Throwback Thursday- Greening Halloween: Made in America and Recycled Halloween Decorations

by - Thursday, October 20, 2016

pumpkin carving with halloween cats


I love holiday decorations. If I waste money on something, it is probably some sort of sparkly holiday-themed creature or lights. I love holiday lights. If I won the lottery, our house would be lit up for each day in a different theme. Our dining room frightened my mother on Skype today, because a small army of cats guard our table. I am not working in hyperbole here- themes just make life better.

So, now that I try to slow down our consumption as a family and buy ethical, green, and made in America stuff, I feel genuine sadness that I cannot go to Michael's and splurge on this junk. I love this junk. I don't want our house to look scary, I want it to feel fun and festive. And unabashedly cheesy.

But if my sparkly cats were made of cheap, wasteful plastic by someone who was treated badly, and then it had to travel thousands of miles using a bunch of fuel and resources, can they still be pure joy?  Because right now, they fucking bum me out. I am not sure the cats can just be fun anymore (I mean, I still love mine, but the army won't expand any time soon), but I feel like my holiday closet can continue to grow until it has to be a holiday room. You can make lots of things, so we will be trying some of our own in the next few weeks. I also love Etsy, because some stuff is adorable and some is wonderfully bizarre.

So, in case you are like me, and can't let go of kitsch while you let go of all this crappiness that comes with it, I have started looking for Halloween decorations I can still buy. Here are a few gems!

Dorky Art- You can find basically any art on Etsy. If you want Victorian silhouettes of skeletons, they have that (from Murfreesboro, Tennessee no less!) You can also get something much more subtle like this print. They have candy corn family blocks (less kidnappy than the car stickers). Hanging candy corn (this reminds me I haven't had any yet- horrible oversight) I love this wood skull garland as well. Or you can get this bat banner from Erie, PA!

spider vinyl stickers halloween decorations
from Trendy Wall Designs

Stickers and Clings- You can either buy window stickers like you are rocking an elementary school classroom or you can get all kinds of cool silhouette wall stickers on Etsy. We had bats on our previous walls, and they were pretty high impact for like 17 dollars (not sure if you can find reusablew ones though- how do you feel about year-round wall spiders?). This witch would look amazing near your stairs.

frankenstein bride of frankenstein pillows etsy halloween decorations
from abbeynekola
Pillow Covers- This is a relatively cheap, high impact choice that can suit lots of styles from bravely tacky to pinterest ready (white walls, wood, and slightly industrial? haven't seen that before)! You can have this chic baby one, or this awesome Mr and Mrs Frankenstein ones (that I may have bought by the time you read this). I love this simple "trick or treat" one and this spiderweb pillow.

skull candle halloween decorations
from shopgeezlouise
Candles- I bought a beeswax skull made here in Seattle as my own Halloween decoration this year (because when you have a baby, it's time to add more fire). It is really freaking cool and made in Seattle. So be cool like me and buy some Halloween candles- here's some skulls from Indiana, a Damien Hirst number, creepy melting hand, or a random owl in a pumpkin.

recycled book pumpkin halloween decorations
from whimsy workshop

Pumpkins- Anything with a pumpkin motif can come out in September and last until Christmas decorations go up, so you get more bang for your buck.  Rustic wood ones seem to work well for all purposes, and these ones from GFT Woodworks is made of reclaimed wood! Recycle Reuse! I love this mosaic pumpkin- so pretty and it could read just a teensy bit spooky (in a good way). Fishsticks sells little ceramic jack o lanterns. You can get burlap pumpkins as well. If you want pumpkin decor, you have about a million options; search "pumpkin" on home and garden on etsy, and you get 50,000 finds. You can find exactly what you want Made in America!

boo wreath halloween decorations etsy
from Lovebug Handmade

Wreaths- You can make a pretty classy statement with a wreath. My cousin just made fall wreaths that look absolutely amazing- we can do it too! If making wreaths isn't your jam, you can buy a pretty jack o lantern one or a simple berry wreath. I actually love this simple Boo one, or you could get the fancier one.

candy corn fuzzigle worm halloween decorations
from Fuzziggles

Something that Doubles as a Toy- Oy, children. They really must touch everything. Rather than fight the battle all the time, you are better off to find things that also work perfectly well as toys to decorate with (and things that hang way way up). I LOVE these fuzzies by Fuzzigles. So genius and so adorable, while still being on theme as well. A candy corn worm? How have we celebrated Halloween without it? I am also obsessed with these little felt mummies, but the skeletons might be the most impressive thing I've seen all day.

Candy Holder- You don't want to be that sad person who hands out their candy from a bag (oh, you do? That probably works then). If you do want to put it in something, this is pretty cute and made in the USA! If you don't want a candy holder, you can get some on point booze holders like these ones from Mary Elizabeth Arts.

As a side note, I also really like these Halloween temporary tattoos as a candy alternative, for people who hate children. I will never be granola enough to not love candy. It's delicious, people have to deal with it. But the temporary tattoos are cute.

shoes off witches doormat halloween decorations
from Be There in Five
I also love these doormats from Be There in Five- they even give microloans to low income women starting new businesses (and their less seasonal mats are also awesome), so this seems like a great place to spend your decoration budget!

So there you have it- TONS of decoration options for the season that are made in America. I just have to stop shopping at Michael's and spend even more time on Etsy. It's a big sacrifice, but I think I can handle it.

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