Halloween is a little over a week away, and if you haven’t yet carved a jack-o-lantern or stretched a single “cobweb” across a banister, you might be feeling hopelessly behind and considering just skipping it this year.
But remember what I said yesterday about how simple Halloweens can still be special? You still have plenty of time to add a little spookiness without blowing your budget. And you don’t need to consult a single magazine or Pinterest board.
Over the years, I’ve learned to simplify our Halloween decorating to make it fuss-free for me while still fun for everyone.
Here are a few tips that will take the stress out of decorating and just might help you get into the Halloween spirit:
Cobwebs: I love fake cobwebbing because you can use it to easily (and cheaply) add a spooky touch around your house, then take it down without much hassle. You can also get creative with it, like I did in making this “spider’s nest” a few years ago!
Pumpkins: We used to carve a pumpkin for every member of the family. But seven pumpkins equals a lot of “guts” to deal with, and then we’d have seven pumpkins to dispose of soon after the holiday, before they got eaten by neighborhood squirrels or slowly rotted on the porch.
So we’ve shaken things up. We buy a whole bunch of pumpkins in different interesting colors, but we only carve one or two, together. (Yes, this requires a lot of compromise, but we’ve always been happy with the results.)
The rest of the pumpkins can be painted or decorated without cutting, or left as-is and used as seasonal decor well into November. I like to buy pumpkins in a variety of colors so they’ll look festive even if we do nothing more than sit them on the porch stairs all season.
And here’s a super-easy idea to keep artistic kids happy: Clara has her own little pumpkin that she paints on with watercolors. When she tires of the design, I just wash it off and she starts again.
Other Decor: When shopping for Halloween decorations, I try to stick to a theme or color scheme so that everything works well together effortlessly. I have a collection of birds and a few other favorite pieces, all in black, that I pull out year after year. They always look great together no matter how I arrange them, and fit easily into a single tote when Halloween is over.
I like to incorporate my year-round decor into our Halloween theming. My vase of dried white hydrangea looks great nestled amid black Halloween decor.
I also have a pair of silver candlesticks that we got for our wedding. They’ve tarnished over the years, and I love the look. Usually we just keep them on a shelf with other silver items, but on Halloween I put black tapers in them and move them front and center, along with a cool vintage cat candle decor I picked up at the antique store.
A “spooky” tablecloth we picked up at an after-Halloween clearance sale for less than a buck completes the look.
Incorporating my Halloween stuff amid regular decor means I don’t have to go try to find a place to stash all my year-round items ’til Halloween is over (or feel like I’m starting over with a blank slate on November 1.)