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10 Halloween Decor Ideas Beyond Carved Pumpkins

We’re going completely batty over these spooktacular scenes.

Oct 09, 2020

Why try and contain Halloween to just one night? We’re here for Halloween month—with creative decor to last the season.  Carved Jack-O-Lanterns might satisfy that one-week crave, but our favorite spooky decorations go up October 1st, and look just as pretty by Halloween night—no rotting casualties. 


Think long-term this year and decorate with repurposed dollar-store finds, painted pieces, and sheets so spooky, we dare you to try and sleep in the same room as them. Our favorite Halloween decor has no expiration date.


Spooky terrariums
Lace-winged moths, creepy crawlies, and hauntingly beautiful butterflies set the scene for these terrariums, set under cloche jars. Select your favorite faux insects from the crafts store, and arrange them amid faux moss, rocks, and spindly twigs. Use on a mantel or as a table centerpiece all month long.

Painted Pumpkins
Typical pumpkins; but with a twist. Keep the pumpkins intact so they last through the month, but get creative with decorating their outsides. Paint on geometric shapes for a modern, abstract take on Halloween decor, or stencil on bats and spiders for something more traditionally spooky. Let yourself get colorful if the mood strikes; typical fall oranges and blacks fit the bill, but you can also try mixing in teals and purples for some more mystical color schemes. 

Ghastly Garlands
Create a simple garland with cutouts of your favorite spooky critter or character, strung together with black thread. Check out tutorials for DIYs like this Pacman garland or string of bats for inspiration. 

Creepy Wreaths
Make your front door a ghastly showstopper with a wreath concocted from the remnants of (what can only be assumed is) your potion-making. Rubber snakes intertwining around a grapevine wreath, or a simple mummified wreath wrapped in gauze makes the base for a terrifying greeting. Take basic vine wreaths and spook them up by spray-painting them black, then hot gluing faux crows or spiders around them. (We love this tutorial by Pink Peppermint Design for a quick cobweb-inspired DIY.) Or, if you’re aiming for something kid-rated, simply hot-glue dollar store candy to a foam frame, and let the trick-or-treating begin. 

Floating Ghosts
Create life-sized ghosts to haunt your front yard with chicken wire and some old sheets or cheesecloth. Start by forming a human-like shape from the chicken wire, then drape tattered sheets and sheer fabrics like old curtains or a thin cheesecloth over the form. Hang from trees using fishing line or string.

Oversized Web
Spin a giant spider web in your front yard using white or black rope and a couple of stakes stuck in the ground. Use the lip of your roof, a tree branch, or another high-up area as your top anchor point, then place two stakes to the left and right below, so the anchor points form a triangle. Stretch and secure lengths of rope between the anchor points to design your spider web.

Vintage Masks
Got some spooky masks lingering in the attic that you’ll never actually wear again, but are dying to use? Try arranging a trio in a simple line down the wall, using their attached elastics to hang them like wall art. Shop inexpensive vintage-inspired masks at party or dollar stores, if you don’t have some hiding in storage already. 

Batty Branches
Bring bare-branched planters and trees back to life with simple ribbons, tied on branches throughout. In the wind, their loose ends will flutter, creating the illusion of little bats nestled in the branches. 

Framed Silhouettes
Create a gallery wall with silhouettes cut from black craft paper. Trace and cut out old-timey profiles and back them with white paper; frame, and hang over a bar console or above the mantel.

Cauldron Magic
Fill a Dutch oven or other large pot with your favorite cocktail or cider recipe, then pop a few dry ice cubes into the mix to create a frothy, smoking cauldron. Just be sure to use the dry ice safely, and not ingest—dry ice sinks to the bottom of drinks, so it’s easy to avoid. (Read Betty Crocker’s safety guide for more info before concocting.)


Written by Mallory Abreu

Mallory is a writer currently based in Des Moines, Iowa, where she works as a home design editor for Better Homes & Gardens. This New England native began her career at the Boston Globe covering music and arts beats, and has since had her work featured in Boston Magazine, Magnolia Journal, BH&G, and other national publications. Catch her playing piano and ogling old homes in her free time. View her portfolio at www.malloryabreu.com and follow her on IG at @mal.abreu.

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