After a quieter Halloween in 2020, Americans are ready to go out and scare their neighbors again in 2021.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend more than $10 billion this year on Halloween-related items. That’s $2 billion more than 2020, the highest level of Halloween sales ever.
Oftentimes, super popular means expensive. A quick browsing of the Home Depot website shows that you can find Halloween inflatables for anywhere from a reasonable $15 to a whopping $213. If you really want to do your best for Halloween, You can come up with everything.
But we think you can find cheap Halloween decorations that allow you to inspire the ghost without terrorizing your budget. So whether you want to compete with the neighbors, keep it simple with interior décor, or make kid-friendly Halloween decorations, we’ve got ideas.
31 Cheap Halloween Decoration Ideas
Sculpting jack-o’-lanterns and storing Halloween candy will get you in the holiday spirit – and ready to decorate.
scary halloween decorations
1. Blood candles
All you need for this quick and easy little DIY project is a white candle, a red candle in a jar, a dropper, and a lighter. Use the melted wax from the red candle as your “blood” and gently drop it through the white candle to create the bloody effect.
2. zombie hand badges
Something about a bunch of shady hands reaching up and grabbing your legs or feet is just plain creepy. This can only mean that they are perfect as a spooky interior decoration for Halloween, right? Even better, these $16 vinyl wall decals will easily come off immediately after Halloween — or keep your friends crawling through Thanksgiving.
3. Scary black cloth
Set the scene with this cheap Halloween decoration. The black gingham/polyester fabric is only $7 and measures 79 x 189 inches, which is large enough to cover a large area. Cut it in two, or cut holes in the fabric, and use your creativity to darken your decorative space.
4. The corpse of the hanging cocoon
This super creepy cocoon carcass is just under $18 on Amazon. The 6-foot-tall body is covered in “spider webs,” and the corpse is shining in your face with its eyes illuminated by red LEDs. Hang the cocoon in your yard or greet your trick-or-treater at the front door with this terrifying corpse.
5. A head in a jar
Sometimes plastic spiders just won’t cut it. For our truly quirky readers, there’s a pesky severed head in a lab jar. This $13 ornament works really well if you use spooky Halloween decorations, or if you need a prop to go with your psychic costume.
Kid friendly Halloween decorations
6. DIY pumpkin charm
With a few items from around the house, plus some basic craft supplies and spray paint from the craft store, you can make this fun Saturday project with your kids. If you don’t like the messy cleanup after a pumpkin carving session, this is the perfect way to whip up a pumpkin without dealing with pumpkin slime.
7. Pine cone spiders
All you need for this fun and easy project are some pine cones from the backyard, some wiggling eyes and pipe cleaners. After a few minutes, you have a pine cone spider! Rinse and repeat, then place these little guys all over your decorating space to scare the house away.
8. DIY ghost tin can
All you really need here is a tin can and a few items common in craft stores – you’ll need spray paint again – to make this charming little ghost look more fun than scary.
9. Ghosts in the open air
If outdoor Halloween decorations aren’t your forte, you can get this trio of LED lights that light up ghostly lanterns with moving faces. These little guys, which cost about $20 a set, prove that ghosts don’t have to be scary. It’s the perfect way to let your kids help out without sneaking in too many decorations.
10. Ghost Balloons
With just three items, you can really spice up your Halloween decor with these guys. All you need are some white balloons, a black mustache and light up sticks. Spread these balloons around your home to set the scene for a fun Halloween party.
funny halloween decorations
11. Red He Balloon
Attach one red balloon to the sewer and have some fun with your neighbors. This visual is a reference to the famous and horrifying Stephen King movie and book, He. She. If you like dark humor and popular culture references, this is the place for you.
12. Two sets of viewable skeletons
These are two small guys that are only 16 inches tall, so they aren’t great for outdoor space. But the skeletons that can be put up for $13 are perfect for a decorative mantle or other interior ideas. Just keep it clean with the asanas, okay?
13. Shattered Witch
This witch seems to have had too few strong drinks and has lost control of her trusty broom. It can be attached to a tree trunk, a wide pole, or even a door. The $20 ornament comes with a “Do not drink and fly” warning sign.
