Tag Archives: quick halloween decorations

Decorate Your Car for Halloween

Thought you’d run out of things to creep up on Halloween? Wrong-o, my spooky friend! Have you ever considered decorating your car?

I have. And I’ve used most of the methods described below. If I haven’t, I’ve referenced the appropriate image. Come along on a terrifying little ride with me!

Car Decor Idea #1: Ghost Rider

Every year, come the first day of fall of thereabouts, our fam

"Skellie," our family's very own ghost rider
“Skellie,” our family’s very own ghost rider

ily friend Skellie takes up residence in my car. I drive, and Skellie drives shotgun. We even put a seat belt on him (see pic).

This little trick is hysterical and is obviously very easy to do. Strap in any close to life-size poseable skeleton, zombie, ghost, witch or ghoul so passersby get an eyeful.

Don’t go too gory or too realistic, as trying to figure out what that “thing” is in the front seat could potentially cause a rubbernecking accident.

Car Decor Idea #2: Hunk in the Trunk

This idea is an oldie but continues to be a goodie. Hang an arm or other body part out the trunk. (The old-fashioned way calls for a tie and an “Ex-Husband in Trunk” sign.)

Don’t allow parts to dangle below the level of the top of your license plate. They could get caught on your tires, drag under the car or cause other hazards.

Car Decor Idea #3: Window Clings

Not the artistic type? Use Halloween Window Clings on your car windows. Put them on the inside of the window so nobody can take them! Trust me, these are tempting.

Car Decor Idea #4: Fangtastic

Cut two large crescents out of thick paper and hang on the car grille as “fangs” (the lights are the eyes). Make sure these are very well attached, but do not use any glue or tape adhesive that could damage your paint or grille.

Car Decor Idea #5: Autumn Touches

You can use inexpensive touches like this one year after year.

For the picture of the pumpkin with sunflowers and leaves, I spent a grand total of $2. Each item came from Dollar Tree. Fall touches abound at this time of year, always look good and can be had at a steal.

Also check out your Goodwill, thrift or consignment shops for fall finds.

Car Decor Idea #6: Paint it Up

Use specially formulated car markers or paint on your car windows. Careful: DON’T obstruct your vision. Keep to the perimeters of your windows and dot on pumpkins, witches or a ghoul trying to escape out the side window.

A warning: do not use acrylic paints for this. They’re hard to get off anything, even glass, and you may scratch your windows trying.

Car Decor Idea #7: A Tangled Web

Creepy! And crawly. Photo: Squidoo.com

This idea is so simple and incredibly economical. Pick up a few bags of synthetic webbing — the kind you pull apart to make it look real. Now pull the webbing all over your car.

Be sure to leave the windows clear enough so you still have a good view of traffic on all sides.

I’ve seen bags of cobwebbing let go for less than half a dollar in post-season sales, so if you plan on doing this next year, go shopping in early November and check the clearance racks.

Car Decor Idea #8: Ghost Antenna Topper

This is another easy and very inexpensive project. Take a foam ball and a small square of white fabric. Place the fabric over the ball and pin in with very small, headless pins. Draw eyes and a mouth on your ghost in magic marker.

You can alternatively make a pumpkin antenna topper. Use orange fabric. Gather the fabric around the styrofoam ball from the bottom; tie at the top for the stem. Draw eyes, nose and a mouth using magic marker.

Car Decor Idea #9: All Up in Your GrilleHalloween Car Skulls

If your grille has space (and if you won’t be impeding the flow of air), add cool Halloween decor.

You won’t be wanting to use glue, but you WILL want a tight fit so that your decor items won’t wind up all over the highway, so choose pieces that fit exactly or can be cut to fit exactly, without  moving around.

A Word About Safety

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? We’ll say it anyway. Objects that obstruct your vision, objects that dangle/wave in the wind, that aren’t fixed securely or that look too realistic can be real driving hazards. Don’t cause an accident. Be smart about your Halloween car decor choices.

Have fun being the creepiest speed demon in your neighborhood this year.

The skeleton in our closet ... urr, car
The skeleton in our closet … urr, car

How to Quickly Make a Halloween Scarecrow Family

Each year I think I’ll add new items to my yard display, but every year the same thing happens: I‘m broke and have no time! Let’s face it, the two most important things we all need if we want to add something really great to our Halloween display is time and money. Both always seems to slip though my fingers like grains of sand in an evil inspired hour-glass.

