DIY Home Money Saving Tips

Terrifically Cheap Halloween Ideas That Will Horrify Your Neighbours

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30
Written by Irina Vasilescu

The start of the fall season signals the arrival of the holidays, starting from Halloween. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day also upcoming, you really should pay close attention to your budget before going crazy with all your Halloween decorating.

The good news is that there are plenty of ideas that you can borrow on how you can decorate your home and wear a costume for the spookiest time of the year, without having to spend any more than $30. Check out the best Halloween ideas that will save you money!

Best Halloween Décor Ideas

First up, you can spruce up your home with our best Halloween decorating ideas – all of which require a $30 budget or less:

#1 Make your own Halloween spooks

Ghosts are among the scary fun icons of Halloween, and you can make your very own Halloween ghosts using white helium balloons, some white tissue paper and a marker pen. Imagine a bunch of them drifting and bobbing in the semi-dark!

Place them at your door to greet visitors, or use them for indoor party décor. They take only minutes to make, cost next to nothing, and are sure to bring a smile to your visitors’ faces!

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on Baloon Time.

#2 Bleeding candles with torture tacks

Really cool, totally gross, and absolutely Halloween, bleeding candles will give you a new reputation for scariness!

All you need is white candles, red candles, and some tacks, nails or pins to create the “wounded candle” effect. Simply drip red wax over white candles after placing a few strategic tacks or pins.

What have you got? The scariest candles on the block! Use them as table decorations or in strategically placed candelabras.

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on Popsugar.

#3 Horrifying snake wreath

At Christmas, you place a festive wreath on your doorway. At Halloween, you can transform that wreath into something truly terrifying!

All you need is a few toyshop snakes, some black spray paint and an undecorated wreath. Thread your snakes through the wreath and wrap them around it using floral wire where necessary. Paint it all black, and nothing could set the scene so admirably! You’ll be scared to knock on your own door!

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on Martha Stewart.

#4 Scary doormat décor

In “The Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy has a truly horrifying moment when she discovers that her flying house has crushed a witch when it came in to land. All she can see is the stockings and shoes sticking out.

Combine this fantasy moment with the fantasy of Halloween with a pair of stuffed stockings clad in appropriately witchy shoes sticking out from under your doormat. Scary cute? You bet!

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on Parents.

#5 Spook your family members with eyes that glow in the dark

Recycle those toilet paper rolls by turning them into glow-in-the-dark pairs of eyes. All you have to do is draw and cut out pairs of spooky eyes on one side of the toilet paper roll. The spookier the eyes, the better.

A pack of glow sticks will cost you anywhere from $5 to $15 depending on the number of sticks inside. You can purchase these online or from craft stores. Use some duct tape or glue gun to secure the glow stick inside the toilet paper roll – then hang them and let them glow once the lights are turned off.

We have a great example that you can try, so check it out:

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on Diy Network.

#6 Mess up the walls with a spider web

Using a ball of yarn from the dollar store, some double-sided tape, and toy spiders, you can mess up your walls and creep everyone out. Choose a strategic part of the living room, kitchen or even the exterior wall of your house and use the double-sided tape to create a spider web. The more intricate it is, the better.

After the web is finished, place one huge toy spider and a few small ones around the web, and watch your guests groan in delight once they see your Halloween project.

The following tutorial looks fresh and perfect for Halloween, don’t you think?

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on The Art Of Doing Stuff.


#7 Surprise your visitors with a pair of huge eyeballs in a tree

If there’s a tree in your backyard or front lawn, you can spook neighbors and visitors by placing a huge pair of eyeballs on an easily-seen part of the tree.

You can use inflatable beach balls for this project. Use a marker with a large tip so that you can draw the outline of the iris. Prop up the huge eyeballs using twine or some strong rope, and turn your tree into a giant part of your outdoor Halloween décor!

We found this tutorial for you. What do you think?

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on Diy Network.

#8 Add creepy shadows to your lampshade

Some people really do go all-out for their Halloween decorations, and adding creepy shadows to your lampshade is one way to do it. It’s fairly easy as well and you don’t even have to spend $30 – any white sheet of paper and some tape from your house will do.

Depending on the size of the lampshade, you can cut out rectangular sheets of paper and draw the outline of a flying bat on them. Cut them out using a pair of scissors, and stick on the inside panel of the lampshade using some scotch tape. Don’t worry about the tape being seen because once the lights are turned on, only the creepy outline of the bat will show.

Here’s a 3-step tutorial for you, so have fun with it!

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on Young House Love.

#9 Make a ghost garland

You can buy a strand of white lantern lights from stores at less than $30. Then, purchase a couple of yards of white cotton fabric – or recycle an old pillowcase or blanket which you’re not using anymore.

Here are the rest of the instructions on how to make your very own ghost garland for the Halloween:

  • Cut ten pieces of 14” square fabric, then fold them into a triangle.
  • Cut the tip off so that there’s a hole in the center.
  • Carefully remove the lights from the built-in lantern. After placing the square piece o of fabric onto the lantern, put the light back on.
  • Using a piece of string, tie it around the ‘neck’ of the ghost. Use a sharpie to draw spooky eyes and a mouth on the ghosts. Do this for all the lights, hang them then light it up!

Use these images to guide you through your creative process:

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on Design Dining And Diapers.

#10 Hang bats outside your home

You can purchase black craft foam from any crafts store, along with googly eyes for less than $30.

