Decor is always the biggest section because so many people are throwing parties on a budget. No matter what your budget you can have a kick ass party! (Most of these items can be purchased at a dollar or other discount store. Buy stuff on clearance this year and put away for next year.) There are some projects described here but most of the projects with instructions are in the projects section. I will have more pics of project results this year. The last few years most of our pictures managed to lose themselves (the poltergeists in our house are stirring)…

First and foremost your decorating staples include: cobwebs. cardboard creatures like bats, ghosts, goblins etc. skulls, lots of blood, guts and gore (unless its for the kiddies), black streamers for people to get caught in, dark table cloths, rats, bugs and other creepy crawlies, lights, sounds, tombstones and of course your scary jack-o-lanterns. 

A little bigger budget may include a fog machine, dry-ice, special lighting such as strobes, colored light bulbs in your overhead lights, rubber limbs with guts of course, corpses, horror movie clips playing on a loop on your TV among other things. For starters, I always begin with my food table. Most people will visit this at least once so it should look good. I start with a black table cloth or you can make your own spider table cloth (see projects).



In the middle I usually have a big plastic cauldron filled with non-alcoholic punch. (Please remember your designated drivers at your party!!!) I keep the beer in the fridge, tub, in mini skeleton pools filled with ice, and in buckets of ice on our balcony. Everyone that brings beverages can just throw it in any cold place they like. Next I lay out my food, which usually consists of my famous sugar cookies (in Halloween shapes), meatballs, veggie platters, my edible bones (see recipe section), cracker, cheese and pickle trays, and of course our kitty litter cake which is disgusting to look at but tasty to eat. (see recipes).

I have a corpse head on the table somewhere (see projects), plates, toothpicks, plastic utensils and plenty of napkins. I make up specimen and biohazard jars filled with limbs, guts and organs placed all around, with many a rubber bugs, creepies and rats. I have learned that cobwebs on the table are usually eaten by mistake in our dimly lit room, and though they are non-toxic (yes, I checked), I don’t suggest you serve them to your guests. I also line the perimeter of the table with some type of foil, Halloween garland.


Next I focus on our bathroom, which is also frequently visited through the night. I fill the bathtub with cold water and ice and beer, and throw in loads of red food die and rubber limbs. I have had many a guest scream when they pull out an arm instead of a beer!

I smear blood all over the mirror and countertop and throw more rubber creatures wherever I can.

I write cryptic messages on the walls in water based paint. (it comes off with soapy water, unless you have matte paint or light colored paint. Test an area before you do this). I will use glow paint on the floors to make footsteps that show up in the dark.


The main party room is decked with every type of scary Halloween article you can buy for under a hundred bucks.

You can hang white sewing thread precariously throughout the room where people will walk through it or stand under it and get creeped out. Especially if the room is dim and you can’t really see it.

I hang everything I can from the ceiling at different levels so people must walk through all sorts of different stuff.

Lighting is a big deal. The cheapest Halloween decorations look great in a dim room. change light bulbs to black and red ones and hang strands of mini lights and turn off overhead ones. I don’t recommend candles as you can burn your house down. And someone sober should know where your fire extinguisher is at all times. We all smoke and the streamers are flame retardant but I wouldn’t put mine or my cats’ life on it.

Photos from old books of ghosts and other spooky images are great wall fillers if it’s your first year having a party and you don’t have a big collection of decorations. Now you should definitely skim through the projects page and see the real nitty gritty decorations. They’re easy to make, fun and cheap. There are many more ideas in that section.


Smoky Mirrors

Use soap to fog up your mirrors, it has a great effect in dim light.  Try your windows too for a good fog effect.

Scary Masks

Make masks out of paper mache for your walls.  Blow up a balloon and cover half of it with paper mache.  Add bulges for the eyes, nose, mouth, whatever you want.  Let it dry over night.  Pop the balloon and paint your mask.  Hang them with string.

Funky Floor Signs

Find one of those folding signs for wet floors.  Paint it black, purple, gray, blue etc. with craft paint meant for plastic and stencil on skulls, bats etc.

For stencils click HERE

Melting Witch Pumpkin

Carve a pumpkin with a scary face and add a small gourd or styrofoam  in the shape of a witch nose.  Paint the whole thing green.  Place a black cloth over top of a bowl or pot big enough to support the pumpkin.  Make the cloth look like it’s spilling into a pile on the ground and add a pair of black witch’s boots.  Place your pumpkin in top of the bowl and add a witch’s hat,

I suggest using one of those battery operated pumpkin lights instead of a candle because you have fabric so close.

Pumpkin Additions

Add hats, hair, eye balls, clothes etc.  Get Creative!!

Bloody Drinking Glasses

Use red cake gel (from the grocery store) to line the top of your wine, martini and other glasses.  Let it drip a bit down the inside to make it look like real blood.  It’s sweet, so it won’t ruin the taste of your drink!

A twist on this is to use paint and stencils (you can get kits at craft stores) to decorate plain glasses.


Bubbling Cauldron

Fill a plastic cauldron with spray foam insulation.  Let it dry and paint it green.  Glue bugs and stuff to the foam.  Try drizzling the foam down the sides to make it look like it’s bubbling over, just remember to work on a green garbage bag.

More Decor Ideas

- Hang coiled snakes from your curtain rod in your bathroom and put out old hand towels that are drenched in blood for your guests to use.  (let them dry first:)

- Spray paint branches and leaves black, purple, gray, red etc. and place around the house and year to add atmosphere.

- Use rubber molds and make Jell-O in them to leave brains, hearts and all other kinds of squishy organs around the house.  There are many online suppliers, look for one in your area to save on shipping.

- Use electric candles to light the house, these are safer than real candles.  Paint them black.  (just be sure not to get paint in the electrical part.)

-Put pretzels under your front door mat so when people walk over it, it sounds like bones crunching underfoot.

- Hang garlands of garlic and rosaries around your house.  (Obviously if you are very into Vampires, forgo the garlic).

-There is more to lighting than just black light bulbs.  Try colored bulbs such as red, purple and blue.  You can also get sheer colored scarves to place over your lamp shades.  Just keep an eye on them because they are a wee bit of a fire hazard.

-Paint old style planters black and have dead roses and other flowers “growing” out of them.  I even have decapitated heads on sticks that I plant among the flowers.

-Get old dark velvet curtains (check thrift stores and yard sales), rip holes in them so they moth eaten, and take them outside and get them “dusty” looking.  It adds great atmosphere.

Floating Ghosts

Get white balloons filled with helium.  Use cheesecloth to cover the balloon and gently tie it up at the neck.  Paint scary faces on them and attach them to furniture, railings etc.

Hanged Corpse

For those who are handy, get a few pieces of wood, (measure for height) and make a post to hang a body off of.  Stuff old clothes and stitch together a body.  Put a noose around it’s neck and hang in your front yard.

You can use the same idea for the body, but hang them in your front tree.  If you can’t make the heads, just hide where the head would be in a really leafy area of the tree.

Some other ideas are:

decor12 decor9 decor10            decor11

Some More of our decor pics from over the years:

Ideas from around the web: