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The 4 Budget (HIGH IMPACT) Halloween Decorations I’ve Used For The Past 4 Years (+ 6 Extra I Love)

As a Mom, I know what parents are doing this weekend…decorating for Halloween. My kids (due to years of living with their holiday-obsessed mother) were BEGGING for us to decorate a couple of weeks ago. I happily agreed. But we are in a rental so I didn’t want to go buy a bunch of new decorations. Instead, I hit the Henderson Halloween Box, supplemented with a couple of new additions and BOOM – super affordable, very high impact decorations, that took almost no time (or stress) to put up. So I decided to update this post that we did a couple of years ago, add more photos for proof that I’m being honest, and show you the very much not professional photos of our Portland rental decorations.

Despite maybe looking like I have it all together, I have two small kids so I’m a *snow* show, even in the fall. So today, I’m talking quick, easy, affordable Halloween decor that is low-maintenance and not too visually chaotic because, frankly, that’s all I can handle. I veer more ‘Martha Stewart’ than a ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ so I’m more ‘spooky’, than ‘scary’ and definitely ‘spiders’, not ‘psychos’. So these are my quick and easy tips that can help you make your house feel like Halloween without spending too much time or money or putting your children into therapy.

Black Candles with Black Candlesticks

cheap Halloween decorations

Rocket science, I know. But this is one of the easiest things we did to up the spook factor. It’s beautiful, editorial, and VERY budget-friendly. We got these tapers at a local shop for about a dollar each and I already had these awesome new matte black Target Threshold candlestick holders (similar). With this look, more is more. Few people functionally need four candles on one cabinet but having that many gives it the spooky haunted mansion vibe I wanted. If you don’t want to buy new candlesticks, you could also easily head to the thrift store and buy some and spray paint them all black and throw some candles in it. With this idea, you will also want to vary the heights of the candlestick holders for visual interest. It will make the look more collected and put together.

Spooky Fabric (My #1!)

cheap Halloween decorations

I didn’t come up with the name, but I am into the look. We decided to mix up the type of gauze on the living room furniture and went for this “spooky fabric.” It’s super affordable (like $10) and comes in a few different colors from Target. The fabric looks somewhat like fishnet so to make it look extra “spooky” we played with it by pulling sections apart. It gave us that perfect old-timey, haunted house look. And because the kids love the plastic spiders and bugs, we added in a few of them to the set up to look like they were crawling all over the cabinet. It’s one of those accents that is “creepy, not freaky,” which is exactly our kind of Halloween decor over at the Hendersons.

More Examples Over The Years

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: my spooky (and super simple) kid-approved halloween decor
photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: how we decorate for halloween
photographer shall not be named | from: our portland rental

Dog Skeleton | Tombstone

Bat Decals

cheap Halloween decorations

Another awesome and kid-friendly decor idea that we all loved are these bat decals. I can’t take credit for them as Martha (Stewart) used them a few years back. But their impact and affordability are too good not to mention. They are also SO inexpensive but have big visual impact. When you are laying them out, you really can do whatever you want but we found it best to start with the largest ones every few feet and then add in the smaller ones around them. This helps with making sure you are spacing them out in a balanced way that adds depth and perspective. The ones that we used come with an adhesive already on them but that adhesive did leave a little residue on the wall, so if we were to do it again, we would recommend using a more wall-friendly tape. We had our bats just hang out in this little vignette but you could use them on your front door, on the ceiling or it could be fun to put them near a window so that it looks like they are all flying in from outside.

White And/Or Black Spiderwebs (#2)

cheap Halloween decorations

Black Spider Webbing

I somehow missed the memo on black spider webbing. I used white previously, and as we were coming up with the ideas for this post, Brady recommended the black as it would pop off of the walls, lampshades and art, so we gave it a try. Yes, it isn’t as realistic as the white webbing but we love the way that it contrasts with everything. If you have mainly light colors in your home, USE THIS. It adds the perfect amount of spooky drama and is so easy and affordable.

More Examples Over The Years

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: how we decorate for halloween

White Spider Webbing

Black Painted Branches

cheap Halloween decorations

Ready for some more rocket science? Take something, paint it black and instantly it is spooky. These painted branches make the room look so editorial (which I love) and spooky (which Brian and the kids love). The day before the shoot, we (and by we I mean Brady and our styling assistant, Emily Bowser) collected some fallen branches from a local park and spray painted them with matte black spray paint. NO TREES WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS SHOOT. I think most, if not all of you all know how I feel about trees and especially the horror of cutting them. But if your trees are in need of a trim, then you could always repurpose them and take off the remaining leaves to get this look. Our branches were about 3 to 4 feet each but with the use of black zip ties, were able to secure the branches together and also make them taller and more spread out. To cover the zip ties and add more drama (duh), we wrapped the branches with white spider webs. Here, the white makes sense since we wanted the color to contrast the black branches. Then to top it off, we wired some crows onto the branches. Spooky branches always need spooky crows.

