DIY HOLIDAY PROJECTS ON A BUDGET
Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love the fantasy of it all. When it comes to decorating for the occasion, I like to keep it simple and creepy. By adding in some realistic-looking black and red accents, I can play with my existing decor without overwhelming it. By shopping at the Dollar Store, I can keep it cheap. Here are my favorite Halloween DIY Dollar Store crafts.
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My favorite aisle to find durable and realistic decor for Halloween is actually NOT the Halloween aisle. I like to browse the candle/vase collections to find pieces I can customize. After all, a cheap plastic candelabra is always going to look like a cheap plastic candelabra. But a glass candle holder can be customized to look truly unique and vintage. They’re the same price, but the look is much high-end if you’re willing to go the extra mile.
This year, I started with two glass tea light holders that feature a cross on the front. The religious imagery reminded me of a victorian-era cemetery. You could technically just put these out among your existing Halloween decor and they would harken the sentiment. But I chose to take it a step further by adding a coat of black spray paint.
See how the black paint instantly adds some macabre to the pieces? I love how it brings out the detail on the crosses too! On this one, the paint ran a little. Typically I’d be panicked if I saw this, but for this piece I think it just enhances the creepy factor. Pair with a red candle (also from the Dollar Store for a pack of four!) for extra gore.
Next, I wrapped glass taper candle holders in foil, leaving only the bottoms exposed.
Turn them upside down and spray with black paint. You can also use a deep crimson if you’re planning to mimic mercury glass.
If you like the black look, once the bottoms have dried, you’re done! They’re instantly creepy-cool! Add red tapers for a sinister look.
For a mercury glass look, allow the bottoms to dry. Then unwrap the foil and turn right side up. Use a spray bottle (plastic ones are sold in the haircare aisle) to spray water directly onto the candle holders. Spray twice. Then use silver spray paint to coat them. As they dry, you’ll see the spots that had been covered in water droplets won’t adhere paint. This will allow the mercury glass look. FYI - full dry time for the mercury glass holders is 24 hours (to allow the water to evaporate). Leave them untouched for the full 24 hours so you don’t smear the paint.
Next up, I’ve taken a simple metal tray from the party supplies aisle and coated the center in black chalk paint. You can also use matte spray paint, just make sure to tape the edges if you want to maintain the silver trim. Using a pencil first, I freehanded “Pick Your Poison”. Then I went over the pencil with a white paint pen. You may need to add a few layers to achieve the depth of the paint. Once dry, I drew a spider web in chalk, smudging the edges with my finger tip to create a less hand-drawn look.
I actually made this sign a few years ago and it’s held up really well. I’ve always just thrown it into the box with my other Halloween items and it’s never smudged because I lightly coated it in hair spray once the paint and chalk had dried. I just freehanded this font but if you’re worried you might not get the look right, here’s a cheat sheet of awesome fonts you can use for Halloween decor. Just open your word processor and type PICK YOUR POISON onto a blank document. Then change the font to one of these and mimic the look.
Now if you meander over to the actual Halloween aisle, you can find some cool items to use as accents. I’ve taken two sprigs of black leaves and created this creepy tree out of my faux fiddle leaf fig by simply removing the fig leaves and replacing them. After Halloween, I’ll simply remove the temporary sprigs and replace the fig leaves. This whole project was $2 and makes a massive impact!
Nothing in the world is more macabre than crows and the dollar store typically has a pretty good selection if you get there early! I’ve suspended a couple from my existing chandelier and draped the entire fixture in the creepy gauze cloth they sell. Total cost? $4!
The last project I’ll share today isn’t technically from the Dollar Store. In fact, it cost me nothing to make because I already had all of the supplies on-hand. However, I realize not everyone has random chandelier sleeves hanging around their homes, so I’m linking to some you can buy for cheap right here.
My inspiration for this idea came from Chris Loves Julia. They host an annual Halloween party and have these simple hanging candles that they suspend from their ceiling. I love the look but wanted something slightly more creepy (and also FREE). Here’s their tutorial.
Flames can be mysterious but red flames are downright terrifying! I created the red flame using plastic cling wrap. I mixed red, blue, and silver crafty paint to get exactly the right hue of spooky red and then painted a large sheet of clear cling wrap with it. Allow to dry and then cut into strips. Fold the strips into flame shapes. Set aside.
Next, melt black crayon over the chandelier sleeves to create the black drip. You can also do this with red.
Next, tape a long string of clear fishing wire to the inside of your candle sleeve.
Then hang from the ceiling with tape or tie around your light fixture (that’s what I did) and trim extra wire. Tuck the red flame inside and voila! Instant gore!
I’m not done though. This is just a sampling of the many DIY Halloween projects I have up my sleeve. I’m not kidding. It’s truly my favorite holiday. I’ll be back next week with more easy DIYs to make your guests cringe with delight! Including a free downloadable invitation!