11 Halloween Craft Ideas That Deliver All the Spooky Vibes with Minimal Effort

published Oct 7, 2022
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Painted pumpkins on steps
Credit: A Beautiful Mess

Decorating for Halloween tends to involve to the classics: Orange twinkle lights, giant plastic skeletons, and fake cobwebs are reliable details to usher in the season, but as fun as they are, you can build your own decorations using a little DIY spirit.

From spider webs made of craft sticks, ghosts crafted from clay, and no-carve tattooed pumpkins, it’s possible to completely deck out your home without ever purchasing something ready-made from the shelves. All it takes is a few easy-to-find materials, a couple of afternoons, and perhaps your favorite Halloween movie playing in the background.

If you’re looking for new ways to make your house a happily haunted home, these 11 ideas will get you started. And the best part? If you have little ones who can’t wait for trick-or-treat night, these activities can be tailored to them so that everyone is even more excited for the holiday.

1. Ghost Marshmallows

Make any dessert a Halloween dessert with ghost marshmallows. Ashley from Sugar & Cloth shares how to get them to stick to any sweet so your treat bar is perfectly spooky, but she specifically recommends Trader Joe’s macaron packs for a super easy, ready-made base. The marshmallows come courtesy of slightly tweaked Peeps, and are attached with a bit of marshmallow fluff.

Credit: Alice & Lois

2. Halloween Hunt Printable Game

Sara from Alice and Lois created a Halloween hunt game for kids, but honestly, adults would have just as much fun playing along. Print out the game — which has instructions like, “Cackle like a witch!” — and pair them with candy for tricks and treats!

3. Halloween Haunted Dollhouse

Halloween villages are surging in popularity, quickly catching up to their Christmas counterparts, and this fun “haunted” dollhouse from Handmade Charlotte fits right in. Make an interactive haunted dollhouse using a kit with mix-and-match prints, furniture, and accessories, so the kiddos can get in on the decorating fun.

4. Macrame Ghost

Laurel from A Bubbly Life made a macrame ghost using rope, steel wire, white yarn, glue, and felt, and making one for yourself would be so special on a backpack or purse for the season. If you plan on making more than one, then do so watching your favorite Halloween movie!

5. Clay Ghosts

Like simple and understated decor? Manda from The Merry Thought created clay ghosts using oven bake clay, a rolling pin, a wood skewer, tea lights, and an optional wood bead, and they add a subtle Halloween detail to any fall vignette.

6. No Carve Pumpkins

No-carve pumpkins are a great way to make sure your selection lasts all season, and these ones from A Beautiful Mess should get your imagination going. You can paint, dip dye, or tattoo — yes, tattoo! — your pumpkin collection by following the guide. Emma created her own temporary tattoos for her porch lineup, and finds tattoo paper easier to contour to pumpkin ridges than stickers.

7. Pompom Spider Garland

The classic pompom spider craft gets a fresh take as a modern garland from A Beautiful Mess, courtesy of black pompoms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, baker’s twine, yarn, and a hot glue gun. Create as many as you need to string across your mantel or down the front of your stairs — just don’t forget they’re fake when you find them in the storage box next year.

8. Skeleton Hand Shelves

Functional decor is always appreciated, but when it happens to take the form of skeleton hands, then it’s even more worthwhile! These skeleton hand shelves from Ctrl + Curate are accomplished with “hands” sourced from Amazon, wood plaques, screws, and paint. Use them to hang other Halloween items, or to simply hold your keys.

Credit: Sheri Silver

9. Witch’s Broom Treat Bags

If there was ever a holiday that called for treat bags, it would be Halloween. Send good witches and wizards home with a magical broom treat bag by trying this idea from Sheri Silver, which comes together thanks to flat-bottom paper bags, straws, ribbon, and a tag. Fill the bag with treats of your choosing, and everyone will be glad to have stopped by your monster mash!

10. Popsicle Stick Spider Webs

Let (faux) spiders and their webs hang from your window courtesy of an easy afternoon project from Arianna Frasca, which takes their form with help from Popsicle sticks (or craft sticks) and yarn. Paint the sticks silver, let them dry, and then arrange the “web” shape by wrapping about two yards of yarn toward the center. Leave some yard at the top of the web to hang.

11. Spider Crown

Keep the spirit going all month with DIY accessories like this spider crown from Delia Creates. She made this using black gauge wire, wire cutters, plastic spiders, and tape, which all came together with help from a glue gun. Since your little one probably can’t wait to dress up in their costume, this will hold them over until the big night.