Frugal Fall: Halloween decorations

During October, the COMPASS blog is sharing thoughts, tips, and reflections about having a Frugal Fall. Today, we are happy to welcome Chelsea DeBall and welcome back to the blog, her husband Matt DeBall. Together Chelsea and Matt share some about what their family does to have fun decorating for Halloween while staying frugal.

pumpkinsDecorating for the holidays can be a cumbersome task that can also be accompanied by a hefty price tag. But just because you don’t have big bucks to spend on decorations doesn’t mean your house needs to go through these festive seasons looking sparse! We’ve found a few easy & affordable decorating ideas for Halloween and would love to share them with you. But first…

Why decorate for Halloween?

If you’re a person of faith, decorating for Halloween might seem like a waste of time and money. Why would any Christ-follower want to decorate their home for what some people call “the devil’s holiday”?

In John chapter 3, we find Jesus and Nicodemus talking about how someone may receive eternal life. Though the conversation is important and we find the iconic and well-known image of God’s love in John 3:16, the circumstance in which Nicodemus approached Jesus for this conversation was “at night” (John 3:2). Whether this conversation was actually at night or if the gospel writer was explaining the spiritual condition in which Nicodemus was in as he approached Jesus, either is fitting. As Jesus revealed God’s love in word and deed to Nicodemus, he did so by being available and having a spirit of hospitality.

So why decorate for Halloween? Because it is a way to show love to our neighbors and reach out into the community. Because having carved pumpkins on our porch and passing out candy to neighbor-kids is a way to make ourselves available. And most important, because in doing so, we follow in the hospitable footsteps of Jesus.

A few frugal tricks to treat your home to a Halloween make-over:

Pumpkins at the right price – Want fun & unique pumpkins but don’t want to pay the nursery prices? Check a local farmer’s market. At least one stand should sell pumpkins, gourds, or festive mums at a reasonable cost. Plus, what better way to show love to local farmers than buying fall produce? Don’t forget to grab some apple cider donuts as you leave!

Do-it-yourself ghosts – Have some old white sheets? Make friendly ghosts for your front yard! Simply cut the sheet in half (giving you fabric for 2 ghosts), then drape the sheet over a styrofoam sphere from the floral section of a craft store. Tie the sheet to form the “head” of the ghost, and then practice your art skills by drawing a face on the new ghoul. Hang the ghosts with fishing line or twine from gutters, shutters, or trees to quickly and easily spook-ify your lawn.

skeleton flamingos-squareFestive skeleton flamingos –Remember those plastic pink flamingos you were embarrassed to have as decorations? Well it’s time to go diving through the garage because there is a fun way to decorate these for Halloween. Grab black spray paint and white acrylic paint at your local craft store. Spray paint your flamingos with the black paint and cover all remnants of its pink past. Once it has dried, use a picture from the web (search for “skeleton pink flamingo”) as a guide and begin painting your skeletal flamingos. Once the white paint has dried, it’s time for them to haunt your garden!

Low-priced Halloween decorations – Want to decorate for Halloween but time or patience to craft eludes you? Make coupons your friend or find cheap decorations at grocery stores. Many craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michaels have great sales on seasonal decorations. Have a little money left in your budget? Consider buying discounted decorations after the season has passed as stores significantly cut prices on “last season’s” décor.

As you prepare your home with do-it-yourself decorations for Halloween and your heart to be available for neighbors, be ready to save money and see God work in mysterious ways.

What do-it-yourself decorations will you try this Halloween? Is your church doing anything special for the community to celebrate this spooky holiday?

C&MDeBall-9-15About the Authors: Chelsea and Matt DeBall live with their Welsh Corgi (Watson) in northern Illinois. Chelsea works as an assistant for a Special Recreation Association, and enjoys writing, baking, and home-decorating. Matt serves as a coordinator of Donor Communications for the Church of the Brethren, is pursuing a Master’s of Divinity from Northern Seminary, and enjoys running, reading, and napping. Together, they love the fall and spending time with family.

This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.