10 Recycled DIY Halloween Decorations

Can you believe that Halloween is just over a month away? If you’re planning to whip up some handmade Halloween decorations, now is the time to start!

Why Handmade?

Handmade decorations mean a time investment, and when you’re wrestling with a busy schedule, setting aside a few hours for spooky crafts may not seem like it’s worth the effort. After all, you can just hit the big box store or the party store and pick up very cute Halloween decorations on the cheap. Why bother?

There are a couple of problems with hitting the big box store for your holiday decorations. The first is that when you shop at those large corporations, you’re voting with your dollar not only for cheaply-made goods that harm the environment but often for their political views. The other reason to go handmade is that when you choose cheap, store-bought decorations you get what you pay for. Usually, it’s in the form of low-quality decorations made from new plastic in a far off factory and possibly under questionable labor conditions. Kind of takes the festivity out of those cute witch and pumpkin decorations, doesn’t it?

But I’m Not Crafty!

If you think that you don’t have the crafty skills to pull off making your own decorations, don’t despair! There are projects here for crafters at any skill level, so whether the only craft supplies you’ve ever worked with are scissors and glue or you give your sewing machine regular workouts, you can make at least some if not all of these spooky, DIY Halloween decorations.

Ready to get crafty? Check out some spooky project ideas on the next page!

Image Credit: Solar Jack-o-Lantern by Karen Lee at Crafting a Green World

DIY Halloween Decor: Glitter Bats

DIY Halloween Decorations

DIY Tip: If you find a tutorial that’s cute but not so green, you can often green it up by substituting reclaimed and non-toxic materials. For example, instead of conventional spray paint, you can choose a low-VOC spray paint and you can use junk mail instead of new paper.

1. Glitter Bats – I made these super fun bats to decorate one of my Halloween parties, and they’re very simple to make. Just use some bat clip art to make a template, trace onto medium weight reclaimed cardboard (like an old cereal box), and paint them with glitter glue. When your bats are dry, you can string them onto garland, stick them to the wall with double-sided tape, or hang them from ceiling with fishing line.

2. Canning Jar Lid Pumpkin – Got some old Mason jar lids laying around? It’s easy as pie to make them into a sweet, shabby-chic pumpkin decoration!

3. Used Book Pumpkin – You can never have too many pumpkins on Halloween! If the Mason jar lids aren’t your thing, check out these sweet pumpkin decorations made from reclaimed books.

4. Head in a Jar – Old glass jars are endlessly useful for crafting, and Dabbled shows you how to turn an old jar into an uber creepy Halloween decoration.

5. Bat Mobile – This decoration is more sweet than spooky. Cut bats out of reclaimed paper and hang them from a tree branch to make a bat mobile!

On the next page, check out even more DIY Halloween decorations!

photo by Becky Striepe

DIY Halloween Decorations: BOO Lantern

DIY Halloween Decorations

DIY Tip: Templates are your friend! If you feel like you’re not crafty enough to draw or cut things freehand, find some free clip art online. Trace onto reclaimed light cardboard, like an old file folder or cereal box, and cut that out to use as a template for all of your tracing and cutting needs.

6. BOO! Lantern – Turn a few old tin cans into a set of luminaries that spell out BOO!

7. Halloween Treat Boxes – Turn old milk cartons into eerie mansion treat boxes for cute Halloween gifts.

8. Spooky Garland - Grab your fabric scraps and add a little ambiance to your Halloween shindig with some primitive, handmade garland.

9. Solar Jack-o-Lantern – Use a solar lamp base and an old glass bowl to create a solar-powered pumpkin decoration!

10. Painted Jar Luminaries – Got more glass jars than you have tin cans? Crafts by Amanda shows you how to make painted glass luminaries.

Do you have any DIY Halloween decorations in the works? I’d love to hear what you’re making in the comments!

photo by Becky Striepe

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Jo S.
Jo S.about a year ago

Thanks Becky.

Jo S.
Jo S.about a year ago

Thank you Becky.

Jo Recovering
Jo S.about a year ago

Thanks Becky.

ERIKA SOMLAI2 years ago

thank you

Jess No Fwd Plz K.
Jessica K.2 years ago

Sounds like great ideas. Thanks.

Alberta Gentleman


Mdragoness X

My kids make our decorations. A white footprint on black paper makes a nice ghost when you add googly eyes. Black hand cut outs on a black eight make a great bat. Anything not made by a kid isn't worth it.

Sarah M.
Sarah M.3 years ago


Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago


Susan A.
Susan A.4 years ago

Clever ideas..thanks!