It’s my FAVORITE time of the year: HALLOWEEN! Growing up, we did Halloween BIG! I’m talking a massive party each year, full on home decor, and Halloween movie marathons every night of the week! I kind of tucked that part of me away while I was living in rentals (I literally moved over 10 times in my 20s alone!!), and took a very minimalist approach to my things as a result and was definitely not shopping at the Dollar Tree to create some awesome DIY Halloween Decor like I did in my childhood!
But now that we bought our first house and have some roots, I’m about to go HAM on all the holiday decor, starting with Halloween of course! Here’s the thing with decorating for the holidays: it can get expensive FAST! In fact, I shared 27 Tips To Save Money This Halloween and you may find tips to stop overspending helpful too! For today, I’m going to share one tip though: the dollar store is your BFF.
So I’m thrilled to share with you 7 Dollar Tree Halloween Decor DIYs you have to try! They are obviously cheap, and even better, they are easy too! Plus these are items you’ll be able to store and re-use each year! Let’s get into it!
7 Easy Dollar Tree Halloween Decoration DIY Ideas You Need To Try This Year
1. Halloween Mugs for your Witch’s Brew
The Dollar Tree always has some basic ceramic coffee mugs. During Halloween they bring out the orange ones too. You’ll want to pick up whatever colors you like, and also grab the Sharpie extra fine point marker while you’re there.
Next, you’ll want to come up with a few designs or sayings and simply put them on the mug. Don’t stress about messing up, you can always grab a wet paper towel and wipe it off to restart.
Once you have your design in place, you’ll pop them in the cold oven, set it to 350 degrees and wait 30 minutes. They will be hot, so just turn off the oven, open it up and let them cool after. By baking the mug you are setting your design so it’ll become permanent! If you want to be extra certain the design is permanent (it should be fine after 30 minutes though) you can bake a second time the exact same way.
*Total cost: $1 per mug (and of course the extra dollar for the Sharpie)
2. Bat Attack
For this Dollar Tree Halloween DIY you’ll need scissors and a black piece of posterboard. If you want, you can google a bat stencil too or you can freehand it. Basically all you’re going to do is trace/draw some bats of whatever size all over your poster board and cut them out.
These little guys can then be taped up around your wall (I like them around our fireplace and TV), all the way up onto your ceiling or wherever suits you to create the effect of a bat attack!
*Total cost: $1
3. Skeleton Garland
When you’re at the Dollar Tree pick up some “christmas” tree lights (they have Halloween lights too that are orange or purple), a pack of skeleton heads, and a scissor.
Much like earlier, you’ll cut an X in the skeleton heads. If you plan to display the garland hanging, you’ll want to cut the X at the top of the head, if you plan to display the garland sitting atop a mantel, you’ll want to cut the X at the bottom of the head. Then you just pop one head onto one light at a time and voila! Light up skeleton garland!
*TOTAL COST: varies depending on how long you make your garland, but plan for $4 ($1 for the box of 20 lights, and 3 bags of skeleton heads at $1 each to cover the full 20 lights)
Stay tuned to my Youtube Channel for my “Decorate With Me” Video where I’ll be putting this all together and bringing you ONE more Halloween DIY from The Dollar Tree to try this year!
4. Spooktacular Skeleton Tower
Probably my absolute favorite Halloween DIY from the Dollar Tree on this list is the skeleton tower. It’s SO cheap and easy to make, but will look SO good!
From the Dollar Tree you will need a plunger, at least four skulls, and the black creepy cloth. You will also need to stop by your local hardware store to pick up some glossy black spray paint if you don’t have any on hand and you will need a scissor for this DIY.
Your plunger becomes the base/totem. Next you will cut an X at the base of each skull. On three of the skulls, you will also cut an X at the top. You will slide each skull onto the plunger (why you need an opening at the top and bottom of the first three skulls), and then your top skull will just cover the top of the plunger (so don’t cut an X on top of the 4th skull!).
You can hot glue these on for an even sturdier hold – if you do not hot glue them on, I’d actually recommend spray painting the plunger wood handle first, and then stacking the skulls and spray painting the finished sculpture. Personally, I felt like it was sturdy enough without the glue but did notice if the skulls moved even a little, the wooden handle would show through, hence spray painting the handle first.
