>Third step: Start with what you have</strong>

I think I have an advantage here over most students because I’ve lived in town for several years, giving me time to collect a plethora of vases, jars and <a href= “” target=”_blank”>random things</a> that can be used for my project. However, I don’t have many roommates to share the cost of decorating, which will go a long way for most students.

I used yellow and orange fabric to cover a coffee table and entertainment center, then set out vases and baskets of varying sizes. I filled a large vase about one-fourth full of dried red, black and white beans. I also set a variety of dried grasses in the vase that resulted in a pleasing centerpiece.

Fallen leaves from different trees are scattered on the entertainment center, along with a large, white bowl full of grasses and red berries. At this point, the only thing I spent money on was a dollar for a bag of red kidney beans.

If you’re going for a haunted theme, find fallen branches and paint them black, then hang tissue ghosts or dried-apple skulls on them. Use black yarn for webs or brown nylons stuffed with paper and painted to look like a dead man’s head.

Cut bat shapes from black paper and tape them all over your <a href= “” target=”_blank”>porch</a> and use paper punchers to create confetti.

<strong>Fourth step: Go Shopping</strong>

To avoid spending more than is necessary, prioritize the things you really need for your theme. Pumpkins of varying sizes are likely to be on that list.

For my autumn theme, I needed pumpkins, flowers and a door decoration. I was pleased with a door wreath I found at Dollar Tree. It has a little scarecrow swinging on the wreath and a banner that reads, “Welcome.”

Overall, I ended up buying candy, flowers, red beans and 14 pumpkins that range from miniature to large. The total cost was about $30.

The trick was to cut my shopping list in half and be happy with what I ended up with. The treat is that I have a decorated home fitting for both Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Sarah Brown can be reached at [email protected]

  1. Halloween decorations
  2. Halloween decorations
  3. Spooky lanterns
  4. Bats
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      Decorating for Halloween is cheap and fun