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How to decorate your apartment or house for Halloween
Simple, inexpensive ways to transform your home for the October holiday
Rachel George decorated her fireplace mantle in a Halloween theme inside her apartment since she does not have a yard to create a spooky scene. She spent less than $30 on her decor.

Decorating your home for the spooky season doesn’t have to put a dent in the Halloween candy budget, according to two area women.

“If you spend a lot of money, you’re trying too hard,” interior designer Lynn Tankersley said.

Tankersley said most of her Halloween decorations are from places such as Dollar Tree or Hobby Lobby.

Rachel George follows suit by finding “cheap enough stuff” for the October holiday. Usually she starts shopping later in the month, but this year she started Oct. 8.

“It was the weekend, so I had more time,” George said. “I’m a little bit of a procrastinator.”

The Buford woman started off buying pumpkins at Publix: a large gray one for $5 and two smaller white pumpkins for $3 total.

Tankersley said colors are important in decorating. She suggests buying decor matching the inside of your house for a cohesive look.

“You can add cream and turquoise ribbons to pumpkins if those are the colors in your house,” she said.

George agreed, using items to match as well as contrast with her fireplace. In fact, she bought gray mesh, burlap pumpkins and foam skulls at Dollar General. She picked up her Halloween candy there, too. Altogether, she spent $9.

After a two-hour shopping trip and spending less than $30, the dental hygienist and part-time photographer carried her supplies home and assembled them in her one-bedroom apartment.

First, George set her pumpkins on her dining room table. It was part of a larger display to match her kitchen counter, which is peppered with a few Halloween-themed mugs.

Second, she placed the gray mesh on the edges of a circular mirror leaning on the wall above her fireplace, letting a corner of it hang over the side. One burlap pumpkin is in front of the same mirror for a reflective appearance.

Third, she poked holes in the top of the foam skulls, threaded a string through them and secured the ends to the sides of her fireplace. Now, they form a banner across the fireplace.

Finally, George reused four picture frames for her Halloween theme.

“I swapped the pictures out with printables,” she said, explaining she printed off Halloween-themed prints for inside.

One with a ghost says “BOO, Y’ALL, BOO.”

She assembled the prints on her mantle around the mesh-covered mirror.

But George was not the only one getting into the Halloween spirit.

While designing homes is Tankersley’s profession, she usually doesn’t decorate her own for Halloween. This year was different.

“It used to be just a carved pumpkin on your porch,” she said. “But now, it’s a great way to kick off your fall season.”

Tankersley said a good place to start decorating the front yard is with fake spiderwebs and headstones. Then she transforms a large bowl or serving platter in a centerpiece.

“It looks like I tried really hard, but I didn’t,” Tankersley said.

She simply adds a bed of real leaves from outside — which are free — a few small pumpkins and a stuffed squirrel to complete the look on the platter.

She said if homeowners have pillows on outside and inside chairs, adding a festive one to the mix will Halloween-ify the space without much work.

“You can really make it cute,” the designer said. “And more importantly, (you) get your money’s worth. That’s what I do.”

If you pick decorations wisely, you can remove the spiderwebs and decorate the indoors with cheaper decor.

“There are a thousand and one things you can get these days,” Tankersley said.

This year’s trendy examples are velvet pumpkins, anything marble and corn stalks. Tankersley said those items look good in and out of the home and are affordable.