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Thrifty Halloween Decor Hacks

If you’ve been following this blog you know that we recently moved from Alaska and left almost everything we own behind. This means that I’m completely starting over with all of my holiday decor. No complaints here…I like the challenge of finding the cheapest way possible to get the look I want.

I love to have our house feel festive during any holiday, but don’t love spending lots of money on something that’s so temporary. Decorating for the holidays does not have to break the bank…I decorated our home using ONLY thrift store and dollar store items. I’ll show you some of what I put together and give you a list of things to keep an eye out for when you’re shopping.

The trick is to get to the thrift stores early. Throughout September I stalked the thrift stores, collecting things I might be able to use. Our dollar stores (Dollar Tree and 99 Cents Only) had their stock of Halloween supplies out so I picked up things here are there too. Checking stores and garage sales year round for holiday decor is a great way to get things for free or really cheap and is really the best way to go.

Spray paint is going to be your secret weapon to turn old and tacky-looking items into classy decor for the holidays.

At first I wasn’t sure where to start, but I knew I could use lots of pumpkins. Luckily our thrift stores were filled with old pumpkins for just a few bucks each. Look for a variety of sizes and shapes.



Start by setting up your spray paint area somewhere that’s ventilated. Spread out a tarp. I like to put part of the tarp on some chairs to create a backdrop to catch rogue paint.


Make sure when you use spray paint that you do multiple thin layers. If you try to get it all covered in one or two coats you’ll end up with drips. Keep the can about a foot from whatever you’re painting and go back and forth in even strokes. Don’t worry about getting full coverage on the first coat. You can see in this picture that a lot of the purple and orange are showing through. Let the paint dry completely before spraying the next coat. Follow the times given on the can.



This is after the 2nd coat…



After 3 or 4 coats you should get full coverage. I used Rustoleum Heirloom White. The trick-or-treat and ghost stickers were something I found at a thrift store, but if you can’t find them at a discount they have them at craft stores like Michaels for a few bucks.



One of the pumpkins turned out to be a carve it yourself one, so I cut a big hole and set up a graveyard scene inside using dollar store items and a few teeny pumpkins from the thrift store.



I love using black, white and silver for Halloween decor, with a few pops or red or purple. I set up all of my finds in groups and painted them all at the same time.



Here’s the group of things I wanted to paint black. The crows from the dollar store were already black, but since they had a fake plastic look to them I sprayed them too.



Also, wear gloves. Spray paint is so much harder to get off skin than paint and stain. Here’s what happens if you don’t, haha.


And here’s the entryway. Decorating is really not a talent I have, and putting anything together is definitely a struggle. Using groups of 3s or 5s and adding different layers and textures is a good place to start. Then play around with different sizes and shapes of items until you get something you like.


The candles, runner, potion bottle, vase, flowers, mirror and skull were all dollar store finds. The rest was thrift store.



The dollar store also has what they call “creepy cloth,” which you could use in tons of places. I stuck it on the chandelier.


I had been looking forever for some cloches because they’re so versatile. You can use them for multiple holidays and in you everyday decor. This one was about $2. For Halloween, I took off the normal wood circle it was on and placed the glass on a dollar store mirror.



Again, all dollar store and thrift store items for the shelves next to our tv. The glass-encased clock was probably what I spent the most money on…$6, but I really wanted to have the cloche for other holidays too, and I’d been looking for a clock to spray paint black. Thrift stores are a great place for old books, too.


The Snow White box was something we already had to hold our remotes and I added the heart.  The printable is one I made to look similar to the page from the cartoon. Find out how to get this printable and dozens of other ones for free by at the bottom of this post.



Setting up the witch’s workshop was one of my favorite things to do. There are so many options of potions to choose from at dollar stores, and I found a couple at the thrift store too. Add some dollar store flowers and a printable with the quote from “Witches” and a few candles and trays and you’re done!


You don’t have to be amazingly talented or have your decor looking Pinterest-perfect. Just a few cheap things plus paint can bring festive feeling to your home. And the kids really love it. My daughter helped me decorate and she even started to put a few things together herself with some of the leftover items. She even made a Snow White box of her own out of some scrapbook paper. I loved seeing her use her creativity and using her artistic side. So cute.











Here’s a list of things you can look for when you’re at the dollar and thrift stores.

Halloween Decor Items

  • Trays
  • Candles
  • Candle Holders
  • Candelabrum
  • Vases
  • Goblets
  • Potion Bottles
  • Old Clocks
  • Books
  • Frames
  • Pumpkins
  • Crows
  • Skulls
  • Cages
  • Old Keys
  • Tombstones
  • Small items for a pumpkin diorama
  • Flowers
  • Mirrors
  • Creepy cloth
  • Black table runner
  • Owls
  • Skeletons
  • Old typewriters
  • Spiders/Webs
  • Cloches
  • Bottles
  • Bats


Here are a bunch of free printables to fill up those inexpensive thrift store frames you find:) For access to the printable library, enter your email in below.



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  1. Wow, you managed to do a lot with not a lot!
    I agree that it seems a waste to spend loads on items that are only out on show fro a few weeks in the year. Spray paint is definitely your friend (or it will be when you remember to wear gloves!) Thanks so much for stopping by at Handmade Monday to share these ideasi with us.

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