by RANDI CANTRELL

Boo on a Budget

Although the warm weather of the San Diego summer still lingers into September, the start of fall is quickly approaching, and with it the fun of preparing for all of the upcoming seasonal traditions and holidays. Halloween will be here before we know it – bringing festive décor and props such as spooky spiders and supernatural ghouls to your neighborhood – but all of that preparation doesn’t have to break the bank. Scare up your crafting skills and get into the spirit by using these tips to create your own one-of-a-kind Halloween decorations.

Front Door Mummy
Have some left-over white streamers from a recent birthday party or family celebration? Put these to good use by taping the paper streamers to your front door in strips, making sure to overlap the layers for a wrapped look. Next take some white and black construction paper and a pair of scissors. Cut two large white circles and two smaller black circles to make eyes for your mummy and secure them to the door by taping them to the paper streamers. Another option is to use black streamers to create a monster completely from your own imagination!

Ghost Lanterns
Recycle old gallon milk jugs and light the way to your door for trick-or-treaters with ghosty lanterns. Rinse out an empty gallon milk jug until it is completely clean, then draw on a spooky face with a black permanent marker such as a Sharpie. From there, cut a small hole in the back of the jug, drop in some white holiday lights, and plug your new creation into an outdoor outlet to give your lantern a ghastly glow.

Glowing Eyes
Add some mystery to your front yard foliage by creating glowing eyes from used cardboard tubes such as toilet paper or paper towel rolls. Just make eye-shaped cuts out of the cardboard, place a glowstick inside the tube, and tuck it away into the bushes along your front walkway. To achieve a more haunting effect, make a bunch of different sets and scatter them throughout the bushes and trees in your yard.

Paint Your Pumpkin
Let out your inner artist and take a less-traditional approach to pumpkin decorating this year with paint or glitter. While you’re at the pumpkin patch, look for one that’s a good shape without too many bumps, cuts, or soft spots, as these will make painting more difficult. Also check to make sure that the bottom is flat enough to allow the pumpkin to sit up straight. Wipe it down with a damp cloth and dry it completely before you begin. Next, decide whether you’ll be painting the whole pumpkin or just a small part of it. If you’re planning to completely cover it in paint, do this in stages to allow the paint to dry in between. Acrylic paints work best, but feel free to embellish your masterpiece with glitter or props such as a hat or costume jewelry.

Window Silhouettes
This classic decor idea is simple and quick, but still adds a lot of flair. Pull together some black construction paper, a pencil, some scissors, and tape, and get to work tracing your favorite Halloween-inspired shapes – think bats, black cats, spiders, or skeletons. Once you’re ready, carefully cut out your design and adhere it to your window with tape. When it’s dark outside but your lights are on, the shapes will create spooky silhouettes for your neighbors to enjoy.