How to Make a Creepy Dollar Store Halloween Decoration!

If you like outdoor Halloween decorations, this is just the right place to be! I am all about easy Halloween decorations and this one is easy as can be! A pair of these would be perfect for flanking your front door, the perfect way to greet party guests and trick or treaters!

black blob that says make a creepy halloween decoration and halloween skulls looking up at the camera

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Supplies and equipment for your Halloween decorations:

The supplies for making these spooky Halloween decorations are listed here:

  • Urn or pot of some kind for your base
  • PVC pipe
  • plastic skulls
  • Spanish moss
  • plaster of paris
  • chalky acrylic paint
  • waterproof sealer (if your topiary will be displayed outdoors)
  • measuring cup
  • water
  • pieces of wood (used to make sure your pvc is straight in your plaster)

Set up the bases for your spooky Halloween decorations:

picture of a brick patio with a grey urn planter, a brown flower pot, a box of plaster of paris, a piece of pvc pipe, some boards, and a mixing container and a measuring cup

Gather your supplies for your base. Here is my decorative urn, a piece of pvc piping and some wood scraps. A bucket and measuring cup and the plaster of paris. You will want to have a paint stirrer to mix the plaster of paris, also. I used a 5′ piece of pvc, but you can make yours as short or as tall as you would like.

overhead hot of a gray urn planter with a brown flower pot sitting in it on a brick patio.  a piece of white pvc pipe sitting on the ground, a paint stirrer, a paint mixing bucket

Here is the plastic urn I used. I use this for different decorations throughout the year, so I did not want to put the plaster of paris and the piece of PVC in the urn permanently. I found this flower pot without a hole in it that fit inside my urn. You can mix your plaster right inside of your urn if you like, or do something similar. Just make sure that whatever container you are using for your plaster is watertight.

three boards on top of a pot around a piece of 3/4" pvc

Mix the plaster of paris per the instructions on the package.  Generally it is 2 cups of plaster of paris to 1 cup of cold water.  Set a piece of 3/4″ PVC that is 5 feet long down into the wet plaster of paris.  Make sure your PVC post is level and straight.  You can use boards like I did above to hold the PVC straight until the plaster of paris sets.

gray urn planter with flower pot with plaster of paris in it around piece of pvc and some pieces of styrofoam tucked in around the pot

After my plaster was set, I found my pot wobbled a bit, so I used a few scraps of styrofoam to secure it and keep it from moving.

A creative way to prepare your skulls:

three dollar store plastic skulls sitting on brown paper

This is how the Dollar Tree skulls look right from the store. You can buy these individually at the store or order a case of 40 for all of your Halloween decorating projects! I have SO many ideas for things you can make with these! If you order a case, they will deliver them for free to your local Dollar Tree.

label of craftsmart premium chalky acrylic paint

I recommend using some chalky paint like this to give them a more upscale look.

three dollar store plastic skulls, two painted white, one natural

You can see the difference above between the painted and unpainted skulls. If you are going to display your decoration out in the weath spray them with a waterproof sealer.

Time to build your creepy Halloween decorations:

hand holding a dollar store plastic skull that has been painted with chalky paint and has been cut with and x in the bottom of it

When each one of your plastic skulls is dry (if you decide to paint them). Cut an X in the bottom of each skull as shown above. Next, cut an X in the top of each skull.

plastic dollar store skulls

Slide the skulls onto your pvc pipe, one after another. Don’t be afraid to experiment with where you put your X’s in your skulls. Make some toward the front, some toward the back so your skulls are all at different angles on the pvc pole. Slide each skull down so it is snug against the one beneath it. When you get to the top skull, it will only get an X cut in the bottom of it.

plastic dollar store skulls on a pole with spanish moss between them and a door with shutters behind them

I used this chalky parchment colored paint to give my skulls a bit of an upgrade.  Finish off your skulls with some spanish moss, tuck a little bit between each of the skulls and fill in the bottom of the pot with moss.

dollar store skulls looking up from a pot of spanish moss and dollar store skeleton hand reaching out of the pot

Add a couple of pair of Dollar Tree skeleton hands sticking out of the pot at the base and it looks like the skulls are reaching up for someone to save them! OR…are they trying to grab the passers by?

pot with 8 dollar store skulls on a pole with spanish moss draped on them and spanish moss in the pot at the base and skeleton hands reaching out of the pot. on a brick patio with potted green plants behind it and a white fence behind that

This will add the “creep” to any outdoor space for Halloween. Add some lights and sound to really “creep” out your decoration and have fun this Halloween! If you want your skeletons to be more fun than spooky, consider adding googly eyes to them! Another idea is to add witch hats to your top skulls!


pot with 8 dollar store skulls on a pole with spanish moss draped on them and spanish moss in the pot at the base and skeleton hands reaching out of the pot. on a brick patio with potted green plants behind it and a white fence behind that and a sign that says make this easy dollar store halloween decoration

Shop this project:

More Halloween DIY Projects:

Get to your local craft store or dollar store to stock up on supplies and start making your own fun DIY decorations!

part of a picture of a wreath of plastic skulls and a sign that says diy dollar store skull halloween wreath

This easy to make wreath is a great way to keep your skull decor going this Halloween! Add a seasonal wreath like this one to coordinate with your skull creations!

picture of plastic halloween skulls made into a garland hanging from a mantel.

One of the easy decorations I made with these is this Halloween Skull Garland.  I used this Halloween garland on my mantel, but you can just as easily use this outdoors! The plastic skulls will hold up just fine in all kinds of weather! You can also pop battery operated tea lights inside the skulls!

Even more of my best DIY Halloween decorations:

Do you have your own favorite creative ideas for Halloween? Do you make your own DIY Halloween decorations? Do you get out the duct tape and the white trash bags? Do you make your own tomato cage ghosts? I’d love to hear your creative ideas and what you do for Halloween porch decorations! Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. I bet your granddaughters get a kick out of you skull topiary Chloe! I love the skeletal hands reaching up and the idea of adding some twinkle lights too. Happy to be hopping with you again. ♥

  2. That is so GREAT! I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s like a skull rain chain. I love it when you see a totally original idea. A wreath too? How do you even have room for all the great things you make.

    1. Oh, Andrea, that is fun…a rain chain! I don’t have room! I giveaway or sell locally all of the things I make, or I end up taking them apart and creating something new with them! This year I am taking all of the Halloween leftover decor up to the girls in Maryland! It will be time for all new next year!

  3. Chloe, the sad reality is knowing we won’t have many little ones trick or treating:(
    I’m really going to miss that, but have been cheered up by your fun dollar store skull decor.
    Breaking each skull up with the Spanish moss really made the topiary stand out! And shopping for the supplies at the dollar store wins over my frugal heart:)

  4. Your skull topiary is fabulously creepy, Chloe! I love the hands reaching up from the bottom. I didn’t realize plaster of Paris sets in just 10 minutes. We have urns flanking the side of our front door that I usually stack with pumpkins, but I want to give this a try. My daughter and the kids in the neighborhood would love it! Thanks for the inspiration!

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