PHOTOS BY KIERA FRANKS
It’s spooky season, folks! That means all of the Halloween and fall decorations you could want are hitting the stores. Unfortunately, there isn’t always enough space in a dorm room or apartment to decorate (or hoard) all of your beloved decor. Luckily, there are easy and cheap solutions to this problem so that you can achieve the perfect fall aesthetic you’re going for. Whether you’re going for super spooky or fabulously fall, here are some helpful tips and DIYs to get your room ready for spooky season.
Pumpkins are great for getting either a Halloween or fall feel in your home. But if you’re living in a dorm or apartment, it can be hard to carve a large pumpkin without a porch to put your finished masterpiece on. Enter: pie pumpkins! These cute little guys are only a dollar at Kroger and can sit on a windowsill, desk, shelf, or right by your head as you sleep. Grab some black or colored sharpies and create your own pumpkin design without having to carve a thing. Either way, they dry faster than paint and are way less work than carving. Plus, you can use it for pumpkin recipes afterwards and keep the mess contained to the kitchen!
Battery Powered Lights
Tea lights and candles are always a spooky mood; think ouija boards, cold blue TV light, and creepily warm ancient home sconces. It’s almost peaceful, but almost spooky. Battery-operated candles are the best because you don’t have to watch or light them, you just get new ones or new batteries. (And they’re allowed in the dorms!) You can place them wherever you like harmlessly, whether that’s five on a shelf, entangled in spooky cobwebs, or left outside. The main point is they won’t catch anything on fire. They are great accents beside books or anything that’s normally pretty flammable. You can get orange or black ones for Halloween at Walmart for less than $5, or white ones at the dollar store. If you’re feeling really fancy and want regular sized electric candles, try Hobby Lobby—their candle selection is comparable to the ever so overpriced Bath and Body Works.
Fake shabby chic books that you don’t plan on actually reading are all the rage right now, but you don’t have to buy the expensive ones; make your own! Half Price Books on Lane Ave. or Goodwill on Hudson St. always have discounted books, and you can find old ones that already have some wear and tear. To take it to the next level, distress them even more with coffee grounds in a wet paper towel (or the coffee filter they’re in), and start dabbing away to stain and wrinkle the pages. You can also get some sandpaper and chalk paint from a craft store if you feel like remaking the cover. Just paint your favorite color on it, wait until it dries, then take the sandpaper to it. Voila! Your books look like they have been living in an ancient library somewhere.
Want some privacy around your bed? Looking to spookify your window? Need a new look for your already gothic dining room? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, head over to Joanne Fabrics or your local grocery store and pick up some black cheesecloth. (You can find it easily in the Halloween section). Cheesecloth makes the perfect set of spooky drapes, and it can be hung up practically anywhere. You can pin it above your bed or a bunk bed pole to make a privacy curtain, or use it as a tablecloth for your desk or dining table. If you want to let in some light or are going for a more haunted house look, you can rip the cheesecloth however you please. It is also lightweight and thin enough to tie back to provide a more stylistic purpose. Whatever you do, just don’t use it as an actual cheesecloth.