Decorating Tips for Halloween

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The crisp weather has returned and leaves are scattering across the sidewalks. The kids are back at school and it is time to reward them and yourself with some Halloween magic! Start early this year and enjoy your the fun this holiday brings to all ages.

String lights

String lights

String Lights

First let’s spook up the house: The outside is always where I start.  My neighborhood is in the country and we don’t have street lights so I like to put orange lights on my fence so people can make their way to our house for some treats. I also like to add one big surprise element, so I put a giant fuzzy spider just where the fence curves just where the fence curves. Even the dog barks at it!

Floating Ghosts

I’m thinking of doing something a little scarier this year in my courtyard…. graveyards are SO last year. Maybe some ghosts floating through the trees? I use odd shaped helium balloons that I buy  at the market, they last for at least 4 weeks. Put one under a sheet and tie fishing line around the bottom of the balloon. Using  a scissor, shred the ends of the sheet, suspend the ghost in the trees and make a few fly towards the top of the house. I also love to sit some ghosts at the table on the porch or on the couch in the back yard.

Scatter leaves at your front door

You can have some fun with leaves too. Gather a full basket and before you spread them out spray paint some of them black. Scatter them out as a trail leading up to your house but leave the black ones for the front door. It makes a sinister impression.

Set the Mood with Music

I love using music to create a spooky atmosphere too. With all the small portable ipod stands and speakers you can place them anywhere. Stream Pandora on the Halloween station and it will surprise both you and your guests.

Ok so let’s conquer the inside: One of my  Halloween favorites is to cut out silhouettes and attach them to the mirror. Find some great portraits on the Internet and blow them up. Cut them out if black construction paper and attach with tape to the mirror. Add some hairspray to the edges to give t a ghostly effect. This is such an easy and cheap activity and fun for the kids to be involved in.

Mantle Drama

My mantle is always decorated for each season. I like to incorporate lots of pumpkins and gourds so the decor lasts me thru


Add spiders and spiderweb for more drama

Thanksgiving. No need to redecorate between the two Holidays! I use artificial pumpkins as it can still be very  warm in Southern California at this time of year. I use branches and vines from outside to create a base and then layer the gourds. All shapes and sizes look best. Next layer in spooky, ravens looking g down on the fireplace, spiders climbing over the branches.  Stretch out the white spider web and carefully place over the top, remember not to let any hang down near the fire.

Some more fun decorating ideas 

  • Spray paint small pumpkins in silver or gold and then using adhesive spray and sprinkle foil confetti on top.
  • Cut paper luminary bags with words so as people walk up to your house to trick or treat they can read a message.
  • Using colored paper plates and colored construction paper – make different “masks” of scary faces to hang on the wall or suspend in your entry way.
  •  If having a party – get a large piece of plywood and paint a stack of pumpkins with jack-o-lantern faces – then cut a few out so that kids can get their picture taken as a pumpkin head.
  • Make a ghost cake (make one rectangular cake and two round cakes) Cut in shape of ghost  and cover it with icing. Use M&M’s for the  eyes and cover with plastic spiders.

To me, decorating the for the season is almost as fun as the Holiday itself. Make yourself a pumpkin latte and get into the mood for one of the most spooktakular Holidays! For Halloween party ideas, check out this article with me on or check out my shop for lots of great decorations.