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6 Halloween Party Décor Themes

Updated on October 12, 2015
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Why Choose a Halloween Theme?

If you decorate for Halloween every year, then choosing an annual theme can help keep the holiday fresh and exciting. If you are crafting many of your decorations, then using a Halloween theme can keep you from becoming overwhelmed. (Did I make enough bats? Did I remember jack-o-lanterns? Do I have time to make scarecrows?)

A theme can also make a party easier to organize, since you can shop for one particular style of party favors. If you are making your own decorations, then there are plenty of patterns on the internet to suit every Halloween fancy.

In short, using a theme each year for Halloween can:

  • Make decorating faster and easier
  • Make organizing a party more simple
  • Challenge your creative side
  • Make each Hallowen exciting and "fresh"
  • Provide hours of fun
  • Make putting packing and storing decorations a breeze.

So what you are waiting for? Get out your shopping lists and craft supplies. Check out the table below for six theme topics, then read on for more ideas!

Halloween Party Theme Ideas

Halloween Character/Symbol
Can it be child-friendly?
Can it be scary enough for adults?
Ghosts and Graveyards
Yes
Yes
Famous Monsters
Yes
Yes
Halloween Nature Theme
Yes
Not really
Witchy Stuff
Yes
Sometimes
Horror Movie Theme
With caution
Yes
Trick-or-Treat Goodies Theme
Yes
No
6 Halloween Party Décor Themes--Jack-o-lantern
6 Halloween Party Décor Themes--Jack-o-lantern | Source

Deciding On A Theme

This is the hardest part, but it can be very fun! You can use several methods:

  • Randomly select two or three favorite items/symbols
  • Just use your top favorites
  • Have everyone in the family cast a vote
  • Write down different combinations and ideas on paper and draw your theme from a hat
  • Use a complex theme, such as "Haunted" and decorate with all things related to hauntings and paranormal activity.
  • Go simple and go by color (such as all things black and orange).
  • Base your theme around a favorite horror film (for example, turn your house into a Nightmare on Elm Street shrine.)

Need some more ideas for a Halloween party theme? Below I've listed a few ideas. Feel free to use them, alter them, and have fun with them!

Ghosts and Graveyards

Go spooky with your décor by using anything related to ghosts. Drape your furniture in white sheets to replicate the look of an abandoned haunted house. Hang lots of stretchy cobweb and stop your clocks for extra effect.

Or, go for the cuter side of the graveyard, by having lots of fluttery ghosts. Ghost crafts are one of the easiest for small children to help make, since they can be made out of anything from plastic bags to paper plates. Need some fast ghosts? Draw spooky faces on white balloons!

Here are some other things that could go with this theme:

  • Skeletons
  • Loose bones
  • Tombstones
  • Coffins
  • Funeral flower arrangements
  • White and black candles
  • White and black streamers
  • Haunted house silhouettes
  • Spooky tree silhouettes.

Once everything is black, white and grey; a little dry ice, fog, an eerie green lightbulb, or a bright orange jack-o-lantern will make the look complete!

Famous Monsters

If you are more into monsters than ghosts, this is the theme for you! You can go with creepy generic monsters, or go right for the ones that are easily recognized:

  • Werewolves
  • Vampires
  • Zombies
  • Frankenstein's Monster
  • Mummies

You can even add aliens and creepy clowns. Or stick to cute, cartoonish monsters that will appeal to children.

Not only is it easy to find party decorations with these characters, it is easy to make your own versions. Try using a Sharpie to draw a Frankenstein monster face onto a green balloon. Doodling on balloons is a cheap and fun way to create matching decorations, and children can help.

Want a dramatic centerpiece? Dress up a scarecrow form with a cheap werewolf costume and pose him in your living room! Decorate your windows or your fence with plastic monster masks. Wrap your hedges to look like mummies!

Halloween Nature Theme

Get back to the earth by using some of Nature's own Halloween decorations--creepy critters! Using animals can be much more elegant for a more adult-themed party, since they lend themselves so well to silhouettes. Fill your windows and deck your tables with:

  • Bats
  • Spiders
  • Owls
  • Rats
  • Snakes
  • Centipedes
  • Ravens
  • Cats

Again, spooky trees make a great addition to this theme. Scarecrows are easy to incorporate too.

If you can print some decent silhouettes of these animals, you can cut tons from black posterboard, craft foam or plastic. Now you will have unique Halloween décor, and save money at the same time.

This theme is also melds well with autumn decorations, such as leaves, acorns, pumpkins, and straw.

Halloween Theme--Owl decorations
Halloween Theme--Owl decorations | Source

Something Witchy

There are so many decorations based around witches, from the quirky cartoon witches to the beautiful fantasy renditions. It would be hard not to fall in love with a witch theme!

