27 Easy DIY Decorating Hacks You Have to Try Before Halloween
Nail Polish Pumpkins
For a quick Halloween pumpkin decoration, consider creating a marbled design with nail polish. Our easy, no-carve tutorial requires just a few materials, and it takes much less time than stenciling. Dip your mini pumpkins in a swirled mixture of water and nail polish, then set to dry. This one-hour craft is a perfect mess-free decoration that can be used to brighten any home for Halloween.
Melted Crayon Pumpkin
Halloween isn’t just about showcasing your best orange and black. With this 30-minute tutorial, anyone can add a rainbow-hued pumpkin to their All Hallows Eve decor. For easy cleanup, put down newspaper before beginning this craft, then use a pack of crayons ($2, Target) and a hairdryer to drip colored wax down a store-bought pumpkin. After about 15 minutes, your colorful pumpkin will be ready to stand at the center of any Halloween display.
Make Green Slime Favors
Delight young Halloween party guests with a Mason jar filled with silly slime. This playful party favor can be easily customized to fit your spooky gathering—try using orange food coloring or adding Halloween-theme critters like plastic spiders ($5, Oriental Trading Co.). The best part: this Halloween craft takes just a few minutes to whip up.
These etched pumpkins look intricate, but they're actually so easy to make. All you need is a carving tool (you can even use a potato peeler!) and a quick coat of paint. Make them from faux carvable pumpkins for Halloween decor that'll last for years.
Style a Wagon of Pumpkins
Flickering candlelight accentuates the season's moody ambiance. Shadowy silhouettes depict nighttime icons. Together, they spice up glass lanterns filled with moss, miniature gourds, and bittersweet branches. Print and cut out the flying bats and moon-and-stars patterns, available below. Adhere the silhouettes to glass lanterns using spray adhesive. Arrange a candle and gourds, moss, sprigs, leaves, or other natural materials inside the lantern. Group the arrangement on a mantel, porch, or table.
Editor's Note: Keep flammable materials away from the candle's flame and heat. Don't leave burning candles unattended. A flameless battery-operated candle ($8, Target) can be a good choice for this project.
Pumpkin Fireplace Display
A pile of faux pumpkins is all you need to create this festive Halloween fireplace decoration. Simply arrange them so they spill out of the fireplace. Add interest by using a mix of orange, metallic, and glitter-decorated pumpkins. If you can't find pumpkins in the colors you like, use metallic spray paint ($7, Michaels) to give plain faux pumpkins a facelift.
Spooky Dish Display
Conjure a sense of dusk into darkness with this easy display. Reminiscent of shadows in twilight, these Halloween and autumn-theme designs transform black cutouts into graphic art. Print out the figures, available below, and trace them onto black self-adhesive shelf liner. Carefully cut out the silhouettes, then adhere the cutouts to white plates or trays.
Editor's Tip: Our silhouette patterns are the mirror versions of the shapes in the image. Print and trace the patterns onto the back of the shelf liner. When cutting out, the figures on the front of the shelf liner face the direction shown in the photo.
Pumpkin Fun Garland
Line up paper pumpkins to harvest loads of cheerful creativity. The accordion-fold shapes can spell out whatever Halloween greeting suits your style and space. Keep it short and simple with a single word, or spell out a phrase to welcome friends to your Halloween haven. To make the garland, draw and cut out stemmed pumpkins from orange cardstock ($9, Michaels). Make one for each letter of your greeting; you can make extras to leave blank, too. Cut letters from black cardstock to fit on the pumpkins. Accordion-fold the pumpkins with approximately 1 inch of cardstock between folds. Use black or brown marker to fill in the stem area. Use double-stick tape to attach a letter to each folded pumpkin, being careful not to flatten the folds. String a length of twine along a wall or above a doorway. Attach each pumpkin to the twine with a binder clip, or tape the stems to the twine.
Spooky Halloween Mantel
This quick Halloween decorating idea comes together in a snap! Simply arrange glass bottles or jars, mini pumpkins, and a few printed bug pictures on your mantel. Finish this quick display with fresh-cut branches or bittersweet sprigs.
