Zero Waste Halloween

Written by Cricket

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I love, love, LOVE using the beautiful, aged pages of my dictionary. It makes an excellent source for my Zero Waste Halloween Decor. I bought it several years ago at a garage sale for $1, and have used it every year since. For this project I just finished the “P” pages and there are still so many left.


There are lots of reasons to love working with old book pages. First, I have an affinity for black and white, especially the written word. Second, I love recycling. And third, when I want a change, I can pop it in my compost and feed my garden with it. No waste!

Here are 4 easy projects you can easily knock out in a weekend.

Zero Waste Halloween Wreath

Materials (These apply to all the following projects)

  1. large flat sheet of cardboard (like Costco uses between boxes) or the side of a large box.
  2. Craft glue, like Tacky Glue (yes, you can compost this)
  3. Stapler
  4. String (I used leftover string from a burlap craft)
  5. A sharp, pointed tool, like a metal skewer
  6. Black cotton fabric (black sheet from Goodwill)
  7. Black paper, any kind will do


  1. The first thing you need to do is cut your wreath form whatever size you want it. This one is about 20 inches in diameter with a 4 inch wide ring.
  2. Next, you need to fold lots of pages and staple them so they will be ready to glue in concentric circles around your form. This wreath used 3 rings or layers.
  3. Use Glue to attach the folded pages. This part goes really fast.
  4. The final layer of paper will have the smallest end folded under before gluing down. This makes for a nice edge on the inside of the wreath.
  5. Make the bow from torn strips of black fabric. I used 1 large, 1 medium, and 1 small.
  6. To attach the bow, run a piece of string in the back loop of the bow. Then, using the skewer, make 2 holes in the cardboard for tying the bow on. It isn’t as tricky as it seems.
  7. Make two more holes where you want to run your string for hanging. Tie it on the back. (of course, it makes more sense to do this before you glue anything on your cardboard, but I forgot.)
  8. Cut out several little bats from your black piece of paper, and glue or tape them onto  the pieces of paper wherever you like. I may add more later. Spiders or birds would be cool too.

Zero Waste Halloween Bunting


This bunting has a special Halloween effect with burnt pages. Do this first so that you don’t accidentally burn up a completed project.


Once you’ve done the burning, if that’s the look you want, then proceed with the following instructions. (You’ll notice I burned the edges last. I almost burned the whole thing up, which is why I recommend doing it first.)


  1. First, you need to reinforce the areas you will be hole-punching so it will not tear. Use a couple layers of tape fore this. Then punch your holes,
  2. Cut two strips of black paper that is about 2 inches in width, and accordion fold both strips at about 1/2 inch.
  3. Glue the strips together at both ends to create a circle.
  4. Lay it flat and glue it to the triangle.
  5. Print or write your letters within a circle on white card stock, and cut them out.
  6. Glue that the circle to the accordion rosette.
  7. Place 1 or 2  pieces of tape over the area you will make a hole punch
  8. tear three strips of fabric from an old sheet
  9. carefully thread the fabric through the holes
  10. tie the pieces together to create a complete banner
  11. add glitter wherever you want

Zero Waste Halloween cones

I have a thing for cones. They are so Victorian, and so fun. I just like to hang them on doorknobs here and there.


  1. Cut out a rounded triangle for the cone shape. Pattern coming.
  2. Tape or glue the pattern into a cone shape. (burn edges if you want)
  3. Reinforce hole punch area with tape and then make holes
  4. Using string or torn fabric, make a handle for the cone
  5. Add decorations to the cone like paper circles with words or pictures.
  6. If you want your cone to hold lightweight treats, like popcorn, use parchment or wax paper to protect your book paper cone.

Zero Waste Rolled pages


Okay, this one is easy. Simply tear out some pages, roll them up, and tie them with string. I also burned their edges because it looks cool and spooky.

About the author


Welcome to my blog! I’m Cricket (yes, my parents named me that!) and I’m a natural homesteader. Growing up in rural Idaho with a garden, a horse, and lots of canned food, I like to bring those sensibilities to my suburban home in Phoenix, Arizona. Add a little dose of cottage garden flavor and permaculture tendencies, and you’ll see why GardenVariety.Life is a reflection of everything I do.

I truly enjoy sharing the skills that promote a meaningful and practical connection to our gardens and environment. Because so many residents of the metro phoenix area are transplants, I find that the area’s unique desert climate is often misunderstood and underestimated in terms of what is possible. That’s where the fun begins. Arizona is a burgeoning permaculture haven with homesteading written all over it, and there is nothing I enjoy more than encouraging others to jump in and give it a try.