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Publish Date: October 15, 2021

Thrift Store Halloween Decorations: Spooky Ideas for DIY Halloween Decor 

It’s that time of year again! No, not pumpkin spice latte season - it’s time for Halloween! Our favourite part of this spooky season is by far the decor. From ghouls and goblins to scarecrows and pumpkins, the sky’s the limit for eerie decorations. If you’re looking for the best way to dress up your home this All-Hallows Eve, we’ve got you covered. Thrift store Halloween decorations are fun to create and look great inside and out. Plus, when you shop at Goodwill Industries, you’ll get DIY Halloween decor for less, all while helping members of our community who live with disabilities.

Ready to get into the Halloween spirit? To help you get started, here are our top five favourite thrift store Halloween decoration ideas!

Please note: if you’re creating these decorations with children, some steps will require adult supervision (e.g. hot glue gunning, cutting, spray painting, etc.).

Trick-or-Treat Pumpkin Pail Tower

Using pumpkin pails to make Halloween decorations

When it comes to thrift store Halloween decorations, this DIY Halloween decor is simple and looks great indoors or out!

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Trick-or-treat pumpkin pails
  • Rocks or sand
  • Hot glue gun
  • Spray paint (suitable for plastic) - pick any colour(s) you like. The spookier the better (think black, orange, gold, white, etc.)

Ready to create your very own Trick-or-Treat Pumpkin Pail Tower? Here’s how.

  1. Remove the handles from your pumpkin pails (if there are any).
  2. Put rocks or sand in the bottom pail (to help keep the structure upright once it’s assembled).
  3. Stack the pails, using a hot glue gun to hold them in place. Stack as many pails as you’d like. We recommend your tower be three or five pails tall.
  4. Spray paint your tower of pumpkins in black, white, gold, orange or any other spooky colour!
  5. Paint the eyes and mouth of each pumpkin in a complimentary colour.

There you have it - a DIY pumpkin tower perfect for Halloween.

Thrift Store Halloween Decorations Pro Tip

Consider using your pumpkin tower as a candy dish. Fill the top bucket with treats for everyone to enjoy!

Homemade Scarecrow Thrift Store Halloween Decorations

Homemade scarecrow decoration made from donated goods found at Goodwill Alberta

Halloween wouldn’t be complete without scarecrows! So, why not make your own this year. Thrift store Halloween decorations like this are fun and easy to make. Better yet, all the supplies you’ll need can be found at your local thrift shop!

To make a DIY scarecrow, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Button-up long sleeve shirt (preferably plaid)
  • Old pair of jeans
  • Gloves
  • Boots or gumboots
  • Cowboy hat, straw hat or sunhat
  • Pumpkin with a face - this can be a real pumpkin with a carved face or a fake pumpkin or a pillowcase/scrap fabric that a face can be drawn on. If you’ll be drawing the face yourself, you’ll also need a permanent marker.
  • Straw or another stuffing material (e.g. plastic shopping bags, old newspapers, etc.)
  • String
  • Safety pins
  • Dowling/stick(s)

Now that you have everything you’ll need, let’s get building!

  1. Button/zip up the shirt and pants.
  2. Tie the arms and legs closed with some string.
  3. Stuff the shirt and pants with straw or other stuffing material. To place the scarecrow in a certain position (e.g. one arm up to wave), place dowling or a stick inside the stuffed arms/legs.
  4. Use safety pins to attach the stuffed shirt and pants.
  5. Attach the head. If you’re using an old pillowcase or scrap material, safety pin the head to the shirt. If you’re using a solid pumpkin (real or fake), place another piece of dowling or a stick down through the neck of the stuffed shirt and sit the head on top.
  6. Stick legs into boots.
  7. Place hat on head.
  8. Put arms into gloves. Stuff the fingers of the gloves, if necessary.
  9. Now prop up your DIY scarecrow anywhere you’d like.

There you have it - your very own Halloween scarecrow!

Melted Crayon Pumpkin

Making melted crayon thrift store Halloween decorations at home

Thrift store Halloween decorations don’t get more fun than this! This DIY Halloween decor is a perfect project for all ages.

Here’s what you’ll need to create your very own Melted Crayon Pumpkin:

  • Pumpkin
  • Crayons
  • Glue
  • Hairdryer
  • An old sheet or garbage bag

With all your supplies in hand, follow these steps:

  1. Place your pumpkin on an old sheet or garbage bag to protect the surface underneath. Make sure this is near a plugin, as you’ll need to use a hairdryer!
  2. Remove the paper from the outside of the crayons.
  3. Glue the crayons around the top of the pumpkin (use any fun colours you’d like). Let sit until the glue is completely dry.
  4. Starting on a low setting, melt the crayons using the hairdryer. You should be able to direct the melted crayon to create a pattern.
  5. Let stand until melted crayons are set.

Not only is this DIY decor simple and fun to make, but it also allows you to get as creative as you’d like.

Take Your DIY Halloween Decor to the Next Level

For a decorated home that really stands out, create a whole patch of melted crayon pumpkins! Try out different colours and patterns for a bright and brilliant look.

Witch’s Potion Cabinet

Witch's potion cabinet thrift store Halloween decoration made at home

This DIY Halloween decor is simple and will take your spooky interior to the next dimension! With just a few items from your local thrift store, you can create this work of art to add to your thrift store Halloween decorations.

You’ll need these supplies to get started:

  • Old bottles, preferably with lids or corks
  • Food colouring
  • Cabinet or shelf - you may already have one at home that you can clear off and use. Alternatively, buy a second-hand shelf or cabinet at your local Goodwill.

Now, putting this DIY Halloween decor together is as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Fill the bottles with water (fill the bottles to different levels to create the look of a well-used potion cabinet).
  2. Mix food colouring into the water (use different colours for different potions).
  3. Seal the bottles and place them on your cabinet or shelf.

DIY Cabinet

If you don’t have a suitable cabinet or shelf at home for your potions, or you want to create something new, grab an old bookshelf or cabinet from your local Goodwill. Distress the cabinet using sandpaper and/or paint to create a rustic look!

Halloween Dinner Party Decor

Thrift store Halloween decorations for a dinner party

What would Halloween be without some fun food and drinks! Whether you’ll be concocting a witches brew or a fun fall drink, these dinner party thrift store Halloween decorations are the perfect addition.

Other than good food, friends, and family, here’s what you’ll need for this DIY Halloween decor:

  • Glass mugs or canning jars
  • Sharpie paint markers or other paint/markers that will stick to glass
  • Orange juice, orange pop or another orange drink

Finding the Supplies for Your Thrift Store Halloween Decorations

You’ll find lots of glassware at Goodwill and suitable paint pens can be found at your local craft store.

With these items in hand, here are your next steps:

  1. Draw/paint pumpkin faces on your glass jars/cups.
  2. Allow paint/ink to dry.
  3. Fill your jars or glasses with an orange drink of your choice.

Voila! The perfect thrift store Halloween decorations to add to any Halloween dinner party.

Order Your Thrift Store Halloween Decorations Supplies Online

With Goodwill Alberta’s new online thrift store, you can order all the DIY Halloween decor supplies you’ll need before you visit your local store! Check out our online thrift shop to see what we have in stock.

If you’re in the Calgary area, be sure to check out our latest and greatest thrift store!

Our Goodwill Plaza Thrift Store is stocked full of all the items you’ll need to deck out your home for Halloween. Come check it out at 9655 Macleod Trail SW.

Spread the Good This Fall

Have some gently used items that you’re no longer using that will work perfectly for others creating DIY fall decorations? Drop them off at your nearest donation centre to help spread the good!

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