Community Forklift turns Community FRIGHTlift!

Our reuse warehouse is a great place to find materials to bring your haunted house, creepy laboratory, spooky graveyard, or witch’s lair to life. We’ve compiled six DIY Halloween projects that use secondhand materials, but don’t be afraid to wander the aisles to see where your imagination takes you! Community Forklift is filled with unique treasures, vintage materials, and secondhand finds ready to be transformed with a little creativity.

Also, be sure to check out your favorite thrift store for more Halloween supplies! You can use upcycled clothing for Halloween costumes, thrifted curtains or sheets for haunted house backdrops, and secondhand décor for centerpieces or servingware.

The best part is, you can do all this while conserving natural resources and preventing usable materials from ending up in the landfill. Community Forklift is partnering with the DC Department of Energy and Environment to promote reuse and deconstruction, the careful dismantling of a building so that materials can be salvaged for reuse rather than dumped in a landfill. Learn more about how to donate materials to Community Forklift so that we can redistribute them to the community!

DIY Halloween projects

This little ghost is just downright cute. Made from a salvaged lampshade (we have them in spades here at the warehouse) and a vanity light bulb, it’s a quick and fun project that can be customized to your liking! Figure out your own facial expression and put a second one on the back for next year, or create a few for a little group of ghouls.

Potion bottles or laboratory supplies are a Halloween staple! You can find pre-designed labels for sale online or draw or print your own for any ingredient imaginable. (Mummy dust? Pickled toad eyes? Spider webs, anyone?) These bottles were sanded with coarse grit sandpaper and the labels aged with coffee and cumin.

DIY Halloween projects

Do you see a crystal ball in your future? This one was made with a simple $2 globe shade from our lighting aisle and a salvaged table lamp. We recommend LED bulbs in your lighting projects because they use less energy and produce less heat. Check out last month’s reuse inspirations for another fabulous upcycled light!

If your taste leans modern for 11 months out of the year, but you long to live in a Victorian mansion for the month of October, check out our housewares and decor sections! Gilded frames, old candlesticks, and vintage glassware can age your living room (expecially paired with spiderwebs made from tattered cheesecloth) and they can be packed away and stored for use again and again! 

A domed, glass cloche is a great way to display your favorite specimens and here’s one created from a dismantled broken clock (check out the second slide). This one’s full of gnarled bits of wood from the thrift store, but when it comes to contents, the world is your oyster (though maybe think twice before literally filling a cloche with oysters).

Another Halloween classic: graveyard headstones! These are created with foam insulation board coated in drywall compound tinted with latex paint. Since you have the opportunity to carve the foam stones yourself, you can personalize them with any themed names you like. **SPOILER ALERT** This batch features dead characters from popular books, movies, and TV shows.

Every time you donate or shop at Community Forklift, you’re helping us lift up local communities through reuse.  We turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.