Your Halloween Shopping List

Erica House
Oct. 13, 2014

A checklist of all the things you need for Halloween.

Halloween is quickly approaching, and one of the best parts about the fall holiday is preparing for it! From decorating your house to baking fun treats to hosting parties, there's a lot to plan, purchase and get out of storage.

Every family celebrates Halloween a little bit differently. Carla Birnberg, a mother of one from Oakland, California, says "For us it's all about the pumpkins, the wacky skull stencils, skeleton decorations, tattoo pens and temporary tattoos and lots and lots of decorations." Figure out how your family wants to celebrate All Hallows Eve and what you'll need.

To get you started, here is the ultimate list of everything you need to pull off a spooktacular Halloween!

When deciding how to decorate, try to pick one Halloween theme to make it easier to coordinate what to buy. For inspiration, here are 22 Halloween Party Themes. And stock up on classic Halloween decorations like:

  • Fake spider webs
  • Black, purple and orange lights
  • Fall-scented candles
  • Window decals
  • A witch's cauldron
  • Tombstones for the front yard
  • Carved pumpkins
  • Black cats
  • Brooms
  • Fake blood
  • A bowl full of apples and other fall fruits and veggies
  • Fake skeletons and skulls
  • Witch hats
  • Toilet paper (aka "mummy wraps")
  • Lanterns
  • Fake witches, ghosts and ghouls
  • Fake vultures or ravens
  • Cleaning supplies for inevitable Halloween messes

Pumpkin Carving
Get ready for Jack and his lantern with these supplies:

  • Knife with a short serrated blade
  • Safety knife if your older children want to help
  • Spoon to scoop out pulp and seeds (check out these things to do with pumpkin seeds)
  • Trash bag for scraps
  • Sharpie or black marker for drawing on any details
  • Glitter, yarn, buttons for decorating
  • Battery-powered candles to place inside
  • Pumpkin carving tips

To make the process easier, try these No-Carve Pumpkin Designs.

With all of the parties for kids' schools, your office, friends and family, the kitchen gets busy during Halloween. Buy supplies early so you can focus on the actual cooking and baking later in the month.

  • Halloween-themed cookie cutters (pumpkins, cats, witch hats, etc.)
  • Orange and black colored sugar, sprinkles and frosting
  • Frosting tubes (to apply frosting)
  • Purple and orange food dye
  • Colored chocolate chips or Halloween-themed M&Ms
  • Candy corn
  • Halloween-themed pie, cake and cupcake mix
  • Seasonal fruits and veggies
  • Plastic wrap and Halloween-themed Ziploc bags to protect the goodies
  • Pumpkin seeds (put on salads or munch on by themselves)
  • Cupcake liners or boxes for baked goods
  • Halloween ribbon to tie baggies of cookies together
  • Canned pumpkin for everything from breads to pudding
  • Halloween-themed serving trays to put everything on
  • Halloween flags, picks or toppers to put on desserts

Get ready for this Halloween tradition with these supplies:

  • Candy -- including nut-free options or non-food items (like small plastic toys) for kids with allergies
  • Bowl or basket to hold the candy
  • Costume (here are 48 DIY Halloween costume ideas to get you started)
  • Candy bag or pail
  • Scissors/sewing kit for last-minute repairs
  • Batteries for flashlights, plastic candles or costume accessories
  • Flashlight for walking around at night (you can also bring glow sticks for the kids to hold or wear)
  • Makeup remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Sweater or jacket
  • Mask
  • Face paint
  • Nail polish
  • Wash-out hair dye
  • Glitter
  • Waterproof spray for costumes in case of rain
  • Water bottles to keep everyone hydrated

Planning a Halloween bash? Here are all the things you need:

  • Invitations (check out these 29 invites for ideas)
  • Games or contests for the guests (here are 13 fun Halloween games for kids)
  • Prizes
  • Arts and crafts station (make things such as DIY trick-or-treat bags)
  • Mini pumpkins for a decorating contest
  • Pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns
  • Masks and funny props for picture taking
  • Halloween-themed temporary tattoos
  • Spooky music
  • Dry ice for ambiance or a fog machine
  • Halloween-themed food or dessert bar
  • Apples and a bucket for bobbing
  • Bowl full of goo and filled with tiny prizes
  • Halloween plates, cups, tablecloth and napkins
  • Halloween punch or drinks
  • A candy bowl
  • Goodie bags (filled with candy, spider rings, etc.)
  • Black and orange balloons and streamers
  • Halloween movies for background entertainment
  • A family calendar to keep all of the parties and events straight
  • A camera or smartphone to capture all the fun

Don't forget to hold onto this list to hit up the after-Halloween sales on November 1st, so you can start working on your collection for next year!

Erica House is a writer, psychology instructor and marathoner, who has been in love with Halloween for as long as she can remember. She has an embarrassingly large amount of Halloween décor and loves to dress up her cat, Salem. 

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

Please enter a valid email address

Thanks for signing up!

We’ll see you back in your inbox.

Leave a comment

Create a free account with and join our community today.

You may also like

How much should you pay for a babysitter?