How to Decorate for a Large Halloween Party

by C.K. Wren

With the costumes, candy and general spooky ambiance, Halloween is a fun time of year to have a party. Decorating for a large Halloween party can be part of the fun if you allow yourself to get into the spirit and use your whole house as a stage. The decorations that can make a Halloween party so much fun are usually features that can be kept up through the whole month of October. Decorate early to get the most out of your Halloween party creations.

Items you will need

  • Pumpkins
  • Flashlight
  • Dark heavy paper
  • Tape
  • Black light
  • Spray paint
  • Empty milk jugs
  • Black marker
  • Cheesecloth or fake spiderwebs
  • Burlap
  • Dead branches
  • Balloons
  • LED candles
  • Crepe paper
  • Chalk
  • Heavy gray or black paper
  • Fog machine
Step 1

Give your guests a lighted trail of ghostly ghouls to follow to your door. Save and rinse out empty milk jugs. Use a black marker to draw ghostly faces on the front of each. Cut the handle off of each jug and weigh the bottom down with small amount of sand. Place a lit LED candle in the bottom of each and space the jugs evenly along the front walk.

Step 2

Carve jack-o'-lanterns out of pumpkins and place them on the porch to greet guests as they arrive. Jack-o'-lanterns and mini pumpkins can also be placed on tabletops and shelves throughout the party area. Get creative with the faces and include silly as well as scary designs.

Step 3

Hollowed out pumpkins can double as table centerpieces when you use them as vases for flowers or clusters of fall leaves. Use the pumpkins and leaves in their natural colors or spray paint them black or silver for extra flair.

Step 4

Cast shadows on your walls. Cut a simple design such as a spider, a bat or a half moon out of heavy dark paper and tape it over the bulb cover on a flashlight. Prop the flashlight so it shines the shape onto the wall. Choosing a dim corner is ideal for this decoration.

Step 5

Choose a color theme and utilize it throughout the party area. For instance, if you choose the traditional Halloween colors of black and orange, you can place black tablecloths with orange plates and plastic ware. Group orange and black candles on the tables as well as hanging balloons or streamers in the same colors.

Step 6

Cast a whole new light on your guests by turning off the regular lights and using a black light. White and fluorescent will show up particularly bright and you can use this to your advantage by using these colors for your decorations. Balloons, streamers and spooky greetings taped to the wall will highlight your room.

Step 7

Hang fake spider webs or lengths of shredded cheesecloth to make cobwebs in corners and along railings. Place fake plastic spiders on them to authenticate the look.

Step 8

Blow up white balloons and draw spooky faces on them in black marker. Drape cheesecloth over then and hang them from the ceiling with string. The black faces will show through the material and your creations will look like ghosts haunting the party.

Step 9

Decorate bare walls by creating a fake graveyard. Cut headstones out of heavy gray or black paper and use white chalk to write an epitaph. Personalize it by adding some of your guests' names and see if they notice. Authenticate the cemetery look by gathering long branches and securing them in buckets of sand swathed in burlap to create spooky, bare trees.

Step 10

Rent a fog machine from your local party store and place it in the main section of the party area for an extra spooky touch. Make sure it is secure under a table or chair where it will not accidentally be kicked or tripped over.

Tips & Warnings

  • Black lights and fog machines can be rented at many party supply stores.
  • Bare branches can often be found on the ground in any wooded area. Avoid removing branches from a live tree in order to keep it healthy.
  • Using LED lights inside your jack-o'-lanterns instead of candles can eliminate a fire hazard.

About the Author

C.K. Wren graduated in 2001 from Utah State University with dual degrees in history and technical writing. She has written extensively for Demand Studios as well as several magazine publications.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images