Rather than spend big bucks on pre-made plastic doodads this fall, why not turn the holiday’s decorating requirements into a family event and try your hand at some fun holiday crafts? Sure, you’ll need to spring for a few supplies, but there’s no reason things need to get out of financial control. Here are a handful of ideas to get you started. (See also: 20 Cheap Halloween Treats)

Scary Fence Board Sign

This Halloween sign made from fencing materials is multicolored and certainly inspirational. If you’d like to keep your paint costs down though, I’ve seen the same thing done with black background paint and white lettering. Both versions are cool though, and allow you to make up your own spooky seasonal phrases.

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Homemade Scarecrows

Whether you’re posing them on your porch, a hay bale or standing up straight in your yard, homemade scarecrows are a fun and simple project that keeps the holiday classic and lets the kids have a blast. Use old clothing you have around the house or hit the thrift store to stay on budget.

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Pimped Out Pumpkins

Whether you are carving the ultimate Jack-o-lantern, covering your squash in glitter or bedazzling your pumpkins like this project from Good Housekeeping shows, there are plenty of ways to decorate these Halloween classics that will have the compliments flowing. You can even paint scary faces on them and top them with fun hats. The point is to make sure pumpkins play a part in your Halloween crafts schedule. They are also a great item to turn into fun fall treats, as this article on penny-pinching pumpkin recipes demonstrates. My favorite? A frosty pumpkin margarita to enjoy with friends!

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Paper Garlands

This site offers a page of several Halloween garland templates that rock, including bats, scary cats and pumpkin faces to name a few. All you have to do is fold and cut. Of course, if you’d rather just keep things basic, there’s no shame in stapling together a bunch of orange, black and white paper circles. But why not go for it if somebody’s already developed the template for you? (See also: Fun and Frugal Ways to Celebrate Halloween)

Painted Pumpkin Rocks

If you’re looking for Halloween crafts that will work for kiddos ranging from tots to tweens, then these painted pumpkin rocks are sure to please. You can craft small ones to use for paper weights or even refrigerator magnets, or go larger for a homemade seasonal doorstop. Granted, you probably don’t want to paint over that expensive landscaping rock in the front yard, but there are plenty of freebies kicking around in the woods you can grab.

For those that live in the city, you may want to go with a bag of craft rocks from someplace like Michael’s or JoAnn’s. If you have access to a local craft fair, this is also one of those nature craft ideas for grownups that can be used to generate a little extra cash before the next round of holiday expenses starts to hit your wallet.

Hanging Bats

I used to make these in the classroom with the students, but Martha Stewart has a hanging bat template that’s a bit larger if you want to make some to hang from the ceiling in your entryway or from the roof of your front porch before the trick or treaters arrive.

Mummy Luminaria

I love this idea for a couple of reasons. First, it allows you to use canning jars creatively. Since they are one of my favorite all-purpose supplies for the home, this project was sure to make the cut. Second, these mummy luminarias from Better Homes and Gardens use only the most basic of supplies and look great even if a young child is helping you make them. Avoiding the frustration level is always a good idea where family crafts are concerned. Plus, these luminarias make a great walkway decoration if you are hosting a grownup event with Halloween cocktails and classic horror movies.

There are many more Halloween crafts to enjoy making, but this list offers an affordable place to start and projects that are achievable even if you aren’t the most craft capable. What are some of your favorite things to make for Halloween?