Today is Halloween, and you may find yourself behind the curve when it comes to decorating for America's favorite fall holiday. Some homeowners go all-in when dressing their homes. While certain people enjoy channeling Martha Stewart while putting together a tasteful display that would be the envy of any lifestyle magazine, others channel Disney Imagineers to build skeleton-crewed ghostly pirate ships in their front yards.
The rest of us, however, do the best we can with our limited time, budgets, and skills. And that means that many of us find ourselves checking off October 31 on the calendar and finding ourselves woefully under-decorated for the holiday.
Not to worry, however. With a little bit of time, a smidge of elbow grease, and a limited budget, you can still put together a passable Halloween display.
Here, now, are five last-minute Halloween decorating ideas.
Painted, Rather Than Carved, Pumpkins
Let's face it, carving a jack-o-lantern is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process, even if you are not fully committed to doing the work. The most basic of carved pumpkins, even if the face is comically triangular and looks like every other jack-o-lantern ever carved, will take an hour or so to complete. This includes scooping out a disgusting, gooey mess from inside the gourd.
So why not just paint one or two instead? Even this late in the game, your favorite grocery store is likely to have pumpkins, and you doubtless have paint lying around.
Black Paper Bats
You needn't be a master of origami to knock out a handful of folded paper bats. Just use the template that Martha Stewart provides, for free. Grab some black paper (if you have kids, you doubtless have black construction paper lying around), scissors, and some patience, and you're good to go.Bat Branches
If you live in a part of the country in which at least some of your trees are bare, you can do this either as an outside or inside decoration. Outside, just attach the "bats" to your unencumbered trees. Inside, simply bring in bare branches and arrange them in a vase. Here are the instructions, via In My Own Style. For bonus points, consider adding glitter to the branches.Ghost Windsock
This one requires a bit of effort, but likely not much. Grab some white and black paints, scissors, string, a white sheet, and a couple of empty coffee cans. Then just follow the directions provided by Chicken Scratch NY and you'll be good to go.Hanging Cage
This one may require a trip to your local arts & crafts store if you want to go for the full effect -- chain, skeleton, the whole bit. But the foundation of this decoration is simply two laundry baskets, painted black and affixed together at the opening. Get the instructions via The Navage Patch.