Quick and Clever Halloween Centerpieces

There's no better time than Halloween to add some fright to your holiday table. Use these centerpiece ideas as inspiration for your next Halloween party or as festive additions to your home.

By Caitlin Berens

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Black candleholder goblets
Candleholder Goblets Display

    Thrift-store glasses become centerpiece-ready with a coat of black spray paint. Choose textural goblets for the most detail, set them upside down to spray-paint, and tape a few to preserve the tops. Touch up any edges with a black permanent marker after the goblets dry. Note that after decorating the goblets they are meant for display only.

    Editor's Tips:

    -- Use sand to raise your votives to desired height.

    -- Place the goblets on a black tray or a mirror embellished with spray paint to make the centerpiece both cohesive and portable.

"Boo" Embroidery Hoop Centerpiece

    Basic embroidery hoops set a spooky scene at your Halloween table. To make, stretch black costume fabric or lace through the painted hoops; trim extra fabric. Next, spray-paint planters for bases, then add enough florist's foam inside to secure a painted dowel through the middle. Finish with a square of black-and-white patterned paper atop the planters and a hauntingly fun message spelled out in painted wood letters. Hot glue can help secure the dowels and wood letters.

Raven Urn Centerpiece

    You need only a few household items and a little nature to create this haunting-yet-simple Halloween centerpiece. Gather knotted, rustic sticks from your yard or neighborhood to place in a basic urn, and add bits of moss to get the fright just right. Use free clip art to trace and cut out ominous black ravens from construction paper -- the finishing touch for this Halloween centerpiece.

Haunted Halloween Typewriter

    An old typewriter spells out a warning message for your Halloween guests. Load a torn book page in a computer printer and spell out your message (a test run on basic white paper ensures you won't waste your favorite page). Tuck the final note in a vintage typewriter, and let the spooking begin.

    Editor's Tip: For extra fright, drape a skeleton hand across the keys.

Ribbon Spool Stackers

    Colorful spools of ribbon display equally eye-catching desserts. Place scallop-edge die cuts (available at crafts stores or cut from a die-cutting tool) between the ribbon spools with a touch of adhesive to ensure stability. Top with a decadent treat for a sugary-sweet Halloween centerpiece.

    Editor's Tip: Arrange the spools in a cluster around an accent piece, such as a colorful vase, or in a straight line on a table runner to maximize creativity.

White Pumpkins on Black Stands

    Pumpkins painted white and covered in glitter stand out when placed on stark black stands. Use double-sided tape or an adhesive spray to get just the right amount of shine for this glitzy Halloween centerpiece.

Recycled Halloween Centerpiece

    Scrapbook papers and floral accents are all it takes to "upcycle" yesterday's tin cans into a "green" Halloween centerpiece. Standard- and economy-size tin cans work well for this craft, although the more varied the sizes, the more intriguing the display. Wrap with scrapbook paper or add die-cut scenes or stickers as desired.

    Editor's Tip: Keep the cans for next year, or give them away to guests as simple mementos of a frightful night.

Halloween Glass Vases

    Glass block vases become one-of-a-kind Halloween centerpieces with die cuts and spooky scrapbook paper (available at crafts stores). To make, use spray adhesive to attach the papers; (spray the back of the paper, not the glass, to avoid streaks). Place sand and tapered candles inside the vase for a haunting glow.

    Editor's Tip: Use clear plastic blocks in lieu of glass vases. Be sure to nix the candles or opt for battery-powered versions.

Ghost Book Pop-Ups

    A stack of old books forms the stand in this spooky centerpiece. To make, cut two basic ghost shapes from pages in the middle of a book, leaving the bottoms attached to their pages. Hold up each ghost with a touch of tape. To complete, use a hole punch or marker to make eyes for this haunting centerpiece.

Chalked Skeleton Centerpiece

    Spray-paint Halloween props with black chalkboard paint, then outline them with chalk for frightfully aged flair. Fill the cauldron with a decorative bottle, handpicked beverage, or a tasty Halloween treat.

Black and Orange Halloween Candles

    Wrap decorative scrapbook paper around large orange and black candles to create this simple Halloween centerpiece. An orange table runner makes the black candle pop, overturned black bowls add height to the decoration, and black spiders and white Halloween candies add creepy-crawly fun at the base.

