It’s that time of year again in which we embrace all things scary–decorations, movies, calories from the sudden rise in candy consumption. Surely by now, that one home in your neighborhood has put out enough elaborate seasonal decor to be a certified homage to Disney’s Haunted Mansion. And it’s got you thinking about how you can make your own home stand out without investing in a decades worth of Spirit Halloween inventory. Never fear. We’ve got some ideas to help make a memorable holiday without a lot of hocus pocus.

CLEVER COSTUMES: Have you been to Target lately? Costumes are getting expensive? (maybe they always have been?) A family of four can expect to spend a hundred dollars for brand new costumes, and that’s just on the lowest end. But seriously–unless you have a little one who is in their “dress like a superhero all day, every day” phase, you’re probably only getting one or two uses. Why not just be clever and thrifty? With some paint and markers, as well as scissors to make eye-holes, your old Trader Joe’s bags can easily become the face of Frankenstein, a monster, or perhaps a caricature face of your favorite superhero if you’re so endowed. A combination of toilet paper and scrap cloth can be bound to form a mummy. Or if you do want to spend a little bit, most costume retailers also offer make up kits to transform yourself from anything from zombies to witches to vampires. Get the whole family on it! For the price of one costume, some clever ingenuity can spread the cost to satisfying characters for the whole family.

BEWITCHING TREATS: Candy doesn’t have to be the only sweet treat you have this year. Get creative! Cookie cutters are relatively inexpensive and a great way to easily create some visual variety–ghosts, pumpkins, bats, you name it! Be sure to pick up a few different colors of frosting (or a lot of white frosting along with some dyes) with your cookie mix and your good to go. For a little extra display of TLC, individually wrap them. A few dollars and you’ll probably be able to get more baggies and twisties than you’ll need for the year.

ARTFUL PUMPKINS: Jack-o-lanterns are fun, but there’s more than one way to decorate a pumpkin. Whether your canvas is a natural pumpkin or a craft store replica, with some markers, paint, and your imagination, you’ll be able to create some fun designs that go beyond the usual fall festivities. Purple and polka dots? You betcha! Black and white with alternating triangular patterns? Go for it! This is a great and easy way to reinterpret a Halloween stable with your personal touch.

A LITTLE COLOR FOR A LOT OF SPIRIT: When decorating there’s one thing to keep in mind that will take you far–color coordination. Seriously, just a little bit of organizing your decor to follow a color pattern can go a long way. For the spooky season there’s a few ways you can go. Now, of course orange and black are your staples. If you don’t have them, it’s like Christmas without red and green. If you want some pop to the schema, consider incorporating bright greens and purple, which have been becoming a chief secondary combo for a while now. Looking for a little bit more bougie vibes? Metallic tones are your friend, chiefly copper and gold. What if you want to lean a bit more into harvest vibes since November is around the corner and you don’t really want to redecorate again? No problem. Yellow and red are your friend (and maybe a pinch of dark green); perfect fall vibes. So, look at what you already have, put out what follows the color scheme and put away what doesn’t. Soon your home will be in spirit with the season.



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