Dollar Store DIY | Halloween Decor

I can't believe it's almost Halloween! I was on a road-trip through the Pacific Northwest for the first two weeks of October, so I feel like I am pretty boo-lated on the Halloween decorating (get it?!). I still wanted to do something festive, even if it's only for a few weeks, so I checked out the local Dollar Tree. For less than fifteen dollars, I found some really fun home decorating items for Fall/Halloween. Our two dollar stores here in Santa Cruz are pretty small and I still found some great stuff; if you have a mega dollar store near you, I bet you could do even better!


Here's what I found to work with: The small glittery skulls on the left have flashing colored eyes; they were around last year too and I love them! I was excited to also find some spider webbing to play with, autumn faux leaves, black potholders (mostly because I just needed some new ones), and black sand to use in the candle holders. I decided to keep most of the leaves for a later Thanksgiving decoration diy, and never found a use for the sparkly orange tulle.

I used the large plastic skull as the base for a sugar skull. These could really be used so many different ways, painted or studded or covered in glitter. Holes could easily be poked in to hold flowers, or for stringing. And at a dollar apiece, you could practically make your own wall of heads! I initially tried using Sharpie's but quickly switched to acrylic ceramcoat paint. I've also been collecting striking black & white bird feathers and arranged them in a glass bottle. I think they make a great addition to the theme without being too cheesy.


I concentrated the decor in our dining nook, mainly because it is black and I haven't finished redoing that corner. It was a perfect canvas! Here's the lackluster before situation:


One of my favorite finds is the large piece of skeleton-print fabric I picked up several years ago. I didn't need $24 worth of weird fabric, but was so charmed by it that I had to buy it; I also had some vague hopes of making a dress. I never felt fully confident about that idea and never cut into it, and I am happy I didn't. For years now it's served as an awesome glow-in-the-dark Halloween tablecloth. It comes out of a fabric drawer for a while and then goes back into safe-keeping. This time I covered it with a basic black table runner from Ikea to try to protect it.


To make a centerpiece for the table, I filled clear glasses with uneven amounts of decorative black sand and added some votives. The dollar store definitely has tons of candles, but I had previously picked up some Mexican Pumpkin scented ones from Cost Plus World Market and really wanted to use those (mmm). A sparkling silver skull, some fake spiders, and an old beaten brass plate completed the look. The spider webbing came with some plastic spider rings which I was going to throw away, but they look much cooler used separately like this.


I've never tried using webbing before and was a little daunted, but it turned out to be pretty fun. I created a webby overhang in the furthest corner, and still had plenty left over for outside the front door. Instead of the fake spiders, I threw a few fake leaves into the webbing to add interest. And here's the completed look:


Watch the process here