Fast and Frightful Halloween Crafts Ideas

Lantern Silhouettes
Short on time? These last-minute Halloween craft ideas will fill your home with a spooky spirit for the trick-or-treating season. With speedy pumpkin decorations, quick Halloween wreaths, and more, these party crafts will turn heads at any monstrous get-together. Bonus: Our cute Halloween crafts aren't just fun, they're also easy and quick to make!

Nail Polish Pumpkins

For a quick Halloween pumpkin decoration, consider creating a marbled design. 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-hue pumpkin to their All Hallows Eve decor. For easy cleanup, put down newspaper before beginning this craft, then use broken crayons and a hair dryer 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 spiders. The best part: this Halloween craft takes just a few minutes to whip up.

Style a Pail of Pumpkins

If you only have a few minutes before goblins and ghouls are at your doorstep, arrange miniature pumpkins in a simple pail. This minimalistic Halloween decoration gives off a friendly fall vibe without too much effort.

Night-Sky Lanterns

Flickering candlelight accentuates the season's moody ambience. 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 can be a good choice for this project.

Masked Entrance Display

Welcome guests with the glint of candlelight and a spark of intrigue. A stone-look urn resembling a pumpkin makes a lovely anchor for a bouquet of decorative half masks in black, white, and silver. Tuck floral foam into the urn, and press the dowel attached to the mask into the foam. Cover the opening of the urn with green moss. Place the urn on an entry table. Arrange distressed-glass votives on shiny silver fabric draped over the table edge. Accent the vignette with a bit more moss.

Editor's Note: If you can't find masks that suit your needs, embellish your own. Decoupage shiny decorative paper onto plain masks, and outline with a glitter pen. Accent with silk flowers, and hot-glue a black- or white-painted dowel to the mask.

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. Adhere the cutouts to white plates or trays. Add a Gothic accent by lining the inside of a black tray with pages from an old book; adhere a black silhouette over the printed pages. Gather the finished projects in a cabinet or on shelves for a hauntingly easy focal point. Finish the look with black or white serving pieces, glassware, pumpkins, branches, or old books.

Editor's Note: Our silhouette patterns are the mirror versions of the shapes in the image. Print and trace the patterns onto the back of shelf liner. When cut 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 (we started with "fun"), or spell out a phrase (for example, "Happy Halloween!" or "Party Like a Pumpkin") to welcome friends to your Halloween haven. To make the garland, draw and cut out stemmed pumpkins from orange cardstock. 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.

Monster Centerpice

Create a spooky cast of characters for your dining room table. Use spools of thread for the mini-monsters' bodies. Embellish with googly eyes, ribbon, and string. We used felt cutouts for the creatures' eyes and mouths.  

Editor's Tip: Repurpose old jewelry boxes with scrapbooking or wrapping paper to create fun pedestals for the spool monsters.

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 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.

Jack-o'-Lantern Luminarias

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.

Candy Corn Cone

Fill a cone with some dried naturals and a crow or two for a unique and inexpensive door decoration.

Dancing Skeletons

Enliven glassware for Halloween with dancing skeletons. Download our free pattern, trace onto tracing paper, and cut out each skeleton, 1/2-inch from the design. Tape a cutout inside a glass or plastic tumbler (ones with flat sides work best). Use the pattern lines as guides to draw the skeleton and facial features using a black waterproof paint marker; let dry. Add details and fill in the shapes with a white waterproof paint marker; let dry. (Note: We recommend hand-washing the glassware.)

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 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 Note: Before gluing ribbon in place, wrap it around the wreath to make sure you have enough to cover it.

Masquerade Wreath

Nothing can disguise the appeal of this black-and-white Halloween wreath. The wreath displays all the mystery and excitement of a masquerade ball. To make the wreath, remove the elastic bands from simple black and white half masks. Using a plastic foam wreath form as a base, arrange the masks around the form, alternating colors and overlapping masks. Adhere the masks using straight pins or hot glue. For a colorful contrast, tie a black-and-orange ribbon bow, and glue or pin to the wreath.

Make a pretty Halloween wreath by wrapping an old picture frame with cheap feather boas. The holiday craft takes just 10 minutes!

Spooky Halloween Wreath

Handmake a creative Halloween wreath with this cheap and easy craft. It takes just 10 minutes to make!

Dotted Table Runner

With a layer of orange felt beneath, the dotted design on this table runner conjures the image of a field of pumpkins. The chocolate-brown felt top layer will carry through the harvest season; use black felt for a traditional Halloween look. Trace circles of various sizes onto a length of dark-color felt; cut out. Layer the felt over a length of same-size orange felt. Secure the two layers with glue, if desired, and drape the runner over the table.

Hurricane Lanterns

Decorate hurricane lanterns to add an old-fashioned candlelit glow to any Halloween party. Click on the link below for step-by-step instructions for this easy project.