But no matter how short on time and money you are, you’ll have most of the things to make a few fast scarecrows. The only thing you need to have is a few old clothes, garden stakes, and an hour or so and you’ve got instant decorations for little or no money!

Supply list:

  • Tall poles or PVC pipes
  • Trick-or-treat Buckets
  • Yarn, wigs and/or old hats
  • Wire
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic shopping bags or garbage bags
  • Newspapers and/or Leaves
  • Cutters
  • Clothes
  • Old gloves
  • Shoes

scarecrow-familyStep One–Scarecrows (SC)

Before we dive in, I want show you the three scarecrows I made once and talk about making a twist to the basic SC. How about making them in poses so that they do something rather than just standing there? Look at the photo of my family of scarecrows as if you’ve caught them in the act of adoring their daughter. I’ll describe how I made these so you can get ideas of how to branch out and pose your own SCs.

Step Two–Construction

Mommy Scarecrow

I drove one long bean pole into the ground for the standing mom. I held up the housecoat to the pole and measured where the neck needed to be and then measured a wooden garden stake to make her shoulders. I then wired the garden stake and then wound a strip of duct tape around the wire for stability. I grabbed a hand full of the plastic bags and stuffed another bag fairly full of newspaper (also try leaves) and taped it to the neck and chest for her body. Then I slipped her housecoat on and let it drag on the ground since I didn’t have any shoes for her.

Daddy Scarecrow

Now it was time to make the dad SC, and this is going to be fun since I wanted to make him sitting down. I stuffed an old pair of sweat pants with newspaper inside garbage bags and filled the pants until they looked like legs. Between the picnic table top and seat, I drove into the ground a shorter bean pole until it was the right height for his head and shoulders. I attached the cross piece the same for him as I did for the mom. Now I ran some wire through part of the waistband of the pants and attached it to the stake so the legs wouldn’t fall off in high wind. I slipped on the sweatshirt without stuffing him and started the child SC.

Child Scarecrow

The child SC I assembled differently. I drove two short garden stakes though a pair of old shoes, dropped her pants on over the stakes and stuffed her pants before I wired on the stake for her shoulders. I lightly stuffed her sweatshirt with more plastic bags, and then I was ready to attach all their heads.

Scarecrow Heads

As you can see, their heads are two sizes of old trick-or-treat buckets that I cut x’s in the bottom of so they’d fit on the poles. The treat buckets are perfect for this purpose because they’re weather resistant, have ready made faces, and we all have scads of them lying around the house. I finished off the heads with some yarn hair and old hats. I then safety pinned the gloves to the sleeves, and I was finished.

I can’t tell you how many people stopped by and talked about how much they loved my scarecrows. Some families stopped and as asked if they could have their picture taken with them. Others had the kids do some silly poses by them.

To this day, my family of scarecrows are the hit of the neighborhood, and now they have lots of other scarecrows to play with in my neighbors’ yards. So gather your family, a pile of old duds, a few garden stakes, and makes memories as well as decorations this Halloween season without spending a dime!

Spooky Chalk Rubbings for Halloween




Thank you, guest author Ruth Randall, for this beautiful Halloween craft!

Sidewalk chalk takes on a whole new look this time of year. Making chalk rubbings on black construction paper gives it a ghostly appearance and can make for some spooky monster shapes.

Check out this EASY info on how to create your own spooky chalk rubbings for your Halloween decor. Fun!

Materials Needed

  • Sidewalk or other chalk, or crayons
  • Construction paper – especially black
  • Aerosol hair spray
  • Shapes to rub: leaves and/or Halloween cut outs
  • Textured papers or cloth

This is a simple project that even a 2-year-old can get into and enjoy!

1. Lay your choice of shape on the counter or other hard surface. You can do one shape at a time or lay several out at once. However, we found that leaves get lost in each other if they all get put down together.

2. Lay the construction paper over the shape(s).

3. With the chalk on its long side, begin rubbing. Depending on how distinct each shape is you may have to rub harder or softer.

4. When you are satisfied with your rubbing, hold the hairspray at a distance and spray it to hold the chalk in place. If you get it too close, the picture will disappear; but I’m happy to report that, eerily, your picture will return once it dries.

5. If you chose to use crayons you’ll need to be more careful in holding the paper in place because they do not move as smoothly as the chalk does.


Each of these pumpkins was rubbed separately with a single shape. After each pumpkin appeared we moved the pumpkin shape underneath to a different spot:


For the monsters we used grape leaves and then added the eyes after removing the leaf from under the paper. The purple monster is made with a whole leaf, the blue “bat’ was made after I tore the leaf a bit. Some of the shapes we used came from tracing cookie cutters on paper and then cutting out the shape.


You can also find shape inspiration by using Google Images to find clip art of Halloween themes or anything else you can imagine!

These tree-looking rubbings were made with a weed grass that still carried lots of seeds. The seeds gave quite a nice effect. Using different colored chalks and letting them blend together is a nice way to create a deeper visual. We used several different colors of paper, but the most stunning effects were achieved with the black construction paper.


Chalk Rubbings at Your Halloween Party

These chalk rubbings can become a fun game at a party, too! Get a roll of butcher paper (which you can buy in black) and cover your table with it or hang it along the wall. Offer a prize to whoever colors the best leaf or shape or whoever finds the biggest leaf/shape.

You can also offer a “booby” prize – at least that’s what we called it when I was a kid: a prize for whoever is furthest from the mark. The idea, of course, is to have a lot of fun!

Another neat idea is to take butcher paper to a graveyard and make rubbings of old gravestones to decorate your house with. Let your imagination take you through the year with chalk rubbings.

Making Halloween Decorations with Bakeable Clay

Halloween is a holiday which has seen a wide variety of decorating options grow over the last decade. These options include Halloween villages, Halloween trees, and the expansion of miniature collectibles, some directly related to Halloween, and others to the fall season in general. Prices for such decorations can range from several dollars to upwards of a hundred, and while they are inevitable worth it at the moment of purchase, guilty can quickly follow – or at least it does for me.

In order to satisfy my Halloween addiction, and to keep money in my wallet, my wife introduced me to bake-able clay. Bake-able clay is sold in packets. Most of these packets are roughly one inch deep, two and a half inches wide, and three inches long.

The generic brands of bake-able clay, such as “craftsmart” Polymer Clay, usually cost under two dollars for one package. Craft stores such as Michael’s and A.C. Moore carry not only the “craftsmart” brand, but several others as well, and they are available in a broad array of colors. For Halloween, the basic colors needed are white, green, orange, and black. Bake-able clay is extremely malleable, and requires very little in the way of tools.

Working With Bakeable Clay

With aluminum foil, wax paper, a sharp knife, and some imagination, the creation of your own decorations is much closer than you realize. Each piece of bake-able clay can be cut or pulled apart, and the more that you work it with your hands, the warmer the clay will become. As the clay warms, it will be easier for you to form and shape it.

Once you’ve chosen the shape that you want, be patient, haste will only cause you to ruin whatever work you’ve done. As the clay cools a sharp knife can be used to trim the piece, or to do fine work. Sewing needles and pins can also be used for the same. Make sure you place the piece of clay on your wax-paper, or on a smooth clean surface so there’s no damage to it before you put it into the oven to bake.

Pumpkins are fairly easy to make, as you need only to roll a small amount of orange clay in your hand (as if you were making cookies), to get the basic shape that you want. Once you have the shape your sewing needle or knife can make the necessary lines. A small curl of green clay can be the remains of a vine, and if you’re truly skilled (like my wife), you can use an Exacto blade to make leaves for your pumpkin.

Headstones can be formed by warming up the clay as with the pumpkins, then rolling it flat with a pen on your wax paper. Once you have the clay to the thickness that you want, carefully use a sharp knife to trim the clay into the shape you want. A needle can be used to make decorations, or epitaphs. When you’re ready to make a base for your stone, follow the same procedures.

Baking in the Oven

Once you’ve finished your piece, or pieces, carefully move them from the wax-paper, or smooth surface, to a baking sheet lined with the aluminum foil. If you don’t have a baking sheet that you want to use for your project, then doubling up a sheet of aluminum foil will work fine as well.

When you place the ornaments on the aluminum foil you should use smaller pieces of foil to make sure the ornaments stay upright and don’t flatten in the baking process.

