The winter holiday season can be overwhelming, but for most, Halloween is pure fun—no 37 course meals to perfect, no generational traditions to uphold, no extensive and expensive travel, no potentially fraught “quality” time with loved ones, and no opportunity for Santa to leave lumps of coal—just sweet treats, scares and fun celebrations.


Halloween Garland


Delightfully free of massive “to do” lists, Halloween is growing in popularity. Over 157 million Americans will celebrate the holiday in 2015, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), and 48% of celebrants will decorate their home this year. For those looking to move beyond the basics in terms of Halloween decorations, here are some creative ways to get your house ready for this year’s trick-or-treaters.

Halloween Decorating Ideas

1. Glam up your pumpkins: Use paint and accessories to make black cats and witches, carve hipster jack-o-lanterns with mustaches (nerd glasses optional), or inscribe your pumpkins trendy geometric designs. For longer-lasting seasonal displays, consider using hollowed-out pumpkins as planters for mums, pansies, cabbages and other fall favorites.

2. Consider some nontraditional yard art: A flock of skeleton flamingos and/or a horde of zombie yard gnomes will add a touch of festive humor to your garden.


Halloween Lawn Decoration


3. Create a spooky wreath: We favor neon eyeballs for silly, kid-friendly fun, or yarn-ball pumpkins for a more classic, crafty look. For those who would prefer to buy a pre-assembled Halloween wreath, we like this bat wreath or this witch’s feet option.

4. Make draperies out of cheesecloth: Almost nothing creates an abandoned and haunted vibe like torn lengths of cheesecloth. Hang strips from tree branches, drape across windows and doorways, or festoon your chandeliers with this lightweight, ethereal fabric.

5. Use chicken wire to craft life-like ghostly figures: Life-sized figures shaped out of chicken wire look surprisingly ghoulish, with gauzy fabric coverings or without.


DIY Ghosts


6. Hang Halloween twinkle lights: From orange-and-purple holiday lights to spiderwebs, art-glass pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns, more options are available every year. These are perfect for framing doors and windows and giving fireplace mantles a soft, inviting glow.

7. Make fairy glow jars: Use mason jars and glowsticks to create ethereal nightlights.

8. Put up wall decals: Crows, bats and large flying witches all create dramatic displays.


Halloween Wall Decals


9. Add a chilling centerpiece to your dining table: We like large white branches paired with black leaves and crows, haunted terrariums and pumpkin cloches.

10. Create groupings of creepy candles: Place skull-shaped candles in jars, use skeleton-hand votive holders, or spray paint glass bottles in dark colors and use them to hold long, semi-melted tapers.


Halloween Candles


Whether you run wild with decorations or choose just a few, taking the time to create Halloween displays can bring instant cheer to your household and neighborhood, while deepening your own enjoyment of the season.


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