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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
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Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

Bob’s Five Favorite Halloween Home Decorating Ideas


O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.


Bob’s Five Favorite Halloween Home Decorating Ideas

Chelsea O'Donnell

Halloween decorating can stressful and expensive, especially if left until the last minute. So, if you’re one of the busy moms, dads, or grandparents wondering what to do to “spookify” your home while enjoying some crafty time with the kids this weekend, I’ve got you covered. Here are my five favorite decorating ideas to give your house a Halloween makeover without breaking the bank. Read on:

Short on Time Jack O’ Lantern

If you’re short on time but love the idea of carving up a jack o’ lantern, try this alternative. Pick up a few pairs of Dracula teeth and some flameless LED votive candles from your local Halloween supply store. Cut the top off a small pumpkin and clean out the pulp and seeds. Then use a drill to carefully cut two small holes for eyes and a knife to cut one large oval for the mouth. Insert the votives into the small holes with the flame facing out and wedge the Dracula teeth into the larger hole.  You can even add an additional votive inside the bottom of the pumpkin so the whole thing glows. If you’re really short on time, forget the carving entirely and just cut a piece out of the pumpkin to insert the teeth. Then insert red pins or tacks for the eyes.

Gourd Totem Pole

Give some of those not so perfect and neglected gourds and pumpkins a new lease on life by creating a simple totem pole. All you’ll need is a fence post or heavy-duty garden stake, a drill with a two inch bit, and an assortment of pumpkins and gourds. Start with the biggest piece and drill a clean hole from the top to the base. Then stack by color and size to achieve your desired look. If you have some extra time and want to carve the pumpkins or gourds, you can string some white holiday lights through to give them an eery glow.

Ghostly Mirror

An entryway mirror can become positively spooky when a ghost crosses its path. To give your mirror a Halloween twist, pick up some frosted glass cling film from your local craft store. Then draw out a simple ghost shape, including two holes for the eyes and one for the mouth. Using an X-Acto knife, cut out the shape, the eyes and the mouth and affix it to your mirror, smoothing as you go. Add a few more ghosts to make it a family affair, or keep it simple with one spine-tingling silhouette.

Tin Can(dles)

Raid the recycling bin for some clean cans and give them a simple coat of black paint. While the cans are drying, use some construction paper to draw a pattern or some words, such as “Trick” and “Treat”. Once the cans are dry, tape the paper to the cans and use a drill to create the words or pattern that you’re going for. Then add a flameless LED candle to complete the look.

Paper Bats

If you have kids that love making paper snowflakes, this is even easier. All you’ll need is some black construction paper and scissors, plus you can print an online template, or draw your own. If you’re not the artistic type, I found one at to help you out. Once you have your template, use it to draw an outline of your bat. If you’re planning on making a bunch, I recommend layering a few pieces of black construction paper at a time and folding them in half to save on time. Then once all your bats are cut out, you can use them to decorate your front door, entryway, or even place a few on your pumpkins. At night, you can illuminate them by candlelight for an extra spooky effect.

These five ideas are some of my favorites but I know there are tons more to have fun with. What are your favorite holiday decorating ideas that can keep the little ones occupied while taking it easy on the wallet? I’d love to hear from you, so send me a message on Facebook at Happy Halloween!

Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions to with the subject line “Ask the Pro.” All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit Advice is for guidance only.