Halloween can be an expensive time of year with stores charging premiums for costumes, candy and especially for spooky décor items. While you want your Halloween décor to put your guests into a ghostly mood, you shouldn’t have to break the bank in order to achieve your haunted theme.

Many people forego the opportunity to get creative this time year because they worry it could take up more time than it’s worth and instead settle for expensive store bought items. However, this guide to simple DIY Halloween décor will show you that obtaining your perfectly themed Halloween event can be achieved with very little effort and money.

Halloween decor










Photo Source: Nysaan.com


Lighting plays a huge role in setting the perfect ambience for any event, but for Halloween it becomes more crucial in creating the perfect spooky setting. A Halloween party does not require much lighting in order to set the mood, and it can be done quite easily with some candles or stringed party lights if it you use them in the right way.

With candles, you can create a classic creepy look with some candlesticks and candelabras or wider candles and pillars. Thrift shops are a great a place to look for these types of candleholders at discounted prices and can then be decorated to fit your Halloween theme. One idea for decorating these are to paint them to your desired Halloween colour and then use cobwebs to create a haunted feel. Cobwebs can be purchases at virtually any dollar store at this time of year and they typically come with a handful of plastic spiders. Additionally, you could wrap twine or rope around the pillars to create a different texture and feel and then add spiders for a spooky touch. Lastly, white pillar candles can become more terrifying by melting a red wax candle and letting it drip down the sides of the white candle to create a bloody look.

Stringed party lights or single battery operated tea lights can be used to create a softer ambience when used with decorated jars. In order to achieve this look, you can use old mason jars from around the house and glue tissue paper around the sides in different Halloween colours, or even create scary monster faces for a more playful Halloween theme. If you’re really into having a fun and playful event, your stringed lights can also be turned into scary ghosts by using ping pong balls,  a marker and some cheese cloth.

Another way to get creative with your lighting is to use a floodlight and create a cellophane screen. The cellophane screen will create a softer glow when shining through so that the light is not as harsh and bright. Typically good colours to use for Halloween are red, purple, green and orange. Floodlights can be rented from most AudioVisual companies (click here to find A/V companies in Greater Vancouver) or purchased from home improvement stores.

Lastly, be sure to take advantage of existing lightbulb sockets and swap out basic white lightbulbs for coloured bulbs. With a simple change of lightbulb, entryways, bathrooms, hallways and more can become an eery setting.

Ping Pong Ball GhostsHalloween Lanterns

Image Source: UnoriginalMom.com & Rilane.com


Pumpkins are classic Halloween décor pieces that are more widely known for their carving capabilities in order to create scary, glowing faces. However, there are many other ways pumpkins can be integrated into your Halloween décor to perfectly match the theme of your event.

Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve this Halloween, try painting or glueing items onto your pumpkin instead of carving it up.  If you’re thinking about having a classy and contemporary Halloween affair, pumpkins can be painted in one colour, or into fun patterns to effectively match your personal style and home décor. If you prefer to have a more playful event and love the idea of classic Halloween themed characters, pumpkins can be painted and dressed up to look like bats or witches. Another fun idea for dressing up pumpkins is to use old buttons and decorate them by creating a fun pattern or even creating characters or spooky words such as “BOO”.

(Sage Tip: If you don’t have a lot of time to paint fun designs, paint your pumpkin one colour and then use washi tape after the paint has dried to create your fun look. Washi tape is a decorative masking tape that is sold at your local craft shop, Staples or Walmart.)

Additionally, pumpkins can also be hollowed out to create useful party items such as a cooler for your party beverages, a vase for interesting Halloween themed floral arrangements, or even used as a candy dish or punch bowl by simply inserting a plastic liner or cup.

Eventsage DIY Pumpkins

Spooky Fun

Aside from lighting and pumpkins, there are other ways to creatively and effortlessly integrate some Halloween fun into your event décor:

  • Twigs and branches, for example, can be used to create interesting centrepieces, scary witches brooms, or use smaller twigs placed in mason jars to create spooky scenery figurines to add a sense of eeriness to your event.
  • Old white sheets can be used to throw over your furniture to give your room a ghostly feeling.
  • Create holes in cheese cloth and drape over your food table to give your table the appearance of an old cobweb.
  • Plastic spiders can be frozen into ice cubes and served in your guest’s drinks for a spooky surprise or also put into mason jars much like the twigs, for an additional scare factor.
  • Wine bottles and vases can be turned into potion bottles by simply creating or downloading labels and printing them off on your computer. If you want to get really crafty, buy some black paint and paint these bottles before labelling them to give an added Halloween effect. (You can download these free, ready-made potions labels from www.GraphicsFairy.com)

Eventsage Spooky Fun


As you can now see, creating your own Halloween décor doesn’t need to be a troublesome or complex process, nor do you need to spend a lot of money to achieve the look you desire as many of these items can be found around your house, at local value stores, or re-used from other holidays. Embrace your inner creativity and playfulness to create a frightfully fun atmosphere.


Sage Advice

Challenging your creative side is a great way to start triggering your mind to think like an event planner. It’s the small details that in most cases make or break an event. Opening up your mind to other uses of everyday items can also be a great exercise for troubleshooting when things don’t go as planned. Every event planner needs to be able to come up with creative ways to fix a problem…FAST!

Remember, being creative doesn’t mean it needs to be perfect nor does it need to be an exact duplicate of the photos you used for inspiration. At the very least, getting crafty is a great way to set your event apart from the rest, and if you have children, it’s also a great way to get them involved. If there is any holiday or event to let your creative juices going let it be Halloween where imperfections help to make things look even scarier.


Vanna Bailey

Vanna Bailey

Having worked the majority of my career in experiential event marketing for large brands, I appreciate spreadsheets and all the small details that go into putting on an event. I understand how a simple plan can turn into a chaotic mess and hope to give helpful insights into how it can be done better. I am also the new Marketing Coordinator here at Eventsage.

More Posts

Get your FREE copy of our:

The Method Every Successful Planner Uses


Eventsage Event Planning Guide
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to download your
FREE Event Planning Guide!