10 Ways to Use Leftover Halloween Candy & Decorations

Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to put up the spooky decorations and pack away the costumes. But what about all of that candy? Will the kids really eat all of it? Or maybe the question is will Mom and Dad really let the kids eat all of the candy? Do you plan on keeping the kids’ Halloween costumes or will you donate it to a thrift store? What are you going to do with all of your Halloween leftovers?

Don't get rid of your #Halloween stuff! Save it for these cool projects! Click To Tweet

Before you pack up your Halloween decorations and give away the things you don’t want, check out these 10 ways you can reuse your costumes and decorations. Or if you’re like me and really love hitting up the stores for their big clearance sale after a holiday, then this list may give you a few ideas on what to do with Halloween clearance products.
Leftover Halloween

1. Save Halloween costumes for dramatic play.

My toddlers (ages 4 and 1) love to play dress-up. Sometimes my teens will play with their younger brother and sister and their dress-up box. My little ones think it’s the funniest thing. I usually buy the dress-up clothes from the thrift store because it’s cheaper than spending $20+ on a costume that they will outgrow in a matter of months. I also like to keep their Halloween costumes to add to their dress-up box. And I go to stores like Kroger, Target, and Walmart to buy leftover Halloween accessories, costumes, and wigs for dramatic play.

Halloween Costume
Photo Credit: Jennifer Hamra

2. Use Halloween decorations for props.

Depending on the age of your child and what kind of spooky things you’re into, you can use your Halloween decorations for props for dramatic play. Or you can buy some decor from the store. Most stores mark their Halloween decorations on clearance after the holiday is over.

3. Create a treasure box!

You can use Halloween party favors for a treasure box. When my older son (now 16) went to daycare, his class would go to the treasure box on Fridays. You can do this at home, too. Have your kids decorate a box and fill it up with leftover or cheap party favors. Your kids won’t mind that their treasure is from Halloween. I promise.

4. Save Halloween candy and treats for special rewards.

Sometimes when my teens and toddlers are working on special assignment or project, I like to give them treats for encouragement. For instance, when Zhen (4) is learning a new skill, I will give her a special treat for all of her hard work. You can save your Halloween candy or buy candy on clearance to use for this purpose.

Use leftover Halloween candy for special rewards. (Photo Credit: Caio)

5. Use Halloween coloring books for long car rides.

Sometimes I have to pick my husband up from work, and the drive is always long. If I don’t pack activities for my kids, they will go stir crazy in the van. Halloween-themed activity books and coloring books would be perfect for long car rides. Or if you have a doctor’s appointment and you know the wait may be long, you can take the coloring books with you. It’s a great way to keep your little ones and even your big kids busy!

6. Make a gingerbread house!

There’s always that one house that gives out the candy nobody likes. Ha! So don’t throw it out! Save it for a special project, like a Christmas gingerbread house! If you like to make your gingerbread house from scratch, you can save leftover/unwanted candy for your creation. Your kids will love it!

Gingerbread House
Halloween candy can also be used to for a Christmas gingerbread house. (Photo Credit: lifeofpix.com)

7. Save Halloween treats for Christmas stockings.

I mean think about it, after Halloween Christmas is 53 days away! So if you save any leftover Halloween candy or buy marked down candy now, it would still be good for Christmastime. And it’s okay if there’s a pumpkin on the candy. Or you could always…

8. …use leftover Halloween candy for dessert recipes.

M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces can used for cookies. Hershey’s Kisses and candy bars can be used to on top of cakes and brownies. Pumpkins can be used to make pumpkin pie. Candies can also be used as ice cream toppings. November and December are known for baking special desserts, so save your leftover candy or buy candy on clearance to make your holiday dessert recipes!

Candy Biscuit Cookies
Halloween candy can be used to make special desserts, like these candy biscuit cookies. (Photo Credit: skitterphoto.com)

9. Save Halloween greeting cards for writing activities.

For our preschool homeschool, I do “writing center time”. I put small notebooks in a basket with different crayons, color pencils, and pens. I also like to buy greeting cards for their writing time. Zhen is 4, so she understands what a greeting card is. She likes to write in them and give them to family. Zhen and Zechariah usually draw/write for 20-25 minutes. So you can use Halloween greeting cards and notebooks for writing time.

10. Use Halloween-themed cookie cutters for clay creations.

I bought a package of pumpkin and leaf-shaped cookie cutters at Target and Walmart. My little ones use it when playing with their Play-doh. They enjoy making different shapes and pretending to make cookies. Cookie cutters make a great tool for playing with clay!

Cookie Cutters
I bought leaf-shaped and pumpkin cookie cutters for my kids to use with their clay creations.
Here are 10 ways to use leftover #Halloween candy and decor! Click To Tweet

So as you can see, there are so many fun things you can do with your leftover Halloween candy and decorations. I like to use our leftovers for various homeschool activities, too. What do you do with your leftover Halloween candy and decorations?



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  1. Danika

    November 2, 2016 at 02:32

    I live for the clearance aisle. I created a gingerbread house for the first time last year, and I think I’ll head to the discounted candy section soon to save for this year’s construction. Can’t beat a good sale.

    1. Jennifer

      November 2, 2016 at 11:03

      I’m hoping to make a gingerbread house with my kids this Christmas. I’ve always wanted to try it!

  2. Anitra | The Mom on the Move

    November 2, 2016 at 08:16

    Great tips! If I don’t get rid of the candy I’ll eat it so we take our leftover candy to the dentist in exchange for a $5 gift card. Less cavities!

    1. Jennifer

      November 2, 2016 at 11:04

      That’s a good idea, too! My kids got so much candy; I definitely do not want them eating all of it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tip!

  3. Ashleigh

    November 2, 2016 at 13:56

    These are great tips and a great way to save money! I’m definitely going to share this with my teacher and parent friends!

  4. Mimi Green

    November 2, 2016 at 20:15

    These are all great ideas. I always quick get rid of all signs of Halloween. I never thought to repurpose any of those items. My daughter loves to dress up so I’m going to start a box dress for her.

  5. carlana charles

    November 2, 2016 at 20:35

    I feel like the frugal side of me got activated after reading this post. Moms are perhaps the most creative and frugal folks!

  6. Tanya Barnett

    November 2, 2016 at 20:35

    These are all great tips! If only I had this info years ago when my kids were little.

  7. Marsha

    November 3, 2016 at 09:26

    Great ideas! I definitely want to make a girl gingerbread house this year.

  8. Daria

    November 3, 2016 at 12:22

    Great tips! I haven’t had to be bother with all of this for some time now, but now that I have grand-kids this information is definitely useful. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Don

    November 3, 2016 at 16:31

    These are great ideas. I wish I knew this information when my children were younger.

  10. Latoya | Life and a Budget

    November 3, 2016 at 19:45

    I need to grab some halloween candy while it’s on clearance for my kid’s Christmas stockings! Lol:) Thanks for the tips!

  11. Tryphena Wade

    November 4, 2016 at 08:41

    These are great ideas! I always wonder what happens to the leftover candy. That’s a lot of sugar to eat!

  12. Ty

    November 4, 2016 at 09:49

    I would have never thought of any of these ideas. My favorite one is to make a gingerbread house. I think I’m going to make that one happen for sure!!

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