Magical Halloween Decorating Ideas

Simple, spooktacular pumpkins and decorations, plus anything-but-tricky treats

The Birds

For a killer entrance, perch ravens on bare branches with pumpkins as their base.

Cobweb Cookies

To conjure up a devilish-looking dessert, frost slice-and-bake sugar cookies with white royal icing. Then, starting at the cookie’s center, pipe circles of black icing; create cobwebs by alternately dragging a toothpick from the center to the edge, and from the edge to the center.

Creepy Crawlers

Scooped-out mini pumpkins become spidery votives, thanks to tealights and pipe cleaners.

Ghostly Gallery

Turn a mantel into a ghostly gallery by photocopying 19th-century portraits (these are from a Civil War history book) and mounting them on somber, coal-colored mats.

Wicked Window

Use candlelight to create dark shadows in the corners. Here, the ghostly white tapers in a flea market candelabra enhance the creepiness of cobwebs and flying bats.

Fright Fest

Trick out your jack-o’-lanterns in these bewitching handmade masks. To craft, print out one of our three mask designs, enlarge it to fit your pumpkin, and cut it out. Trace twice onto black felt. Cut out both felt masks and sew together with a basting stitch. Glue to a simple store-bought mask, and replace the elastic string with a black ribbon. Tie mask onto pumpkin.

Ghost-o-Lantern

Give “dressed to kill” a whole new meaning with a pumpkin-headed specter. Carve a grimacing jack-o’-lantern, then carefully attach it to the top of an old dressmaker’s dummy. Drape the mannequin with tattered-looking two-ply cheesecloth and position in the foyer to greet your guests.

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