Halloween is so much more fun for trick or treaters when your house looks enticingly scary as the kids approach. These days, even one pumpkin can run you a few bucks, so if you’re like me, you’re looking for a few ideas for cheap Halloween props that are still scary enough to give the kids a thrill. Here are just a few ideas for creepy, but cheap Halloween props the kids can make and/or decorate themselves. You save money and they have fun.
Poster board and cardboard boxes are on my short list of cheap Halloween decorating materials. A large cardboard box can be turned into a haunted house in an afternoon. Hung from a window, your haunted house will lend a creepy feeling and inspire a little apprehension for the candy seekers. Depending on the kids ages, you may need to help cut out some ‘windows’ with a utility knife. After that’s done, let the kids loose. All you need in the way of supplies is a tube of gray acrylic paint, yellow or orange cellophane, a pack of markers in day-glow colors, a package of ‘spiderwebs’ and some glitter.
Cut your cardboard box to a size that fits in a front window. After the kids have painted the house, allow about 15 minutes for drying (acrylic paint dries quickly). Turn the cardboard (or poster board) over and then they can tape the cellophane to the back of the windows. Now they can use their markers to draw in the creepy details. Kids generally know what scares kids, so let them have free rein. Apply spiderwebs! When the haunted house is finished, hang it on the inside of the designated window. The cellophane will be backlit by the lights inside. Voila! Incidentally, this Halloween prop can be used again next year!
Halloween light strings are another of the reusable and cheap Halloween props. While a creepy entryway is part of the Halloween fun, you want to balance off the decorations with a bit of cuteness for the very young trick or treaters. You can light the front of your house for just a few bucks and the kids can have fun doing this task as well.
You might want to get a quantity of those fake spiderwebs. Attach them to places kids might touch, like the doorbell and porch or stair rails. Little plastic creepy crawlers should be in abundance, tucked into the spiderwebs. No glue needed. You might even offer a creepie as a ‘party favor’. As the kids are leaving with their treats, give them an added scare. “You’re welcome to take a little spider or worm home if you’d like to take one from the spiderweb patch…”
Instead of spending a lot of money on a couple of big pumpkins, pick up some of those tiny pumpkins at the supermarket. Get a few small packages of glass ‘jewels’ and let the kids create Jack o’ Lantern eyes and mouths. Group them together on a table at the doorway, or spread them along the windowsills. These cheap Halloween props can also double as Halloween ‘party favors’.
Every drugstore’s Halloween section is flush with the printed-on-cardboard skeletons, witches and vampires. Let the kids put a little spark on these cheap Halloween props, gluing on fake jewels for eyes, some glittery red blood streaks and some accent creepiness with the day-glow markers. Hang these guys from a tree branch, porch rail, or anywhere they’ll catch a breeze and flutter wickedly.
Making these cheap Halloween props heightens the fun of this single, annual scare fest. Better yet, most are reusable. Next year, the kids can add to their collection.