Baking only takes around fifteen minutes (look on the package for baking instructions), so depending on how many pieces you’re making, you can see the fruits of your labor quickly. Once the pieces are done, you’ll be ready to start decorating with your own ornaments for Halloween!


10-Minute Ghostly “Bodies” to Haunt Your House

Thanks, guest contributor Sarah Briggs, for this haunting tutorial!

You can never have enough bodies when haunting a porch, yard, or house!. Every time I haunt the house for a kid’s party or for our adult parties, I like to have ghostly bodies placed around my rooms in chairs or at the piano.

But, sadly, real bodies stink after a bit, and fake bodies can cost a lot to make. And then there’s the storage issue after Halloween.

What else could I do but come up with a new way to fill my needs without the stench of death or spending big bucks? Here are a few ideas that might help you, too. Got ten minutes? You’ve got bodies!

Supplies for a Piano Ghost:

  • Wig head
  • Wire tomato cage
  • Duct tape
  • Gauzy white sheer curtain or several yards of white sheer material
  • 21 gage wire for the arms

piano ghost prop

Step One:

Set the tomato cage on the piano bench and secure it with some weights wrapped in black plastic and set on the edges of the cage. Pull the three wire legs together and wrap with duct tape and pop on the wig head. You may have to play with it to get it to stay since each head is different.

Take the roll of heavy gage wire and measure from one side of the keyboard, around the cage, and to the other side of the keyboard for the arms and hands. Cut the wire and either tape it in place with duct tape or with thin florist wire. Now drape your sheer curtain or material over the head and over the tips of the wire for its hands.

Step Two:

There is no step two! Told you it was fast.

Ghost Number Two:

  • White flat sheet
  • Wig head
  • Wooden dowel
  • Rocker or other high-backed wooden chair
  • Pants
  • Boots or shoes
  • Newspapers
  • White gloves stuffed with white paper or tissue
  • Florist wire

Step One and Only

Get the wig head and insert the dowel into the head. Wire the dowel to one of the rungs of the chair. Make sure the head sticks up above the back of the chair so that it’ll make your guests wonder if it’s a dummy or a real person.

Now attach the stuffed gloves to the arm of the chair so that it looks natural. Stuff the pair of pants with newspapers until the legs are firm but bendable. Set the pants into the chair, attach some florist wire through the belt loops on both sides of the pants, and wire them onto a rung of the chair.

Now add the shoes or boots and be sure to place the shoes like someone would if they actually sat there. Cover the whole thing with the white sheet but make sure that only part of the legs/shoes and their hands show as you drape the whole chair with the sheet. Done!

Some of my best props, and sometime scares, are when I toss some last-minute things together. Try these two easy ghostly visitors and watch how your guests will react. Happy Halloween!

Halloween Party Decor: Four Creative Ideas

When planning a Halloween party for adults, having super decorations can definitely make a lasting impression. Sure, there are lots of ready-made items you can use to adorn your party space. However, some hand-made items not only add a unique and inexpensive touch to your party, they can be  personalized as well. Your guests will rave about these homemade touches you can make in no time:

Tombstones – A Little Effort Goes a Long Way

Among the most popular items at parties I’ve hosted are the Guest-Name tombstones. You can put in a little time or a whole lot, depending on your party guest list size and the time you have available.

Using butcher paper or any large-sized white or grey paper, cut out tombstones that are about 2 feet tall each. Now the good-natured fun begins! You are going to personalize each tombstone with the name of each guest. If you’re feeling creative along with your spooky mood, personalize them in a humorous way. For example, for a friend who enjoys deep sea fishing:

Here Lies Scott Smith,
A better angler’s there’s never been.
Alas one day came,
A shark of some fame
Jaws met Scott, you can guess who did win.

The Halloween Tree


The goal is to awaken your creative juices and bring smiles to the faces of your guests. Along these lines, I always have a 4’ tall Halloween Tree, which is decorative and helps you remember the festivities’ participants.

Using a small artificial Christmas tree – and the way stores put out the Christmas merchandise, you should have no trouble picking up one of these around this time of year! – decorate the tree with orange lights and easy-to-make white tissue paper ghosts (stuff white paper towels with tissues, tie to create a neck, and put on a scary face with permanent marker). ALTERNATE CHOICE: Choose any “spindly,” leafless artificial mini-tree.

Next, using orange flat paint, paint some white or clear Christmas ball ornaments in a bright orange hue. Mix things up by cutting pieces of cardboard in Halloween colors; glue together into fanciful shapes. Tie each with a Halloween-themed ribbon, which is readily available at any craft store. As the guests arrive, using a permanent marker, have each sign his name and a message on an orange ornament and hang it on the tree. Voila! A beautiful centerpiece for your party and a fun keepsake for you.

We Do Windows!

You can use car window chalk to write on your windows: BEWARE! DANGER! TURN BACK NOW! Draw simple ghosts with the chalk if you’re adept at drawing simple figures. Use your imagination. Bats are easy to draw using black chalk paint as are witches’ hats, nighttime stars in yellow paint, and ghoulish faces in green paint. Use pictures you can easily find online as your guides. Best of all, if you make a mistake, just wipe the paint away and give it another try!

The Pumpkin Patch and Other Tips

Finally, it’s always fun to have an indoor pumpkin patch if you have the room. I use wild ivy on the floor, along a wall, and real pumpkins scattered amidst the foliage. Have a few vases of black roses (easy to make with black tissue paper and dead-colored pipe cleaners for stems). Add a fog machine you can buy or rent, and the mood is set! Throw in a dance contest to Michael Jackson’s famous “thrilling” tune, and hysterical fun is sure to follow. Reclaim the holiday for us “old” people. It’s not just a holiday for kids!

Mesmerizing Spider Webs for Your Haunted House


Many thanks to guest contributor Ruth Randall for this spellbinding tutorial.

Sure, anybody can make paper snowflakes – but how about paper cobwebs for your Halloween decor? Just don’t stare too long at your creations – you may find yourself hypnotized and under the spell of trick-or-treaters out to empty that treat bucket!

Here’s how to cut out your own Halloween cobwebs for a spooky – and magical – night.

You Will Need:

  • 8-1/2 inch paper (or whatever size you have available) – black, gray, silver, deep purple or deep blue
  • Safety scissors for kids
  • Small plastic spiders (from a craft or dollar store)

For this project we created one web out of white paper so readers can  better see the diagrams in this article For your haunt, we suggest using gray or black paper, as white tends to look very snowflake-like no matter what you do to it!

Another option is the muddy purple vellum that was rescued from the scrap booking pile, shown below. This cool paper has met its glorious Halloween destiny!

Paper cobwebs


Using a regular 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper in one of the color choices suggested above:

  1. Take your piece of paper and fold in half.
  2. Fold in half again.
  3. There will be a center point on your paper where it has been folded (unfold to find it, then fold again). Have that point facing you, and put your thumb over it. Take the right corner and fold over. One small point will stick out.
  4. Take the left corner and fold over the right. You’ll have something of an arrowhead-look.
  5. Cut the top off so it looks like an arrowhead pointing at you.
  6. Cut a spike so it looks like the third image below. This will be the outer webbing.
In half diagonally
In half diagonally
In thirds
In thirds
In half again
In half again

7. Begin making curved cuts that echo the curve of the spike.

8. Cut the bottom point how you would like. I cut a tiny “v”.

Paper Cobwebs - cutting the spider web Finished paper spider web




Just as with a winter snowflake there are bound to be some surprises when you unfold your cobweb. The finished cobweb above is the white version – it still looks like a snowflake, but with a bad attitude. (We like that!)

Iron the cobwebs if you wish them to be more flat; they will come out rather crumpled. If you do iron them put another piece of paper or cloth over them so that the iron does not tear through the cutwork.

Being unhappy with the snowflake-like cobweb lead me to a search through old scrapbook papers, which revealed some muddy purple vellum. Perfect! It had just the right effect in making a spooky/creepy spider’s web. Attach the spider with some glue, and you’re done!

Muddy purple vellum gives this a more silky, spider web look!
Muddy purple vellum gives this a more silky, spider web look!

Vellum papers will offer the most compelling medium for this project, but I found this medium was a little more difficult than regular paper to fold and cut. Luckily, there are many colors of copy paper you can choose from.

