For the most spooky time of the year, we want to welcome ghosts and spirits. So we’ve put together this super-fun guide with DIY sustainable Halloween creations to make with your children and family!
End of October, the streets get dark and petrified pumpkins send us kinda creepy smiles. We use candles do light-up all corners of the house, and wait for kids to knock on doors with their scary (and less scary) costumes! It’s all about BOO’s, tricks or treats, and sitting in circles haunting ghosts from our ancestors.
Yet this fun & goosebumps, also brings shocking waste! And here’s where what’s really scary are some of the facts around sustainability. Halloween costumes, halloween food waste… but especially, halloween decoration does not contribute to the magic at this time of the year.
Plastic broomsticks, devil horns, skeleton masks are the part of Halloween that’s not recyclable and probably most wasteful. Not to mention the plastic plates, utensils, and cups that are so popular for parties.
What is the environmental impact of Halloween decorations?
- On an average, only in the United States consumers buy $10.8 billion worth of decor.
- Halloween decorations are usually made of plastic or non-recyclable material, such as glitter.
- According to Environment Oregon Americans “spend more than $90 per person on Halloween, and almost $2.6 billion total on decorations.”
- In general, after the holiday seasons, Americans usually throw away 25% more, contributing to landfill and pollution.
Halloween doesn’t have to be devoid of fun and fright, but it also doesn’t need to be an environmental nightmare for the planet. So here are some quick sustainable Halloween solutions.
Solutions for a Sustainable Halloween Decoration
Ideally, you would keep your Halloween decorations year after year. Every time you think of purchasing a single-use Halloween decor, then think about it twice!
The best solution is for you to tap into the world of DIY Halloween decorations. Yet if you don’t have time this year, you can always find some inspiration. Get ready, because right in this article we share some of the most fun and also easy ideas you can craft using repurposed materials.
In the meantime, here are some quick ideas on how to make Halloween sustainable:
- Get crafty! In this article we share 20 ideas of DIY eco-friendly Halloween decoration that will inspire you, and nevertheless you may then adapt these ideas with what’s available to you.
- Purchase sustainable Halloween decorations made by local artists. Some shops like Etsy are a great place to start finding beautiful spooky items.
- Always look for Halloween decorations that are made using eco-friendly and natural materials such as cotton, bamboo, wool, hemp, wood and metal. Avoid plastic whenever possible. Say no to balloons!
- Reuse, repurpose and recycle! Even if you don’t want to get too crafty, you can always find old items around the house. You will not only save in environmental waste, but also money!
- Purchase ethically-made brands whenever possible!
20 Ideas of Eco-friendly DIY Halloween
Like we promised, here we share some of the most amazing DIY sustainable Halloween ideas found by people who share their originality. We’ve added links to each project so that you can follow step by step what some of these amazing folks have created!
1. Eco-friendly & ethically-made candles
Since the times of castles, Hogwarts, Vikings, Incas and Mayas, every scene is lit by a flame. Candlelight has been used since ancient times and is a symbol of the mystical word.
Halloween is definitely that time of the year in which we want to have our dark corners light up with a bit of brightness. Find among the best 15 ethically-made natural & non-toxic candles to create your very own eco-enlightened sanctuary for the cosiest season!
2. Barbie zombies & walking dolls
Do you have any barbies gathering dust in an old toy box? Do these dolls have plenty of memories attached but somehow feel sad about giving them away? We think this idea brought to you by Crafts by Amanda is so genius!
We’ve all had those moments where you cut your dolls hair (confessions, confessions!). Now it’s your moment! Simply transform your old barbies and dolls giving them a spooky character. Guessing anything is valid here? Making mistakes with this craft is very difficult. Enjoy! Nevertheless to say it may be a good strategy to release your anger – we’d like to call it barbie-to-wodoo!
3. DIY Papercraft: Hanging Bats
Display hanging bats in your home this Halloween. Although these are for sale, you can make your own by drawing half bat on cardboard. Fold it and cut it! Find a thread in your old sewing box and hang them somewhere around the house. This is a very cheap craft, and it definitely can be done with repurposed materials. You can purchase these at Gingerray!
4. DIY Spooky Witch’s Kitchen
If you always wanted to activate a witchy kitchen, now you can just have fun and get creative with your spooky apothecary!
Get out of the cabinet your zero waste jars, cheesecloths, cheap vinegar, canned food or food leftovers. The whole tutorial is available at this incredibly cool page COMPOST AND CAVA. We’ll dive right into this creation, enjoy!
5. DIY Autumn Citric Curtain
We could not help it but share this beautiful, natural and incredibly sustainable DIY curtain. Perfect colours for Halloween as well as decor for the autumn season.
All you need is to dry your citrics: oranges, lemons and grapefruits will do. After that you’ll want to find a way to tie them into a curtain. Make measurements, hunt a stick in the woods and customise it the way you prefer. Although it’s not meant for eating, who says you can not have a sneaky bite?
