If you are looking to make a difference to the planet this Halloween, why not try these homemade Halloween decoration ideas to change the world in greener ways and contribute to a sustainable future?
They are fun, mostly simple to do, and will go so much further in doing something good for the environment than relying on store bought items that are generally the reverse of all that is good.
Many store bought decorations are made with plastics, vinyl, rubber, and other non-recyclable constituents. You can have all of the fancy trimmings this Halloween, but do so with a lighter heart and free conscience.
There are also greener ways to plan your party, organise some yummy food, create amazing costumes, and green up your trick or treat choices if you care to take a look at the remainder of the articles in my Green Halloween series.
Eco Deco – Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations
What do you do when you are trying to maintain a lifestyle that conforms with the sustainability of our planet, yet want to participate in events such as Halloween with all the trimmings? It is not so hard to keep it green if you have a look at the following tips and ideas.
- Don’t just think of Halloween when the time comes, always be on the lookout for things you find in nature or from your own household for recycling, or thrift stores, that you might be able to use. Store them somewhere and get them out from time to time to see what you have or can create from them.
- Use glass and aluminum and other recyclable products to make your decorations. For example glass candle holders and mason jars can be painted or decorated with Halloween designs. Mason jars with small soy tea light candles in them work well for small silhouette pictures
- Cans can be used to build tin can men as a basis for a mummy, monster or even Frankenstein if you have enough saved through the year. Try making a berserk robot
- Give your house a witch-like feel by hanging up sprigs of herbs and placing potion bottles on the window sill. You can easily make these using all manner of shapes and sizes of glass bottles. Cover a bottle with strips of masking tape, scribble over them with brown crayon and so that they look at bit aged, and make labels for them. Decorate with a bit of raffia and a sprig of herbs or a seed pod or other item from nature.
- A simple stock pot can be used in place of a cauldron.
- Try dressing up any dolls you have in the house in rags and use scary face paint on them. Other kids toys may be able to double up as decorations. Don’t forget the car Christene, or Cujo the rabid dog. You could even dress your own dog up as Cujo with a bit of tomato ketchup as blood or something that will wash off easily.
- Some rubbish dumps have shops that you can browse and purchase items from. See if you can find things like old wooden benches, rusty old wheelbarrows, wagons or cart wheels.
- An old squeaky rocking chair sounds like just the thing to create a display of or to turn into a spooky prank, especially if you can rig it to start rocking when trick or treat visitors arrive.
- Old shop mannequins and dress maker stands, if you can find them, would be perfect for building a scary feature/character.
- Use only beeswax, vegetable based or soy wax candles rather than the petroleum variety. (Petroleum is a non-renewable resource)
- Keep your lights out and use solar powered lights along the walkway to your door or as a feature spotlight
- If you must use batteries for torches or lighting, ensure you use those that are rechargeable.
- Collect decorations from nature, you could create a scary silhouette using strategic lighting and some weird shaped branches, or make your own
- Spread autumn leaves over the ground to create creepy crunching sounds as they are walked on
- Organise a family day out to go and collect items from nature to build your own creepy figures, shadows, wall decorations
- Hang strings of popcorn through your garden and trees, these are biodegradable and compostible
- Recycle or upcycle things you find at a thrift store such as old brooms and hats
- Make a display from seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, leaves and flowers
- Stockpile old newspapers and stuff old stockings to create dead bodies or scary monsters. You can shape them fairly easily, especially if you use some thin wire inside such as florists wire.
- Old, laddered stockings can be used to create spider webs or cotton wool can be pulled apart and thinned out to create cobwebs.
- Stockings might even come in handy for bat wings, especially black stockings.
- Be crafty with decorations.
- Make your own skeletons, or perhaps just simply make a pile of bones from papier maché.
- Use homemade edible colored play dough to make your scary monsters or bugs
- Rocks and twigs can be glued together for spiders and bugs, or painted for eyes
- Shells, cans or bits of broken glass and china are a great way to make wind chimes for creepy sounds in the wind
- If you must buy decorations, please consider buying something that you can reuse every year and even pass down to your children if you store it well
- Use pumpkins to build a kind of Fall Snowman, maybe call it the Hallowman or Hollowman instead, use natural materials to make the hat and straw as a scarf
- Try making masks from pumpkin skin, clean and wash thoroughly
- Torchlight silhouettes using cardboard recycle from used boxes, painted black, shaped like spiders, bats, witches, ghosts, cats and the like, and positioned where the torchlight shines on as a spotlight looks great. Or buy some good quality metallic torches and tape the silhouettes directly over the light emitting end of the torch and shine it onto a white sheet or wall.
