5 easy last-minute Halloween decor ideas for a speedy and stylish display

From crafty paper creations to styling your space with candles and gathered fall foliage, these quick decorating ideas can help get your home ready for Halloween in no time

Last-minute Halloween decor ideas. Decorated mantel in living room, decorated sideboards in entryway
(Image credit: Hallstrom Home | CB2 |Studio McGee)

As Halloween edges closer and closer, some of you may be feeling a little time stressed when it comes to decorating your home for the celebration, so we're on hand with five simple last-minute Halloween decorating ideas that can quickly transform your space into somewhere that feels more special and spooky. 

Of course, you can shop plenty of last-minute Halloween decor close to the time, but our ideas explore more creative crafts and ways you can embrace Halloween decorating using what you already have around you at home.

From using plenty of cozy candles for more subtle Halloween decor, to styling your front porch with simple stacks of pumpkins for outdoor Halloween decor, our last-minute Halloween decor ideas have something for everyone – no matter your style or desired scheme.

5 easy last-minute Halloween decorating ideas

Our last-minute Halloween decor ideas can help you to create a speedy, stress-free, and stylish Halloween scheme, all you need is a little thought and imagination – and maybe some craft supplies.

1. Get crafty with paper decorations

Living room with mantel decorated with paper bat decorations, cozy armchair

(Image credit: Hallstrom Home)

Making for a great Halloween craft project, paper decorations may be simple, but they will always create a fun effect. 

For this look, interior decorator Rhonda Hallstrom from Hallstrom Home has created a magnificent Halloween mantel design using bat artwork printed out onto paper. She says of the look, 'It is so simple to create, but the perfect touch of scary for Halloween. To place the bats on the wall, I used double-sided tape which works perfectly, and placing them like they are flying away can create a wonderful display.'

Whether you get creative and hand-draw your own designs, or print out ready-made motifs and silhouettes, paper decorations can be placed pretty much anywhere in the home. As well as using them to style a mantel, paper decorations can also look great for Halloween window decor, too.

Rhonda Hallstrom
Rhonda Hallstrom

Creator and designer of Hallstrom Home, interior decorator Rhonda Hallstrom creates beautiful home decor and shares inspiring decorative tips and craft ideas on her blog.

2. Style your space with a stack of pumpkins

Halloween door decor ideas with green and orange pumpkin on steps, interspersed with plant pots and branches of cotton and willow on the railings

(Image credit: Unsplash/Tomas Anton Escobar)

It's as easy as that! Styling your home with a selection of pumpkins and gourds is one of the quickest, easiest, and of course, most traditional ways to decorate your home for Halloween. 

From stacks of pumpkins by your door for some speedy Halloween door decor to placing them in windows or on tables indoors, decorating with pumpkins can celebrate the seasonal harvest and add wonderful color and texture to both your inside and outside spaces.

And if you don't think you'll have time for pumpkin carving or pumpkin painting, the beauty of these spooky squashes is that they can sit pretty just as they are.

3. Get creative with candles

CB2 halloween candle lifestyle

(Image credit: CB2)

Candles can make your home smell nice and create an inviting atmosphere all year round, but during the fall and winter months, we think the more cozy candles you have around your home, the better – and they can make for great decorations for fall decor too.

'Whether you purchase a new, statement candleholder to add a fresh feel to your space for the season, like the chic, best-selling Cinq Taper Candle Holder above from CB2, the perfect centerpiece for Halloween table decor, or simply style your shelves and surfaces with candles in traditional Halloween colors (think black, orange and purple), candles and unique candleholders can help to create a more special atmosphere with one strike of a match,' says Jennifer Ebert, Homes & Gardens digital editor.

For a DIY Halloween decoration idea, gather some white and orange candles and draw on ghost and jack-o-lantern faces in black marker, or experiment with pillar and taper candles like Kara Whitten below and create some fun, spooky shapes.

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jen is the Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens online. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.

4. Gather fall foliage and flowers

Large vase of fall foliage on kitchen island

(Image credit: Afloral)

Perfect for a more minimalist Halloween decorating idea, you can never beat the beauty of bringing natural decoration into your home. 

Whether you take cuttings of fall flowers and foliage from your own yard or garden, or shop elegant faux displays, like this beautiful branch from Afloral, Halloween decor doesn't have to be all ghosts and ghouls, skeletons and spiders, it can be as simple and sophisticated as styling your space with a few new vases of dried flowers and foliage. 

If you're feeling a little bit more adventurous, you can also use your cuttings of foliage and flowers to make a Halloween wreath or garland, perfect for adorning a front door or for hanging on a wall or window.

5. Make a few simple tweaks to your existing fall decor

Halloween table decor

(Image credit: Shea McGee)

Halloween decor and fall decor often go together hand in hand, so if you've already decorated your home for the fall season with plenty of pumpkins and fall foliage, you can simply leave your decorations as they are, or make a few simple, spooky tweaks.

In this above entryway by Studio McGee, the pretty pastel pumpkins and vases of foliage and flowers have been enhanced for Halloween with faux spider webs, bat decorations and a skull decoration; creating a beautiful blend of the scary and stylish. 

Halloween decor doesn't have to cover your house from top to bottom, and from inside to out either, to save time, concentrate on decorating only one or two areas, as interior designer Shea McGee explains below. 

'When it comes to holiday and seasonal decor, we’ve found that it’s much easier to make a statement when you focus on one or two areas of the home to create impactful moments, rather than scattering small items all around your space.

Whether you want to focus on a room or a particular moment, like an entryway table or built-in shelving, emphasizing specific areas can feel less visually overwhelming.'

Shea McGee
Shea McGee

Interior designer, Shea McGee founded her iconic design firm, Studio McGee, with her husband Syd in 2014. They later launched their e-commerce brand, McGee & Co, and starred in their very own Netflix show, Dream Home Makeover.


How do you decorate for Halloween on a budget?

There are so many ways you can make your home feel spooky and special for Halloween on a budget. From getting involved in fun seasonal crafts and creating handmade paper decorations, to purchasing a few colorful pumpkins, you do not have to blow the budget to create impactful decor. 

Rather than decorating your whole home, focus on a few key areas to decorate that will be enjoyed and appreciated the most, we suggest the entryway, living room and outside of your front door.

Halloween may be all about the decor, but it doesn't need to mean months of planning and investment. Look to nature for things you can bring indoors and get crafty with an evening of cutting out paper decorations. Candles will of course get that spooky vibe going to in an instant, so if in doubt, candles, candles, candles, 

Zara Stacey
Managing Editor

Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.