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Budget-Friendly DIY Outdoor Halloween Decorations

To really set the scene for trick or treaters, it's all about decking out your front yard with ghoulish creatures. But you don't need to break the bank and spend a ton of money on warlocks, witches and gravestones to make your house stand out. Rather, take what you have from around the home and get crafty. Here are three ways you can make your haunted house the most spooktacular on the block.

Light Up Your Walkway

Save up your old milk cartons for this fun craft that even the kids can help with. This DIY craft will help welcome all the trick or treaters to your house by crafting some cute ghosts to greet everyone as they arrive, and bid farewell as they leave. Before getting started, be sure to wash and remove any stickers from the plastic milk cartons.

Halloween Milk Jugs
Photo Credit Thinkstock


  • Empty plastic milk cartons
  • Black construction paper (or Black Sharpie)
  • Scissors
  • String of holiday lights


There are two ways to create a "ghost" on the milk carton. Either trace and cut out the ghost's eyes and mouth on black construction paper, or use a black sharpie to draw directly onto the milk carton. If you do decide to draw on the carton, leave the jug's top on, as this will keep the air in the jug, meaning it won't dent when you apply the pressure of the sharpie. Once the ghost's face is created, cut out a dime-sized hole at the bottom of the jug. Then, string the holiday lights so one light is in each of the cartons. Turn on the lights, and watch your walkway glow!


Craft Creepy Spider Webs and Spiders

Who isn't scared of spiders? This craft takes something we all have around the house—black garbage bags, not spiders—and makes for a super easy craft that can decorate both the exterior and interior of your house. If you're short on time, just go for the spider webs. But if you want your house full of creepy crawlies from top to bottom, make some spiders to go with it.

Halloween Windows
Photo Credit Thinkstock


  • Black garbage bags
  • Back Sharpie
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Newspaper (or other packing materials, like leaves)
  • Glue gun


Start by making the 'cobwebs.' To do this, lay your garbage bags flat, cut in half, and remove sides and bottom, so that you have two rectangle shapes. Take one of the pieces and fold into a triangle; fold twice more, keeping it in a triangle shape. Feel free to use tape if you need to keep the triangle in place. Sketch out how you want the web to look, and then cut away the negative space, leaving just the 'web.' Repeat until you have all the webs you want!

For each spider you want to make, you'll need nine trash bags. Start by making the spider's body; to do this, fill one bag with your packing materials and then seal it closed. Now it's time to make the legs; while the trash bag is on its side, fill the bottom (length wise) of the bag so all the stuffing is on one side. Then roll the trash bag up around the stuffing so it looks like a spider's leg; finish it by tying it off. Repeat seven more times to complete the legs. Complete assembly of the spider by using a glue gun to attach the spider legs to the body! Hang the spider over the entryway, or off the house to greet your guests.


An Eerie Front Porch

Haunted House
Photo Credit Thinkstock

While you can always volunteer a family member to hide out on your front porch to scare trick or treaters, there are other ways to set the tone, too. Give your porch a renovation of sorts by draping all your patio furniture with white sheets to make it look like your home has been abandoned. A few fake cobwebs, picked up from your local dollar store, can also add to the effect. One last bonus way to making your porch spooktacular before the trick or treaters ring the doorbell? Cover some mannequin heads in cheesecloth to really creep people out.

Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not blogging about food, she's working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City, as well as repping Younique cosmetics and skincare products. Some of her writing can be found at

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