Autumn is the time of year that all my juices start flowing. There’s a whole bunch of amazing sensory things going on, from smells to colours, textures to taste. And there’s something about these sensory treats that sets off the creator in me, especially with events like Halloween, Guy Fawkes (bonfire) Night, and later Christmas, to start planning. Halloween is the first of the bunch, and perhaps the most obviously creative given that it’s traditional to carve elaborate and spooky faces (and other things) into great big pumpkins. The carving involves first planning and drawing something spooky, followed by hollowing out and actually carving the thing.
The thing is, not everyone has that creative juice flowing in them ready to overflow at the merest mention of Halloween costumes, autumn leaf art, handmade Christmas crackers or any other such creative dream! And that’s not a bad thing by any stretch; we’re all different, totally unique, and each of us bring our own very special skills to the table of life. If yours doesn’t happen to be of the creative variety, don’t worry I’ve got you covered for an Instagrammable Halloween with very minimal skill or effort required! It’s ok, you can thank me later 🙂
Forget Carving the Pumpkin
Pumpkin carving is a skill best left to… oh I don’t know, professional pumpkin carvers or something. As far as I’m concerned, carving is overrated (and bloody difficult to do with any finesse) so this year I’ve taken to spray painting and drawing on ours. I say drawing, but trust me, you can do this! The grey pumpkin is sprayed with a primer spray paint I picked up in Wilko’s for a couple of pounds, and I used a purple Sharpie to write “Happy Halloween” on it. If you’re not comfortable free hand writing the text straight away, use a pencil to draft the outline and then go over it once you’re happy. And the spider web (scroll down for pic) was done by following the natural grooves in the pumpkin with basic spiders added. See, easy peasy!
Hit the Pound Shops NOW!
The trick (or treat… oh wow, I’m on fire!) with pound shops when it comes to big events is to buy early. Really early. I bought my bits the first day I saw them going out on the shelves, and then popped back every couple of days to check if they’d held anything special back. The trouble is, often with things like Halloween once it’s gone it’s gone, because these shops don’t want to be left with stock that they can’t sell and will be out of fashion by next year. And the good stuff always goes fast. I got the rat and gold skull and pumpkin for £1 each.
Don’t Underestimate Budget Supermarkets
The likes of Aldi and Lidl often have almost the exact same products as everywhere else (yes including branded items) for a fraction of the price. For lower end items like sweets, treats, and chocolates for your party or the trick or treaters, Aldi and Lidl usually stock what the pound shops sell for… well, £1, for half the price. Three bags of chocolate eyeballs, pumpkins and ghosts were 59p each in Aldi.
Let the Kids do the Creative Stuff
These pumpkins stamp pictures are really simple to create. I simply cut an apple in half and let Amelia stamp using orange paint. Before they dried, I used a lolly stick (you could use pretty much anything) to scrape some of the paint off to make the faces, and voila!
Tap into Some Basic Skills You Probably Already Have
Alright, I know I said you don’t have to be creative, but these are so super simple to do that I reckon anyone could do it! These trick or treat lanterns are made with empty tin cans that I washed out and sprayed with grey spray paint (the same can I used for the pumpkin) and then I used a nail to poke the holes in the cans to create the words “trick” and “treat”. Add a candle, and you’re done. Just please be careful with the nail. I found that the cheaper the tin, the easier it was to do as the tin itself tended to be thinner on a budget can. The pictures of my kids were created using a free app on my iPhone called Photo Lab. Most of us are pretty handy with our phones, and these will look super spooky printed off and framed in some pound shop frames I have lying around.
What are You Waiting For?!
So there you have it, budget ways to create a totally cool, super spooky Halloween on a shoestring budget and with next to no creative skills. What are you waiting for?!