As summer fades, the supermarket school supply shelves are just about dry from the back to school shopping raids. And BAM, pumpkin spice lattes are in hands, autumn scents are filling stores, and shelves are now stocked full of ghosts, chocolate, and witch hats. It’s almost time for trick or treat or, the newer fad, trunk-or-treat.

One of the more popular events to show off your Halloween fashion and creativity is through your community’s trunk or treat celebrations, where families decorate their parked cars to dish out candy to participants. The cars can be as elaborate as an Alice in Wonderland theme while others simply open their trunk, fill it with candy, and sit right by it in lawn chairs. Either way, the trunk or treaters leave happy with a heavier bag of candy.

RELATED: 4 DIY Halloween Costumes You’ll Love this Halloween

If you want to wow kids and adults alike—but also maintain a healthy budget—we have gathered intel from some of the most festive Halloween lovers to help you and your trunk shine this October.

Trunk Or Treat Dolan Unsplash

Thrift Store Treasures

Head to the local dollar or thrift store to find costumes that will complement your set. Using vintage clothes at a cheap price will allow you some creative freedom to tailor the costumes to exactly what you envision.

Utilize a dollar store for craft paper, glue-on gems, and other additions to your own personal costumes as well as the set you make. Gather cheap, wire headbands to create hats and crowns. Add some easy sparkle by simply finding glitter foam sheets to make three-dimensional set pieces like coins or treasure.

You can also find toys at a local dollar store to impress the young trick or treaters and engage them in games while they enjoy your trunk of treats.

Trunk Or Treat Dolan Unsplash

Dazzle with Visual Effects

Elevate your designs with movement like streamers with a fan blowing nearby. Or bring lights to enhance your set even when the daylight starts to fade into dusk. It can be tough for the trick-or-treaters to see you and your décor without it, and you want to impress all night!

Pro tip: Michaels has great deals on special effects spotlights if you use their handy 40% off coupon.

You can also buy colored smoke bombs for $1 on Wish.com to put into carved pumpkins for a whimsical addition to your scene. With this kind of effect, you won’t even need to dress up, let alone say anything to anyone who passes by. Your set will do all the talking.

Trunk Or Treat Dolan Unsplash

DIY Tricks

Cardboard is your friend! Wrap boxes in paper to make buildings, boats, or other structures. Go online to find various tutorials. Old packing boxes, a box cutter, spray paint, and duct tape are typically the only materials you need.

Hand paint, draw or fold your way through DIY designs. Make flowers out of tissue paper, draw your own signs and paint your city buildings. If you aren’t artistically inclined, find online printouts on Pinterest instead.

Trunk Or Treat Ideas For Under $15

Engage your Audience

Music can really impact the overall feel of your trunk. Play the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack on a speaker if you have a pirate-themed trunk, or a Beach Boys playlist to elevate your island theme. Games are a great way to engage the kids, too. Try and find activities to complement your theme, such as a “fishing” activity to complement your sailing theme in which the kids fish for their prizes.

Candy can also blow your budget so ask friends and family also attending the event if they are willing to buy a bag or two and pitch in. Don’t forget the commissary usually has candy out well in advance, and at decent prices. They always do because who doesn’t love spoiling cute kiddos?

Trunk Or Treat Dolan Unsplash

Brainstorm Early

Don’t wait until the last minute. You will be stressed and disappointed at how your trunk turned out. Start preparing a few weeks out to ensure you have everything you need, as this will also help spread your spending out.


We can’t wait to see some of your trunks! So head on over to Instagram and tag #DMMFeature after your Trunk or Treat event.

WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Top Halloween Costume Ideas for Busy Moms

Trunk Or Treat Ideas For Under $15

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A journalist and teller of stories by day and introvert by night, Renee lives her life always trying to find a balance between the two. In the middle, she is a sports enthusiast, social media guru, lover of candid snapshots and daily dazzled by both her charming husband and always-entertaining baby boy. With her sense of adventure satisfied through her marriage to a Marine Corps aviator, she has enjoyed living in multiple cities but is currently rooted in San Diego, California, spending weekends with the dolphins and sea lions on her paddleboard, circled around a beach bonfire with her church community group,or cozied upon the couch with her little family, a Redbox movie and pizza. You can discover more of her journey as a military spouse on her blog, Chasing Proverbs. Instagram: @redeemed36 www.theproverbialchase.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/reneedolanphotography/

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