White paper versus muddy vellum
White paper versus muddy vellum

There are a lot of ways to use these fun cobwebs:

  • They make great doilies for a Halloween buffet.
  • Tape them together (very carefully) for a table cloth or curtains.
  • Coasters. Cut smaller cobwebs (start with a 5” square) and use paper mache to attach them to cardboard coasters. You could make more permanent type coasters by using the same technique to attach them to thin balsa wood and then cover with a sealer.
  • Spread a few up around a candle for a centerpiece.

That’s it – so easy, so quick, so inexpensive…and so spooky!

Decorations at a Moment’s Notice (or D.A.M.N.)


Halloween  mail  Postcard
Halloween mail Postcard

Some people in this world can make a gorgeous Halloween decoration for any occasion out of a bowl of grits and twist tie. Well, ok, not grits, but you get the point. Me? Nope, I’m not one of them. Notice the title of this section? I have to think about what I want to do and plan well in advance . . . unlessssssss I decide to throw together a last minute gig!

I hope to make a few suggestions about how you can plan decorations and what to grab if you need to throw something together at the last minute. That is where D.A.M.N. comes in! How to come up with decorations at a moment’s notice (D.A.M.N.)

Getting Your Halloween Party Set Up . . . Quickly!

Decide if you are going to use a porch, family room, or a basement and then do two things:

1. Decide how you’re going to make the area dark
Just tape black table cloths over the windows in only a few minutes. I can’t tell you how many Halloween parties I’ve gone to where the hosts keep the lights on! Nay! This is a party filled with make up, mystery, and costumes.

2.Turn off the lights and do some eerie lighting
Take all the lamps you normally have in the room out and put either low wattage or colored bulbs in them. Place them on the floor in each of the corners of the room.

You’d be surprised how just doing those two things will change the atmosphere of your room for little or nothing. And let me tell you, having all your lights pointing up is a great eerie effect and will make great shadows for your party. Oh, and for the guest that keeps saying, “Oh it’s too dark in here.” Send him or her to the store for more chips. DO NOT TURN ON THE LIGHTS!

Now What?

Oh, many other D.A.M.N. decorations exist that you can pull out what you might not even have thought about. For instance, look up. The ceiling is a perfectly blank canvas for your decorating skills because it’s the perfect showcase for a huge decoration. What, you say? Yes, get one of your large and light yard ghouls that’s just a head and arms and with a long gown or cape and get ready to wow your guests.

Get four 3M temporary hooks and some fishing line that will blend in with the color of your ceiling. Put your ghoul in the center of the room where everyone has to walk under it. Securely tie the arms and body to the hooks.

Add a fifth hook over in a hidden corner and run a separate line from the head of the dummy back to that corner. The head should be bent so it looks like it is peering down at your guests. If it looks too saggy, very slightly raise it. Finally, tie the end of the fishing line off on a table leg or some other heavy item so it can’t fall.

Now to play a trick on your guests. Stand in the corner of the room during the party and wait until everyone is used to seeing the ghoul there. When no one is looking, suddenly pull the string, raising it’s head (or hands if you so desire) and giving your guests quite a scare!

A Murder of Crows

Don’t you just love that group name? Well, it works for this occasion because if you need fast, effective and relatively inexpensive decorations, get a bunch of crows. Put white sheets all over your party room and attach those little birds in groups of three to five everywhere. You can’t go wrong with black and white, no matter what you do, and it’s easy to add to your collection at the end of the season. I’ve purchased them at four for a dollar, so every year I add to my birds. Now I can do a whole house in the style of the movie The Birds if I want.

Collections of Webs and Spiders

Another D.A.M.N. fast decoration is cheep webs and tons of plastic spiders! I bet you have loads of them in your Halloween items already or can make a trip down to your local dollar store to stock up on the little buggers and packages of webs. Get white or green webs because it really doesn’t matter about color, especially if you have a nice sized black light to add to the room.