cheap Halloween decorations

Black Zip Ties | White Spider Webs

More Examples Over The Years

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: my spooky (and super simple) kid-approved halloween decor

Black Crows

Speaking of crows, I love to use A LOT of them. The kids think they are great and they feel a little more “sophisticated” Halloween which is great for me…the adult. I get them in different sizes and positions so they look varied throughout the house and more realistic. To add them to the branches (or anything really), we used floral wire and wrapped it around the crow’s legs and branches. They stay completely secure and look awesome.

cheap Halloween decorations

Crows | Floral Wire

More Examples Over The Years

As the bats wave goodbye let’s dive into some of the super fun younger kid decor we cooked up last year.

cheap Halloween decorations

Googly Eyes

It’s definitely nice to up the spooky side and make the space feel a little more editorial, but I did love the googly eyes on the portraits from last year. It was fast, fun and affordable. If the eyes you buy come with adhesive, I would first check to see how sticky it is to avoid any art damage. Washi tape is a great and safe adhesive alternative.

cheap Halloween decorations

Googly Eyes

cheap Halloween decorations

Overscale Spider Webs And Spiders (#3 Maybe My Favorite)

Last-minute decorating is something I am VERY familiar with. So when I go into power decorating mode, I try and think of what will have the biggest impact for the least amount of time, effort, and of course, money. This large-scale spiderweb from Target checked off all of those boxes last year and it’s under $10. WHAT? Don’t worry, it’s available this year, too. It looked awesome and the kids loved it. I think putting a large-scale web over a window is ideal because of the light that comes through and you can see it from the outside. That’s a win-win in my book. We used one in the living room as well as one in the dining room.

cheap Halloween decorations

More Examples Over The Years

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: my spooky (and super simple) kid-approved halloween decor

Oversized Spider Web | Oversized Spider

again, the photographer shall not be named | from: our portland rental

Neutral Pumpkins (#4!)

Don’t get me wrong, orange pumpkins are great. But I’m more of a fan of white and black pumpkins. These ones I’ve had for years because they are awesome, totally classic and are prelight which gives you that gold/orange glow (see I’m not totally anti orange:))

More Examples Over The Years

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: my spooky (and super simple) kid-approved halloween decor

Short Pumpkin | Tall Pumpkin

better, but still, no photo credits needed | from: our portland rental

Snake Skeleton | Tombstone

Neutralize Books

One FREE Halloween decor trick we’ve done was flip around our books to neutralize the color palette. Not only does it automatically give an old-timey look to the space, but you can easily accent with monochromatic decor without creating too much visual chaos. Black and white pumpkins (and crows, of course) are still festive without feeling too Halloween Central. Plus, I’m not huge on orange. The one downside, of course, is that you can’t show off how smart you are to your friends with all the fancy book titles you have on your shelf (but just give it a few weeks, and flip them right back around).

cheap Halloween decorations

Gauze Fabric on Furniture

I know I talked earlier about much I love the “Spooky Fabric” from Target (we actually used it for last year’s table runner in the dining room) but a classic gauze is just as great. It feels super haunted mansion-y and is easy to just drape and be done with it. No crafting skills required. Again, it’s high-impact decor with a very little amount of time, effort, and money needed.

cheap Halloween decorations

White Gauze

cheap Halloween decorations

To finish us off, I felt the need to reiterate my support for black crows basically being the perfect Halloween accent decor piece. You saw how great they were on the black branches from this year but below are a couple more examples of where you could style your feathered friends. I used to be the lady that collected vintage bird ladders, now I am the lady that collects black crows. Go figure.

cheap Halloween decorations

The dining room table and a top/inside cabinets are great places for crows to perch. This isn’t a setup that you would have on your dining table all season long. But it is something that is so easy that could be done last minute for a party this weekend. This gauze table runner we made with Spooky Fabric for our dining table last year instantly feels cooler and spookier with a crow or two on it.

cheap Halloween decorations

And you know, through a crow on top of a lamp or liquor cabinet here and there. It says “Hey, it’s Halloween and I’m incredibly stylish.” Am I getting my “just put a crow on it”point across?

cheap Halloween decorations

Well, that’s it folks. All quick and easy Halloween decorating ideas that are very budget and kiddo-friendly. The holidays are full of plenty of stresses so let’s not have decorating your home be one of them. Now we can focus on the important part of Halloween…dressing up our kids in adorable costumes and eating candy. Let us know in the comments if you have done any of these or if you have any more great ideas. Happy Happy Halloween from the Hendos.

***Photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp for EHD

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Dez
2 years ago

Cute!

Daisy
2 years ago

Great post! Please do the same for Christmas!

Editor
2 years ago
Reply to  Daisy

already have things in the works!

Emily
2 years ago

I love your holiday decorating posts, but we need them sooner! Halloween is only a week away and I would have loved to incorporate some of these ideas.

