22 DIY halloween decoration ideas – easy and hauntingly cool

You'll want to bring these DIY Halloween decoration ideas to life year after year. Easy, budget-friendly and hauntingly cool.

DIY Halloween decorations
(Image credit: Paige Cody for Unplash)

Who knew that some of the best DIY halloween decoration ideas could be hauntingly stylish too? So before you head to the party store for a quick win on easy spooky decor, try your hand at a few creative crafts to take fright night to the next level of fabulous in your own home.

Whether you like to dress up your porch for halloween, add all the spooky accents to your living room or turn your kitchen into a witch-worthy space with gourds galore, there are so many ways to add seasonal fun to your home at Halloween – without a big spend on time or money, and without cramping on the rest of your home's interior design either.

Easy DIY Halloween decoration ideas to bring to life

Whether it's throwing a jack-o-lantern in and amongst other fall decorating ideas or going to town with colors and more decorative accents, Halloween is the perfect excuse to go a little extra.

'Sometimes store-bought Halloween items are an easy go-to, but crafting at home is much more fun, personalised to you, cost effective and a great way to get the whole family involved!' says Rebecca Lopuc, content creator at Cricut

'For example, if you have a very specific costume in mind, crafting is the most fun (and cheapest) way to do Halloween. Personalization is an ongoing trend that applies to our seasonal decor and there are plenty of ways to create personalised decor with Cricut this Halloween, from making unique trick or treat bags, to welcome signs, to decorated pumpkins, to Halloween t-shirts and pillow covers.'

These trend-setters' Halloween decor creates a whole mood throughout their homes. And the result is surprisingly chic. We've rounded up our favorites for you to recreate own spooky-stylish space.

1. Choose bright unexpected colors

DIY Halloween decorations using home grown pumpkins hand painted with expressions with mirror, candy corn and origami bats

(Image credit: Jess whitfield)

Colored pumpkins are all the rage on the 'gram, but one color enthusiast went full-on for fall by growing her own, painting the fruits (or gourds) of her labor and then creating a selection of origami bats to put together a bright and coordinated idea.

The reflection of her mirror even shows off a simple-but-effective pom pom idea which matches the multicolored fall mantel decor. And how about a sprinkle of candy corn for a sweet, but cheap interior touch?

2. Swap a colorful floral bouquet for twigs and sticks

DIY Halloween decoration with sticks and bat decorations in glass vase

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

'We’re used to vases filled with lush blooms, but this Halloween, opt for a more chilling display,' says Justyna Korczynska, colour consultant at Crown Paints.

'Think of haunted forests, and bunch spindly branches together alongside overgrown vines and sharp leaves. For added starkness, cover these elements in black paint.'

And, this is one of many Halloween activities the kids (and even the dog) can get involved in too. Swap electronic devices for a brisk stroll in the woods or local park to forage for your foliage.

3. Swap bat decor for butterflies

DIY Halloween decorations using black butterflies on fireplace mantel with white candles, and skulls

(Image credit: Pinterest)

Coming up at the top of search results for ‘halloween decor’ on Pinterest, are not only black bats on minimal white backgrounds, but also black butterflies. There’s also been a rise in interest for ‘black butterfly decor’ on Etsy, indicating that for Halloween we’re swapping bats for butterflies for a chicer, more feminine look.

4. Replace cobwebs and spiders with draped black fabric

DIY decorating idea using draped distressed black fabric on fireplace mantel

(Image credit: Stacy Risenmay)

Another trend appearing high on social media search results is draped distressed black fabric over fireplaces ideas and mantels. Replacing our usual cobwebs and spider accessories are these darker pieces, creating a much classier feel. This new statement is giving us Morticia Addams vibes!

'It sounds simple, however black netting or tulle is super effective in creating ominous looking shadows in dim light,' says Kaycee Cooper, resident services manager at Grainger plc’s Millet Place.

'It is reasonably priced and like the cobwebs, simply drape the material across your furniture and round your TV stand to transform your living room space into a dark domain.'

5. Create creepy 'floating candle' decor

DIY Halloween decorations using battery-operated candles to create a floating candle effect in living room

(Image credit: Rust-Oleum)

Floating candles, such as the one in the Harry Potter movies, will add a spooky touch to your Halloween decorations. In this easy DIY Halloween decoration project, make your own floaters and add a little fright to your holiday.

To start, mask off battery-operated candle flames with painter's tape. Next, apply black spray paint to the entire candle following the directions on the can and let it dry. Using gold spray paint, apply it heavier on the bottom and lighter on top to create an ombre effect on each candle.

Let it dry for 24 hours before full use. Attach fishing wire with hot glue and let it dry before hanging. Hang your candles from the ceiling to give them a floating effect.

