When did Halloween become such a thing over here? It used to be just a one night cheeky chance as a kid to get some free sweets from the neighbours, but now it’s all themed pumpkin spice lattes and dressing up as the latest dead bloke from Game of Thrones. Far too much effort if you ask us. Still, if you’re suddenly staring down October 31st with a house full of children squeaking about getting spoopy, whatever the heck that means, and don’t really fancy having to suddenly shell out a ton of money to spook up the house, here’s some ideas that’ll scare the trick-or-treaters but not the bank balance.

Bin Bag Spiderwebs

These look great on windows. We found a full video tutorial on Fast Forward Fun to show you how to make them. You only need a couple of bags to make some decent décor with these as you should get two big webs from each bag.

All you need to do is trim off the edges of the bag to get rectangles (keep them together for ease and speed). Fold them up and trim off the extra bits to make the sheets square, then fold in half three times to get a cone. Hold done with some tape to draw the pattern on, then trim around it, remove the tape and boom – cheap, easy and ready for your window (or wherever).

For bonus points tape them to your kids’ arms to make flappy web wings.

Or your arms. We won’t judge.

Paper Bats

Best made in flocks to cover surfaces, but all you need is black paper, a pen, a pair of scissors and some tape or tack. Copy out the outline (we like the one from here because we can’t draw – we’re tax experts, not artists), cut out, fold in half so it “flaps,” and then tape or tack up as many as you can to the nearest wall or door.


(Thanks, we’re here all week).

Bloody Hands

You could just stick your hands in paint and smack them all over the walls, but the neighbours might talk, so this way is probably better. All you need is cling film, PVA and a bit of red paint, nail varnish or food colouring. Felt Magnet has a brilliant step by step guide.

Lay the cling film down tight and cover the palm of your hand in PVA. Like, really cover it. We’re talking “I accidentally put my hand in a cowpat” levels of glue coverage here. Gagging yet? Right, now splat your hand on the cling film to leave a big, gooey print. Leave for a second before you remove your hand, then fill the print out with a bit more glue if you need to.

Repeat as needed for as many as you want, then leave to dry somewhere the cat won’t get stuck to it. Once the prints are dry, cover in red paint or nail varnish. If you want to go posh then mix a little red and blue food colouring into some more paint and apply that instead.

After this lot dries you can put it anywhere you like – windows and mirrors both work great, but maybe not on the wall near any visiting grannies.

PS make sure you do this in a well-ventilated room. It is glue, after all.

Lampshade Silhouettes

This is super easy – the trick is finding the outlines to use if you’re not the arty type. Pumpkins, witches and bats all work great. Just cut out and stick to the inside of lampshades with tape or tack, and you’re done. The Pinning Mama has some great examples.

Good for throwing spooky shade. Badum tish.

Giant Spider

For this one you’ll need a spare container like a milk bottle, tape, black paint and some spare pipe insulation tubes. If you don’t have pipe insulation lying about (we’re a little light on that ourselves in the Rift offices!) then you can use any reasonably stiff cardboard or foam tube like a pool noodle or just some rolled-up card.

Just tape four of the tubes at the halfway mark onto the milk bottle, paint black and add any other details you feel like – we used some post-its to make eyes and stripes. If you make a cut halfway through each “leg” you can bend them for extra cringe value and so your spider looks a bit less like a half-deflated Muppet. I Am Kristin has a good step by step guide.

At least all you need to worry about is the inevitable sugar crash when the kids come home sky-high from parties or trick-or-treating. Still, one less thing to shell out for before December comes up – although we’ve got some great tips for surviving the Christmas cash crunch, too – and don’t forget Rift is here for more than outstanding seasonal home décor tips. Our Refer A Friend scheme can land some extra cash in your pocket and help out a mate, and if you drop us a line about claiming some money back with a juicy tax rebate, we might be able to make your bank balance even happier next year, too.

Now that’s something truly spooktacular.

(No, really, we’re here all week).


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