Time to Spookify Your Home for Halloween
Username of writer: Jedikat
For me, Halloween is the most festive time of the year. You get to dress up and pretend to be something you are not, and nobody will think any different of you. And it doesn’t matter how old you are either, so long as you are having fun and giving out some candy. You get to scare people and make them scream, afterwards share a laugh, and meet people who have the same interests. Kids have it the best as they get to roam the neighborhoods at night, and get free candy out of it. A good haul in a night can get you enough candy to last a month!
While I enjoyed Trick or Treating as much as the next kid, my favorite thing to do was to make haunted houses or to decorate the house for the festivities to come. Once you have a place of your own, you get to decorate it whatever way you want. Of course the first year you move in, you might be on a stricter budget and need to be careful on what you spend the money on. Here are some tips on saving money for great decorations for the house, as well as some ideas to save money in the process.
Since your first year might be the hardest to decorate you might have to keep the decor to a low key until you get more things. At the end of every holiday however the stores discount the items that are leftover giving you a chance to snatch them up for half the price, sometimes far less. Of course the pickings might be a little less available but if you hit up several different retailers you can walk away with some great items. Spider web is one of the things that stores over buy for, as well as newer items that they think might sell and end up getting stuck with. While candy doesn’t last, unless there is something you enjoy, don’t try and save it for the next year. Even setting your budget low will still allow you to be creative and decorate your house, inside and out for the festivities to come. Spend half of your budget for what you plan on decorating this year, and the other half for clearance items to use for the following year.
Build it Yourself
If you are handy with some tools and have the time you can create some great decorations yourself, both scary and silly. Woodwork is not my specialty but it doesn’t take much to build a simple pine box coffin, and the designs is simple. It can be a pretty decent sized rectangular box with a lid, and you don’t even have to decorate it. Simply leave a couple of them in the driveway of your house, perhaps with a skeletal hand sticking out of one, and someone that likes to jump out and scare people in the other.
Simple dummy dolls are easy to make with old clothes and newspaper or straw. You can use a Halloween mask for the face, and prop them around the yard. Maybe a little fake blood if you are working on a theme, and spaghetti noodles make great guts. You can prop them up on a bench and dress in a similar outfit so people can’t tell the difference, perhaps keeping the bucket of candy in between the two of you. For an even better effect, stick it all on a bench in the middle of the driveway, but the bench is covered in a black sheet, and the driveway is filled with fog from a fog machine. Someone else sits under the bench, and can grab people. Since people will sometimes be hesitant to walk up, wait until a bunch of people are there together, then grab one.
A Haunted house doesn’t have to be complex, but you can design different rooms with large cardboard walls, such as the kind used to ship refrigerators in. A great room idea that is a lot of fun is to make it completely black, but then use neon paint to paint dots on the walls. Then have one person in a completely black costume or outfit, including covering the face, and paint some neon dots on them. They will blend into the room as well and make it hard for people to spot the person when they come out of nowhere.
Plan for a Crowd
When you put your heart into something, and make it work the best way you can, people will notice. Be sure and stock up on candy if you are able to scare some people with your decorations or fun themed place. People will notice, and if you continue the process each year, it will be something that they talk about. When people talk, others will want to come and see it for themselves, as Halloween is the time to be scared and people enjoy it, even if it frightens them a little. Stock up on candy, even if you stop doing it, you will want the candy on hand the first year you stop.
We did haunt and scary decorations for almost five years straight until we moved. The first year we handed out candy, but ran out and had to get more. The second year we made bags, and still ran out (with over 200 bags made), having to run and get more. By the fifth year of doing our set ups, and themes we had to purchase 50 bags of candy or more to keep up with how many people would come by and visit. It took a year after stopping for the crowd to die down, and let everything go back too normal. I hated to disappoint everyone as it was fun and the reactions were hilarious, but it was time to move on. Now I take my kids to places like this, letting them experience the same fun I had growing up. It lets them learn to be ok to be afraid, and how to be creative too.