Halloween decorating ideas – pretty tricks to make your home look a treat

Trick or treating may not be possible this year, which makes these pretty Halloween decorating ideas all the more important

halloween decorating ideas
(Image credit: Marsland Huynh/Unsplash)

Halloween this year will be like no other, with trick or treating in many neighborhoods simply impossible. This does, of course, mean that you have the perfect excuse to double down on decorating ideas to make your home look more frightfully festive than ever.

Our roundup includes Halloween decorating ideas for indoors and out – and, as you would expect, they are ghoulishly good-looking. 

1. Create a cute Halloween scarecrow

halloween decorating ideas on a bike in a front garden

(Image credit: Future)

This is a fun project to do with the children, and there really are no rules for how to create it or how it should look. We have used a pumpkin for the head, and fabric scraps and card for the clothes and hat – but you can buy kits and ready-made pumpkin scarecrows if you need a quick fix. 

2. Fall porch decor ideas that look good for Halloween, too

Love, love, love the white and pale green color scheming of this fall porch and how the shapes of the pumpkins are echoed in the huge floral displays in the containers either side of the front door. So simple, yet so effective.

3. Turn sugar cookies into Halloween decorations

Halloween biscuits as decorating ideas

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Gingerbread men and plain sugar cookies can quickly become Halloween-themed with the addition of some simple icing – another fun project for the kids! Bake them yourself or cheat with ready-made cookies and enjoy the decorating. Use them as decorations, place them on a plate on the porch... or simply enjoy them at home.

4. Layer lanterns with fall flowers and white pumpkins

Welcome guests and visitors with a beautiful porch display. This is our favorite combination: white white and pale grey pumpkins from Pottery Barn, alternated with lanterns and autumn blooms. Simply stunning.

5. Pick a Halloween wreath that's drop dead gorgeous

Halloween decorating ideas: tasteful wreath

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

If you're wondering how to decorate a front porch for Halloween, we love to include wreaths in our Halloween decorating ideas, but they are rarely suitable beyond 31st October. This blush eucalyptus wreath from Cox & Cox, however, is the perfect example of a fall wreath that can be dressed up with decorations – such as the cookies above – for Halloween, then undressed and redressed for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Understated, beautiful fall colors, and ever-lasting.

6. Halloween decorating ideas you can use all year round

@cre8ive_studios gorgeous Center pieces #thanksgivingdecor #aroundthetable #falldecor HoM House Of Mann

A photo posted by @hairsalon_houseofmann on Oct 5, 2020 at 1:26pm PDT

How cute do these white pumpkin pots look with succulents planted in them? They are the perfect understated decor for Halloween – but we think they would look lovely all year round, too.

7. Pick out elegant Halloween lighting ideas

halloween decorating ideas: candle sconce shaped as a pumpkin

(Image credit: Lights4Fun)

Halloween lights needn't be garish – there are plenty of sophisticated lighting ideas, such as this gorgeous golden glass pumpkin light decoration, that house-proud homeowners will enjoy displaying. 

8. Create a warm welcome with deep, autumnal shades

Want to make more of an impact? Pick out pumpkins in bolder, deeper colors and in different shapes and sizes. Combine them with painted pumpkins – or faux pumpkin decorations – flowers, lanterns, and even autumn leaves, and arrange until you are happy with how they look. 

9. Pile up pumpkins in pretty containers

You needn't buy a ton of pumpkins for this stylish look – simply fill your containers with anything from bricks to upside down smaller containers – then you can just carefully arrange just a few pumpkins, gourds and even herbs on top. 

10. Hang a Halloween garland over doors

halloween decorating ideas: garland over door

(Image credit: Graham & Green)

Children will love a fun bunting or garland, and design-conscious adults will approve of this cute by from Graham & Green...

11. Look for pumpkin decorations with a difference

Pumpkin decorations; halloween decorating ideas

(Image credit: Etsy)

These pumpkin decorations are made from upcycled books – how clever! They add a wonderful touch as a table centerpiece and will certainly serve as a conversation piece while providing that cozy fall look. You can even use them to decorate your fire mantle, end table, hutch, book case, or give them away as party favors. At Etsy

12. Decorate pumpkins with Halloween stickers

halloween decorating ideas: pumpkin stickers

(Image credit: Etsy)

Another lovely project for children to be involved in – if you want to do something a little different to carving your pumpkins this year, why not add a scary sticker? These are at Etsy.

13. Or use découpage to give pumpkins a fresh look

Pumpkin decor: halloween decorating ideas

(Image credit: Future)

And, finally, the project the children are going to enjoy the most – and one that will definitely make missing out on trick or treating this year easier to bear: découpaging on to pumpkins. We would, of course, suggest you cover faux pumpkins so you can keep these beauties for next year, and as keepsakes if the little ones have made them. All you need is some pretty giftwrap and a flour and water glue mix. 

14. Get creative with card

Living room decorated for Halloween

Sofology Liberte 4-seater sofa in Lucerne Aqua, £1,849

(Image credit: Sofology)

Want to keep your Halloween decorating ideas subtle? One way to do so is to simply set pumpkins around a fireplace; if you want to create a cute display that can be seen from outside too, some simple bat shapes cut from card and hung at the window with fine thread will do the trick. 

My first job was writing a DIY column for a magazine for the over 50s (which seemed a long way off back then). I then moved to a DIY magazine as deputy ed, then freelanced my way around the homes departments of most women's magazines on the market before working on Your Home and Family Circle magazines as homes editor. From there, I went to Ideal Home magazine as associate editor, then launched 4Homes magazine for Channel 4, then the Channel 4 4Homes website before going back to freelancing and running a social media business (you can see where I had kids from the freelancing gaps!). I was tempted back to the world of big business by the chance to work with the great team at Realhomes.com, where I was Global Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years, taking it from a small website to a global entity. I've now handed the reins of the website to our American managing editor, while I take on a new challenge as Editor-in-Chief of Homes & Gardens.