Our Best Halloween Crafts to Decorate (and Spookify) the Inside of Your Home

moths and pumpkins displayed on antique books
Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

You've probably spent weeks planning your family's Halloween costumes—but have you thought about how you're going to dress up your own home? Believe it or not, you don't need to make a mad dash for the stores in order to get your space ready for the spookiest holiday of the year. In the days and weeks leading up to Halloween, roll up your sleeves and get crafty by creating unique décor that gives your guests a delightful sense of foreboding.

These craft tricks aren't too spooky. In fact, most are tame enough for younger ghouls and goblins who would enjoy them throughout a Halloween event. From floral elements to furniture that you can temporarily modify, there are many how-tos to get you in the spooky spirit. Using crafty essentials like hot glue and shears, you can create essentials like cobwebs and other visual effects for tabletops, bookcases, and lighting fixtures.

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Pick Your Poison

Halloween labels for liquor bottles

October is the time for summoning spirits, including the boo-zy kind. To give your home bar a macabre makeover, decant liquor into dark-as-night infinity jars—the classic apothecary vessels made from black ultraviolet glass. They won't give your beverages eternal life, but will help them last longer. Download our labels, print them on sticker paper, and get affixing and mixing.

Styling by Kendra Smoot.

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Batty Mantel

Plastic Bats at the Mantel
The Morrisons

To summon a swarm of nocturnal nomads, use our downloadable template to cut out your own flock of bats. A tip? Bend the wings for extra eeriness, then stick on removable adhesive dots and let 'em loose around your house. We think they look especially spooky when given the illusion that they're flying out of your fireplace.

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Haunted Mirror

Black Calla Lilies floral arrangement
Addie Juell

Our print-and-adhere template conjures up a ghostly vision. Entwine a pair of wall sconces with hissing snakes, arrange black calla lilies in vessels dark as tombstones, and unleash the ghost who's been trapped behind the glass. One glimpse at it, and people will never forget the night they reached for your candy bowl.

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Floral Skull and Skeleton Hands Centerpiece

Florals and Skulls in a Centerpiece
Addie Juell

Gather your guests 'round the table with this departed decorator as the centerpiece. A grinning skull is brimming with seasonal blooms while two bony hands clutch at taper candles.

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Plaster Bones


Go larger than life. This pre-historic-sized femur and the heap of humeri posing as logs in the fireplace are made from newspaper wrapped in plaster cloth.

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Decoupage Halloween Lanterns

Bryan Gardner

Halloween isn't all orange and black—it's a burst of bright colors and fun motifs, too. Bedeck a pair of paper lanterns with découpaged clip-art: owls, flowers, and star bursts.

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Creepy Candles

Ellie Miller

Cast a sinister glow over any setting with a cluster of white tapers dripping with "blood" (actually red candle wax). Fill a cup or a small pail with sand, and plant white candles inside so they stand upright. Light a red candle and tip it over the white candles so the wax drips down the tops and sides, being careful not to burn yourself. Let wax cool completely before removing candles from sand.

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Spooky Halloween Paper Garland


Jaunty jack-o'-lanterns and foreboding bats...these are Halloween-appropriate versions of the classic paper-doll chain. To make it, print our template onto card stock, fold the paper to its width, trace, and cut it out. Then, use scissors for the outline, and a craft knife or hole punch for facial features and smaller details. Intersperse with fringed garlands to add color.

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Friendly Ghost Shades

Handmade Ghost Blinds

These easy, inexpensive window treatments are a spooky addition to windows for Halloween. Trim a black paper window shade from a home store to fit your window, then print out our templates before cutting them out and tracing them onto thin white paper. Cut out the ghosts, and then stretch and tape your window shade flat onto a safe work surface. Spray the back of the ghost cut out with adhesive, then press it onto the shade.

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Cheesecloth Spirits

cheese cloth spirits

Inviting these spooky floating guests inside will keep other ghouls on their toes. Making these foreboding decorations is actually very easy—styrofoam mannequin heads are sold at wig shops, and while they can stand on their necks, suspending them lets the cloth flow freely.

