Last Minute Halloween Décor - Ideas for Simple Halloween Decorations
Simple Decorating Ideas
October can be an expensive month for me. The calendar is full of birthdays and my own wedding anniversary. By the time Halloween rolls around at the end of the month, I'm usually low on spending money. For this reason, I'm always looking for ways to make the most out of what decorations I already have and how to wisely spend what I can. Many of these ideas incorporate year-round décor that I already have which makes it even easier-- even at the last minute.
I love apothecary jars all year round. With the right decorations inside, they can compliment most any holiday. I personally own three that were a wedding gift from my mother and were used at my wedding candy buffet. The apothecary jars are now displayed in different rooms of my home and I rearrange them and fill them with festive décor depending on the holiday. If you're looking for cheap apothecary jars, try purchasing them in a set like mine. Apothecary jars can be expensive. My set of three included three different shapes/sizes and cost $29.99-- making each jar about 10 dollars a piece. This is a great deal considering that you can pay $30 or more for just one jar.
Ideas for Jars
Experiment with different decorations to see what looks best in a particular apothecary jar.
Unique Ideas for Halloween
Skeleton and Bones
In my long slender jar I put a 15" skeleton that I purchased from Walgreens for $2.99. I had to disassemble some of his limbs in order for him to fit, but I love how he looks in the jar. Skeleton bones are easy to find and come in a variety of sizes. If buying a skeleton specifically to display in a jar, examine how he is put together. Are his joints easy to "pop apart" or undo? I prefer skeletons that don't require breaking or cutting in order to fit inside the jar-- just in case I decide I want to do something different with him next year.
Buy Faux Bones
In my most bulbous jar, I put a variety of fake Halloween eyeballs. The largest are actually Halloween light covers that I removed from the strand of lights. They were $6.00 at Walgreens and are slightly larger than ping pong balls. The medium-sized eyeballs are very similar to ping pong balls and came from Party City for $2.99. The smallest eyeballs are bouncy balls from CVS and were also $2.99. I love how all of my eyeballs came from different places but are decorated in the same way. Each eyeball is decorated with a colorful iris (red, blue, or green) and red veins. Using a variety of sizes enables you to completely fill your jar and makes for a more eye-catching display.
Buy Halloween Eye Balls
In my largest canister jar, I placed some of my favorite fake pumpkins. While a pumpkin is usually displayed as is and doesn't require a special vessel or stand, it can look very interesting and downright different as a "specimen" in a jar. Placing a pumpkin in a jar, among other things, allows your pumpkin to stay dust free. Placing multiple pumpkins in an apothecary jar allows you to display them horizontally and saves space. This is great if you don't have a lot of room to display your Fall and Halloween decorations. Place pumpkins of varying shades in a jar for a festive contrast of color.
Au naturale Halloween Décor
Using natural and organic components in your décor has a very primitive and country feel that can transport a little apartment in the big city to a different time and place entirely. Bring the outdoors inside because no one does Autumn like Mother Nature.
Buy Mini Pumpkin Pods
These seed pods look like mini pumpkins and are absolutely adorable. They can be died a variety of colors and with a little time and patience you can even give them little jack-o-lantern faces with a Sharpie or Exacto knife. I don't have these little pods available to buy locally so I picked some up while visiting Fo'Castle Farm Country Store in Burnt Hills, New York. I paid about $5.00 for a small package. They look cute in a Mason Jar or as a cute bedding for larger pumpkins in an apothecary jar (pictured above). While these pods are tiny, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes-- just like real pumpkins. This means you can stack them on top of each other or even line them up by size and they really look like a picture-perfect display of miniature pumpkins.
Leaves in lovely shades of yellow, orange, red and brown signify that Fall or Autumn has come. While you can buy fake and fabric leaves at most craft and party stores, nothing beats the real thing. Head outside and gather a gorgeous variety. I live in a desert where Fall and falling leaves don't quite mimic a Norman Rockwell painting. For this reason, I really love fall foliage. My leaves came from a recent wedding my husband and I attended. It was an outdoor fall wedding on the East coast, so the little flower girl was actually a leaf-and-pine-cone girl. I carefully placed some of the lovely leaves she gave me between the pages of a paperback book and brought them back to central Arizona. They quickly had a home with my other natural Autumn and Halloween decorations.
I also have a bit of a love affair with acorns. I'm not exactly tripping over them in the desert here, so I always naturally gravitate towards them when I'm out of town. I picked up a cute little sack of them at Fo'Castle as well (about $5.00 also). With e-commerce, you can buy acorns practically anywhere. So if they aren't native to your neighborhood, don't fret. Etsy sells a ton-- some are even hand-painted into tiny works of art. I have most of my acorns displayed in a mason jar with the lid on tight to keep the imaginary squirrels out. I've also got a handful of acorns strewn about in a random fashion with my leaves.
Organic Halloween Decor
While bird nests might make you think of Spring, it can be a cute addition to your Fall or Halloween display. I bought this little fake bird nest from Michael's for a few dollars and it's actually part of my regular year-round décor. (It usually has a fake little baby owl in it.) A bird's nest is a great spot to tuck a few of your acorns for display. Use the nest as a stand and place a baby pumpkin inside for safe keeping and ultimate cuteness factor. This bird's nest can be used again and again for seasonal decorations and for taking great pictures. It's one of the best things I ever bought from Michael's.
