How to Decorate for Halloween
Whether you’re a fan of horror films or dressing up as your favorite character, Halloween offers exciting and memorable decorating opportunities for adults and kids alike. When your goal is to scare or inspire joy, these versatile house decorating ideas for Halloween can help.
Welcome Trick or Treaters With Outdoor Decorations
As children hunt for houses with the best candy in the neighborhood, a little creative lighting and some well-placed decorations can give them a reason to slow their steps on the way up to your front porch. Whether they pause in fright or delight before asking for treats is up to which of the below ideas you choose.
Add Freaky Front Door & Yard Decorations
If you like to encourage spine-chilling experiences and entertain others with spooky settings, use outdoor Halloween decorations to transform your home into an abandoned haunted house. Fill your yard with frightening creatures that loom as trick-or-treaters make their way to the front door. Start by choosing classic Halloween yard decorations such as tombstones and lifelike zombie or skeleton torsos breaking out from the ground. They’ll give the illusion that the undead is rising from your lawn. For an added sense of eeriness, use the shadows and darkness of the night to your advantage by adding dimmed lights behind spider webs and tall, upright skeletons to accentuate their sinister silhouettes.
When leaving candy out on the porch for your trick-or-treaters, choose a life-sized animatronic that startles with movement, lights, and sounds as soon as they walk by it. A screaming grim reaper or moaning ghost can get little hearts racing and make them think twice before taking more than one chocolate bar.
For a lighter effect, focus on stationary decorations, such as smiling witches and jack-o-lanterns. Moody lighting and faux cobwebs can still set the spooky scene, but adding some traditional Halloween music, like the Monster Mash, can maintain a more playful atmosphere.
Inflatables the Whole Neighborhood Can See
Giant inflatables for Halloween are easy to set up outside your home if you want to elicit smiles instead of gasps from young visitors. Choose beloved cartoon and movie characters to delight fans of every age or create your own scene with generic inflatable elements, like trees and pumpkins. Inflatables like these hit all the hallmarks of the holiday, both in color palette and seasonal staples. If you want to keep it creepy, oversized inflatable spiders or LED-lit figures with reaching hands can offer a pulse-racing experience.
Hosting a Halloween House Party
Just because Halloween calls on us to come up with our best scary decorating ideas, that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the elegance of our home’s interior in the process. Here’s how to host Halloween for all ages.
Mixing Spooky & Sophisticated for the Adults
Greet your guests to a party that goes bumping in the night with autumn-toned wreaths and garlands for your front door. Most come in Halloween’s traditional shades of orange, to represent autumn’s fading warmth, and black, symbolizing the cold winter months ahead. Complete the foyer with a Halloween doormat expressing whimsical greetings, like “Shoes off, Witches,” to let your visitors know the matured decor won’t offset the holiday fun.
Create a tasteful (pun intended) snack and refreshments bar with Halloween table decorations as your guests mingle and compliment each other’s costumes. Incorporate black serveware that makes your treats stand out and cover the table with a spider lace tablecloth to round out the spooky aesthetic. Finish with an antique distressed candelabra candleholder as the centerpiece to add old Victorian flair reminiscent of Frankenstein’s lair.
For Family Friendly Fun
Before sending the little ones off for trick-or-treating, spend the afternoon with them creating an arts and crafts center to let their imaginations run wild in anticipation of the evening festivities. While traditionally used for holiday dinner parties or the occasional séance, you can also break out some Halloween tablecloths and runners as a simple tarp for easy cleanup once all the glitter and felt have settled. Complement your art-focused station with seasonal gallery prints in tabletop frames and Halloween wall art to inspire their creativity. Let your children decorate the walls with vinyl stickers so they can feel like they helped with the transformation.
If you have children who scare easily, or are hosting a party for a group of younger kids, you can choose family-friendly Halloween decorations that complement without causing frights. Incorporate a pumpkin motif for a warm and friendly environment, starting with an assortment of your favorite pumpkin figures on your mantel, beyond the reach of tiny hands, nestled into the soft faux foliage of an autumn leaf garland. Instead of ghosts and goblins, choose fun pumpkin inflatables, so more sensitive souls can enjoy the holidays without feeling frightened.
Prepare for a Scary Movie Marathon
For the Halloween movie buffs who prefer staying in and leaving the porch light off to avoid trick-or-treaters knocking at the door, get comfy with a scary movie marathon setup in your living room or basement. Update your couch or bedroom with Halloween-themed pillows and blankets to keep snug while scared, as you pull the sheets to shield your eyes from the looming suspense and on-screen horrors. Before your showtime, break out the popcorn machine for fresh movie theater-like popcorn to complete the at-home experience. For added fun, decorate a simple bar cart or serving tray, creating an at-home concession to store your favorite sodas, chocolate bars, and candy packs in each compartment.