6. Create DIY 'potions' as gifts or merely spooky decor

DIY Halloween decorations using clear glass bottles with photo transfer labels on gold bar cart

(Image credit: Rust-Oleum)

A little wolf's hair, some snake venom and a pinch of fairy dust is all you'll need when you make these easy DIY magic potion bottles for Halloween. Let your imagination roam and complete your Halloween décor with this simple project.

If you're merely using these for style, go wild with candy eyeballs, plastic toy rats or scorpions for added effect. A little food coloring in a dark or bright color is all it takes to turn water into a mysterious concoction.

But, if you're giving away bottles as gifts, decant premium spirits or homemade liqueurs into bottles and create personalized name tags to make your 'witches' brew' extra special.

'Halloween also provides the perfect opportunity to serve some weird and wonderful cocktails (or mocktails) for your guests,' says Jess Martin, decoration expert at Ginger Ray.

'There are plenty of recipes online that will help you take your cocktail game to the next level, from poisonous-looking neon colors to black magic potions, all will be sure to raise some eyebrows. You could even stray away from the conventional cocktail glass and serve up some gruesome blood bag drinks pouches- yuck!'

Whatever you decide to do, you'll need a bar cart to display your handiwork along side the more familiar beverages you serve your guests. Here's how to create these labeled liquor containers, with instructions courtesy of Rust-Oleum:

  • Clean and thoroughly dry your glass bottles. Try not to get fingerprints on the area you will apply Photo Transfer.
  • Print your potion labels on standard paper using a laser printer. Hint: Before printing, flip your images horizontally (so it looks like a mirror of the original.) This way the words will read correctly once transferred. 
  • Brush a generous amount of Photo Transfer on the printed side of the photo.
  • Place image printed side down on glass. Rub the paper evenly once placed, so that there are no air bubbles. 
  • Let Photo Transfer sit on the bottles for 12 hours.
  • Using a damp rag, dab a section of the paper at a time. Then using the rag, rub the image in a circular motion to remove paper backing.
  • Once image is mostly clear, brush a layer of Photo Transfer onto photo as a top coat to protect the image. Let it dry.

7. Upgrade your pot pourri with some 'dragon's eggs'

A DIY decorating idea by Rust-Oleum depicting dragon eggs using thumbtack pins

(Image credit: Rust-Oleum)

If you're a fan of Game of Thrones or Harry Potter, these DIY dragon eggs will be right up your (Diagon) alley this Halloween. Display them on a metal stand for a unique look at your Halloween snack table or as a colorful hallway idea. Sit them on top of some pot pourri for a fun and functional idea to ward off savory smells.

To make these, spray foam egg with a Foam Primer according to the directions on the can. Next, affix metal thumbtacks all over the foam egg shapes until you have full coverage.  Apply Color Shift Black Basecoat according to the directions on the can, let it dry, then apply Color Shift Spray paint on top of the basecoat. Let the Color Shift paint dry according to the timing on the can instructions. Handle each egg only when completely dry.

8. Hang out with a cute ghost garland decor idea

DIY decorating idea with white ghoul garland made out of wool with white pumpkin in background

(Image credit: Pinterest)

Lastly, a recurring trend from 2020, the tassel DIY ghost garlands are back! Whilst they’re not hugely popular on Instagram or TikTok, these are another Pinterest fan favorite, with DIY tips all over the site on how to make them yourself, and over 1000 listings on Etsy for a pre-made version!

However, sticking with the ever-popular Scandi-chic trend, the garlands are appearing in white, rather than the multi-colored pastel varieties we've seen in past years.

9. Steffy's pumpkin-filled living room

A post shared by Steffy 🧡 (@steffy)

A photo posted by on on Sep 4, 2020 at 3:02pm PDT

Style blogger Steffy is known for her year-round love for orange, but the hue hits its peak this time of year. She starts with leaf garland over the windows, then layers cozy textiles like throw pillows and fleece blankets. 

Finally, she filled in the blanks with, you guessed it, pumpkins! A combination of plain orange and plaid pumpkins creates a layered decor that is ready to embrace the season.

Of course, the blogger didn't start there, decorating her bathroom with playful garland, ghosts, and even pumpkins hanging from the ceiling. She pulled it off by attaching Command hooks to the ceiling to hold foam pumpkins with string. 

10. Noelle Downing's TV vignette

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)

A photo posted by on on Aug 20, 2020 at 7:35pm PDT

With limited space in her small Brooklyn apartment, blogger Noelle Downing created a big impact with this adorable living room vignette. She hung Halloween banners above and to the side of her TV (ready for watching Nightmare Before Christmas), and decorated her console with smaller pumpkins, candles, and leaves. 

