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101 Halloween Decoration Ideas

Julie Morse
Sept. 15, 2014

Get your home in the Halloween spirit this year with these fun and spooky decorating ideas.

Halloween is lots of fun, but sometimes it can be downright overwhelming to think up unique decorating ideas to turn your home into a haunted house.

Care.com is here to help. Check out these 101 design and decorating ideas to make your home look Hallo-rific. Pick and choose which ones work best for your schedule and budget.

Need help making them? Ask your nanny or babysitter -- these can be great activities for them to do with your kids. Here are 10 Ways Nannies Can Help with Halloween.

And if you're not particularly crafty -- or just don't have time -- don't worry. "Adding your own DIY touches to a ready-made item can be the best of both worlds -- the finished product is uniquely personal, without being too time consuming," shares Stefanie Schiada, creator of the popular interior design blog, Brooklyn Limestone.

For more great Halloween tips, check out Care.com's Guide to Halloween.

  1. Turn your door into a ghost by wrapping it in white crepe streamers. Add big, black eyes for heightened spookiness.
  2. Bake and design a Halloween gingerbread house.
  3. Drape your mantle, chandeliers and other hanging lights in cobwebs.
  4. Paste these mice silhouettes on your stairs.
  5. Print out these creepy, old photos and frame them in shabby brown and black frames.
  6. Use mini white painted pumpkins as subtle yet beautiful accents for a dining table centerpiece.
  7. Arrange antique keys into letters and fasten them with nails onto pumpkins.
  8. Salvage unwanted old dolls and Barbies, pull off their arms and legs, and place the limbs sticking up out of planters.
  9. Design a hanging garland with Glass Gem cobs and dried husks.
  10. Craft these easy witch hats out of Styrofoam and black fabric.
  11. Create a pet mummy! Wrap your (willing) dog or cat's body in gauze. Read these Safety Guidelines for Halloween Pet Costumes.
  12. Scrub and clean empty wine bottles. Use permanent white marker or acrylic paint to make spooky ghost eyes and mouths on the bottles.
  13. Sherry Petersik of Young House Love has figured out how to stretch different patterned fishnets over pumpkins for a vintage Halloween look!
  14. Make classic Tootsie Roll lollipop ghosts -- cover the pops with a tissue, tie the tissue around the base of the pop with a string and dot on eyes and a mouth with a marker.
  15. Decorate with some of these 14 Halloween Cake Pop Recipes -- or just eat them!
  16. Print out pictures of skeleton anatomy or tear them from old medical books. Dip them in cold English Breakfast tea and leave them to dry so that they get a yellowed, antique look. Tape them to the walls or place them in tattered brown or black frames.
  17. Use ripped gauze as a table runner to add some mummification to your table.
  18. Stack heirloom pumpkins in sets of three and situate them on your porch or in your foyer or mudroom.
  19. Brooklyn Limestone has perfected the haunted asylum theme! Warn passers-by with old-fashioned "CONDEMNED" and "DANGER" signs on your house's exterior.
  20. Fill an antique birdcage with Spanish moss and gray feathers.
  21. Paste little black witch hats on the heads of people in framed family photos.
  22. Paint pumpkins a candy corn ombr.
  23. Alexa at The Swell Life has a great tutorial on how to melt crayons onto pumpkins and turn them into beautiful, colorful explosions. For more ideas, check out these 13 Easy No-Carve Pumpkin Designs.
  24. Decorate your lawn with these very realistic tombstones from Grandin Road.
  25. Fill Mason jars of the way with candy corn -- makes a stable base to rest a candle.
  26. Paste bat silhouettes on your windows.
  27. Repurpose pumpkin seeds to make these beautiful year-round ornaments! Read more ideas for Things to Do With Pumpkin Seeds.
  28. Give Martha Stewarts pumpkin party cooler a go.
  29. Paste fallen leaves on a pumpkin to create simple, elegant designs.
  30. Peel and carve apples to make them look like shrunken heads.
  31. Make ice hands and fingers and put into cauldron of punch to spook thirsty guests.
  32. Take your kids' old playhouse and turn it into a mini haunted house.
  33. Convert your everyday throw pillows into Halloween decorations using pillow covers.
  34. Add an eerie doorbell to your front door to surprise trick-or-treaters.
  35. Construct your own Halloween garland using pumpkins, spiders and cobwebs.
  36. Gather an assortment of gourds and put them in a rustic vase or an outdoor plant holder.
  37. Put a glow stick inside a white balloon to make it glow and look like a ghost.
  38. Make some of these cute, spooky creatures for your couches and chairs.
  39. Decorate your plates for your guests with this artsy nod to Shakespeare.
  40. Melt red wax on white candles to make it look like the candles are "bleeding."
