Kids love the excitement of Halloween, but transforming your house into a spooky spectacle can seem costly; both in time and money. But here’s a secret: it doesn’t have to be.

Here are five simple DIY Halloween decoration ideas that won’t cost the earth.

Absolutely batty

Black Empty Tag Hanging on a Line with Bats

You will need: black card, white pencil, scissors, Blu-tack, string (optional).

Draw the outline of a bat on a piece of black card, using the white pencil so you can see what you’re drawing! (If you’re really bad at drawing, then you can get pintables online, which can be used as a guide!). Double or triple fold the card (depending on how thick it is!) and cut around your outline. Your new bat silhouettes are now ready to go. Stick them on the inside of a lampshade or hang them from the ceiling with a piece of string for maximum impact!

Ghost with the most

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You will need: empty milk cartons, black felt tip pen, glow stick / battery-powered fairy lights.

Wash out your empty milk cartons to ensure they’re clean and ready for re-use. Pull off any labels or stickers so that you’re left with a completely plain carton. Your bank canvas is now ready to be decorated with your black pen! One good way to do this is to draw on an array of ghostly faces and line them up beside one another. When you’ve finished, drop in your glow sticks and dim the lights… Creepy!

Witch of the west

You will need: pair of stripy tights, pointy shoes, lots of socks (for stuffing).

Grab a pair of old tights – stripy ones work best, if you can get them – and stuff them with socks or tissue, so it looks as though there are a pair of withered legs inside them. Trap them in the bottom of a a wardrobe or cupboard, so it looks as though a witch’s legs are sticking out and she’s inside! Add shoes onto the ends to complete your spine-chilling witch’s legs.

Rat attack

Rats!

You will need: black paper, white pencil, scissors, Blu-tack.

Use your white pencil to draw the outline of your paper pests. Again, if you’re drawing skills are lacking, then print these stencils out and trace them onto your black paper. You can then use Blu-tack or masking tape to secure them to the skirting boards and stairs around the house.

Wicked windows

Halloween Window

Daniel Spiess / Flickr.com, CC BY-SA 2.0

You will need: measuring tape, large pieces of thick black paper, white pencil, scissors, Blu-tack.

This one requires a little imagination, but can be really effective when done right. First of all, measure the windows that you’d like to decorate. Mark off your measurements on the black paper so that you don’t make your decorations too big. Now for the fun bit: draw the outline of the window silhouette you’d like to create. Remember that these will only be silhouettes, so they don’t need to be too detailed. Monsters, black cats and spiders are good, but if you’re looking to keep it simple, a crescent moon and a couple of ghosts can be just as spooky.  Then all you have to do is fit them to the window. Oh, and remember to keep the lights on for the ultimate the shadowy scene!

As you can see, getting the house Halloween-ready needn’t be a chore… In fact, it can be a lot of fun, as well as a cheap occasion. Besides, it’ll all be worth it when you see the look on the little ones’ faces!