Pull the webs into really thin, long sections and stretch them as far as you can so that they look real. Then put the spiders, hundreds of them, all over your party room, kitchen, and bathroom so that it looks like your house is working alive with the little devils. Add a black light and watch the webs glow like crazy, and your room will look spookily inviting to any guest in a short amount of time

Sophisticated Party Room

Not every Halloween party room has to be scary, because some really like the more sophisticated look like that of a Martha Stewart display. Great! Get enough inexpensive black material to replace your current drapes and add two or three crows to the ends of your curtain rods for a touch of whimsy. Cover lamp shades in scrap booking paper and tape in place for a temporary Halloween lampshade and use Halloween material to make fast runners for your tables. Add baskets of pumpkins, fall corn, and gourds around the room with branches of multi-colored fall leaves. Place your good Halloween collectables on your book shelves and on many of the surfaces around the room.

But be sure to leave room for drinks and hors ‘d vours your guests will need to set down during your soiree. Add any textile decorations where your normal art goes on the walls and lay past and present Halloween issues of your favorite magazines around your room. Go to you local Farmers’ Market and buy some carved apple dolls or walnut-headed dolls that are commonly made around this time of the year. Those dolls will add a homespun air to add to your room.

These styles of decorations just goes to show you that you don’t have to spend much money or look beyond your own stash for great Decorations At a Moment’s Notice. All you ever need to do is to look at what you have or have access to, and you can make your party and party space something special in just a few short hours. Enjoy your party!

One-of-a-Kind Halloween Pumpkins – Exciting Themes to Carve Your Pumpkin

You’ve picked the biggest, roundest, most orange pumpkin in the patch. The table is covered with protective newspaper. Armed with an array of cutting implements, you stand over your victim, prepared to create . . .yet another snaggletoothed face.

Isn’t there another way?

Traditionally decorated pumpkins – usually consisting of two round or triangular eyes, a nose and a mouth with just a few teeth – are a fun and familiar pick. But there’s more than one way to dress a naked pumpkin. Try something brand-new this year for a look that’ll make your house the best Halloween pick in the neighborhood!

For the Birds

You Will Need:

  • One small or medium-size pumpkin
  • Decorative black-feathered birds
  • Decorative pumpkin tendrils
  • Black spray paint
  • Glue gun (with one stick glue) or instant-bond glue
  • Cutting or digging tool
  • Paint or glitter if desired

This idea is eerie, yet deceptively simple. You will need a small- to medium-size pumpkin (pie pumpkins work great!) A pumpkin with a slightly flattish bottom is ideal; the fruit should be able to stand upright without being propped up. Purchase decorative blackbirds, ravens or crows and decorative pumpkin tendrils (curled strips) from your local crafts store or flower shop. Buy a small can of black spray paint from any retail store.

Spray paint the tendrils black; allow to dry. Glue the crows to the outside of the pumpkin, arranging them so that a few are “pecking” at the pumpkin’s skin. Attach the tendrils to the stem of the pumpkin with glue. Decorate the rest of your pumpkin in paint or glitter with a catchy saying if desired.

Slithering Snakes

You Will Need:

  • One medium or large pumpkin
  • Novelty rubber or plastic snakes
  • Carving tool
  • Scooping tool
  • Battery-powered pumpkin light

Turn your pumpkin over and carve a circle into its bottom, slightly smaller than the circumference; remove. (Alternatively, you can cut a top out of your pumpkin; however, cutting the bottom creates a seamless look and prevents the pumpkin top from falling in as it shrinks over time.)

Scoop out seeds and pulp and scrape carefully.

Turn the pumpkin right-side up and carve eyes, nose and a gaping mouth. Try for a frightened or disgusted expression on your pumpkin’s “face”. Place your light source securely in the pumpkin’s bottom. Because any added materials can pose a potential fire hazard, we recommend a battery-powered or electric plug-in light rather than a burnable wick candle.

Place the carved top over the cut bottom, then situate the novelty snakes so that they are slithering out of the eye sockets, nose and mouth. Sit back and enjoy the reactions!

Eerie Black-and-Orange Pumpkin

You Will Need:

  • One pumpkin (any size)
  • Carving tool
  • Scooping tool
  • Black spray paint
  • Halloween stencil, if desired

Spray paint your pumpkin black; allow to dry completely. Carve the pumpkin, using tips shown above (see “Slithering Snakes”). Be careful not to nick the spray-painted skin; if you do, just cut a bit farther outward, or touch-up carefully with more paint or a black magic marker.

Your best look for this ghoulish gourd is a traditionally scary carving; try a frightened black cat, sinister tombstone or a witch flying past a crescent moon. Carve freehand, or use a Halloween stencil. When lit, the black will contrast spookily with the pumpkin’s orange insides.

