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Do-it-yourself Halloween decorating 101

Pulling together your own creepy decorations can be a fun family activity that's easy on the wallet.

Story highlights

  • Pumpkins and wreaths with DIY touches can add whimsy, sophistication to holiday decor
  • Use doilies and coffee filters to make garlands that look old, beautiful and a little creepy
  • Wrap a foam wreath base in yarn, embellish with flowers, for customized wreath
  • Bonus costume ideas for Mom and Baby: Chef and lobster, plane and aviator

With Halloween on a Monday, there's still the entire weekend to get into the holiday spirit. Decorating the home is a great way to celebrate, especially if you have children or want to postpone the feeding frenzy until next week.

It doesn't have to be the standard store-bought fare, and it doesn't have to be a daylong undertaking, says crafter extraordinaire Emily Grosse of Assemble Gallery & Studio in Seattle. Pumpkins on the front porch and a wreath on the door with few special do-it-yourself touches can add visual interest, sophistication and whimsy.

Grosse took a few minutes from leading crafting workshops and children's Halloween parties to share a few ideas from a variety of sources. For more home and style ideas, check out her blog, neatLOAF.

Pumpkins as candy corn: Instead of choosing the perfect round pumpkin, take oddly shaped ones and spray-paint the tops white and bottoms yellow. Our pumpkin is now a candy corn.

Handmade yarn wreaths: Instead of hanging a fake-leaf wreath, tightly wrap a foam wreath base in yarn and embellished with a few felted flowers, all in autumn hues.

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Garland made from doilies and coffee filters: By using white and natural-colored filters, the florets look old and beautiful and still a little creepy ... a bit Miss Havisham.

Bonus: Costume ideas for Mom and Baby: Mom can be the chef, and Baby can be the lobster in a pot. Or, Mom can be the plane and Baby can be the pilot. How else would you pull that off?

Here are a few more ideas borrowed from Apartment Therapy and beyond:

Best Halloween party decorations: Budget-friendly ideas for dressing up furniture, lighting and the food table for your holiday bash.

Creepy botanical gardens: Creepy plants and flowers grow year-round that seem made for Halloween, from the eyeball plant to the bat-faced cuphea. But even just adding a few tiny tombstones to a small terrarium gives you a creepy graveyard scene that's also pretty darn cute.

Make your own Halloween dinnerware: Cheaper and more fun than buying Halloween dinnerware, all it takes is some cheap plates, a porcelain pen and painters tape to make your own.

DIY decor for the whole home: Novel takes on traditional themes, from candy jars and birdcages to garland and Spanish moss centerpieces.