When Should You Start Decorating for Halloween?
We asked the holiday experts for their perspectives on pumpkins, ghosts, and winged bat wreaths.
As soon as September rolls in, it's tempting to redecorate your home—inside and out—to welcome the autumnal season. Think: harvest motifs, pumpkins and gourds, and the burnished color of fallen leaves. For the truly "Martha" motivated among us, the planning starts even earlier—as early as August and the end of summer. And that includes Martha's favorite holiday of them all: Halloween.
The most popular time to start decorating for Halloween is within the first two weeks of October. However, you can start putting up decorations as early as late September. That's because most people are inspired by the very real change in the air, and that includes Etsy's trend expert and judge on NBC's series Making It Dayna Isom Johnson. "There is no right or wrong time to start decorating for Halloween," says Johnson. "but I personally like to bust out the cobwebs and pumpkins when the air starts to feel a little cooler and crisper."
Others like Lynn Lilly, a Michaels Maker and the founder of Craft Box Girls, admit that decorating for Halloween is not as simple when you like to craft your own décor ahead of time. "Some people say anytime is the right time to start decorating for Halloween but, if you are like me, and decorate for every holiday and season, the timing can be tricky," says Lilly. "My rule of thumb is as soon as October 1 rolls around, I pack away the fall harvest decorations, put on my witches hat, stretch out the spider webs and start planning my annual Halloween hunt."
Calendar aside, your local area's general climate can delay the transition from summer to fall. For this, Lilly has a tip: "If you live in a warm climate like me, start your Halloween decorating with faux pumpkins and get the real pumpkins mid-month when it is a little cooler outside. Nothing is worse than a sunburned, stinky pumpkin."
Our experts say that, etiquette-wise, look to the example set by your neighborhood and treat others how you would want to be treated. Flashing lights and eerie sound effects can cause quite a disturbance night after night, so these should be kept to a minimum—if not solely to the night of trick-or-treating itself. You should also consider the scale of your Halloween decorations when deciding on a timeline. After all, your neighbors might not take kindly to the sight of a graveyard of luminary tombstones scattered on the front lawn or giant spiders scaling the front of your house for weeks on end.
If you're still unsure, stick to more subtle décor like mum planters or a wreath of dried foliage instead. That's always a welcome sight.