DIY Graveyard Terrariums

I have always loved dioramas and terrariums. Making them in school was one of my favorite projects every year? Do kids still get to do dioramas in class? I really hope so. At any rate, grown ups can make a diorama any time the mood strikes, and the mood struck me for Halloween. What’s neater than a graveyard terrarium, or three?


Here’s the close up photos (glass is so hard to photograph, especially if you’re lazy like me and using a camera phone) –




Not only were they incredibly easy to throw together, they were also affordable. The large glass bowl I found at a thrift store for $2. The small glass bowls were at Dollar Tree for $1 each. The Spanish moss, wire tree, gargoyles (comes in a 3-pack) and graveyard fence (in the large bowl) were all picked up at Dollar Tree for $1 each. The Lemax Spooky Town coffins were scored at Michaels with a 40% off coupon for $3 for a 3-pack (and they are currently on sale for an even better price of $2!). The coffins are also Lemax Spooky Town from Michaels, and I picked up a 5-pack for the same price (and they’re on sale for $2 right now too, for an even better score).

All I did was plunk a handful of Spanish moss into each jar and arrange the stuff on top until I thought it looked interesting. So for five minutes and $15 you can have a trio of spooky grave yard terrariums to deck out the house for Halloween.

DIY Halloween Round Up

Since we are knee-deep in repair negotiations to buy the house, packing up all of our worldly possessions (I am going to be highly annoyed if the contract falls through…) and keeping up with daily life here, I haven’t had much time to do anything interesting enough to write about. So I thought I would take a moment to share some of my favorite DIY Halloween crafts from around the web. I’m a big believer that a great looking home, well decked out for a holiday, shouldn’t cost a fortune. With a little creativity and time, great results can be achieved. Some of my favorites for Halloween this year –

Coffin Craft

This coffin diorama from The Glamorous Housewife is great. She uses a wood coffin (you can find it at craft stores or online for about $3 each). Bethany uses a sticker pack for the items inside, but I’ve got my eye on the haunted village accessories at Dollar Tree for this one – a wire tree, and some tombstones would be perfect –


Dollar Tree also sells Spanish moss in the floral section. If you don’t already have black and orange paint on hand, you can usually pick up small bottles 2 for $1 at places like Michaels when they have their paint sales. So if you go the Dollar Tree route, you can have a pretty neat three dimensional graveyard diorama for just about $7! Not to bad!

Another easy on the budget Halloween craft that caught my eye is embroidery hoop spider webs. This is super easy to do is you happen to have the stuff on hand, but if you don’t, a wooden embroidery hoop will cost about $4, a package of spider web rings will be $1 at Dollar Tree and I could swear I’ve seen crocheted doilies at places like Dollar Tree or Family Dollar, but you can also order a dozen on them online for about $15 – making each one just $1.33 each. Hey, could you put them all over the house or split the order with friend or two. At about $6 a pop, that’s pretty affordable!

lace spider

Crystal ball candlesticks by Flamingo Toes is another easy DIY that really pops. This one is just so cool – I’ve already got all of the supplies I need to make mine, now I just need to take the time to do it! Candlesticks are easy – you can buy cheap ones from Dollar Tree, or pick up some truly unique numbers at the thrift shop. I found an awesome wooden one at Goodwill awhile back for just $1. The acrylic ornament globes can be picked up at Michaels for a few bucks a piece, but it looks like Dollar Tree will have some out this year for Christmas crafting! And since we majorly holiday jump in this country and I’ve already seen the Christmas gear popping up at stores, check your local Dollar Tree! You may be able to find some to use in your holiday crafting.

Crystal Ball

The most expensive part of the craft are the printable inkjet transparency sheets. They are crazy expensive. Avery seems to have the best price, and they’re a brand I really rely on for printables. They’re selling a box of 20 sheets for about $20. Shopping around on Amazon, I found a shop selling a box of 20 for just $10. And you can always look for coupons or sales, and definitely remember that once you buy a box you have it in your crafting arsenal for future projects, and you can always split it with a friend. Once you break down the per-piece price, it’s only $0.50 – $1 each, which isn’t bad. So if you get lucky on your other materials, you can make a grouping of crystal balls for a pretty good price – if you do 5, if you shop around and get some good deals on your materials, it’ll only cost you $11 ($5 for 5 ornaments at Dollar Tree, $5 for 5 candlesticks second hand and $1 for a transparency sheet, since you can print all 5 images on one piece). I suppose you’ll have to spend another dollar on spray paint if you don’t have some on hand, but $12 for 5 pieces? A place like Anthropologie would charge at least $12 each!