The cool part of choosing this as your party theme is that even costumes can be easily included. Here are some decorating elements that could go with a Witch Halloween:

  • Witches
  • Broomsticks
  • Haunted houses
  • Creepy trees
  • Cauldrons
  • Candles
  • Black cats
  • Ravens
  • Bats
  • Old books
  • Toads
  • Bottles
  • Boxes

This theme is also great for those who love to use lights, since it looks much more magical to create glowing cauldrons, flickering lanterns, and eerie backlighting for props.

It also works the best when it comes to a food themed party. Serve dips and main dishes in cauldrons. Add rubber bugs and toads to all the platters. Every party table can look like a witch's work-bench, with candles, old books, and bottles of mysterious ingredients.

Don't forget to add some cobwebs to the mix. Black streamers can look great too, as can paper lanterns and chandeliers. For more ambience, put green or purple light bulbs in most of the fixtures.

Halloween Decorating

What is your Halloween style?

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Horror Movie Fan Theme

Throwing a grown-up party? Why not take your theme up a notch and add some blood and gore? You can pick a specific movie (or show) or add elements from all. This is probably the most costly to do if you want to good effects, but your holiday photos are going to look great!

Here are some things that can make your home look like a horror movie:

  • Bloody handprints and spatters
  • Chains
  • Machetes (plastic!)
  • Scythe (preferable rubber)
  • Chainsaw (without the chain, please!)
  • Skulls and bones
  • Rubber body parts
  • Character props from the costume department (hockey mask, Freddy claw, etc.)
  • Creepy dolls
  • Fog
  • Lights
  • Ripped cloth

If you are taking this outdoors too, this is a great theme for lifesized grim reapers, scary silhouettes in the windows, and hands reaching out of "graves" in your yard.

If children will attend, edit the horror appropriately.

Treats and autumn foliage can create a simple but fabulous Trick or Treat Halloween theme.
Treats and autumn foliage can create a simple but fabulous Trick or Treat Halloween theme. | Source

Trick or Treat Theme

How about a cute theme revolving around the yummy side of Halloween? Candy corn is one popular choice. You can put candy corn colors on just about anything! Why stop there?

This is a great theme for using all those containers you have saved for a rainy day. Use paint or fabric to make many small treat containers. Set out lots of Halloween pumpkin buckets as decorations and to hold snacks and treats.

Here are some other treats you can display:

  • Popcorn strand garlands
  • Popcorn ball centerpieces
  • Candy tree
  • Candy wreaths
  • Candy garlands
  • Pies
  • Pumpkins
  • Nuts and acorns

A treat theme is good for anyone wanting to transition into Thanksgiving without having to redecorate entirely. Use crepe paper, balloons, and autumn leaves to supplement all the treats, then simply remove the Halloween stuff and add Thanksgiving décor to the basic autumn items such as acorns and leaves!

Every Halloween is a Party!

Now that you have some ideas for Halloween party décor themes, which will you choose? Will you keep it simple, or will you go "all out"?

Have a Happy, Safe Halloween and make it a party to remember for years to come!

6 Halloween Party Décor Themes--Trick or Treat theme with pumpkin bucket and autumn flowers.
6 Halloween Party Décor Themes--Trick or Treat theme with pumpkin bucket and autumn flowers. | Source

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    • Randall Guinn profile image

      Randall Guinn 2 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      Nice hub. I remember once years ago, a friend of mine had an interior decorator come by his business on Halloween day. She was a bit flambuoyant in the way she dressed, and so when she showed up at the business, the receptionist said, "oh what a nice Halloween costume." The decorator snapped back, "I'll have you know that this is not a Halloween costume, but the way I normally dress!"

    • ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

      Jamie Jensen 2 years ago from Chicago

      Very succinct and full of great info! Voted up!!

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      I love your ideas. I don't decorate for Halloween any more unless I have a party (which is rare). I never thought about having a theme for the decorating, but after reading your article, I think that's the way to go. I'd definitely go with the animals.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      I'm very eclectic, but my favorite decoration is a 6 foot tall standing grim reaper that for some reason we put a woman's red wig on. It hangs from a hospital IV pole it appears to be standing, with chains and rats around her. I put it on the front porch on Halloween night and before that in a large picture window. Occasionally in the dark I have scared myself to wits end, having forgotten about it. It appeared to be a person standing in my house.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm late and I apologize. We don't do much for Halloween. We save up all our efforts for Christmas....but many of the neighbors go all out on Halloween, and the kids love it. Anyway, good suggestions. Maybe one of these years. :)

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