Use a piece of paper as a pattern for the bats so that they all look the same. Trace the pattern onto the craft foam, then cut it out. Glue on a pair of googly eyes on each bat, then punch a hole at the bottom. Hang them upside down at a tree outside your house to spook visitors. The fact that they are made from craft foam will make the spooky bats withstand any weather.

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on HGTV.

#11 Make Halloween festive yet scary with glass jar lights

Using the glass jars from your kitchen, you can create Halloween-themed jar lights.

One idea is to paint the jar orange, then add a spooky Jack-o-lantern face using colored markers. You can also mix equal parts of white glue and water to decoupage the entire jar. Then, use black craft paper to draw spooky bats, crows, or an intricately drawn haunted house. Once the candle inside the jars are lit up, your house with glow with full-on Halloween décor.

Below you can find an example or the entire process:

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on Crafts By Amanda.

#12 Recycle trash bags into giant spider webs

For this Halloween project, all you need is some scotch tape, a pair of scissors and a black trash bag. Here are the instructions:

  • Lay out the trash bag flat on the floor or the table. Trim off the sides, then cut another side so you will be left with roughly square pieces of plastic.
  • Separate the plastic squares then fold one in half, diagonally. Fold again to create a long triangular shape. Use some tape to fasten the layers together so that when you create the spider web cut, the plastic will not be torn apart.
  • Cut the triangular plastic into a spider web shape so that once opened up, the trash bag will turn into a big web that you can display on the walls of your home.
    Check out these images to see how easy it really is!

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on How About Orange.

#13 Welcome guests with a spooky Frankenstein-inspired door

Using some chalk, black and white felt paper, glue and double sided tape, you can turn your front door into the face of Frankenstein to surprise your guests.

Black felt can be used to create the hair of Frankenstein which you can tape on the upper part of your front door. Use white and black felt paper to create the eyes, then cut a long rectangular shape for the mouth.

To create the Frankenstein effect, put together a long strip of black felt on one side of the head which looks like the stitch on the character’s head. Finish off the look with a pair of pumpkins on both sides of the door to create that ultra-Halloween feel outside your home.

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on East Coast Creative.

#14 Pair the Frankenstein door with a Halloween welcome mat

You can also pair the spooky door with a matching Halloween door mat. Use any old door mat that you have or purchase one from a dollar store so you’d have a blank canvas to work with. Using a brush and some black paint, paint on the word Boo! or Happy Halloween! onto the welcome mat. Let dry and accessorize with fake snakes, spiders, rats, insects or bat cut-outs.

We have a great tutorial for you:

Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

See the tutorial on Celebrations.

Where to Find Halloween Costumes Under $30

After working on your Halloween-themed décor, what about the costume that you will wear for those parties and when taking the kids trick-or-treating?

Here are a few ideas of where you can find Halloween costumes for under $30:

  • From your very own closet.

    If you’re out of Halloween costume ideas, you can raid your own closet and use your imagination when dressing up as someone else.

    For instance, a red dress can be paired with devil ears and a pitchfork so that you can attend a party as the little red devil. Or, you can imitate the outfit of Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games and braid your hair similar to the character’s style.

    Men can use their business suit to go as PeeWee Herman; or their overalls to turn into a construction worker – which should be worn complete with a hard hat.

  • From your mom’s closet.

    You can go as a hippie from the 1970s by borrowing a floral dress or a pair of bell-bottomed jeans from your mom’s closet.
  • From craft stores.

    You can match the existing clothes that you have with cheap finds that you can buy from craft stores, like a pair of angel’s wings, an Arianna Grande headband, or a colorful wig.
  • From thrift stores.

    Again, you need to use your imagination to get Halloween-inspired costumes from thrift stores. You can purchase a really old wedding dress and go as Frankenstein’s bride, or put on a tulle skirt and become a ballerina.
  • From garage sales.

    People are more than willing to let go of their old Halloween costumes, so you can easily find stuff to wear from garage sales.
  • From fabric stores.

    If you have a flair for sewing, you can buy materials from a fabric store and create a Mario and Luigi costume for your kids, or Elsa and Anna-inspired dresses for your daughters.
  • From stores selling toys.

    You’ll find plenty of cheap props from stores that sell toys. Costumes for superheroes, aliens, out-of-this-world creatures, and costumes for kids should be available here.
  • From specialized shops.

    Finally, check out the specialized shops which sell Halloween costumes. The trick to finding ones cheap is to do your shopping right before the Halloween rush: the earlier, the better.

Halloween is one of the spookiest, yet most fun times of the year, so take full advantage of it by dressing up and decorating your home on the cheap!

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Best Halloween Ideas for Under $30

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About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our money-saving and DIY expert and also the editor-in-chief as she's always on the lookout for the latest online deals.


  • It’s great to be able to decorate at Halloween, but it is important that you don’t spend too much money, because the decorations are only going to be displayed for a short time when you think about it. So these ideas are all great, and they are things that the children of the house would certainly appreciate. I will definitely be taking a lot of these ideas this year as I am having a party that I am looking forward to, and a lot of families are coming along, so I want to make sure that it looks good.

    • I agree! It’s nice to have them, but it’s really not a smart move to spend too much only to throw them away after Halloween.

      But making it a DIY definitely saves us money and making it more fun, especially if you will include your kids.

      Great post here!

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