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'Boo' it yourself: 13 dollar-store tips for Halloween decorating

by Amanda Mushro / / Source: TODAY Contributor

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You don’t need hocus-pocus or magic spells to give your home a haunted-house makeover. With just a few items from the dollar store, you can “boo” it yourself. Here are some decorations that will help you create easy, one-of-a-kind Halloween look that will wow every witch, ghost and goblin.

Giant Creepy Eyeballs

To give the front of your house a frightful look, all you need are two plastic jack-o-lantern buckets and some glow-in-the-dark craft paint to make them look like eyeballs. Using the handle on the buckets and wire, attach your ghoulish orbs to the bushes and make passersby wonder: “Is that bush looking at me?”

IMAGE: Eyes
Is that bush looking at me?Amanda Mushro

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Unwelcome Mat

Give trick-or-treaters a spooky surprise when they step on this mat covered with creepy crawlers and mini rats. Use your glue gun to attach the varmints so it looks like they’re escaping.

IMAGE: Mat
Be careful stepping on this mat!Amanda Mushro

Spooky Spider Headband

You can pay for an expensive Halloween headband, or you can make this frightfully fun one by hot-gluing a giant spider onto a plain, black one.

IMAGE: Headband
Eeekk! Is that a real spider?Amanda Mushro

Wicked Mini-Witch Hats

Create a witchy garland or hang these mini-witch hats from the ceiling for an instant haunted house. With a little hot glue, attach paper party hats to small, upside-down paper plates. Spray-paint them black and sprinkle with black glitter to give them a little shimmer.

IMAGE: Hats
Can you believe these are made from a party hat and a paper plate?Amanda Mushro

Gruesome Bleeding Candles

To create these blood-curdling candles in just a few minutes, light a red candle and drip its melting wax down the sides of white ones.

IMAGE: Candles
Make these candles in minutes.Amanda Mushro

Eerie Mad Scientist Containers

Grab different-sized glass jars from the dollar store and fill them with mad scientist-approved items like eyeballs, glowing slime and spiders.

IMAGE: Raven
You can make this mad scientist collection is made for just a few dollars.Amanda Mushro

Mischievous Porch Pumpkin

If you’re heading out with your kids to trick-or-treat and you want to leave candy for any ghosts and goblins that stop by, skip the bowl and make this porch pumpkin. Spray-paint two aluminum roasting pans a bright orange. Glue large googly eyes and a construction paper stem to the top pan. Secure the pans together by placing duct tape inside and use a pencil to prop open the pumpkin’s mouth. Fill the mouth with candy and leave it on your porch for trick-or-treaters.

IMAGE: Dish
Can you take just one?Amanda Mushro

Startling Skeleton Wreath

Visitors might think twice about knocking on your door when they see this frightening wreath. Start with a large plastic plate and spray-paint it black. Using a hot-glue gun, attach skeleton hands in a circle. Attach wire to the back of the plate and hang it from your door to give trick-or-treaters a fright.

IMAGE: Wreath
Need a hand making this wreath?Amanda Mushro

Spooktacular Candles

Attach construction paper eyes and mouths to tall white pillar candles to create these spooky ghosts.

IMAGE: Candles
These ghosts are a little spooky and easy to make.Amanda Mushro

Boo-tiful Hanging Frames

Take three dollar-store frames and remove the backing, so all that remains is the glass. Cut out Halloween-inspired images or words and attach them to the inside of the glass. Place the glass back into the frame and use small hooks and Halloween ribbon to connect and hang the frames with a removable hook for boo-tiful wall décor.

IMAGE: Frames
These simple frame make spooky and fun Halloween decor.Amanda Mushro

Ghoulish Candleholder

No one will believe it cost you just a few dollars to make this haunting candleholder. Stack plastic skulls on top of a small candleholder and attach another candleholder to the top skull. Spray paint the tower with stone-textured spray paint. When it dries, you’ll have a candleholder even the undead will love.

IMAGE: Skull candleholder
Amanda Mushro

Giant Hair-Raising Spider

If you don’t have arachnophobia already, you will soon with this simple Halloween project. To make this giant spider for your home, spray a plastic jack-o-lantern bucket black. Attach googly eyes to the bottom of the bucket and paint white spider fangs. Use a removable hook to hang the bucket high on a wall, in a corner or on your ceiling. Then create eight crepe paper legs that are outstretched or hanging down.

IMAGE: Spider
Get ready for trick-or-treaters with this spider.Amanda Mushro

Frightful Candy Dish

Give your Halloween candy the presentation it deserves. Spray-paint a tall dollar-store candleholder and a Halloween-inspired bowl black, and use hot glue to attach the candlestick to the candy dish.

IMAGE: Spider dish
This candy dish is ready for some Halloween Candy.Amanda Mushro

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