Creepy Halloween Decorations

Transform your home into a haunted house with Halloween ambience. Welcome ghosts, witches, ravens, and spiders with these decorating ideas.

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bird cages wall hanging
Bleak Birdcage Decoration

    This easy-to-make Halloween decoration looks like it came straight from an Alfred Hitchcock film -- just take a clip-art birdcage image, make an oversize print at a copy center (ours cost just $10, so it's cheap, too!), and spritz with coffee to give it an aged appearance before hanging. Add to the poster's eerie effect with a few well-placed crow or raven decorations.

Cat-Trimmed Tablecloth

    No sewing required! This tablecloth is a cinch with scaredy-cat patterns cut from felt. Glue them to the bottom of a tablecloth or large piece of orange felt.

Ghostly Staircase

    Use clips to suspend ghoulish artwork from curtain rods. We used medical textbook clip-art images to get the look, enlarging them to fit on 11x17-inch sheets of paper. Dip each print in a tub of diluted coffee (for color) and let dry. Embellish railings with garlands crafted from layered 4- and 8-inch doilies and coffee filters. Bundle a few together, pinch into a flower shape, and tie with wire. Wire the bunches to a long ribbon.

Flying Bat Frame

    Take flight with this fanciful bat frame. Use a die-cutting tool or a bat-shape punch to trim 24 bat shapes. Bend the wings before attaching to a frame. Remove the glass for a cool multidimensional look.

Spooky Still Life

    Make ordinary objects a little creepier with a coat of black paint. Just a few simple steps and this discarded tree branch becomes a scary perch for menacing ravens. Find a tree branch (the more twisted and gnarled, the better) and spray-paint it black. Once dry, insert the branch in an urn or pot. Finish by placing a few black ravens on the branch.

Tangled Web

    Customize plain candles for Halloween. Use a pencil to draw a spiderweb design into a pillar candle (be sure to use a candle that is colored all the way through -- some inexpensive candles don't have any color in the middle). Once you've completed your design, pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol onto a paper towel and dab the excess wax off the candle surface. Using white paint and a small brush, paint inside the grooves. Wipe off excess paint with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel.

Just Say Eek!

    Swap your usual framed pictures with these eek-invoking Halloween portraits, made from basic crafting supplies and a good dose of fright.

Bewitching Treat

    Fill a clear container with dark candies and tape the witch face pieces to the front of the container. Roll a piece of black cardstock into a cone and glue on top of a black circle base for the witch's hat. Pleat a narrow strip of paper and wrap it around the base of the cone, securing with a belt buckle.

    Editor's Tip: Give this witch some sweet companions -- cut out jack-o'-lantern face features and stems from black cardstock and glue onto foil-wrapped chocolate oranges (available in the candy aisle at grocery store).

From the Grave

    Give yourself a hand with this mummified appendage. Fill a white disposable glove with cotton balls, pushing them into the fingers. Once the glove is full and sturdy, fold up the end of the glove and tape to secure. Wrap 2-inch-wide gauze (you'll need approximately 5 yards) around the fingers, hand, and wrist until completely covered, securing the end with a knot. Use an extra cotton ball to apply brown chalk to the hand to give it an aged look. Add creepy, crawly plastic bugs for a fresh-from-the-ground look.

Ghostly Reflection

    Trick guests into thinking they're seeing a ghost. Spray a ghost outline with semitransparent frosted glass spray onto a mirror for a scary reflection.

An Eerie Glow

    Frightening faces appear even scarier when illuminated with candles. These luminarias are versatile and can extend their spine-tingling glow indoors or outdoors.

Spooky Cages

    Stage birdcages as an eerie display guarded by a beady-eye blackbird. Set the chilling scene with dried moss, gourds, twigs, and fake spiderwebs, bugs, and bats.

Shrunken Heads Shadow Box

    Merry shrunken heads jovially peer out from inside the recesses of a tiny shadow box. The not-so-scary trinkets are made from clay and sprayed with a crackle finish, which mimics old bones. Display your shadow box with a skeleton arm creeping around the front.

Bouquet of Fright

    Roses aren't just for Valentine's Day. Arrange black feathers among fresh blooms for a Halloween bouquet. Surround the vase in black netting and sneak in a few plastic spiders for added fear factor.

Terrifying Towels

    Wash and dry in Halloween style with these kitchen hand towels. Print copyright-free clip art onto iron-on transfer paper. Following the manufacturer's instructions, transfer the creepy images onto white flour sack dish towels. These towels will get the dishes bone dry.

Webbed Chandelier

    Recycle an old umbrella as a haunting light fixture. Remove the fabric covering, then stretch spider webbing over the frame. Decorate with plastic spiders and battery-operated lanterns attached to the wire with S hooks. Tie rope around the handle and hang from the ceiling with a plant hook.

Halloween Art Gallery

    Trick-or-treaters aren't the only ones with scary getups for Halloween. Watch this frightening artwork scare away the goblins and ghosts who come knocking at your door. Simply glue googly eyes on copies of old portraits for an spooky and eye-catching Halloween makeover.

Haunted Chair Covers

    Create a spellbinding seating arrangement with a few simple, inexpensive materials.

Home Haunted Home

    This haunted abode looks like it belongs to a witch. Peek under the lid and you'll discover a treasure trove of sweet Halloween treats.

Creepy Nocturnal Creatures

    The creepy-crawlies of Halloween (both flying and footed) cause shrieks of fright. Spray white pumpkins with a sealer, then use cardstock patterns to transfer the critter outlines to the pumpkins. Fill in the outlines with black paint, then arrange the spooky gourds on a black tray. Stick a colony of bats -- cut from cardstock and equipped with wire stems -- into the center pumpkin to heighten the horror.

Make a "Boo-tiful" Disguise

    Drape a family room chair in a white cloth and add ghostly black felt eyes to update your decor for Halloween.

Create a Ghostly Gathering

    Since white objects are highlighted at night, ghostly door decorations made from painted gourds are sure to catch the eye and chill the heart in the dark. Use black paint to give the apparitions spirited expressions; dangle the phantoms from dormant vines, porch rafters, or tree branches. Embellish your exhibit with dried bittersweet, abandoned paper-wasp nests, and a painted twig wreath.

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