Her comfy sofa is adorned with festive throw pillows, and she added twinkle lights throughout to warm up the mood. Behind the TV space, real pumpkins sit on each step climbing the stairs leading to the second floor, with leaf garland on the railing, of course.

11. Jaglever's festive bedroom

A post shared by Rachel Iwanyszyn 🌙 (@jaglever)

A photo posted by on on Sep 7, 2020 at 11:52am PDT

Jaglever blogger Rachel Iwanyszyn doesn't forget one room in her house when it comes to Halloween decor. So of course, her bedroom is spooked to the nines. Leaf garland and twinkle lights warm up her wooden headboard, while a shelf above houses festive jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, and paper bats

Of course, this gal knows how to go all out with an orange comforter, ghost throw blanket, and festive accent pillows. Even her pooch is feeling the spirit.

12. Flashes Of Style's six steps

A post shared by Bonnie Barton (@flashesofstyle)

A photo posted by on on Aug 25, 2020 at 10:46am PDT

Flashes of Style's Bonnie Barton breaks out her fall decorations about as early as Starbucks releases its PSL. In an Instagram Reels video, she breaks down how to decorate for fall in six easy steps: 

1. Get a leaf garland.

2. Swap out pillows.

3. And blankets.

4. Add pumpkins in spots you love.

5. Swap out flowers for leaves.

6. Finish with a pumpkin garland in the entryway. 

Of course, she does more than that. Barton's adorable coffee nook is full of fall-themed mugs, autumnal tea towels and pot holders, and pumpkins galore. Fall candles and decor are added throughout, and the kitchen even features an orange runner.

13. Ahinoa Gordon's shades of pink

A post shared by Ahinoa Gordon (@noagord0n)

A photo posted by on on Sep 8, 2020 at 8:59am PDT

Who says Halloween decorations need to be orange and black? Blogger Ahinoa Gordon creates a chic, and chillingly spooky, space that is surprisingly glam. Pink pumpkins and palm fronds complement the room's oversized feminine floral wallpaper. 

Cinnamon brooms, white pumpkins, and festive hanging frames work well with the room's existing wicker furniture. To finish the vibe, 3-D bats pop from the wall, and a scary skeleton and zombie doll lounge in the rattan side chair. 

14. Ashley Marie Savage's scary-chic farmhouse

A post shared by Ashley Savage (@ashleymariesavage)

A photo posted by on on Sep 9, 2020 at 3:13pm PDT

With high exposed-beam ceilings, Ashley Marie Savage worked with the vertical space by creating a cluster of bats flying above her fireplace. The mantel itself is adorned with white pumpkins and a tongue-in-cheek "Hey Boo" banner. A black-and-white color scheme features festive throw pillows and an oversized spider on the couch. 

For the rest of her home, Savage sourced dollar finds from Target to decorate her kitchen's open shelving, also in a black and white color palette. For the dining room, she veered more warm autumnal than spooky, keeping things sophisticated with knitted pumpkins and lots of fluffy textiles. 

15. As Told By Michelle's bibliophile decor

A post shared by Michelle (@astoldbymichelle)

A photo posted by on on Sep 10, 2020 at 4:58pm PDT

Houston blogger As Told By Michelle embraced her inner bookworm for her home's Halloween decor. A ladder shelf, surrounded by flying bats, is decorated by a cozy book collection and of course, a book of spells. At the bottom, spooky potions complete the mood.

Michelle also embellished her record player cart with loads of autumnal flowers. Meanwhile, the living room mantle is packed with books (spines facing in for a uniform look). To finish the look, she added more bats, ghost garland, drippy candles, and pumpkins.

16. Zoe Sugg's rustic porch decor

Go big or gourd home 🎃 Zoë Sugg

A photo posted by @zoesugg on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:24am PDT

Inspiring those in the UK to also make porch fall and Halloween decor a bigger thing, Zoe has gone all out. It's a really simple, but effective design too, just source some hay bales, stack them up and dot about all the pumpkins you can get your hands on. You could give it a Halloween spruce up with cobwebs and fake spiders too. 

17. Jennifer's spooky bat wall

We love this idea from @thehousethatjenbuilt_. The perfect minimalist Halloween decor idea.  You could cut all the bats out yourself and just stick them on with tack in the shape you want or, make things easier and order some super cheap wall stickers

18. Lisa Dawson's painted pumpkins

Want more colorful Halloween decorating ideas? Check out Lisa's painted pumpkins. So cute and so easy and you can pick any color scheme too, we do love the red, pink and orange though – plus no messy carving! 

19. Style pumpkins and tangerines on your mantel

Pumpkin decorating ideas on mantelplace by Nadia McCowan-Hill, Wayfair resident style advisor

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Halloween is a great time to decorate a mantel with seasonal additions. 'Who said Halloween was just for kids? The spookiest day in the seasonal calendar offers a fantastic opportunity to add a little dramatic decor to your space and this year, mantelscaping is the must-have trend!' says Nadia McCowan-Hill, resident style advisor at Wayfair.