Black Widow Web








You Will Need:

  • One pumpkin (any size)
  • Carving tool
  • Scooping tool
  • Black paint or black permanent magic marker
  • Novelty toy spider
  • Crafts glue

Because you won’t be carving or cutting into this pumpkin, it should last quite a while if kept outdoors in cool to cold weather. Draw or paint a spider’s web on the outside of the pumpkin; using the stem as your point of reference, paint lines out, down and back up again at intervals from the stem center. Now paint lines vertically at intervals, connecting the web.

Use your crafts glue to attach the spider to the web. You’ll be sure to startle (and delight!) any trick-or-treaters that come to your door.

Black Kettle Treat Buckets

Need to add some lights to your steps or room? Grab one of the black plastic kettle treat buckets and cut an ‘X’ in the bottom. Grab a string of colored outdoor mini lights and lay them in the bottom of the kettle. Pull the cord through the bottom of the kettle, and ta da! You now have an indoor/outdoor, eerie-looking light fixture for little or no cost.

You can really dress this idea up is you have a drill and an old pumpkin carving template. Tape the template on the side of the kettle and get a pencil. Make a dot where you want to drill your holes and get started. Practice with your template on a piece of cardboard first before you tackle the kettle. You can line your walkway or steps with these and have them for next year too.

Paper Bats

I know you are thinking – I must be nuts to suggest using paper bats as a serious decoration. I am nuts when it comes to these little beauties and just wait until you try them, and you will see why. The bats are fun and quick to make and add a lot to a room, at very little cost. You can add bats to any area of your room including your mini blinds by hot gluing them on clothes pins! You can have several different sized bats hanging from fishing line on the ceiling. Take a ball of rubber tack and stick them on your walls, pictures and mirrors. I tell ya, there are so many ways to use these simple paper bats, and I think you will agree once you try them.

Here is what you need:

  • Bat pattern
  • Heavy black paper stock
  • Fishing line
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tape
  • Clothes pins
  • Office tack

Draw a bat or find a pattern that you like and photo copy your pattern in three different sizes on card stock. Cut the copied pattern out and trace them onto your black paper. Now look around your room/s and try to decide on how many bats you want to make and where you would like to have your bats. Take a bat and hot glue it to the clothes pin and let it cool for a few seconds. It is ready to be pinned. Be sure that your bats aren’t all glued on to the clothes pins going just one direction. Turn some sideways, upside down and right side up. It will help you create a more realistic pattern on your lamps, ceiling and mini blinds. Take a piece of tape, carefully fold the wings together and hang them near the ceiling upside down like the bats are resting.

Jack-O-Lantern Treat Buckets

My daughter is only eight, and she seems to have collected ten or more jack-o-lantern treat buckets! I was desperately searching the Halloween odds and ends box for anything I could use when I casually knocked into a stack of jack-o-lantern treat buckets. I started to push them back into the closet when I got an idea. This was just too perfect!

I grabbed five of the treat buckets that were different sizes and colors and headed to my costume trunk that is filled with hats, glasses, wigs and costume props. I put a plastic safari hat, funky wig and glasses on one treat bucket, and it looked great. I put a child’s witch hat with hair, one with a bat hat and one with a fez. In less than ten minutes, I had five inexpensive, great looking decorations! Kids and adults alike could knock them over or carry them around, and these decorations would withstand the test of time and toddlers. I couldn’t believe I didn’t have to buy a thing! This was just the kind of idea I needed! It was just the beginning once I realized that there were other decorations I could make from this box of junk.

Don’t forget to add some of your old Christmas lights inside the Jack-O-Lanterns for a really eerie look! Put a string of orange, green or amber lights in your decorated treat buckets, add a funny wig or hat and wow! Put that decoration in a dark corner and watch it come to life! If you have the space, why not put several different sizes in one grouping? I even use them for heads for my scarecrow family. I now pick up all the buckets I can find at yard sales and flea markets. Funny, people almost give them to you. The jack-o-lanterns decorations were the hit of my party and survived my big and little guests much better than some of the things I had made or spent big bucks on. I wish I could have said the same for the twenty dollar prop I bought because I just had to have it.