Halloween Candy as Décor
Candy is one of the first things I associate with Halloween. If you've got a Halloween sweet tooth and you'll be buying candy anyway, add it to your décor. Candy displays can also easily double as Halloween centerpieces for parties.
Halloween Candy Decorations
Crafts with Candy
Mason Jars filled with Candy
Use a variety of cheap mason jars or glass jars and fill with candy.
I like to use my favorites:
- candy corn
- Brach's pumpkins
- circus peanuts
Halloween candy is such a huge part of the holiday and if it has an especially lovely color or wrapper, it seems only fitting to show it off.
DIY Halloween Candy Tree
Use your favorite Halloween candies to create this spooky tree.
I made this one using:
- Black Raspberry Candies
Use it as a Halloween centerpiece that your guests can snack on or make it a permanent addition to your Halloween home décor. Click for tutorial, Gumdrop Trees: a Holiday Craft using Candy.
Vintage Halloween postcards are great for decorating and making homemade cards. I bought a ton on Amazon for my guests to sign at my 1920s Halloween themed wedding in lieu of a guestbook. The postcard size is perfect for fitting into frames I already have and immediately conjures up an antique Halloween feel. You can also do this with any Halloween cards that you have saved from over the years that you absolutely love. I never throw greeting cards away and I always use them as décor in some way or another-- especially for Halloween.
Vintage or Antique Halloween Décor
Buy Vintage Halloween Postcards
Framing Vintage Halloween Art
- If your frame is smaller than the card, simply photocopy the desired image and cut to fit. This keeps your original print in great condition for further crafting projects.
- If your frame is much larger, simply matte the postcard on a lovely piece of paper that compliments the vintage image. Try an old dictionary page, a sheet of music, or decorative scrapbook paper. If paper looks too new, age it by dabbing on some hot tea or coffee with a sponge. Allow to dry completely before framing.
- If you don't have extra frames laying around for this project, try Goodwill and thrift stores first. Find inexpensive frames that you can paint and decorate yourself. Check out my tutorial, Furniture Antiquing and Refinishing, for ideas and steps to revamp a frame.
Old Post Cards
These are some of my favorite postcard images from the two packages I purchased. With a variety to choose from, you'll have images that you'll love and you can even swap out different cards each year for "new" Halloween decorations.
Vintage Halloween Photos
One of my favorite parts of Halloween is dressing up and disguising yourself. Do you have a mask or disguise that you bought and only wore once? Incorporate it into your decorations or display.
Adhesive Mustaches on Halloween Pumpkins
Masks can make some great inexpensive and last minute decorations. Buy them, craft them, or print them out from the internet.The cardboard from cereal boxes is the perfect strength and flexibility for crafting a mask. Use pretty scrapbook paper and decorate with odds and ends that you already have in your crafting arsenal. Dress up a pumpkin with a cute mask or display as is on the wall or in a frame.
My paper zebra mask came from the dollar section at Michael's. It's mounted on a craft stick and I displayed it in a double glass floating frame.
Pumpkin Decorating Ideas
Mustaches (and moustaches) have oddly become a fad in the last few years. While I can't explain it, I also can't say I hate it. I had some cute but plain fake pumpkins from Target and Michael's that I just didn't know what to do with. The dollar section at Target always has some very cute seasonal items (if you're lucky enough to grab them before they're gone). My metallic orange pumpkin above and the cute cat face banner from the top of this article both came from the Target dollar section for $2.50 each. In the same section, I found a cute package of four fake adhesive mustaches. The moment I saw them, I knew I was going to put them on my pumpkins. Fake mustaches can be found at most party stores and are a cute and inexpensive way to give a pumpkin some instant character.
A list of everything else in the pictures and where I got it so you can achieve any of these looks too!
Decorative Candle Holders
Paul Loebach Candlestick Holders
I purchased my candlestick holders from Amazon and while they look absolutely creepy and Halloween-themed, I have these in my dining room year-round. They come in different shades, but I love the way the black set contrasts with off-white candlesticks. They are sold individually, so make sure you buy two if you'd like to have a set.
I purchase my doilies from local antique stores and if they're too white, I submerge them in coffee or tea to "age" them. I can never have enough doilies-- a sentence I'd never thought I'd say!
Buy Mason Jars Online
I buy my Mason Jars from Michael's and not a day goes by that I don't use at least one in some fashion. They're perfect for spaghetti sauce leftovers, Q-tips in the bathroom, and shabby chic home décor in any room. You can purchase Mason Jars cheaper if you buy in bulk, but I tend to buy a few at a time or as I need them. I also like to use cute jam or jelly jars that have been emptied and cleaned out.
I picked up this shelf from a local antique store and repainted it (it was originally a hot pickle pink color). This shelf was featured in my article, How to Give your Furniture a Shabby Chic Look.
Wooden Skeleton Decoration
This guy was purchased from Michael's for $1.99. He comes unfinished and I painted him an antique white color. I also used him to trace and craft similar skeletons onto pretty scrapbook papers.