Halloween Party Decorating Tips

To get the full haunted house effect you really need to do the whole house, inside and out. And lucky for you, our Halloween party decorating tips do just that. Don't forget to float over to our Homemade Halloween Decorations page for still more ideas. Time to get real creepy!


The graveyard is always a great idea, but how about doing it with a twist? Make custom cemetery headstones with each of your guest's names on them along with something special about them. Keep it kooky (rhymes with "spooky"). How about: "Here lies Billy D. You can muss his hair all you want now." Or go with an inside joke: "Mary Smith. Died of embarrassment on our last trip to the shore."

The graveyard should be on either side of the walkway to your front door. Light the path with Halloween bone lights (like I do), or large eyeballs, orange lights, black lights, ghost lights, lanterns, skulls with tea lights in them...anything spooky will do.

The most important of the Halloween party decorating tips is this: always call attention to any steps your guests may have to navigate to get to the party. Remember it will most likely be dark out.

The perfect homemade Halloween decorations for this job are carved pumpkins for at least every other step. Carving this many pumpkins is boring, I know, but I always do the same 3 faces year after year for my 6 steps: classic pumpkin, sly cat, and one I like to call scared pumpkin. Just select the "click to dowload" options below to obtain your very own templates.

Halloween pumpkin 1 Halloween pumpkin 2 Halloween pumpkin 3

classic pumpkin

sly cat pumpkin

scared pumpkin

Click to download

Click to download

Click to download

On a roll and want more templates? Check out our black crow, swaggering pirate, and sweet puppy on our Halloween pumpkin patterns page.

But if you want to keep it simple, I'll understand. Simply hollow out your pumpkins. Then, using 3 different drill bits (1/4", 1/2", and 1") randomly polka dot the pumpkins. Take it slow. As for the best candles, unscented 3" white ones fit the bill nicely and last for multiple nights.



The main room should be dramatic and tie to your Halloween theme party ideas. For instance, if you use our haunted mansion invitation found on our Adult Halloween Party Invitations page, you could cover all of your real windows with fake windows. Cut large black irregular rectangles, round off the top, and cut panes into it. Glue a sheet of yellow cellophane to the back. Take a look at the invitation; it'll all make sense. Cover any cute drapes you may have with deep red fabric—velvet would be ideal, but it will be pretty dim inside, so don't fret if you can't find actual velvet since your guests won't be able to tell the difference.

Now that your haunted house is ready for decorating stage 2, we have lots of ideas on how to fill that room with our homemade Halloween decorations. Take your Halloween crafts and group them to make a statement. For example, on your mantle put a series of small chairs (twig ones are great) and display a collection of witches. If you buy one each year, you'll have a cackling coven in no time.

Or put a group of spider webs up somewhere high. Add one huge rubber spider and lots of little ones you found here and there. Cover a cabinet with a variety of ghost cutouts to continue your creepy theme. Lastly, line a railing with terra cotta mummies; just make sure you use flameless candles.


When showcasing your Halloween party menus, the Halloween party table should be over the top, too, as well as tie back to the theme—in this case a haunted mansion. Black tablecloth, orange runner, and black and white striped napkins takes care of the linens. For your centerpiece, dust off Grandma's large cut glass punchbowl and use our Halloween party punch recipes (complete with floating eyeballs or fingers). Real or fake silver candelabras with black tapers add to the drama. And do use crystal and silver serving pieces to keep that decadent, rich, crumbling look.


Here is a great place to have spooky sounds playing. It's also the perfect place to put up a bunch of chains; large plastic ones are easier to hot glue to a surface like a door or toilet. Make sure you add a big old fake padlock to chains on the door. Perch a large stuffed black cat on the back of the toilet to watch over all who enter.


You can easily turn a haunted mansion into a witch's abode. Use the Grab a Broom invitation found on our Adult Halloween Party Invitations page. Replace the crystal and silver described in our Dining Room section with plastic witch's cauldrons and labeled potion bottles. Cover your inside doors with parchment paper and write spells all over the paper. (Spells should be easy to find with Harry Potter being so popular.) Make sure you leave a few old gnarled brooms and witches' hats around—next to the fireplace, in the bathroom, by the front door.

Return from Halloween Party Decorating Tips
to Adult Halloween Party Ideas

list of holidays in the fall

Try these spooky drinks
for a boo-tiful party!

black martini
witch's brew

Crunchy party snacks,
yummy party fare!

chestnuts & pals
pumpkin seeds