Create Halloween magic on a shoestring budget

(ARA) – Ghoulish ghosts. Wicked witches. Things that go bump in the night. What better way to have a little Halloween fun than to decorate your home for that spooky night?

Halloween decorations can be expensive if you buy them in a store, but don’t let that stop you from capturing the spirit. It’s easy to transform the things you already have around the house into spooktacular decorations your trick-or-treaters will love.

“Many people don’t realize how easy it is to create Halloween magic from next to nothing,” says Rust-Oleum designer Angie Stinner. “All it takes is a few beverage cans, terracotta pots, pumpkins, some paint and a little imagination.”

Here are a few projects from the archives of to help you deck out your home for All Hallow’s Eve:

Create a gaggle of ghoulish ghosts. Reclaim a few aluminum beverage cans from your recycling bin and rinse them thoroughly. Flip up the tab on each can so it’s upright. After the cans are dry, take them outside and give them a couple of coats of Stops Rust Gloss White spray paint. Make sure you cover the entire surface and let them dry for about 24 hours. Then take a permanent marker or foam paint pen to draw on ghostly faces. Attach a 4-by-4 piece of thin gauze to each can by draping it over the top and affix a pipe cleaner or piece of yarn through each tab to hang. They’re perfect for decorating a porch, entry hall – even your child’s room.

Paint a pumpkin. Give a traditional Halloween activity a new twist. Paint a few pumpkins you’ve picked at the pumpkin patch with a spray paint like Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint. Give them 24 hours to fully cure, and then use chalk to draw pictures or write messages like “Boo,” “Go Batty” or “Happy Halloween.” Line them up on the steps leading to your front door and you’re ready to welcome trick-or-treaters. Or, purchase mini-pumpkins at your local supermarket and spray paint them with on-trend finishes like Universal Copper Hammered or Oil Rubbed Bronze. Place them in a basket on your dining room table or scatter them around your house for a sophisticated alternative to the traditional painted pumpkin. The paint will preserve your pumpkins so they last through Thanksgiving.

Pilgrim’s landing. Here’s a project that can make your Halloween party extra festive and make great placeholders for your Thanksgiving table too. Purchase several inexpensive four inch terracotta pots from your local home or garden center – or recycle some you may have in your garage. Take them outside and give them a couple of coats of paint like Ultra Cover 2X Gloss Black spray paint or Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint. After the pots are completely dry, cut felt circles slightly larger than the opening of the pot and attach them with a hot glue gun. Then decorate the pots with orange ribbon, candy corn, dried flowers or other seasonal decorations to make festive pilgrims’ hats. If you spray painted your pots, you can use a silver permanent marker to write names on the pots – or leave them as they are and use them again to decorate your Thanksgiving table. If you used the chalkboard paint, use any color chalk. The chalk will erase easily so your pilgrims’ hats can be used over and over again.

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