Whether it’s a porch full of pumpkins or a mantel decked with skulls, there are countless ways to decorate your home for Halloween. But suppose you’re tired of throwing out heaps of disposable, single-use decorations every year after the Halloween festivities are over. In that case, you may benefit from investing in reusable alternatives that can save you time and money in the long run. In this article, we’ll walk through our nine favorite spooky decor ideas that you can reuse year after year to bring your Halloween vision to life.
1. Jack-o’-Lanterns With LEDs
Carved pumpkins are quintessential Halloween decor, but they typically don’t last very long. Depending on your climate, your carved pumpkins may only last three to five days before they begin to rot. Instead of carving real pumpkins every year, consider investing in faux pumpkins — or having a mix of faux and real — to have pristine jack-o’-lanterns this Halloween and in the years to come. (They’re much less messy, too.) You can purchase solid faux pumpkins in a variety of sizes to add a pop of color to your porch, mantel or kitchen counter, as well as plastic, paper and ceramic jack-o’-lanterns that come with LED string lights to replicate a candle’s glow.
2. Halloween Signs and Posters
Halloween signs are a fantastic reusable decoration for both the inside and outside of your home, especially if you’re on a budget. They come in a range of styles, from eerie puns and phrases to classic Halloween imagery like black cats, skeletons, witches and ghosts. If you’re placing a sign outside or on your front door, opt for materials like plastic or non-rusting metal that can withstand rain and debris. Don’t forget to use stakes to anchor signs in your front yard and prevent them from being knocked over by the wind. On the other hand, if you’re looking to spruce up the walls inside your home, consider swapping out any artwork with Halloween-related posters or prints.
|Tip: Looking to add a nostalgic splash to your Halloween decor? Old-school Halloween-themed tin signs — whether true vintage items or replicas — are a timeless addition to any home.|
3. Black Lace Tablecloths and Curtains
If you’re looking for a simple, elegant way to make your home spooky, a black lace tablecloth can turn any table into a Halloween-ready centerpiece. Similarly, black lace curtains can lend a haunted atmosphere to any room. If you prefer to keep your Halloween decorations minimal, pair your black lace tablecloth and curtains with a few faux pumpkins, rattan bats, black manzanita branches and wreaths, and black-and-orange kitchen towels.
4. Gothic-Inspired Decor
A Gothic or Victorian style is a timeless, year-round aesthetic on its own, but it’s also the perfect way to create a festive Halloween atmosphere at home. Gothic interiors typically feature dark wood furniture with ornate flourishes and embellishments, as well as rich colors like reds, greens and blacks. While you certainly don’t need to buy all-new furniture just for Halloween, taking inspiration from Victorian-era styles can help you incorporate Gothic elements into this year’s decorations. These include tall, wrought-iron candlestick holders; orange, red, black and purple candlesticks; gilt lamps and candelabras; muted floral tapestries; and ornate mirrors and frames.
5. Reusable Window Clings
Instead of placing single-use stickers on your windows this year, choose reusable window clings. Made from a thin vinyl film, clings are the perfect temporary accessory because they can stick to your windows without the use of glue — making them easy to apply, adjust, remove and store for next year. Be sure to use them on the inside of your windows to minimize wear and tear. While you can choose from a wide variety of pre-made designs and colors (including ones that glow in the dark), you may want to consider printing your own custom window cling if you’re a major Halloween enthusiast.
|Tip: In addition to ditching single-use stickers, this is the perfect year to find high-quality, reusable spider webs or nets to replace disposable cotton webs. Not only are reusable, nylon-based spider webs more durable, but they also look more realistic and can be used for years to come.|
6. Skeleton and Skull Decor
There are endless ways to flex your creativity using skeletons and skulls, whether they’re life-sized or small table pieces. Mix and match different materials — such as plastic, ceramic, and crystal — for visual interest, and have fun arranging them in ways that create chilling (or comical) tableaus. For instance, you can place skeletons on porch swings; position them in your yard so they’re crawling out of the ground or from behind a tree; or pair them with crows and bats and hang them from high ceilings inside your home.
7. Durable Outdoor Tombstones
Tombstones are a classic front-yard Halloween decoration, and essential if you’re going for a spooky graveyard theme. However, flimsy cardboard tombstones can fall apart quickly. Consider investing in sturdy tombstones made of resin or dense foam, which can do a better job withstanding rain and wind, leaving them in mint condition the following year.
8. Animatronics of All Sizes
Halloween animatronics are mechanical decorations that can move, make noise, or interact with people walking by. They may be pricier than other decorations, but serious Halloween aficionados know that high-quality animatronics pay for themselves over years of use. If you’re considering one for your home, start by setting a budget for yourself and determining your Halloween theme before making any purchases. Once you’re ready to commit, consider visiting a reputable retailer — like Spirit Halloween or a local specialty store — in person to see the animatronics’ effects with your own eyes. If an in-person visit isn’t feasible and you must purchase something online, it’s crucial to read reviews and watch videos of the animatronics in action to gauge their quality and functionality.
|Tip: If you don’t have the budget right now for animatronics, consider purchasing them during clearance sales after Halloween to get premium items at a fraction of the cost for the following year.|
9. DIY Halloween Crafts
If you’re feeling crafty or looking for a fun activity to do with friends and family, consider filling your home with DIY Halloween decorations. From homemade slime to handprint bats, melted crayon pumpkins, painted clay pots, and origami vampire bookmarks, your options are pretty much endless. To make things easy, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to walk you through five beginner-friendly crafts that are perfect if you have young kids at home. Best of all, they won’t break the bank and can make a reappearance for countless Halloweens to come.
10. Storing Your Halloween Decorations
Storing your Halloween decorations properly is key to ensuring you can reuse them every year. When it’s time to put your Halloween items away, begin by thoroughly cleaning them to remove dust and dirt, especially if they were used outside. For delicate items, such as animatronics or light fixtures, make sure to store them in their original packaging, or wrap them in bubble wrap or soft cloth to prevent any damage. Launder and dry fabric items like costumes and tablecloths, and be sure to store them in a cool, dry place, ideally in vacuum-sealed bags to prevent mildew and protect from insects. Where possible, place everything in sturdy storage containers like plastic bins, which are more durable than cardboard boxes and can guard your decorations from moisture and pests. While you can store items in a basement or garage, consider placing them in a climate-controlled storage unit to clear space in your home for items you’ll need on a more regular basis.
If you want more tips on styling your home or storing seasonal items you don’t need at the moment, check out our other guides on the SmartStop blog. In the meantime, happy decorating!