Would love the Christmas one early so I can make sure things are still in stock.

Great, creepy ideas! Those googly eyes are perfect!

Lindsay
2 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Yes agree – please do sooner! Would love to see a Thanksgiving one, too!

Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay

Ha. sorry guys. We thought these were good ‘last minute’ tips but yah, earlier is better. For holiday we have already shot one and its going up mid November. Then we’ll shoot a few more and get tips out earlier. Some people hate seeing holiday content early, but agreed that people are thinking of it earlier and earlier now!

Emily
2 years ago
Reply to  Emily

THANK YOU for doing the Christmas one earlier this year! I remember being bummed last year when I went to buy some of the Target items you featured and they were already out of stock.

Marian
3 days ago
Reply to  Emily

A week away??? Halloween is in 3 weeks….

Marian
3 days ago
Reply to  Marian

Lol ignore my snarky comment. I see this is a repost!! 😆

Susie Q.
2 years ago

What does “I’m a snow show” mean? Is that something mom’s say? I tried to look it up and couldn’t find any info.

Beth
2 years ago
Reply to  Susie Q.

“Snow” is basically a place holder for “sh*t” 🙂

Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Beth

yah. its the PG version of ‘sh*t show’ and that just means that life is insane and chaotic 🙂

Susie Q.
2 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Thanks for the clarification!

Ericka Solano
2 years ago

Would love to hear any suggestions for Thanksgiving or fall decor! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for Christmas!!

Rachel
2 years ago

Hi – Would LOVE a post of all the design blogs the EHD staff checks on a daily basis! This is my go-to every morning and could add a few more in the mix!

Holly
2 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

This is a great idea for a post! I would also be curious about other blogs/sites the team enjoys whether it’s design, lifestyle, humor, news, etc.

Rachel
2 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

Another Rachel agrees!!!

Bre
2 years ago

Very chic. I spy the flea market root table; perfect addition to this vignette.

Sonja
2 years ago

I totally used all of last years ideas for my house this year – big hit with the three year old. Those branches are making my heart sing – on it for 2019!

Laura
2 years ago

love the vignette with the new root table!

Debi Toni
2 years ago

Emily,
Painted branches…great idea. What’s ip your sleeve for Christmas?
Also, I’d like to know about the framed art.
Releif prints you mention but the two hands??? I’m curious wether you create some of it?

LA
2 years ago

Thank you for the great ideas! Love them all!

Lindsey
2 years ago

I love this! I bought a few of the products to place around my home, but am having trouble making the spooky fabric feel more haunted. Do you have any other tips for how to get this look other than stretching out the sections? Mine just looks like gauze. Thank you!

Susan
2 years ago

Does Bearcat not hunt? Because my cats would be all over the crows. I love how the crows look, but I hate the idea of vet bills for ingested styrofoam, or whatever the crows are made of.

Susan
2 years ago

My daughter is grown-up, so I love that you are offering looks for adults, as well as kids.

But I have to ask – does Bearcat not hunt? Because my cats would be all over the crows. I love how the crows look, but I hate the idea of vet bills for ingested styrofoam, or whatever the crows are made of. I would have to stick with the bats. And the cats would be all over the spooky fabric, because any new fabric in the house has to pass the cat nap test.

Shay
2 years ago

Wah, I miss being able to zoom in on the pics!! Is it just me? I didn’t realize just how much I used it til I couldn’t do it anymore.

Emily
2 years ago

Your holiday posts are some of my favorites! You and your team always made everything so fun and inspirational. I’m looking forward to see what you’ve got hatching for Christmas!! On a side note, would it be possible to post these a tad earlier? I would love to live with the decorations and really get in the festive mood for the whole month (ie Halloween ideas in the beginning of October and Christmas ideas in the beginning of December). Thanks again for all the great work that y’all do!

Donna Parlato
2 years ago

Would you ever decorate outside (or maybe even inside) with teal pumpkins? I’ve been looking for some inspiration to incorporate them without looking too hectic. Thanks!

Terre Tulsiak
2 years ago

I do like the ‘paint it black and it’s creepy’ thought, and then spray it gold for the next holiday, then white for spring.

Alisa
2 years ago

What happened to the beautiful chaise? Did you get rid of it?

Betsy
3 days ago

I totally copied your skeleton hand on twigs “wreath” last year. I got so many compliments. Pulled it out of the attic last weekend, and something(boyfriend) had wrecked it. My goal this weekend it to find new branches and get it fixed! Love all your suggestions, and thanks so much for sharing them with us.

V
2 days ago

Can you please tell me where the stone eye that pops up in so many of these photos on bookshelves is from? I just love it so! thanks!

Kj
2 days ago
Reply to  V

It’s from Michelle Quan: https://www.mquan.com/products/eye-eye

V
1 day ago
Reply to  Kj

Thanks!!

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