    Editor's Tip: Be sure to keep an eye on how fast your candles burn, and trim scrapbook paper accordingly.

Halloween Gourd Centerpiece

    Use rugged old cabinet legs as eye-catching bases in this Halloween gourd display. Elevating some gourds and leaving others on the table, as well as varying the size of gourds, adds quirkiness to this Halloween centerpiece.

    Editor's Tip: Tie ribbon onto the bases in knots or bows to add quick bursts of color.

Floral Jack-o'-Lantern Halloween Centerpiece

    A smiling jack-o'-lantern becomes the perfect Halloween vase when you place a container of water and flowers inside. A simple carving (or scraping) that forgoes the typical wide mouth will help the inside container stay hidden. Use a white pumpkin and orange flowers for extra pop.

Black-and-Orange Skeleton Candle Display

    These tall glass votive holders -- complete with a black jelly bean base -- hold black and orange candles. Spooky skeletons hang on the outside of the votive holders, ensuring an extra-haunting glow when the candles are lit.

Pumpkin-and-Candle Halloween Centerpiece

    Nuts, pumpkins, and a large candle dress up a small woven mat in this simple-yet-sophisticated Halloween centerpiece. Fallen leaves tucked into the display add natural fall flair to the decoration.

    Editor's Tip: For a more kid-friendly decoration, use candies, painted pumpkins, and a battery-powered candle so curious fingers don't find a flame.

Pumpkins on White Dishes

    Simple white dishes display multicolor pumpkins in this elegant Halloween centerpiece. Use footed bowls, small plates, and candlesticks at varying heights to create an eye-catching display.

Silver Skull Centerpiece

    For a centerpiece with both spook and glam, spray-paint a plastic skull silver. Use black feathers to create a to-die-for boa around the "head of the table." Place the skull on a black raised stand or footed dish for a lively Halloween decoration.

Pumpkins in Glasses Centerpiece

    This centerpiece with pumpkins and flower glasses plays a trick on the eyes, as miniature pumpkins placed in water-filled glasses appear to float in the water. (Spoiler: They're just too big to sink all the way to the bottom.) Bright orange flowers resting in a glass and small, shallow bowl add more orange to this Halloween centerpiece.

    Editor's Tip: To add more color, replace water with black and orange candies or smooth black stones.

Pumpkin Platter Centerpiece

    A plain white platter becomes a Halloween centerpiece with a handful of scattered miniature pumpkins and fall accents. The nonlinear look is key with this decoration, so assemble pieces randomly along the platter for an effortless, relaxed look.

Orange Flowers Centerpiece

    A footed white dish is both fancy and festive when filled with an array of orange-hue flowers. Use florist's foam to hold the arrangement securely in place.

    Editor's Tip: Slip a few black roses into the mix, or place miniature pumpkins at the base of the decoration -- painted black if you'd like -- to make the orange flowers really pop in this Halloween centerpiece.

Large Pumpkin Bouquet Halloween Centerpiece

    Use a large, tall pumpkin to create this picturesque Halloween centerpiece. Stuff a variety of flowers, fillers, and greenery in a vase inside this simple, hollowed-out pumpkin.

    Editor's Tip: To add a bit of festive fun, tuck tiny Halloween decorations, such as plastic spiders or spooky stir sticks, into the arrangement.

Black Candles Table Centerpiece

    Get out the white goblets and add spooky spider stickers for Halloween flair. In the center of the table, tuck small yellow flowers into the bases of tiny square dishes that hold black candles. Use florist's foam or stones to hold the candles upright.

White Pumpkin Vases

    White pumpkins double as vases and make for a spook-free Halloween centerpiece. Leaves, orange flowers, and cattails are tucked into a hidden vase or container in the hollowed-out pumpkins.

Book-and-Pumpkin Centerpiece

    Books, pumpkins, and gourds compose this Edgar Allen Poe-worthy Halloween centerpiece. Use black books, or craft quick book covers with black construction paper.

    Editor's Tip: Incorporating raven accents on items such as place cards will make the spooky Edgar Allen Poe vibe even more apparent.

Jack-o'-Lantern Halloween Centerpiece

    Miniature jack-o'-lanterns make a big impact when arranged on footed cake stands and displayed on a vintage tray. Place battery-powered candles inside each hand-carved pumpkin, and let your guests enjoy the glow.


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