Related: 30+ Halloween Crafts Anyone Can Make
Paper Leaf Ghost Garland
Two seasonal staples come together to make a ghostly garland that's not too scary. Use a stencil or a real leaf to trace the shape onto white cardstock and cut out. Use a black marker ($3 for two, Target) to add teardrop-shape eyes, and tie string around the leaf stems to finish the garland. Hang it from the doorway, inside or out, or drape across a deck railing.
These no-fuss pumpkin face decorations require no messy pumpkin carving and can be made in minutes. Cut the smiling pumpkin faces from black cardstock and tape the shapes to orange cardstock that has been cut to fit the lantern panels. The finished product will brighten railings or steps during the day and can also light up the night when you put battery-operated candles or flashlights inside the lanterns.
Editor's Tip: For a longer-lasting decoration, put the jack-o'-lantern faces behind the lantern's glass panels.
Halloween Door Cover
Welcome trick-or-treaters with this easy Halloween door cover. To make it, simply measure your front door and cut a large piece of felt to size, then use painters tape to mark off triangles for the eyes and nose, and a festive shape for the mouth. Fill the shapes with gold paint, then remove the tape.
Halloween Colors Wreath
Ring in the crisp temperatures and warm colors of Halloween with a new decoration at your front door or over your fireplace. This autumn beauty captures the glorious shades of turning leaves with plaid ribbon and fabulous wool-felt blooms. Start with a straw wreath and 2-inch-wide plaid ribbon in harvest colors. Hot-glue a ribbon end to the back of the wreath. Wrap ribbon around the wreath; glue the other end of the ribbon to the back. Add other rolls, if necessary, in the same manner until the wreath is covered. Embellish the wreath with purchased felt flowers and leaves in complementary colors. Loop a wide ribbon through the wreath as a hanger.
Editor's Tip: Before gluing ribbon in place, wrap it around the wreath to make sure you have enough to cover it.
Conjure up the illusion of haunting spirits with this easy project. Sand a corner of an old mirror down until it is clear, feathering it at the edge. Copy a photo of a frightened face onto translucent paper ($6, Target) and again on white paper. Tape the translucent print to the back of the mirror, then tape the white one behind it, slightly off-center, for a ghostly image.
Easy Halloween Wreath
Greet your Halloween guests with a spooky Halloween stick wreath. To make, head to the backyard and gather a bunch of sticks. Glue the sticks to a cardboard wreath form and finish with faux spider webs.
Carved Flame Pumpkins
Framed as portraits, these spooky silhouettes add Halloween flair. To create the characters, download our free patterns (the Frankenstein pattern is extra spooky!), enlarge to desired size, and trace onto black cardstock. Cut out the silhouettes using small, sharp scissors, glue to off-white cardstock, and frame.
Imagine glowing jack-o'-lanterns without the mess of scooping out pumpkins or fiddling with candles. These paper-wrapped glass cylinders mimic the look, brightening the steps even during the day. Simply cut the provided patterns out of orange paper and wrap yellow paper around glass cylinders, followed by your trimmed orange paper. If desired, add a battery-operated candle or mini flashlight inside.
Creepy Cat Flower Planter
Dress up a black urn planter with a pair of cat eyes to make it a creepy black cat. Search online for copyright-free images of cat eyes or draw your own, and adhere to the urn with crafts glue. Fill the urn with plastic foam or sand and top with flowers, twigs, or leaves to finish this hair-raising decoration.
Giant Halloween Spiders
Festive Front Door
A coat of green paint transforms inexpensive plastic toys, like this creepy crawly set of critters ($20 for 100, Oriental Trading Co.) into a haunting front door display. Paint toys with green acrylic spray paint and let them dry completely. Draw a swarm shape on plastic hardware cloth and cut out. Arrange the toys on the cloth and glue down. Hang the cloth on the door using tape or a magnetic hanger.
Large Jack-o'-Lantern Display
To make this gourd-filled jack-o'-lantern, fill wire baskets with gourds. Top one basket with a thin board. Hold the board in place while placing the basket on top. Slide the board out and secure the two baskets with wire. Add a felt face with hot glue and finish with a driftwood stem.