14. Googly Eyes
This fun craft will surely make you laugh. Use dried pumpkins for large eyes, or avocado pits for smaller eyes, to make eyeballs wide open. Place them in strategic places around your home, like a fireplace, or outside in a sturdy bush.
Dollar Store Halloween Decorations
15. DIY garland
For just $4, you can make this colorful Halloween wreath that will add a Halloween glow to your front door. This project is easy on the budget and results in an eye-catching seasonal door decoration.
16. Decorative banners
If you want to hang some simple signs and check out “Halloween decorations” from your list, these dollar store signs are perfect. They come in a pack of 12 signs featuring different Halloween messages for just $12.
17. Printable Pharmaceutical Labels
Witch drink. bone powder. The same frog. Spider eggs. These $5 instant printable labels are easy to put on old, painted wine bottles and are the perfect cheap Halloween decoration for your festive space.
18. DIY Wine Glass Centerpieces
Get those wine glasses you got at your wedding from the garage and reuse them for a touch of Halloween decoration. All you need are glasses, some paint and a paintbrush plus a little hemp rope and you are good to go!
19. Plastic Hanging Skeletons
The Plastic Dollar Tree Hanging Skeletons are very simple and come in orange, white and green. It’s 3 feet tall and comes in 36 cases – so you can really hang out with these hanging folks all over your house, front porch, and front yard. The case costs $36, so keep some for next year or split that purchase with a neighbor.
kids craft halloween decorations
20. DIY Spellbooks
Do you know those cheesy covers you’ll never read again? Now it’s their time to get out the dirt and shine. Using those books and craft store items including hot glue and craft paint, you can create a collection of fun spelling books with your kids that will add so much to your haunted library.
21. Ghostie Milk Jugs
You can make these outdoor decorations fun with a gallon milk jug, a black marker, a knife, and some low voltage Christmas lights. Looks perfect for lighting up your sidewalk or front porch on Halloween night.
22. DIY “Floating” Pumpkin
Using foamy pumpkins that you can find at any popular craft store, as well as a few other items, you can create these spooky floating pumpkins to add a little fun to your Halloween decor.
23. Luminous “Floating” Witch Hats
Same idea as above, but instead of a foam pumpkin, you use a $3 black witch’s hat, plus some LED light sticks and a few other household items to make your front porch witch.
Halloween decoration to compete with neighbors
If you take Halloween decor seriously, here are a few worthy brags.
24. Giant spider in the web
If you’ve ever thought about scaring your neighborhood with a 4-foot spider, and it wasn’t true, this is your chance. Go to the top with said spider inside a 16″ x 17″ grid in your front yard. And it’s only $16.
25. Scary Lanterns
This adorable set of two lanterns offers a bit of “spooky flair” for your outdoor Halloween decoration display. It is just another way to light up your entryway or porch while showing your decorative sentiments.
26. Hanging reaper
If the hanging corpse is too bloody for you, you’ll probably go for a very creepy but not bloody hanging reaper. He (or she?) has posable arms, eyes that light up red and is sound activated. For $19.99, let it blast in the breeze under the tree and totally freak out your neighbors!
27. Giant bloodshot eyeballs
Giant bloodshot eyeballs shining brightly look like they came from a zombie – or a college student who had a lot of pumpkins. All you need to make it is a large exercise or beach ball, some sandpaper, blue, black and red acrylic paint, and a paintbrush.
28. Pumpkin String Lights
Nothing too complicated here. Just a fun, straightforward set of hanging pumpkin string lights to give your Halloween decor that particular mood. The set comes with 21 pumpkins covering 10 feet.
29. Witch’s Cauldron Silhouette
Two witches, just drinking in the background, make some delicious brew made with frog eyes and severed bat heads over a steam cauldron. Nothing to see here. move along.
30. Skull and Gargoyle tombstones
Here lies a brave soul who dared to ask these two witches what was in the cauldron. This $15 skull and certificate gargoyle isn’t too much and will provide just enough ambiance for your haunted front yard.
31- The Witch Witch
I’m not sure what happened here, but a witch suddenly out of control ended up with a head buried in your garden. Or at least these fun little $10 bets give that effect.
Robert Bruce is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.