Upcycle Creepy Creatures

Halloween can be such a fun time for crafts and upcycles. I’m always on the hunt for Goodwill items that we can decorate with for Halloween, or goodies that we can use in our craft projects. A favorite upcycle year after year at our home is Goodwill creepy creatures.

Every Goodwill store is a treasure trove of the little figurines you will need for this upcycle. Whether its puppy dogs, rabbits, people or farm creatures, there seems to be no lack of these ceramic or porcelain figurines at Goodwill.

My youngest daughter and I visited the New Philadelphia Goodwill store and filled our cart with all kinds of Halloween goodies. And, of course, we found oodles of little figurines that we could turn into our creepy creatures.

Most of the figurines are priced $3 or less. We even found a few that were a ‘color of the week’ tag, or 50% off!

After a good cleaning and removing the price tags, we set up our craft station with black paint and paintbrushes. We used acrylic matte paint for this project. A glossy finish would also work great.

Because there is little detail work needed for this project, it really is an easy craft project for little ones. My daughter is six years old, and loves to paint these pieces for Halloween.

Most pieces will need two coats, along with some touch up. Because we are painting black over lighter colors, its easy to see where we may have missed.

After the pieces have dried overnight, then choose sparkly gems to add as their creepy eyes. Since this is a ‘spooky’ project, we opt for yellow or red eyes of varying sizes. You can attach with a glue gun or craft glue.

As my daughter pointed out, the cuter the figurine – the creepier it is. She’s right! Cute little pigs or teddy bears seem to be the creepiest creatures once they are painted black and have red eyes added to them.

For the first time this year, we even tried some ‘human’ figurines….this old lady figurine actually came with an old man. Together they would have been the perfect Halloween pair. Alas, the old man figurine was dropped on the floor. Oops! No worries, though. At just over $1, it wasn’t a big loss and we had plenty of others to paint.

Once the creepy creatures are done, we use the figurines to decorate end tables, display cases or bookshelves. Add some artificial fall leaves or moss for extra creepiness. Displaying these pieces as a collection makes for great Halloween impact, too. We opted to display most of our creations along with fall and Halloween pictures of our family (and Frankestien).


  • Goodwill ceramic or porcelain figurines
  • Black acrylic paint and paintbrushes
  • Small jewels or craft gems
  • Glue gun

About the author: Maureen Ater, Vice President of Marketing and Development for Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio, Inc.