DIY Halloween decorations on a budget Fiendishly clever ideas from the days before party supply stores (1919)

DIY Halloween decorations on a budget: Fiendishly clever ideas from the days before party supply stores (1919)

Back when cheap Halloween party decor was a distant dream, people had to make their Halloween decorations the old-fashioned way: by getting creative and making it from bits and pieces they could find.

Welcome to your old-fashioned ghoul school, courtesy of the clever folks of 100 years ago.

Halloween decorations for walls and stairs

FOR a wall decoration on a stairway, black crépe paper honeycombed over orange looks well, and is easy to do. The tops of the newell posts are rounded by pieces of wire, and an owl is set in the midst of a lotus flower. The “witch in the woods” would make a fine background for a twin-witch fortune teller seated in the foreground.

DIY Halloween decorations on a budget 1919 (9)


A clever way to make a big cat for your Halloween decorations

WOULD you think that a huge cat’s head could be made by simply opening a big black umbrella and pasting eyes, nose, mouth, ears and whiskers up on it? Just look at the fireplace and see.

DIY Halloween decorations on a budget 1919 (3)


Vintage Halloween decorations for doorways

STARTLINGLY stunning, but graceful withal, is the doorway decoration. The pumpkin heads should all be the same size; the perspective of the photograph makes them appear here in assorted sizes. At the side of the doorway, stack corn shocks or bunches of tall grass.

DIY Halloween decorations on a budget 1919 (1)

4 festive Halloween party table decorations & menu plans (1912)


Dress up the table with these cute themed Halloween decorations

FOR the decoration of the table, a Japanese umbrella is used as a foundation for the hanging centerpiece. The funny-faced lanterns are glass fish globes, and tiny red or blue light bulbs could be dropped into them. The place-card people have fortunes fastened to their backs.

DIY Halloween decorations on a budget 1919 (7)


How about adding a sheet ghost to your Halloween decorations?

THE ghost is a talking machine “all dressed up” with sheets. A ghost-story record produces a realistic effect, especially in a darkened room. Children will be delighted with record stories suitable to their years.

DIY Halloween decorations on a budget 1919 (4)


A cauldron full of punch

THIS mask is in place all the evening, when suddenly a girl wearing an orange-paper fringed skirt walks back of it, slips her head into the mask, ties the cape around her neck, and then steps through the fringed curtain into the room, leaving the doorway curtain intact. This new “stunt” makes a lot of fun. She may then serve “witches’ brew” (fruit punch) from the kettle.

DIY Halloween decorations on a budget 1919 (8)


Original article from 1919: The new Halloween frolics, by Elizabeth Bissell

DIY Halloween decorations on a budget Fiendishly clever ideas from the days before party supply stores (1919)

How did Halloween start? The strange history of Halloween – including trick or treating and carving jack-o’-lanterns – goes way, way back


A spooky doorway with a ghost hiding behind

DIY Halloween decorations on a budget 1919 (5)

More Stories
Vintage Thanksgiving postcard - holiday table
Tips for decorating the Thanksgiving table (1900)