  41. Turn ordinary lamps into festive lamps with skulls.
  42. Use tonic water to create glow in the dark cupcakes.
  43. Decorate your door with a Halloween wreath.
  44. Cut out black paper and tape it on a white fridge to make it look like a big ghost.
  45. Create beautiful spider webs with these doily corbels.
  46. For the most beautiful pumpkins in the neighborhood, decorate your pumpkins with chrysanthemums.
  47. Set up monster garage teeth.
  48. Take white stockings and stuff them with cotton, then stick fake spiders on them and dangle from the ceiling.
  49. Fill carved pumpkins with dry ice.
  50. Turn your mirrors into spooky fun house mirrors with this trick.
  51. Add a freshly dug grave to your lawn. Eek!
  52. Cut out eyes in toilet paper rolls and put a glow stick inside -- hide the scary eyes around the house or front yard.
  53. Turn your house into Disney's "The Haunted Mansion" with Madame Leota in your dining room.
  54. Create these bat cut-outs to decorate your front door.
  55. Shape chicken wire into human figures and then spray paint them with glow in the dark paint.
  56. Serve up some creepy critters.
  57. These simple homemade adhesives make your house appear old and spooky.
  58. Scare guests with spiders throughout your house.
  59. Use old tin cans to line your walkway to welcome trick-or-treaters.
  60. These creepy wall hangings will set the mood for your party.
  61. Set up festive drinks for your guests to enjoy.
  62. Bring the outdoors in with this haunting Halloween tree.
  63. Make sure your curtains are properly spooky.
  64. Countdown to Halloween with all your neighbors using this giant calendar.
  65. Witches and wizards aren't the only ones who need wands! They make for great decorations, too.
  66. Create a gothic mantel straight out of The Haunted Mansion.
  67. Have the scariest yard in the neighborhood with these glow-in-the-dark ghosts.
  68. Forget jack-o-lanterns. Make a house-o-lantern!
  69. Add ravens to your Halloween decor to creep out your neighbors and make Poe proud.
  70. Fill a cast-iron cauldron with dry ice and place a smaller bowl inside filled with fruit punch. Makes for a scary, tasty beverage!
  71. Pumpkins are good for more than just jack-o-lanterns! Use a pumpkin as an all-natural punch bowl.
  72. Make your ghouls glow.
  73. Look in the mirror and what do you see? A ghost!
  74. Even your fruit can get into costume this Halloween.
  75. Turn the most beautiful flower arrangement into a spooky decoration.
  76. Freak out your dinner guests with these place cards and Halloween party invitations.
  77. Apples and candles make great votives for Halloween.
  78. Make giant ghost faces out of white paper and black felt, then place them in your front windows.
  79. Combine two classic Halloween symbols with a Pumpkin-Owl.
  80. Use this headless horseman to greet your trick-or-treaters.
  81. Cast a spell on this pumpkin and turn it into a witch!
  82. Build this DIY candy corn piata -- it's sure to be a "smash hit" at any party. Need more party ideas? Check out these 22 Halloween Party Themes.
  83. Turn your birdhouses into spooky little caves.
  84. Transform inexpensive birdhouses into a Halloween town.
  85. Add this haunted cookie jar to your kitchen.
  86. Let these owls perch on your porch all season.
  87. Use these witches brooms to tell your guests where to sit.
  88. Make edible topiaries with your kids or party guests. For more food fun, read Halloween Party Food Ideas for Kids.
  89. Leave these napkin rings for guests.
  90. Make your mirrors eerie and antique looking.
  91. Give this classic black cat a shot at scaring your trick-or-treaters!
  92. Make this milk jug skeleton.
  93. Spray paint your flowers black for the perfect centerpiece.
  94. Turn your family portraits into ghosts, goblins and ghouls.
  95. Some simple embroidery makes for a great door decoration with hoop art.
  96. Not all decorations have to be spooky -- try these classy pumpkin covers.
  97. Cover your pumpkins in a light coat of glue with a sponge brush and cover them in orange glitter.
  98. There are always eyes on you with these votives around!
  99. Even the toilet paper needs a costume this October.
  100. Dress up your table with Halloween socks.
  101. Place a pair of witch legs under your doormat, a la the Wizard of Oz.

If you're looking for kid-friendly ideas, The easiest way to craft with kids during Halloween time is to do things involving the classic Halloween icons like ghosts and witches," says Heidi Ferguson, who blogs at Honey Bear Lane. "Color paper plates green for witch masks. Make dirt pudding in a cup with faux headstones. There are so many super easy things that kids can do -- don't overthink it!

What are your favorite ways to decorate for Halloween? Share them in the comment section below.

Julie Morse is a creative arts teacher and freelance writer living in San Francisco.

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