Decorating,  Halloween,  Holidays,  Link Party

My Favorite Budget-Friendly Fall DIY Ideas Because We’re Broke

And by “we”, I mean “all of us”.

Until I get discovered, or my screenplay gets made, I don’t have excess money to spend on things like decorating for holidays.

I want to spend money on it but I need to pay for things like food, water, and light.

So I have relied on three places to get my fall stuff: Goodwill, Hobby Lobby, and Dollar Tree. Not necessarily in that order.

Thank God for the above because otherwise, I would have a crepe paper pumpkin and like, one candle.


I just like to decorate for the cozy holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Valentines Day isn’t considered cozy in my world because by February, I am ready for summer.

So I have to depend on my cheap decor counterparts to help me get to the next summer.

Are you broke too?

I can help.

Chances are you have a bucket list of things you want your little family to do this fall.

Chances are you’ll forget to do 90% of them.

BUT, if you had say, a list written down somewhere that could also double as decor, I bet you’d remember more than 10% of said list.


Nod in agreement. 

Enter the fall to-do list on a crappy piece of 90’s artwork!

All you need is an old picture frame (Goodwill has TONS of these just waiting for projects like this), chalk (sidewalk chalk works), chalkboard spray paint (five dollars or less at your local home improvement store), and a list of things you want to do. Head here for the tutorial, which is fairly self-explanatory but it helps my SEO, so click away.

Dollar Tree has been a lifesaver in the decorating department.

For fall alone, I have created over ten projects that I still use to this day.

Lately, Dollar Tree is kind of disappointing me with lack of things to work with but that’s okay because we can read about ye olden days when my local dollar spot had lots of fun shit.


I wrote a post about this little FALL sign many years ago but then I deleted it when I moved to WordPress before I realized that it’s stupid to delete old posts.

Here is how to create the above:

Here’s an even simpler idea for a cute little fall frame:

That boo sign has been around the block a few times.

All I did was take a dollar tree frame and printed the words boo on a piece of paper then cut to fit.

Each year I look at my sad little boo and think I should use a better font and redo it but alas, here it sits.

This is one damn dollar so don’t tell me you can’t afford Halloween decorations.


The framed print behind it was also made with a Dollar Tree frame for Anna’s graduation party.


That 31 sign has been in our home since 2011.

All I did was take an old picture frame, add in some scrapbook paper, some wall stickers available at Dollar Tree (they since have even better-looking ones), and numbers I found in my garage.

Head here for the really simple tutorial.

Fall and caramel apples totally go together.

In fact, I WILL be breaking my low-carb punishment with a caramel apple or four this fall because it wouldn’t be fall without them.

So I will tell you this, I am not a fan of apple picking.

It’s overpriced, overly busy, and bees.

Lots and lots of bees.

So save your money (and Benadryl) by buying your apples the old-fashioned way: at the Aldi.

And use my recipe to save money too; four ingredients and it takes literally ten minutes to make!

Got lots of candy after trick or treat?

I got a place to put it.

Tired of seeing all of those fancy mantels all over websites, blogs, and magazines? Tired of thinking you can’t create them yourself because you’re yet again broke?

Me too, so I have a solution for you.

Styling a mantel is easier than you think and you don’t need a lot of money to do it.

In fact, I bet you have most of the stuff you need inside your home.

Start with an empty mantel (and dust it because the good Lord knows when the last time that thing saw a dust cloth):

I always like to start with a focal piece, in this case, my Halloween sign from the flea market (best 20 bucks I ever spent).

Set it in the middle like so.

Then, add height to the ends of the mantel to bring the eye outward (I just made that up but it sounds legit, right?). In this case, my Goodwill candlestick holders from 2011 (two dollars each, thank you very much).

Now, let’s add some color and symmetry to the middle of the mantel by adding two Wal-Mart pumpkins I got after Halloween on clearance three years ago.

At this point, I have spent NOTHING in MANY YEARS on this mantel that looks like I spent a little something-something.

I added four votives I had from Anna’s graduation party with flameless tea light candles (perfect for mantels so we don’t burn the house down when we forget to blow them out). I then added some fullness, a leaf garland I have had since the beginning of time.

Then comes the fillers. I have had these white and gray pumpkins for over five years now. I have picked them up over the years, adding a little at a time so that they don’t all look the same and so I save money as well. I think I got most of my picks at Hobby Lobby on 60% sale which ends up to be less than a dollar for each one.

I just want to geek out over that glass jar that I found at Goodwill this year for 99 cents. I couldn’t have made it for that price and you KNOW someone originally paid a lot more than that for it.

I then added a mirror I had in the basement behind the Halloween sign for extra height because I wasn’t feeling the mantel as is.

The FALL garland I got at the Target dollar spot a couple of years ago for three dollars; the burlap wreath was made for me by my friend Rebecca over five years ago.

Add it all together and you have a Goodwill/Hand-me-down/Garage Sale/ Wal-Mart/Clearance mantel!

A goohangarawamaclear mantel!

A cheap mantel!

This entire room is brought to you by yard sales, Facebook Marketplace, hand-me-downs, Wal-Mart, and Goodwill and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Fall-ing!

I love to write about my family, John Hughes, tacos and Bruce Hornsby. Not necessarily in that order.


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