It's that time of year again ... there's a chill in the air, yet another "Paranormal Activity" film will soon be hitting theaters, and yours truly has started scarfing Necco Wafers and guzzling apple cider with reckless abandon. Halloween is just around the corner.


This year, it's anticipated that Americans will collectively dole out a whopping $2.36 billion on decking out their yards and homes with freshly purchased dismembered plastic limbs and AA battery-operated witches. In my humble opinion, however, the best Halloween decorations are the vintage ones, the homemade ones, or the ones created by Mother Nature herself. But what if you aren't keen on elaborate gourd displays or don't have the time to sit down and craft a milk jug skeleton? Consider spending your hard-earned Halloween decor dollars on items that are lovingly handmade by someone else. And if want to go the squash dissevering route, I've included a great handmade set of pumpkin carving tools.

Sure, it's just more stuff that appears in your home on a strictly seasonal basis — unless you're big on skulls — but it's stuff that's unique and produced with care. And perhaps most importantly, it’s the kind of stuff that you probably won't throw away after a couple of years unlike plastic, mass-produced-in-China decorations.
So please, take a quick breather from planning your Patricia Krentcil get-up, re-watching last year's absolutely mind-blowing Sandra Lee Halloween special, and freaking out the neighbors with grisly zombie gnome lawn displays to consider adding these ghoulish handmade goodies to your existing arsenal of Halloween adornments. 



Skull Pillow Cover by TheWatsonShop @ Etsy ($38)










Hanging Skeleton @ West Elm ($19)
















Zombie Metal Art Bookends by KnobCreekMetalArts @ Etsy ($46.99)















Creepy Halloween Garland by RawBone Studio @ Etsy ($15.50)












Ghost Salt and Pepper Shakers @ UncommonGoods ($20)














Velvet Wrapped Pumpkin (medium) @ Terrain ($30)















Chalkboard Skull in Pine Green by iamhome @ Supermarket ($46)














Skeleton Mirror by Studio Job and Domestic @ A+R Store ($192)















Pumpkin Carving Set @ Terrain ($24) 
















Halloween Graveyard Terrarium by FacesoftheEarth @ Etsy ($60)























Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Creepy and crafty: Handmade Halloween decor
On the hunt for Halloween decor that isn't of the disposable, made-in-China variety? Check out these ghoulish handmade goodies that you'll want haunting your ho