A Spooky Mood: A Family-infused Approach To Halloween Decorating
Halloween is the perfect time to crank up the playfulness in your décor. Using the method below, you can find the place where the fear factor and your family’s unique style intersect. These tips will help you personalize your Halloween décor until you find the appropriate tone and look that will set you apart from everyone else in your neighborhood. You will have so much fun gathering everyone’s input, you will probably want to make Halloween decorating a family affair every year.
Keep a large bin for Halloween décor and add to it year after year. Our bin is orange, which makes it easy to spot in our storage area. Pull your bin out in early September, at the latest, to see what you need to restock. Halloween supplies go on sale in late August, so you will have plenty of time to find what you need. If you have a Halloween wreath, use a separate wreath storage container, since most wreaths don’t fit into storage boxes. Make a list of everything in your box, so you can fill in the gaps as you shop, instead of starting from scratch. Do any items need fresh bulbs or batteries? Before you shop for fresh materials, consider your current habits.
Identify Your Styles
Since you are the person in charge of all of this decorating, ask yourself some pointed questions about the looks you love. Chances are good your home already has an overall décor style, and you will certainly honor that. But Halloween is also an opportunity to introduce something new or even try a fresh style. Here are some words that might describe your décor style. Combine looks for an even more unique style. What words describe your home best now? What look are you going for with your décor this year?
Gather Your Ghouls
Have a family meeting so everyone can get on the same page as far as Halloween décor goes. You may not think your son’s love of zombies and your daughter’s fondness for black cats would go with your husband’s crow fetish and your proclivity for carved pumpkins, but you never know until you put them all together. Make new discoveries about each other by combining seemingly clashing icons into your unique Halloween look. Here is your chance to go as understated or over-the-top as you like with your look. So what’s it going to be this year? The repetition of a single icon or a mash-up of everyone’s favorites?
Light The Night
The sun is setting earlier and the nights are getting cooler, so why not warm up your home with Halloween lighting? You can go creepy, outlandish or classic. I go for a fairly vintage Halloween look, so I usually opt for white lights, but let your choices suit your family vibe. If you like flashing purple neon, Halloween is your chance to rock it. Don’t be afraid to let your family freak flag fly! Here are some possible color schemes you might choose. Select lights that will accentuate the colors you choose.
Orange & Black
Black & White
Adjust The Fright Factor
If you have very young children, you probably won’t go for an attack of the zombies theme this year. But you might align some of your decorating choices with family-friendly films or kiddie cartoons to create recognition and familiarity. I’ve created a spookiness spectrum below. What’s right for your family this year? Be realistic. You can always up the fright factor in future celebrations.
Still feeling stumped about how to bring just the right amount of magic and mystery into your Halloween décor? Look to favorite films for inspiration, and don’t be afraid to go your own way. If you want to have a Breakfast At Tiffany’s or a Toy Story Halloween, go for it!
Tim Burton: Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Alice In Wonderland
Alfred Hitchcock: The Birds, Psycho
Steven Speilberg: ET, Jaws, Raiders Of The Lost Arc, Close Encounters, AI
Series Movies: Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars
Classics: The Wizard Of Oz, Meet Me In St. Louis, Gone With The Wind
Horror Classics: Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Mummy
Round-up Of Villans From Age-appropriate Films: For example, Ursula, Cruella & The Evil Queen
Tell a story with your décor. Consider indoor and outdoor settings. You can either leave the outdoors out of doors or bring it in. The interior of your home could evoke a cemetery or the woods. Or continue a location theme from the front yard right into your home. Of course, you can take any location you can come up with and make it haunted. Consider the following possible settings.
If you want to take a fresh approach to Halloween décor, why not choose a theme the whole family loves and weave it through your entire look? Here’s an example using a Shakespeare theme, which might work well for families with teenage children. This is also a good example of a theme that can benefit from everyone’s creative ideas.
Example Theme: Shakespearean
Shopping Habits: Craft/Inspired & Used Vintage
Style: Antique, Classic & Antiquated
Lights: White and Black
Icons: Skulls, Cauldrons, Daggers, Bottles of poison
Spookiness: Bewitching and Goth
Film Inspirations: 1948 version of Hamlet and Tim Burton films
Haunted Setting: A Theater
Silhouettes of Shakespearean characters dying in each front window
Word art of Shakespearean phrases like “Oh happy dagger!” and “Et tu, Brute!”
Banner with Shakespeare silhouette with arrow through head on each flag
Pillows with the names of Shakespeare tragedies, possibly vintage book cover images on iron-on fabric pressed onto pillow covers
Tree with origami ornaments made from pages of Shakespearean text
Wreath made of tiny toy swords, daggers, cauldrons, skulls, and bottles of poison
Framed black and white print-outs of famous actors playing death scenes from film versions of the plays
You don’t have to have an overall theme; you can always do a mash-up. But sometimes having a theme can tie together the whole look. And you can probably change the theme year after year and still draw upon the supplies you have on hand.
Now it’s your turn! Don’t be afraid to think outside the coffin. There are no rules when it comes to coming up with colorful, creative and collaborative Halloween inspirations. Fill in the worksheet to determine the most refreshing direction for your Halloween décor this year:
Halloween Décor Worksheet