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30th October 2013

Beefsteak tomato lanterns, Ikea paper pumpkins and Frankenstein’s specimens – how to vamp up your home for Halloween without breaking the blood bank

By Sherry Fitz.

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With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about spooking up your home with some devilishly good decor. We love a hair-raising Halloween, but not at the sight of our bank balance, so if you’re looking for a fabulously freaky Halloween display that doesn’t stick its fangs into your current account then read on………&hellip

From demonic decorating ideas, and creepy crafts, we have everything you need to sprinkle a little or a lot of black magic over your home this Halloween and with clever crafters weaving their webs of genius decorating ideas across the net – arachnophobs beware, as there is no excuse not to get tangled up in the frightful festivities! The good news about Halloween décor is that it doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact, the more shambolic it appears the scarily better the effect. Did you ever see a show home haunted house or landscaped run-down graveyard? Tatty tombs, cobwebs and decline are the order of the day, so why not let your dark side run wild with our great ideas for low cost but high shock factor Halloween embellishments. Designed with the novice crafter in mind, they make an ideal festive family activity.

Jack-O-Lanterns

Every self-deprecating Halloween home    should have a Jack-O-Lantern, if not many. Cheap and easy to make; Tesco have medium and large carving pumpkins currently on offer from €2.50. To design your lantern you’ll want to cut out the top part about 2-3 inches away from the stem in a circle creating an opening at the top. Use your hands or a large cooking spoon to scrape out the insides, which make a delicious savory soup or sweet pie for the perfect Halloween banquet, click here to see recipes. Turn the pumpkin on its side cutting out pieces to create the design; you can download free Jack-O-Lantern designs on the Internet by running a search for ‘Pumpkin Designs’.

The last step is to put a small candle inside and put the     top back on. Beefsteak tomatoes, also available at Tesco, are spookily similar in appearance to the larger  pumpkin, so, for a wickedly clever mini Jack-O-Lantern,  create the opening, scoop out the insides and spray with  two coats of food vanish (available from craft shops)  inside and out to preserve, place a tea or preferably    small LED light inside, and display on windowsills or as  cute festive table center pieces. Top Tip: Instead of  carving out traditional designs, create a truly celestial  light display that’s certain to delight your trick and treaters  by drilling holes into each pumpkin and then threading    strings of white lights to the pumpkins, click here for instructions.

Ikea Paper Pumpkins

As an alternative to real pumpkins and a gorgeously ghoulish festive light display, paint Ikea paper lantern lampshades in orange watercolours and use Martha Stewart’s leaf template to cut out leaf designs for your paper Jack-O-Lanterns. Brown pipe cleaners wound around a pencil create great tendrils and stalks can be fashioned from rolling up paper into a small cone shape and painting brown. Finally use clear fishing wire to hang from windowsills.

Frankenstein’s Specimens

Tesco have a full and affordable range of petrifying    plastic Halloween props so, to recreate specimens worthy of display in Dr Frankenstein’s lab, pop them into reusable glass storage jars, easily picked up at Ikea or Tesco from €2, fill with water, add green food colouring and place them in front of a light source for that maximum Hollywood horror effect.

Terror Trees

Autumn is the perfect time of year to go searching for fallen branches so, why not take a walk in the woods! Fill orange or black painted buckets or planters with sand, rocks, or soil to keep your take home branches upright, spray paint in black, grey or autumnal copper and drape in cobwebs and spooky decorations being as creepily creative and as you wish!

Lights

If you want that spine tingling spooky effect but don’tfancy the idea of a having your
houses in complete darkness, then get creative with candles. Regular sized orange paper bags with cut out Jack-o-Lantern designs, placed over small flat candle holders look really cool when lit.

Just a taste of Halloween décor ideas to make your home a delightfully spooky sight for little ones shouting ‘Trick-Or-Treat!’ on your doorstep. For those of you thinking of getting really creative on a budget, check out these frightening festive low cost ideas – we love this easy to assemble pumpkin luminary and really cute and clever or simply Google ‘DIY Halloween’ for further inspiration.

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