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Vellum Halloween Table Lanterns

Paper Halloween Lanterns

When the sun goes down, set a spooky scene with these dramatic lanterns made from simple supplies and our exclusive clip-art designs. Start by choosing one of the following templates—this creepy cat, this spooked feline, or a crescent moon—and cutting out the lantern template on the second page. Trace the template four times, side by side, on 24-by-36-inch heavy black paper. Using a bone folder, crease the sides of the template where they meet, and then cut it out. Print four copies of your chosen illustration out on onto vellum paper using a laser printer. Cut these pieces just larger than the frame "windows," and then tape the vellum into the frame.

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Plaster Hands


Give your tablescape a ghostly touch by making these eery decorations out of molds of your own hand. To turn them into taper candleholders, hold a candle in your hand, keeping it straight—then carefully remove candle the candle and place your hand into the mold mixture.

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Eyeball Tableware


Have eyes all over your Halloween party by adorning plates, glasses, and pitchers with our clip-art eyeballs. Use photo-quality paper to ensure the prints don't look grainy.

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Butterfly Specimens


Beautiful butterflies seem to float off the pages of a dusty old tome, growing as they flit around this library. You can make these creatures in different sizes for your display. Start by printing the butterflies using our three templates: One for an orange butterfly, another for red specimens, and the last for smaller varieties overall. Print them on heavyweight paper. Trim butterflies roughly, then use some spray adhesive to adhere them to black paper. Carefully cut out each butterfly.

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Candy Artifact Display


Tempt your Halloween party guests with an array of candies masquerading as botanical or nautical artifacts. To begin, fill large glass jars with sweets, and then mark each jar with a label that sounds convincing—here, the meringues are given the moniker "jellyfish skeletons." If you don't have a cabinet, you can create your own by arranging the jars in wooden cubbies or crates; we painted these a deep slate gray.

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Drilled "Galactic" Pumpkins

drilled pumpkins in a fireplace
Ted Cavanaugh

Make a big bang with a tumble of pumpkins studded like the starry bands of the Milky Way. Pick a few to be part of the inter-stellar arc, then cut a hole underneath and hollow them out. Next, punch holes in the gourds using a drill and two different-size bits. Have fun with the placement of your planets and stars—random patterns have universal appeal. Arrange them with a few un-carved pumpkins in varying sizes, then tuck battery-powered candles inside, and imagine a galaxy far, far away.

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Fabric Pumpkins


Pumpkins—a timeless Halloween motif—are made with nothing more than fabric, a sewing machine, batting, needle, and thread. Choose a variety of fabrics in different textures and colors to make a truly unique display that you can place on tablescapes, mantelpieces, and more.

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Creeping Vine

creeping vine tablescape with black candles
Frank Frances

Give the illusion that nature is creeping into your home with this vine decoration that is sprouting black heart-shaped leaves. To make it, cut hearts out of black paper and hot glue them to floral wire wrapped in black floral tape. We love it as a table decoration wrapped around equally as ensnaring centerpieces.

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Suspended Ghost

desparate housewife skeleton doing dishes
Frank Frances

Make this All Hallows' Eve extra spirited with this haunting figure that's made by hot gluing a white crepe paper sheet to a skull head and suspending it from the ceiling of your home. Your guests won't see it coming.

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Papier-Mâché Spider

night crawlers spider wall decor
Frank Frances

Halloween might be the only time you actually want spiders in your house. The creepy crawlers are easy to make. Start by inflating two different-size balloons and covered them in papier-mâché, then glue the parts together and spray-paint them black. For the legs you'll bend floral wire and wrap it with paper tape at the joints.

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Wriggling Snake Wreath


Give the illusion that snakes have invaded your home by placing the insect—in toy form, of course—into a grapevine wreath that's been spray-painted black. Make it monochrome by also painting the vinyl snakes a similar shade.

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Halloween Skull Bookends

gold skull bookends

Get your study ready for Halloween, too. For this clever decoration, cut a faux skull head—which you can find at your local craft store during the fall season—in half and glue each side to metal bookends. Paint them any color you want; here, we're using metallic gold. Let them dry then sandwich your favorite reads in between each end.

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