6. DIY Eco-friendly spider webs
Move away from the typical single-use plastic spider web that is so popular on Halloween, and instead make your own eco-friendly spider web!
Whereas this tutorial is made using black trash bags, you can also use other alternative materials. We’d opt for paper crafts and you can make them in any colour you want, depending on what looks best with your overall sustainable Halloween decoration!
7. Wine Bottle Jack-o-lanterns
Repurpose your wine bottles into the coolest jack-o-lanterns craft! You need spray paints (probably orange is best, but your choice!) and a black masking tape! Simple, repurposeful and you can keep it year after year. You’re welcome!
8. DIY Bottle Cap Spider Halloween Craft
You can’t deny it: these spiders are super adorable! Repurpose your plastic lids for these DIY Halloween spiders. Whereas a lot of this craft is also plastic, they’re meant to last. Since you don’t wanna throw these cuties away, put them in your Halloween box and reuse, reduce, recycle!
9. DIY Tin Ghost
Repurpose your cans and tins into these fantastic DIY sustainable Halloween ghost crafts! You’ll need a white spray, a black permanent marker and a set of eyes (unless you paint them yourself!). For the ribbons, you can repurpose an old sheet, use toilet paper or repurpose a white plastic bag. The whole tutorial is available at Faithfully Free!
10. DIY Mummified Glass Candle Holders
Make these upcycled glass jar mummy lanterns. These really funky mummified glass candle holders are going to be the next hit among your DIY sustainable Halloween decorations!
Besides the repurposed jars, you’ll need gauze tape or cheesecloth, wheat flour, water, some paper cutouts and glue. For the full tutorial check out Crafting a Green World.
11. DIY mummy glass candles
Here’s another similar idea with a little twist, to get you inspired in case you want to use alternative repurposed material for your DIY mummy glass candles.
12. DIY Hanging Spiders
This craft is the perfect example that when it comes to DIY sustainable Halloween decorations you can get out of the box!
Definitely seems the perfect craft to make with your little ones! Not to mention you can use any materials, shapes, and leftover repurposed items and craft away your own version of hanging spiders.
13. DIY Mummified toilet rolls
A seriously simple and outstanding mummy rolls! The “mummification” of a repurposed sustainable Halloween craft. Also a perfect one to make with your little ones. They are fun and easy, definitely cheap! For more info check Glue Sticks & Gumdrops.
14. Lamps decoration with papercraft bats
Since it’s all about bats and darkness, why not decorate your lamps with plenty of tiny vampires? A simple and original DIY sustainable Halloween decoration. Whether you’re a child or an adult, this creation can become a go to for every room during the darkest nights of the year.
15. DIY Halloween Party Backdrop
For the more advanced crafters, is it time to make your own Halloween party backdrop!
Here’s when you get to put out all your repurposed gear, glue guns and art skills to make something #Insta- fashion for your party with friends! You can make it as scary and stylish as you want! Point is that you can get creative and make it as you please. There are no rules on Halloween. Seek some inspiration in the full tutorial at Free People.
Planning a Halloween party? Curious about how your city might rank for the best cities to throw a party? This site just ranked nearly 200 cities on criteria like: access to party stores, Gen Z and Millenials as a percentage of population, party planners and more.
16. DIY Black Wooden Cats
Etsy is a fantastic place to seek inspiration from crafters and makers. We found these cool black cats which you can make out of repurposed wood.
Besides paint and paper cuts for the eyes and eco-friendly string for the lace, you don’t need much more. Like always, you can make your own version of mysterious black cats. Get witchy & crafty! But in case you prefer purchasing them from the original artist, get them at R2KPallets in Etsy.
17. DIY Junk Drawer Pumpkins
Time to go up your attic and rescue old suitcases, drawers and any sort of old school junk.
Looking at this super original craft made by Diva of DIY, she’s using buttons and other repurposed materials that give it this steampunk look! Adorable & the most sustainable Halloween decoration ever.
18. DIY Trick or Treat Tins
Simple yet outstanding! These Trick or Treat cans are made with repurposed tins. All you need are tins, a hammer and a large nail, maybe a paint and finish of lighting with some candles. For the full tutorial check out Jolly Mom.
19. DIY Hanging Napkin Ghosts
Besides cute, they are simple & quick to make. If you’re looking for DIY sustainable Halloween ideas on a budget, this is your go-to number one option!
20. DIY Halloween Witches Broom
Brooms! The witchiest accessory, we left it as the last DIY sustainable Halloween craft as a nice way to finish off!
It definitely brings the eco-friendly flare to your home decoration as well as a magic theme for this time of the year. Best thing is that it is truly made out of eco-materials, which most often can be foraged as the Autumn season starts. Here at A Piece of Rainbow it shows how to create a couple of options for the most stunning halloween witches brooms.