4 Cheap Halloween Decor Ideas From the Dollar Store

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Love decorating for Halloween, but hate spending a wad of cash? Your humble dollar store may be the answer.

Let’s face it: Halloween is a great holiday, but the spending on spooky-themed decor has gotten out of control. In fact, a study from Harris/CIT breaks down the average spend on Halloween home decor to come in at around $50 per household.

You could easily blow that $50 on one item at Target—or you could drop just a few bucks at your local dollar store for a far more budget-friendly holiday. You’d be surprised by how little cash it takes to create some clever Halloween crafts! As proof, check out these ideas below.

1. Creepy specimen jars

Glow sticks transform a Mason jar into something Halloween-worthy.
Glow sticks transform a Mason jar into something Halloween-worthy.

Simply fill a jar or vase with cotton balls, plastic spider rings, and a glow stick from your local dollar store—and you’ve got yourself a creepy Halloween decoration,” says Demer.

This specimen jar is easy to craft and offers high impact.
This specimen jar is easy to craft and offers high impact.Krazy Coupon Lady

With additional jars, you can create even more dollar store Halloween crafts.

“Try filling an empty one with dollar-store dish soap and creepy toys like a rubber spider, snake, or eyeballs,” says Wheeler. “The result is a specimen jar that looks like something out of Frankenstein’s workshop.”

2. DIY candy bin

A Halloween candy dispenser made out of disposable roasting pans.
A Halloween candy dispenser made out of disposable roasting pans.The Typical Mom

Banish that boring candy bowl and make this cool Halloween bin instead. You’ll need two aluminum roasting pans from the dollar store—“the ones you grab for your Thanksgiving turkey,” says blogger The Typical Mom. Bright orange spray paint provides the color, and a few pieces of construction paper or sticky foam create the face.

“We used foam that had sticky on the back for the pumpkin stem on the top and the eyes,” she says. “Just cut a strip of brown foam, take off the back and fold in half, leaving the bottom inch exposed so you can stick that on the top of the roasting pan. Same with the eyes, only remove the entire back. Then I cut out a tongue, wrote ‘Please, take one’ on it, and just removed the end of the sticky part to put on the lip of the bottom roasting pan.”

3. DIY lanterns

This might be the easiest, most-loved craft you'll make for Halloween.
This might be the easiest, most-loved craft you’ll make for Halloween.Totally Promotional

It doesn’t get easier than these Halloween lanterns, which are made from plastic cups, battery-operated tea lights, and black markers.

“Draw spooky faces on your upside-down cups. After your marker designs are dry, place a tea light beneath each cup and light ’em up,” says Shelley Grieshop of Totally Promotional.

Group a few together as a Halloween mob for a “spooktacular” table setting, place them individually on shelves or countertops, or put one or two in the bathroom as a night light.

4. Faux pumpkins

Instead of carving pumpkins, try painting, stenciling, or covering them.
Instead of carving pumpkins, try painting, stenciling, or covering them.@diysouthernhome

Dollar store foam pumpkins are a must-have for any crafter, or anyone who simply doesn’t want to deal with the seeds and goo of the real thing. (They’re also great for warmer climates where a pumpkin will go to mush in a matter of days.) They are carveable, so you can still create jack-o’-lanterns. Or, you can turn them into something that looks as if it came from a design store. Paint them, stencil on words or sentences, or cover them in newspaper—the options are unlimited.

Buy a few more no-carve pumpkins, and create the entire Avengers team!
Buy a few more no-carve pumpkins, and create the entire Avengers team!@mrs_boss_brown

Or swap the newspaper for something Spidey, like gift wrap or a foil balloon, and you have a superhero pumpkin. A little Mod Podge is all it takes to attach the items together.

This cute unicorn is made from a no-carve pumpkin.
This cute unicorn is made from a no-carve pumpkin.Craft Box Girls

Meanwhile, your little princess will love this unicorn pumpkin.

Lynn Lilly, founder of Craft Box Girls, used a variety of materials, including floral sprigs, decorative paper, and foam, and simply hot-glued them in place.

Create the horn by rolling the paper and gluing it in shape, then attach the horn around the pumpkin stem. If your dollar store doesn’t have gold paper, look for swaps like gold metallic party plates or foil gift wrap.