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Don't Stop with the Pumpkin!

There are so many ways to decorate for Halloween beyond putting a jack-o’-lantern on the stoop. Let your own personality and interests be your guide in how you decide to decorate. Take your time and don’t rush the decorating process, which is almost as much fun as the holiday itself. If the pumpkin carving takes up too much time for one evening, decorate the house on another night; enlist your kids to help after school before homework begins.

Here are a few ideas for Halloween decorating themes!

Use fall and the beauty of the natural world to inspire your decorations. Select beautiful squashes, gourds, and fall leaves to adorn your home. Haystacks, kindly scarecrows, and lush fall wreaths can also be incorporated into this theme. Use warm earth tones in the fabrics you choose, perhaps accented with one bright complementary color for contrast.


The Mexican Day of the Dead, or El Día de los Muertos – which is actually celebrated over two days, November 1 and 2 – is a rich source of ideas for Halloween decorations. Look at pictures of the festival online for inspiration, then go to a local Mexican import store to find the small figures of skeletons, or calacas, that are used during the celebration in Mexico. Arrange your collection of calacas on an antique tray, interspersed with small votive candles to create an ambience of mystery. Add bunches of traditional marigolds and anything skull-shaped.


Of course, you could also simply make your house as scary as possible. Purchase or make frightening figures like skeletons, witches, ghouls, monsters, ravens, bats, and anything dark and foreboding. Use lots of votives, hurricane candles, and black candlesticks to set the mood for a gothic atmosphere. Faux spiderwebs, crooked tombstones, skulls, and for the slightly more ambitious decorators among us, dry ice would not be out of place here.

At the very least, decorate your doorstep so that trick-or-treaters will stop by. Make them feel welcome and be sure to remove any hazards or obstructions that might keep them from approaching your house. It helps to have the doorway – and walkway if you have one – well lit. Even if you don’t have kids at home, decorate as if you do!

Happy decorating!