Subtle Halloween Decorating Ideas

You Don’t Have to Turn Your Home into a Halloween Circus

Halloween isn’t usually considered a subtle type of holiday. After all, any holiday is celebrated with bright decorations, themed or special recipes, costumes or certain kinds of clothing (think about those horrid Christmas sweaters that only see the light of day during December), parades, picnics, and gifts. You get the idea. For those of us who go all out for celebrating holidays, subtle generally doesn’t enter into the picture.

But you can be subtle with your Halloween decorations and still set the mood for a perfect Halloween celebration. If you prefer understated to full-on frightful, here’s how to get the job done:

Pick one or two symbols of Halloween and use them as your Halloween decorating theme. For example, you could use crows. Perched in a row on your porch railing, they lend an ominous air to your entrance, but they don’t shout “HALLOWEEN!” If you position them so that they appear very natural–some staring at passers by, and some looking at each other, maybe one stretching its wings, you’ll have a great look.

And you can carry that theme further into your yard with a scarecrow sitting on a bale of hay, a crow on his shoulder (or pecking at his eye). Inside your home, use artwork depicting crows, and accent your rooms with darker colors. Print the words, “Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore'” on aged paper and frame it for prominent display.

If you plan to throw a Halloween party, you could follow this theme and make your own Halloween costume a crow, a raven; or The Crow, after the 1994 film.

Another example of subtle decorating for Halloween might be to use a moon and bat motif. The moon peaking out from behind a thin veil of clouds on a Halloween night, or a bat flying across the face of a bright full moon is a perfect Halloween vision. How can you make a moon and bat theme your theme for Halloween decorating? Try the following suggestions:

In the house, use only candles that are white, beige or light yellow–and if you use round candles, that’s even better! Frame a grouping of art that depicts the moon in varying phases. The vintage “man in the moon” style, where the moon has a face would work very well. Or find some artwork that shows bats flying in the moonlight.

Check websites like ebay for primitive art and decorations with bats and moons. Hang flying bats from the porch or just inside your entrance. You can even situate them around a big honeycomb fold out paper moon.

Decorate with white pumpkins, both inside and outside. And when you carve your jack-o-lanterns, use a template the shows a bat flying by moonlight, or maybe a scene with the moon or a bat as a focal point.

Another possibility for subtly decorating your home for Halloween would be to use spider webs. Gently tease the pieces of webbing apart so that it looks like a real web or cobweb (not big globs). Drape the fine webbing across your fireplace mantle and over the framed photos and art that hang in your home. Don’t forget to put them across windows. Then plant a few realistic looking fake spiders in them.

Outside, you can web your porch and shrubs. If you have a welcome sign or wreath on your front door, put webs on that too. Make it look like your home is inhabited by ghosts (and spiders) rather than real people.

For added effect, collect or craft some decorative spiders to strategically place around the house–sitting on a bowl of fruit, or lurking among the house plants. At your Halloween party, dress as a (you guessed it) spider.



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