- Gnarly tree branches can be used to look like skeletal or scary arms and hands reaching for people. Try making a creepy figure by nailing these together, weird shaped tree trunks or driftwood as a head, or perhaps more than one head, and using thinner sticks or branches for arms. Add straw or newspaper stuffed biodegradable gloves or gardening gloves to the ends as hands.
- Adopt and re-home a black cat to love as your pet. It will make a great addition to your home at Halloween for guests at your parties. A black cat wandering around a garden on Halloween, rubbing up against the visitors, or sitting in a window, adds a great atmosphere. I used to have a black cat named Morticia, after Morticia Adams of The Adams Family TV show. She was the most petite and dainty little princess I could have asked for. Beautiful in nature and fantastic with kids. Please make sure you only plan to adopt, rescue or buy a cat that you plan to love at all times, not just use for Halloween. Otherwise buy a stuffed toy.
- If you are creative, make a skeleton yourself from a gray clay. You don’t need to make a complete skeleton, you can just make a pile of bones if you wish. Or pretend there is a shallow grave that has been unearthed and have a bone or several poking out of the ground.
- Build a graveyard in your garden and use old wood or furniture for the headstones
- Use the pumpkins as heads for your scarecrows or witches or any scary favourite that you plan to ‘bring to life’ for Halloween. Try placing one on the top of a stick that supports a plant, such as a vine or tomato plant, to add a spooky feel to the garden.
- If you don’t mind touching feathers, collect crows feathers you find, or those from other birds, and hold on to them until you have enough to make your own crow design from them, using other natural items for the eyes, beaks and feet. the inside of shells might make great eyes, or long spiral shells for the beak, twigs or leaves can be used to make the legs and feet.
- Old chests, suitcases and wicker baskets make ideal bases for a decorative display, with pumpkins, apples, garlic, sunflowers and other flowers of the season, fallen leaves. Add some flair with with a sign made from and old piece of wood, furniture or driftwood that you have come across at some time, and some other Halloween items that you have collected, recycled or found in nature.
- Hay bales come in handy for decorative props and seating.
- Shop for material remnants or use your own scraps from old clothes and materials or items you have made yourself to make patchwork costumes for yourself or for your scarecrow or other items that you will use to decorate your house or Halloween scene.
- Make tealight spiders. Use little mini pumpkins by chopping the top off and scooping out the center. Then attach 8 black pipecleaner legs and some googly eyes, place a tea light candle inside the hollowed out area and there you have it. Easy but effective.
- I’ve seen quite a few people stack pumpkins on top of each other and either paint or carve faces on them, and use them as totem poles.
- Try wrapping bandages around a pumpkin and suddenly you have a mummy head.
- Carve out the pumpkin from the side and turn it into a dungeon for some of the smaller spooky creations you have made. You can carve out the bars from the pumpkin, or use thin metal poles or wire as the bars.
Choose Wisely When Purchasing Decorations
Many people don’t have the time to spend on making their own decorations, but would still like to be environmentally conscious in what they buy. If you keep in mind what the decoration is made from and avoid plastic, rubber and latex, generally you can still buy items that are made from material, metal, glass or other planet friendly or sustainable constituents. I have found some items that may help you. There are only a few but many more are available. Just be mindful of what things are made from if you find anything else, even if you intend to keep them for many years and pass them down to the family, because one day it will end up broken or too old and be thrown away.
- You could try making something like this yourself, but the crashing witch has been a popular addition to the home or business for Halloween.
- Lighting up your Halloween with eco-friendly means can be achieved with placing some old lanterns like the one below and using rechargeable batteries instead of throwaway ones. Solar lighting would be great along pathways etc, but to get an old style feel, this lantern seems to have the right feel and look to add to your spooky atmosphere.
- These ghost flags are telescoping so that you can place them as high up as 12 feet, and they hold up well in the wind. They look delightful and I can just imagine having them lining a driveway or standing tall at the entrance to a garden pathway. Having them blowing in the wind would add an effective ghost quality to them too.
Last But Not Least, What Would Halloween Be Like Without Creating An Atmosphere?
Try adding a eerie touch to your home to scare the daylights out of your unsuspecting Trick or Treaters with this CD of spooky sounds.
I hope you are beginning to see how easy it is to live in a sustainable way while still enjoying the fun, laughter and games of Halloween. Using these homemade Halloween decoration ideas to change the world in greener ways, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to ensure that your Halloween stays green. You can help others understand that they can too by showing them what it is possible to achieve if you set your mind to it. Do the right thing, set a good example, and your children will also understand the need to keep it green too when they are older and have children of their own.
I would really love to hear how you have implemented your own ideas and what you did to keep your own Halloween decorations green. Did you use any of my ideas? If so, it would be lovely to see your pictures. Leave a comment and let me know.
Thank you for reading and keep on keeping it green.