Oh, and one other thing about the transparency film – keep your eyes peeled when you’re out thrifting. I’ve picked up printable magnet sheets, iron-on transfers and specialty card stocks for pennies on the dollar. People buy a big pack and have extras they don’t plan to use, or they get rid of them when they cull through their craft supplies. So you can score that way too! I always grab them when I see them even if I don’t have a specific project in mind, because it’s just such a huge savings.

And last but not least, what about a super easy Halloween costume, especially if you want something understated by still spooky?


This is one is “good thing” from none other than Martha Stewart. I’m pretty partial to the spiders, and I’m going to do some to punch up my otherwise ordinary witch costume for this year. Printable tattoo paper isn’t cheap either – it’s going to be about $20 for 5 sheets, so about $4 per sheet. But where else can you get a $4 Halloween costume? So in the end, it’s all relative, and remember – you’ve got more sheets for more projects. I just happen to have a few sheets on hand in my crafting stash, so this year it’s “free” for me!

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite spooky projects for this year. I’ve pinned a ton more, so please feel free to browse my Halloween Pinterest board if you’d like some more ideas. Happy Haunting!

Dollar Store Decorating: Halloween

I am a big fan of Dollar Tree – everything in the store is literally a dollar and they’ve got some real treasures if you’ve got a creative eye.



These Martha Stewart spider silhouettes are great, but at nearly $15 for a package of 10, a bit pricey. Dollar Tree has packages of 15 this year for $1 each, and they have spiders, bats and mice. I bought two of each!



What’s creepier than bugs crawling up the doors and walls? The above image is from the Delia Creates tutorial on how to make magnetic spiders. It’s a great idea for those with metal doors, or to use on the fridge. Since I don’t have a metal door, I just put mine on the wall using poster putty. And of course, I like to glitter mine. Dollar Tree always has bags of spider rings, and you can usually find other creepy crawlies there as well – I picked up a mixed bag of spiders, cockroaches and centipedes last year.


The above image is from The Charm of Home’s tutorial on how to decorate a mantel with a decorated window pane. She cleverly uses window clings on a glass window frame backed with scrap book paper, which is great way to class up window clings. I actually bought the exact same ones at Dollar Tree this year, and I lazily just stuck them on the kitchen window. But the point is, while there are a lot of really hokey, awful window clings out there, you can usually find a few sets that you can work with in a fun way.


The above image is from In These Small Moments, and while she picked up her fake gourds at Michaels, they always sell bags of them at Dollar Tree. They also sell plastic skeletons and skulls that you can glitter as well, as I did a few years ago.


And from CraftElf  we have a great use for candy corn. I know exactly one person that enjoys eating that stuff. So with two Dollar Tree vases and a bag of candy corn, you can have a cute flower arrangement for fall. Or you can swap out the flowers for a candle and only fill the vase halfway.

So, can you decorate your house for Halloween on a $10 budget without it looking hokey or dumb? You bet. And when in doubt, just glitter it.

Halloween Craft Roundup

Can you believe Halloween is only four days away!? Where did October go? Apartment Farm is all decked out in autumn finery – I’ve got my jack-o-lantern candle holders out, spooky labels on the bottles in the bar, my wooden plaques and wreaths hung, and glittered gourds and skulls and tchotchkes about the house. Outside, our mum is flowering nicely and we’ve got a bundle of Indian corn on the back door. We’ll be adding a small carved pumpkin too once we get it done this week – we got a pint sized one to match our pint sized kid this year. I didn’t buy any gourds for the garden though since the squirrels decided they were a free buffet last year. I ought to buy some fake ones and give the nasty little rodents a run for their money… at any rate, if you haven’t decorated yet, there’s still time! And you can do it for practically free with things you already have around the house. Check out these great resourceful crafts to haunt your house this Halloween!

How About Orange is making spiderwebs out of black trash bags.

The Spanish Medievalist showcases a photo of garlic wreath.

Dollar Store Crafts shows off how to make a gilded thumbtack pumpkin.

Boston Mamas tells us how to make simple dried lentil and nut centerpieces.

BHG is dressing up pumpkins with lace (you could also use old patterned stockings).

The Inspired Room is dressing up mason jar candleholders with candy corn.