'For a cool and quirky look that’s packed with ghostly style, choose a mantel-top mirror with a gothic silhouette. In my spare room, I opted for a black and silver chequered combo with a distinctly Beetlejuice vibe that’s brimming with personality.' 

'When it comes to dressing your mantel, layering is key. Try spray painting a mixture of pumpkins and gourds in gold and silver and mix them in with unsprayed pumpkins and tangerines for a grown-up and glamorous take on Halloween chic.'

'Remember that Halloween is all about having fun, so don’t be afraid to experiment, creating a spooky and sparkly arrangement that’s perfect for fright night.'

20. Paint your pumpkins with pastels 

Pastel painted pumpkin decorating idea with letterboard that says: 'If you don't paint your pumpkins in pastels, do you even do Instagram?'

(Image credit: Lisa Dawson)

Literally that's it. Just paint your pumpkin. The easiest pumpkin decorating idea out there. It also looks super effective and surprisingly stylish. Just grab some pastel spray paint, pop some newspaper down and spray the entire thing. So much easier and less messy than carving one out – and the finished result is really effective   – just as award winning writer, blogger, creator and presenter, Lisa Dawson proves!

21. Create a centerpiece with pumpkins and leaves

Pumpkin decorating ideas

(Image credit: Rinck Content Studio/Unsplash)

Use smaller pumpkins and match them with autumn leaves in vases, rustic cups, jam jars or glasses to create a cute table centrepiece. You don't need real pumpkins for this – Amazon sells lots of lifelike pumpkin decorations.

22. Use your pumpkin as a vase

A pumpkin decorating idea using two ghost pumpkins as a DIY pumpkin vase with marker pen decor and dotted animal print wall decor

(Image credit: @wiltshirewonderland)

We've been seeing DIY pumpkin vase ideas all over Instagram and how gorgeous do they look?! Yes okay, you still have to carve out your pumpkin, but it doesn't get any more complicated than that.

Once you've carved it out, fill a small container with water and pop it inside with some lovely autumnal flowers (might we suggest Bloom and Wild's lovely autumnal collections?).

This picture-perfect idea by Charlotte Coleman (aka @wiltshirewonderland) uses their blooms to create a floral crown, and let's not forget about that beautiful dotted background.

How can I decorate cheaply at Halloween?

'Whether it’s a frightening feast or a few light bites, making your table look the part will ensure the occasion feels extra special for your party guests,' says Martin.

'Start by making sure that you’ve swapped out all your usual crockery for some spooky-themed alternatives - skull-shaped plates and ghost fringe napkins will add a super fun element to any spread.'

Although you can buy these, you can also DIY by cutting normal paper plates and napkins found at your dollar store for a cheap and affordable idea.

She continues to say: 'You can also give your dining table a glam seasonal makeover with the help of some fairy lights and foliage. Choose warm-toned LED lights to place across the table which you can then intertwine with some on-theme foliage, such as an artificial black Ivy garland.'

'Then, with a little extra help from the usual classic Halloween props such as cobwebs and plastic creepy crawlies, you’ll have a table fit for the Addams family.'

And Loupec says: 'There are so many ways you can do DIY Halloween on a budget! Decorate pumpkins with personalised stencils or vinyl decals as these are a great way for easy but eye-catching decorations,'

'Bats cut from card are always a simple but super effective way to create show-stopping Halloween decor. From dressing up your front door for a "spooktacular" welcome or some DIY Halloween garlands, it's so easy to do on a budget.'

'Decorating pumpkins is a DIY trend here to stay, and there's plenty of ways Cricut can get you in the Halloween spirit for pumpkin season!'

How do you decorate your house for Halloween?

'Door wreaths are a great way to incorporate your chosen Halloween theme - using an autumnal color palette will mean that you’ll be able to keep your wreath up throughout the rest of autumn too,' says Adam Pawson, head of digital at Safestyle UK.

'Try choosing heavier materials and foliage so that it weathers well throughout the unpredictable British seasons. For extra longevity, artificial flowers and foliage are more likely to stand the test of time.'

'For uPVC doors, a suction door hook will allow you to attach your wreath without damaging the door and are readily available online.'

Ann Loynd Burton
Ann Loynd Burton

After serving as an editor for luxury publications for nearly a decade, Ann Loynd Burton struck out on her own as a freelance writer covering design and lifestyle. Along with her work highlighting decor trends for Real Homes, Loynd Burton has covered interiors for such publications as Apartment TherapyAspireCottages & Gardens, and Galerie

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