Photo of lit Halloween jack-o-lantern lights hanging on a fence

Last-Minute Decorating Ideas for Halloween

Do you need some last-minute decorating ideas for Halloween? If you are like me, too busy to even think about Halloween until it’s almost here, then you may be in a mad rush to decorate the front porch to receive little trick-or-treaters. You don’t want to be the only house on the street without some semblance of Halloween festivity expressing itself in orange and black. After all you have crafty decorating skills too, you just don’t have a lot of time.

Here are some quick and easy decorating ideas for your home.


Always start with lights. Twinkle lights are a good foundation for exterior decoration projects. You can either purchase orange and/or purple twinkle lights or you can go for small orange paper lanterns with Jack-o-lantern faces printed on them already. You can also, make things more complicated with ping pong ballsLink opens in a new tab that you paint, puncture and put on each and every light on the strand. It’s up to you. The purpose of lights is to give dimension to your Halloween display.

Halloween Decoration: Lights
Paper jack-o-lanterns on twinkle lights are a fun last-minute Halloween decoration.

SpiderHalloween Design Tip: Spiders

I did this prank to my roommates one year in college and I have to tell you I got a lot of enjoyment out it every time they squealed and then cursed my name because they had once again fallen victim to this marvelous decoration trick.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Fake spider
  • Fishing line or dental floss
  • Thumbtacks
  • Medium safety pin

Attach the safety pins to the thumbtack heads. Put one thumbtack on the exterior of the door frame in about the right spot where the spider will pass their line of sight when they open the door and place the other thumbtack on the opposite side of the door at a point on the wall behind the door. Thread the fishing line through the loop of the first safety pin above the door, up and over the door and through second safety pin on the thumbtack behind the door. Tie the end of the string to the door knob or tape it to the door on the same side as the doorknob. On the other end of the string determine where to cut the string by opening and closing the door and noting how long the string needs to be to shut the door with a spider tied to it. Allow for more length to tie the spider on with and any additional length for the prank to be effective. Just remember that if the spider is too obvious when the door is closed this prank won’t be as entertaining. Cut the thread and tie the fake spider to the end. Now wait for the fun to begin.

SilhouettesHalloween Silhouette Design Tip

Black paper cutout silhouettes are the quickest, least expensive, decoration idea available. There are some fantastic and free printable templatesLink opens in a new tab available online. These are my personal favorites, they have classy and creepy rolled into one, thank you Martha Stewart. The mice silhouettesLink opens in a new tab look great in the right lighting, taped in a corner looking ready to scurry into the next open door. Go print some off and get some black constructions paper or cardstock and start cutting out these quick and easy Halloween decorations that won’t break the bank, you could even watch your favorite Halloween movie while you are cutting these out.


This one is a bit more time consuming than some projects and may not fit with your personal decorating style. But if a scarecrow is what you want to do then select some old clothes, gardening gloves, boots and a hat and determine what you are going to use for a head. Stuff the body of the scarecrow full of straw or plastic bags, give him a name and a place to sit on your porch.

Scarecrows Halloween Design Tip


PumpkinsLink opens in a new tab are beautiful, I love them whether or not they are carved or whole. If you do nothing else to decorate your porch for Halloween at least get a few pumpkins. You can’t loose with pumpkins. If you are going to do more decorating and depending on your decorating style you may not want to carve them into jack-o-lanterns, you may find that painting them or leaving them exactly as you found them for a pop of beautiful orange, green or white color is all your porch needed. Speaking of pumpkins, check out The Teal Pumpkin ProjectLink opens in a new tab and consider participating to help children with food allergies in your neighborhood have a safe and fun Halloween.

Seasonal Design Tips: Pumpkins

Do any number of these ideas and your porch will look fantastic for Halloween. Now all you have to do is figure out your costumes. Good luck! Don’t forget the treats or you may have some angry trick-or-treaters at your door.