Haunted Tableware

Cast a spell on a new or vintage plate using stenciled letters and black glass paint. Freehand-paint a lifeless branch for extra chills. The design takes little time to create, but give it plenty of time to dry and cure. To stencil the design, transfer the pattern, available below, onto stencil plastic. Carefully cut out letters using a crafts knife. Securely tape stencil to plate. Dip an angle-tip paintbrush into glass paint. Lightly dab paintbrush onto a paper towel, then dab paint inside the letters. Let dry; reapply paint until you are satisfied with the result. Draw a tree branch on the plate using a pencil. Paint penciled lines with glass paint. Let dry 24 hours. Bake the plate in a 325-degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool slowly.

Haunted Mirror

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 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.

Haunted Wall Decor

Shock guests with a gallery of macabre images. Search your basement, local dollar store, and thrift store for old white plates and bowls. Then look on the internet for free clip art of skulls, skeletons, and other anatomical prints. (Think images from old medical textbooks.) Print your finds in black-and-white, then decoupage them onto plates and bowls. Use removable adhesive picture-hanging strips for this seasonal display.

October Lights

See your nighttime festivities in a new light by adding letters to glass pillar-candle holders. Wrap the outsides of the holders with colored tissue paper and secure with tape. Adhere a 2-inch letter sticker (find at office supply or crafts stores) to each pillar to form a word.

Creepy-Crawly Caterpillar Pumpkins

This easy-to-make pumpkin decoration requires no carving at all—simply paint 10 pumpkins and the stems (we used light green and black paint, but you can choose whatever colors you like), arrange to form a caterpillar, and cover with adhesive felt dots. Finish the creepy creature with a pair of large googly eyes.

Create quick no-carve Halloween pumpkins with a creative eye and some decorative tape. We share our technique!

Easy No-Carve Halloween Pumpkins

Whip up a couple of decorated pumpkins in no time with our ingenius decorating idea. Learn how to make the too-cute decorations.

Spooky Silhouettes

Framed as portraits, these spooky silhouettes add Halloween flair. To create the characters, download our free patterns, enlarge to desired size, and trace onto black cardstock. Cut out the silhouettes using small, sharp scissors, glue to off-white cardstock, and frame.

Goofy Ghouls Wreath

Turn creepy Halloween creatures into giggle-causing ghouls. Vampires, black cats, bats, and jack-o'-lanterns aren't nearly as scary made from plastic plates, colorful paper, and puffy paint. With googly eyes and crafts foam accents, these Halloween faces band together for a smile-inducing seasonal door accent. Create the faces, then simply glue the shapes to a plastic foam wreath form.

Editor's Note: Kids will love making the Halloween faces. Cut out the shapes for facial features ahead of time and let your kids assemble the faces, adding imaginative touches to personalize their silly monsters.

Jack-O'-Lantern Craft

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.

Editor's Tip: Outline the eyes with glow-in-the-dark paint for a memorable nighttime stare.

Beaded Candle Cups

Seed beads and glitter team up to blanket votive candleholders with ghoulish glitz. Use a paintbrush to apply thick decoupage medium to glass votive cups, working in small sections at a time. Sprinkle the wet medium with beads or glitter as desired. Allow medium to dry in one section before moving to the next.

Spooky Sunflowers

These pretty flowers get a fun Halloween makeover with frightful faces made out of orange cardstock. Cut out a face and attach to the middle of the flower with small amounts of crafts glue.

Fashionable Witch's Hat

The witch who owns this hat must have a few fashion spells up her sleeve. To make the chic hat, start with a 3-7/8x8-7/8-inch plastic-foam cone. Cut black silk flowers, leaving a 1-inch stem. Beginning at the top, insert the flowers into the cone. (You could also hot-glue them to the cone.) For the brim, cut an 11- to 12-inch circle from thin cardboard (a recycled cereal box works great) and paint it black; let dry. Hot-glue the cone to the center of the circle and add purple flowers around the base of the cone.

Eyeball Candy Holders

These pull-apart plastic ornaments transform into larger-than-life eyeball candy holders. Use a circle cutter to make two round stencils, then emblazon the peering design using spray paint. Enclose treats inside the spooky eyeballs for added fear factor.

Wacky Wall Art

Something is slightly off-kilter about this wall art—and that's part of the fun! The characters from Alice in Wonderland are ideal components of Halloween decor that's silly, not scary. Hung at odd angles in mismatched frames, the character silhouettes are so easy you'll never have to worry about being late to the party. Simply print out the free character silhouettes, available below. Paint an assortment of frames dark brown or black to create a consistent look, and place a character in each frame. Hang the framed art any which way that pleases you. No need to worry about hanging these pictures straight!

Editor's Note: This is an ideal project for discarded frames and other unused extras. Painting the frames a single color gives coherence to the vignette while accentuating quirky shapes and details of the individual frames.

Spooky Candles

Line up basic pillar candles to spell out a spooky message. Hot-glue beads, rhinestones, or seeds into a letter shape on each candle, then place the candles on candlesticks of varying heights.

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