DIY Halloween Decorations Made From Old Things

These creative repurposing ideas allow you to make your home frightfully festive without having to step foot into a crowded party store. (Because that would really be a nightmare.)

1

Black Stockings + Glass Hurricanes = Creepy Candle Holders

creepy-candle-holders
Photo by Philip Friedman; Styling: Blake Ramsey

Raise those snagged sheer pantyhose and fishnets from the dead. Cut a section of one leg, pull it over a glass candle holder, and then trim around the top edge, leaving enough excess to hug the lip. Rough up the hosiery even more with scissors. Once lit, place the candles close to a wall to cast spooky shadows.


2

Plastic Fork + Cardstock = Fangs Place Card

fangs-place-card
Photo by Philip Friedman; Styling: Blake Ramsey

Invite friends to sit for a bite. Cut a 2-inch-long slit into black note cards, about 1½ inches from the top and side edges. Break off the handle of a white plastic fork and clip the tines into the slit—the two outer tines on the front of the card, the two inner tines on the back. Using gel pens, draw “drops of blood” in red and write the guest’s name in white.


3

Coffee K-cups + Holiday Lights = Ghostly Garland

ghostly-garland
Photo by Philip Friedman; Styling: Blake Ramsey

Bust out the decorative lights early this year, but make them Fright-Night-appropriate by putting those (non-recyclable!) coffee pods to use. First, remove the filters of used K-cups, rinse them out and then poke a hole in the bottom center with scissors. Next, enlist your kids to help you draw ghost faces on them using permanent marker. Slide each cup over every other light bulb or so to create a boo-tiful ambiance.



4

Hanger + Felt + Ping-pong Ball = Flying Bat Door Decor

Flying Bat Door Decor
Photo by Philip Friedman; Styling: Blake Ramsey

Let it vamp for visitors. Bend both arms of a wire hanger upwards 45 degrees—these will form the bat wings. Cut black felt into a 25-inch square. Fold the square diagonally, snip a small hole in the middle, and slip over the hook of the hanger. Open felt, and place a ping-pong ball in the center, underneath the hanger hook. Bunch felt over ball and secure with a rubber band (color it with a black marker). Next, glue the open sides of the felt together along the edges so they won’t shift as you cut out the scalloped shape of the bat wings (use the template at realsimple.com/batwings). To create the creature features, glue on felt triangles for ears and triangles cut out of white paper for fangs, and add two dabs of red nail polish for eyes.


5

Glass Vases + Black Tape + Orange Snacks = Jack-o’-lantern Bowls

jack-o-lantern-bowls
Photo by Philip Friedman; Styling: Blake Ramsey

Serving dishes with a smile, courtesy of black tape. (You can pick up black duct tape or double-wide electrical tape at hardware stores). To make cutting out the eyes, nose and mouth easier, adhere a strip of tape to a piece of wax paper, and then trace out the shapes on the opposite side of the paper and follow the guide as you cut. Simply affix to glass vessels and fill with your favorite “pumpkin”-colored treats—gummies, cheese puffs, Goldfish, or punch. The next day, you can remove any sticky residue left behind by rubbing with a dishtowel and mayonnaise.


6

Balloon + Gauze Bandages = Spider Nest

spider-nest
Photo by Philip Friedman; Styling: Blake Ramsey

A skin-crawling addition to any dark corner. Use a funnel to fill a white balloon with a handful of rice, then inflate until three-quarters full and tie closed. Affix the end of a gauze roll near the knot with a double-sided adhesive (like Craft Glue Dots Dispenser, $5 for 200, amazon.com) and unravel irregularly around the balloon until completely covered (it may take 2 to 3 rolls). With the adhesive, secure each gauze end and attach a few plastic spiders. Tie twine around the knot and hang.