DIY Halloween: Tricks and Treats

Halloween is approaching quickly and the time for decorative festivities is slipping away. But have no fear, Grand Central has a few quick and cheap tips to get you in the Halloween spirit just in time for the spooky season.

Decked out Doors

The residence hall doors on your floor are probably tricked out, covered in spider webs, bats and cutesy ghosts. The countdown is starting and there you are, realizing you haven’t done one thing to get in the Halloween spirit with the rest of your neighbors.

Get a few friends together and make a trip to a Jo-Ann Fabrics store. Pick out anything festive that catches your eye. Be sure to check out their website before you go and grab some coupons.

The dollar store also offers some great little pieces that look cute hanging on your door at college-friendly prices.

Using the decorations purchased, go a little crazy and put them up however you like. Try using command hooks to hang your garland and tape to hang up your foam ghost and creepy crawlers.

Halloween String Lights

String lights are a dorm room staple. Why not put a little spin on this classic and change the season? Target just came out with a set of pumpkin string lights for about $9.  If you’re feeling extremely creative, you can make your own.

The tools you’ll need are a set of string lights, a Ping-Pong ball for each light, orange and black paint and a drill.

With the help of a friend, drill a small hole into each Ping-Pong ball that is large enough for the light to fit into. When done, paint each ball to resemble a pumpkin. Let them dry and then attach to the string lights.

No-Mess Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving is a staple of the fall season. If you’re living in the dorms, cleaning up the mess pumpkins make can be less than exciting. Try this idea to get the same effect without the mess.

You will need Styrofoam pumpkins, battery operated tea lights and a pumpkin carving knif and a pencil. You should be able to find the pumpkins at a Jo-Ann Fabrics store.

Get to work carving your Styrofoam pumpkin just like you would a real one. Once you’re finished, set a few of the tea lights inside the pumpkin to act as a candle flame.

Poison Apples

These aren’t your run-of-the-mill fall caramel apples. Try this recipe to create a maleficent inspired treat.


2 cups granulated sugar

¾ cups water

½ cup light corn syrup

Bamboo skewers

Baking thermometer

A few drops of black gel food coloring

Six Granny Smith apples


1. Grease a sheet of baking paper and put it on a baking tray.

2. Put the bamboo skewers in the apples and set them aside.

3. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and food coloring in a medium sized pot. It will be done when the sugar is dissolved and the mix is smooth.

4. When it has dissolved turn the heat up and paint the sides of the pot with clean water to prevent the mixture from hardening. Heat the mixture up until it reaches about 310 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Dip the apples in the caramel and place on the baking sheet to cool. Let them cool for an hour before serving.

You can't decorate for Halloween without pumpkins!(Photo | Jacquelyn Smith)
Real or fake, you can’t decorate for Halloween without pumpkins! (Photo | Jacquelyn Smith)