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Halloween Quick Start Guide: 10 Instant Holiday Touches

Updated on September 1, 2013

Want to get the feel for Halloween in your haunt, but it seems like there’s no time (or energy!) to drag down boxes from the attic, or drag in bins from the garage? Here are 10 things you can do with items you already have, or by picking up a few items on your next trip to the grocery or discount store.

Start with what you already have

I'm a big believer in using what you already have on hand when it comes to holiday decorating. It saves time, money, and storage space. Sometimes all it takes is turning a "holiday eye" on your everyday accessories. What can be embellished with a little bit of ribbon or other trim? Even colored paper or off-cuts of scrapbook paper can help transform ordinary items into Halloween treats.

#1 Wrap clear votive cups or jar candles with grosgrain ribbon in Halloween colors like orange, black and lime. Secure the ribbon with double-sided tape. Glue on buttons or Halloween embellishments if desired.

#2 Change the photo display on your mantel, sofa table or sideboard: go through photo albums and pull out Halloween photos of your children over the years, or you as a child! Exchange them for your everyday family photos. These are a great conversation starter and can really change the look for your room.

#3 Clear off the clutter from the front of the fridge; ask the kids to draw pumpkins and other Halloween scenes and place those on the fridge instead. If desired, crop the images and mount them on Halloween-colored paper to make them pop!

#4 Look at what decorative accessories you already have; shop your closets, cupboards and cubbies for candles, frames, bowls, vases and the like. Pull out anything that is clear, white, black, orange, lime, or purple and display those in a group as-is, or freshen the look with a bit of trim such as ribbon, beading, or fringe.

#5 Collect fallen branches (or cut dead branches) from trees in your yard. Give them a quick coat of white or black spray paint and display them in a clear vase. Use candy corn as vase filler.

Add these to your shopping list

Lucky for us, most supermarkets carry holiday-related items. Look around; you can find decorative accessories lurking around every corner. Here are a few things to bring home.

#6 Speaking of candy corn, pick up a bag or two at the supermarket. Fill votive cups near the top and add a tealight candle. Or, mound candy corn around the base of a pillar candle as a candle ring.

#7 While at the market pick up a pumpkin or two. Even uncarved, it heralds the beginning of the holiday season, and in cooler climates will keep for weeks outside. If desired, draw a design with black permanent marker on the pumpkin! It could be an initial, a greeting, or a scary face.

#8 Purchase mini pumpkins at the market; pile them into a clear glass vessel and use as centerpiece. Accent with black vase pebbles or black leaves if desired.

Layer in some textiles

#9 Add some hocus pocus to the powder room with inexpensive Halloween finger tip towels. These are widely available at national retailers, such as drug stores and discount department stores.

#10 Purchase several yards of economical white or bone colored cotton gauze fabric, scrim, or cheesecloth, and/or yards of black tulle netting. Layer the fabrics on tabletops or window treatments.

Any one of these projects can be completed in an evening, and will help get you in the spirit of Halloween! Let these easy, no-fuss projects inspire you to do even more. Set aside time on a weekend or of an evening and dedicate that block of time to decorating.

Happy Haunting!

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