DIY Halloween Decor from the Thrift Store

DIY Halloween Decor from the Thrift Store

Thrift stores, yard sales, even your closets and garages are full of items that can be upcycled into DIY Halloween Decor. Sometimes, all you need is a great idea to get started. Here are some fun “befores” and “afters” to inspire you to make some repurposed Halloween decorations this season!

Plastic Junk-o-Lanterns

rusty jack-o-lanterns from plastic pumpkin buckets

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Plastic jack-o-lantern candy buckets from the thrift store really work well when it comes to Halloween decoration ideas. And in this case, they’re transformed into “junk-o-lanterns” with the help of a special rustifying paint kit. Such a fun improvement over the plastic orange color.

Spooky Moon Lamp

halloween moon and witch decor

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

An old light fixture is the perfect thing to transform into an eerie Halloween moon lamp like this– complete with a flying witch! Interestingly enough, the painting technique for that moon-like “texture” couldn’t be easier, either.

Upcycled Halloween Art

diy halloween art from the thrift store

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

A tree print from the thrift store (and from a big box store before that) is the perfect thing to “spookify” for Halloween, isn’t it? It’s not valuable art by any stretch, which makes it a great canvas for all sorts of creepy additions like this.

Jack-o-Planter on the Porch


Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

A large straw tote bag from the thrift store is perfect for turning into a jack-o-planter for your front porch with this easy upcycling idea. Definitely a fun and festive outdoor Halloween decoration that won’t frighten any trick-or-treaters.

Candy Bowl Holder

halloween candy table

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Your trick-or-treaters will be positively delighted when they meet your friendly ghost candy bowl stand on Halloween night! But the best part is that nothing is permanent in this project, making him super easy to store for the rest of the year.

Freaky Figurines

halloween figurines from the thrift store

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

You know all those dust-catching figurines that fill up thrift store shelves? A little black paint and some haunted red eyes transform them into the spookiest little figures for your Halloween decor. ESPECIALLY if they happen to be a little broken- missing arms or a crooked head just add to the creepiness.

Halloween Cookie Jar

halloween cookie jar

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

A paint-chipped outdated cookie jar at the thrift store might get passed over numerous times by shoppers. But keen-eyed Halloween lovers might just see a haunted house in the making!

DIY Halloween Decor with a Candle Lantern

halloween lantern

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

An outdated candle lantern or hurricane from the thrift store is made over into a cute-but-spooky lantern for Halloween. And the secret trick? Cellophane treat bags, believe it or not.

“Floating” Ghost Decor

how to make floating ghosts

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

These friendly little ghosts appear to float, but there are no strings attached. That’s because they have a secret underneath, and it’s something you can easily find at just about any thrift store.

Spooky Halloween Candles

diy halloween decor with candles

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

You know those Christmas window candles that are always at thrift stores? Well, they are even BETTER when spookified for Halloween- and it’s a super easy upcycle that anyone can do.

Candy Corn as DIY Halloween Decor

decorative candy corn

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Depending on where the thrift store is, you may find cone-shaped spools of thread in the secondhand craft supplies. These spools of white thread were perfect for upcycling into candy corn with a little bit of paint and imagination.

DIY Potion Bottles

magic potion bottles like harry potter

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

If a mad scientist’s laboratory is what you’re going for this Halloween, then may I suggest thrift shopping for a vintage spice rack? It’s the perfect thing for upcycling into magic potion bottles like these!

Cheese Board Ghost

halloween ghost from a wooden tray or cheese board

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

This little ghost was missing a few things on one side, so he couldn’t be used to serve cheese anymore. A quick flip around revealed a very ghoulish figure, however, so that’s his new purpose in life.

“Footed” Halloween Tray

halloween tray with skeleton feet as risers

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Coffee table trays are on-trend decor but this Halloween version elevates the style quite literally thanks to some skeleton feet. It started as a picture frame from the thrift store, but is now the spookiest footed tray around.

Decorative Halloween Spell Books

diy halloween spellbooks

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Ahh, the thrift store bookshelves- usually one of the fullest sections at any secondhand store. Which means books are perfect for Halloween crafts- such as these DIY spell books, for example. Such a fun and creative form of mixed media art to celebrate spooky season.

DIY Halloween Decor, Terrarium-Style

terrorium for halloween

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Terrariums are all the rage these days and are usually filled with succulents and cutesy fairy furniture. But this Halloween version employs a (faux) carnivorous plant and some skeleton parts, all in a crusty, rusty lantern from the thrift store.

Haunted House Photo Frame

spooky picture frame for halloween

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

This house-shaped picture frame was a little creepy to begin with, but a simple makeover and some images from vintage Halloween postcards turned it into a festive haunted house! Such a fun and easy DIY Halloween decor project that anyone could do.

DIY Halloween Decor with Light-Up Ghosts

ghost lights from glass light shades

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Glass light shades from ceiling fans and bathroom sconces often end up at thrift stores after a remodel. But look how PERFECT they can be as little ghost lights! This Halloween craft takes just a few minutes to make, and their eerie blue/indigo glow makes all the difference.

I hope these “boo-fores” and “afters” gave you some inspiration to make your own DIY Halloween Decor this season.

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.

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