Ah, Halloween: the most wonderful time of the year! The humidity is gone, replaced with pretty autumn leaves, pumpkins-a-plenty, and Halloween cheer. As with any holiday celebration, it’s easy to end up stressed out and frazzled when you want to be costumed, relaxed, and on your third Snickers of the night. Read ahead for suggestions on a DIY Halloween that won’t break the bank or your spirits. There will also be a lot of puns.

1. DIY Decorations

The first step in getting your home Halloween-ready is decorating. You don’t need to spend a fortune at a party store for spooky ambiance. Raid your closet and dig into your craft supplies for inspiration. Old bedsheets can become ghostly apparitions, and construction paper cutouts can transform your windows into a bat cave or witches den. Want to get really wild? Check out these crafting books from the Reynolds collection: who knows what they’ll inspire you to make!

2. Halloween Movie Marathon

One of my favorite seasonal activities is a scary movie night. While there’s never a bad time for a movie night, the autumn leaves and chilly nights really add something to the activity. Reynolds Library has DVDs of some Halloween hits and horror standbys. Seeking scares? Consider checking out The Amityville Horror (1979 and 2005 versions) or A Quiet Place. Looking for more laid back Halloween fare? Perhaps The Haunted Mansion is more your speed, or Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. All of these (and plenty more!) can be checked out at the Parham Road Campus.

3. Crafty Costumes

The beauty of DIY costumes is that you can create something unique with items you already have. There’s a reason Zombies, Mummies, and Black Cats are popular last-minute costume inspiration–they’re not hard to do! Without spending a lot of time or money, you can get yourself or your favorite little trick-or-treater ready to go.

a. Zombie Makeup

All you need for a zombie look is old clothes with rips, red lipstick to draw on some wounds, and some white (or green, or grey… use what you’ve got!) face paint. Mess up your hair, stumble around, and voilà – you’re a walking (dead) sensation.

b. Tourist Time

Got a Hawaiian shirt and a camera lying around? Congratulations, you’re a tourist! Add a pair of flip-flops, apply a whole lot of sunscreen (or white face paint) to your nose, don a wide-brimmed hat, and you’re ready to explore the Halloween wilderness.

c. Cat

Got some black clothing? You can easily become a cat. A little eyeliner for whiskers, hot glue construction paper ears to a headband, and you’re purr-fectly set.

d. Mummy

To become a mummy, grab an old sheet or some strips of old cloth (any colors, mummies can be fashion forward if they choose!), wrap yourself up, and amble about with arms extended.

Halloween is all about fun, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little imagination, some common household items, and a dash of creativity, you can create a memorable and affordable Halloween celebration. So, whether you’re haunting your house or haunting the town, go forth, and get spooky!

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