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5 Budget-Friendly Halloween Decorating Ideas

Three jack-'o-lanterns on a table surrounded by candles and spiders.
Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock

Halloween decor doesn’t have to cost a mint. Check out the ideas below to make your home suitably spooky without breaking the bank.

Check the Dollar Store

Dollar stores (even those where some items cost more than a buck) are excellent places to score discounted Halloween decor. Some products might only be worth what you pay for them, but many dollar store items are surprisingly well-made.

When Halloween has fully taken over the shelves at Dollar Tree, you can find some great deals. The skeleton animals make cute decor, and they cost less than half of what similar critters do at the craft store. Seriously, Dollar Tree is packed with Halloween decorating deals.

You can even find some cute and scary Halloween costumes. Use them to dress up toys for decor or put a reaper costume on your scarecrow. That’s one of the benefits of buying Halloween stuff from dollar stores—you can experiment with your spooky decor and not be out much money if things don’t go as planned.

Get Picky at the Art Supply Store

Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and JOANN all carry some wonderfully cool fall and Halloween decor, but it also comes with higher price tags. Some items are affordable at the regular price, but you can also save money by scoping out coupons beforehand.

Don’t just use a one-time coupon either. Sign up for the loyalty programs at each store. Michaels offers a $5 coupon for every $25 you spend when you’re a loyalty member. Most stores also offer coupons with a percentage off a single item. So, definitely save these one-time coupons for higher-priced items, like animatronics.

It’s also ideal to head in a few days after Halloween to grab clearance items for next year. You’ll save money and be stocked up ahead of time. Many of the bigger stores restock the same items year after year, with just a few new additions.

Antique Shops and Thrift Stores

If you’re not looking for Halloween decor at thrift stores, you’re missing out on some unique gems at hugely discounted prices. While no two thrift stores are created equal, you’re sure to have at least one in town that offers low prices. Check it out for spooky decorations. You might even find some items that are usually pricy at incredible discounts.

If you prefer vintage decorations, antique shops are a must. If you’ve been avoiding them because you thought they’d be too expensive, give one a shot—you might be surprised. Many antique shops now also carry kitschy, handcrafted items from local vendors. Many of these are at lower prices than you might expect.

Anyway, who wants to pay $25 for an old-fashioned fake broom at Target when you can buy the real deal for $10 at an antique store?

Catalogs

The splash page for the Oriental Trading Company Halloween options.
Oriental Trading Company

Online shopping is fun and so much easier. You trade the cost of gas for shipping, although plenty of sites offer free shipping at certain times, or if you spend a specific amount. While you can shop at many brick and mortar stores online, consider checking out some catalogs for Halloween decor.

Two popular options are LTD Commodities and Oriental Trading. They both offer affordable prices on super-fun, seasonal goodies.

LTD Commodities has both a print and online catalog. Every season, you’ll get a new one full of home decor, clothing, and more. You’ll find spooky gothic decor, horror movie-themed goodies, and animated characters that light up and move. Prices range from a few bucks to around $20 dollars, with regular shipping discounts available.

Oriental Trading also offers a steady chance for discounted shipping and lots of neat Halloween stuff. Decorations range from scary to whimsical, and range in price from a few dollars to around $100 for life-size props. Check the customer reviews to get an idea of the quality of each item before you purchase.

Make Your Own

If funds are extremely limited, or you enjoy crafting, you can make some fun Halloween decor out of items you already have or by purchasing minimal supplies.

Try one of these ideas:

  • Mini hanging ghosts: These look adorable hanging from a tree in your yard. The tutorial above shows you how to make them out of aluminum foil and felt. However, you can also use an old sock for the head and just wrap a chunk of white sheet around it.
  • A spooky scarecrow: They don’t just scare blackbirds; they’ll scare trick or treaters, as well! The tutorial below is easy to follow. To make him scarier, dress him in black clothes or an old Halloween costume, and put him in a spooky space. You can also give him a jack-o’-lantern head.


Whether you carve pumpkins or prefer fake ones, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get your home Halloween-ready. Check out the thrift and antique stores, and then hit up all the craft and big-box stores after Halloween to grab those clearance items for next year!

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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