Next you will bring your skull sculpture outside and give it a good coat of the spray paint. Spray paint tip: Let the can of spray paint sit outside for at least 30 minutes to adjust to the temperature before spraying! If you bring the can out from the cold house, it’ll most likely create a weird bubbly finish versus a smooth one.
When it comes to the rubber plunger base, you don’t have to cover it with spray paint. If you do, you’ll find it doesn’t really dry and instead just creates a sticky surface. If you do get spray paint on it, that’s okay too, it’ll allow the cloth to stick on better versus just wrapping it on the plunger.
Once everything is dry, you are going to take you black cloth, and just wrap it around the base of the plunger to hide it. If you did get spray paint on it, you’ll see it sticks pretty well, however keep in mind, the paint never really dries there so you may want to hot glue it on, otherwise when you do go to store this piece, the paint will just come off on the cloth and you may get it on surrounding areas.
OPTIONS: This sculpture is fantastic on it’s own to set at your front door, walkway, or even just around your house. If you want to give it more of a purpose, you can hot glue on a basket, bowl, or cup to make it either a candy tray or candle holder. Totally up to you!!
*TOTAL COST: $6 at the Dollar Tree, and then cost of spray paint.
5. Creepy Candelabras
I wanted to make some creepy bloody candles, but did not want the wax getting everywhere. For this Halloween DIY you’ll need a pack of plastic cups, a white pillar candle that fits into the cup, a red candle, hot glue gun, and black spray paint.
Spray paint the outsides of the cups, glue two cups together at their bottoms, and voila! A black candle holder. For the candle, you’ll want to melt the red candle wax all over the white candle wax to create a bloody effect. Voila! A creepy candelabra! Feel free to add cobwebs or spiders to give it even more of a creep factor.
6. Apothecary Jars
We have this massive wrapping mantle in our place, so I wanted to find ways to fill in the Halloween decor all the way around, and what better way than with some apothecary jars?!
For this Halloween DIY you’ll need some glass jars from the Dollar Tree. I opted for the kinds with corks, but you can use any glass from the Dollar Tree.
There are two ways you can approach distressing the glass that I’d recommend: sanding or glue (or a hybrid).
Basically you just want the glass to look scuffed up and old. I sanded mine with 100 grit paper which had a nice medium roughness to it and allowed me to sand it down fairly quickly. Make sure you are sanding in all directions.
For glue, you’ll want to pick up some glue or modge podge at the Dollar Tree and the foam paint brushes. You’ll want to get the glue on in a goopy, thick, drippy messy effect. Feel free to just play around and have fun. Wiping it with a paper towel, sanding it, really whatever you want to get your desired effect.
To fill your jars: For the thin openings like the ones I have, you’ll want to stick with just colored water. However, if you bought some glass with a wide opening you can have some real fun! You can get some spiders or eyeballs to fill your jars and top them off with some colored water. You can leave these open, but if you want to create a “top” for your jar use the creepy cloth and a rubber band or some twine.
*TOTAL COST: hard to say because of all the variables. We had the sandpaper and food coloring to dye the water already, so this only cost me $2 (although I may go back and get more as I actually put my fireplace together, stay tuned for a “decorate with me” video!!).
7. Creepy Bouquets
For this Dollar Tree Halloween DIY you will want to pick up a couple of glassware items you want to use as a vase.
You can rough up your glassware like in the previous step, or leave them exactly as they are.
This is probably the easiest DIY in history… now you’ll go outside and get some creepy sticks or branches. Yep, that’s it. If you want, you can pick up the black rose bouquet or black glitter tree branches from the Dollar Tree, but I found that just a good ol’ every day dead tree branch I found on a walk was actually perfect for the look I wanted. It also allowed me to customize the height for the area I plan to display this. Feel free to add cobwebs and spiders to yours too!
*TOTAL COST: Mine cost $2 for the jars
Make sure to watch the full Dollar Tree Halloween Decoration DIY video for a peak at the baby costume I pulled together for little Moon!
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List of 7 Easy Dollar Tree Halloween Decoration DIY Ideas You Need To Try This Year
Halloween Mugs for your Witch’s Brew
Spooktacular Skeleton Tower
Creepy Candelabras & Candy Bowls