Ask Design Mom: Paper Bag Gravestones

October 26, 2011

My kids really want to put up some lawn decorations for the trick-or-treaters, but I’m having trouble finding anything that isn’t expensive. Any ideas? — Cassie P.

Thanks for your question, Cassie! The idea I bookmarked this year is from Martha Stewart. Very real-looking gravestones made from gray paper bags! The instructions look super easy and the bags are only $4 for 25.

For something slightly harder, but still very inexpensive, try these spooky scarecrows I created. They have BIG impact and you can use them year after year.

What about you, Clever Readers? Any budget-friendly ideas for outdoor Halloween decor?

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 wordplayhouse® October 26, 2011 at 6:25 am

Pumpkin picking is always part of our autumn tradition. So, our picked pumpkins are grouped together to create a grand entrance to our house, making a simple and inexpensive Halloween decoration. It is also a wonderful reminder of our pumpkin picking day every time we walk past. For us, that’s it. Simple and pretty.


2 Nicole Baksa October 26, 2011 at 7:04 am

This year we got a few barrels of pine straw (cheaper than hay) and stacked two in the middle an one on each side. I then put a few pumpkins on and around them, hung a happy Halloween sign, a few orange lights and put a spooky light up skeleton that looks like it is coming out of the ground in front of it. I usually do a big table decoration, but this year we needed that table space for cookie making ect. so I took my black birds and owl and stacked them up on the straw too. It ended up looking pretty good!
You can see it here:


3 Design Mom October 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm

How fun, Nicole! I’m sure the trick-or-treaters will love it.


4 wordplayhouse® October 26, 2011 at 7:30 am

Also, try this wonderful web! Whiteley Creek shows you how here:


5 Shannon @ A Mom's Year October 26, 2011 at 7:30 am

Our favorite outdoor Halloween decoration is the dancing ghosts my mother sets up with the kids every year. After a small initial investment in pumpkin trick-or-treat buckets and sheets, you’re set for years. You can take a peek at what they look like here:

(P.S. A friend on Facebook said that after Halloween we can stick some tinsel halos on their heads and turn them into angels for Christmas!)


6 Meagan October 26, 2011 at 8:27 am

Cute ghosts can also be made easily with white garbage bags. Here they stuff them with newspaper:

A balloon is also a good idea for the ghost’s head. Happy halloween!


7 Anne October 26, 2011 at 8:54 am

For something not upscale, but cute and fun for the kids to make and see, check out these “spirit jugs.”
We made them last year and my little ones had fun with it. We lit them with Christmas lights that we already had.
For something a little prettier, you can make a wreath out of a black thrift store clothing item + a foam wreath.


8 rkwpnw October 26, 2011 at 9:10 am

TRy making a witches besom with twigs and sticks


9 Shannon (8foot6) October 26, 2011 at 9:49 am

we made a garbage bag spider…check it out:


10 All Unwound October 26, 2011 at 9:58 am

Pumpkins are a great price at my local grocery store and make a perfect decoration. For super cheap I’d suggest cutting some bare twigs and sticking them in urns, maybe even spray painting the twigs black.

I shopped the 60% off sale at my local craft store and bought pre made decorations. Spiders to go with metal pumpkins I already owned.


11 Design Mom October 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I am missing inexpensive pumpkins! The pumpkins here are gorgeous heirloom varieties, but people cook with them instead of carve them. : )


12 Sue October 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm

This year we built a giant spider web. It was pretty inexpensive, depending on the kind of rope you buy. There’s a how-to here:
Have a spooktacular Halloween!


13 Design Mom October 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm

So many great ideas! Keep them coming, please. : )


14 Jill October 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm

My 13 year old daughter made huge tissue paper poms for my daughter’s “Orange Party”, but we kept them up for Halloween and they have more impact than all of our other Halloween decor. The set shown here cost $1.99 (Target) I hung them from our chandelier, but it would be fun to hang them from a tree with twinkle lights. Another advantage… throw them away after! We followed a tutorial on Martha Stewart:


15 Michelle October 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Soda pop bottles (2L) or milk containers spray painted while with black faces painted on make for great ghosts. Fill them with water after they are done and set them up outside! Reusable year after year (you can always repaint them) AND you’re reusing something that you probably have at home.


16 bettijo @ October 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm

LOVE the scarecrows :) We are in transition mode with our front yard this year (getting rid of a big lawn in favor of a more water-conscious landscape). So while I’m coming up with ideas for the landscape design we’ve got a pretty dead looking yard. So this year we transformed it into a graveyard with headstones and a half-dug grave. It’s the first time in months I could be proud of our front yard LOL!


17 Emily October 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I make yard ghosts, here is a simple tutorial


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: