Decorate For Halloween With Vintage Inspired Items

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Halloween is one of the main holidays people love to decorate for. Whether people prefer minimal classy pumpkin designs or creepy decaying skeletons, there's something special for everyone's Halloween preference. An appropriate time to begin decorating for Halloween is during the last week of September going into the first two weeks of October, but Etsy Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson told Martha Stewart that, while there's no specific timeframe to begin decorating, it's a good idea to start once the weather changes. "There is no right or wrong time to start decorating for Halloween. But I personally like to bust out the cobwebs and pumpkins when the air starts to feel a little cooler and crisper."

Amelia's Retro Vogue notes that vintage Halloween decorations are becoming more commonplace due to nostalgia. After the COVID-19 pandemic swept through our nation, more people are seeking entertainment and things they loved in the past. Unlike mass-produced fast fashion décor, vintage décor tends to be more sustainable and durable. Check out local thrift shops and online stores like eBay to seek special vintage-inspired Halloween accessories. From old-fashioned lanterns to creepy music-playing boxes to scaredy-cat table toppers to kitschy corn motifs, there are plenty of ways to decorate the home for the spooky season with vintage-inspired Halloween décor. 

Work with jack o' lantern decor

A fan favorite when it comes to Halloween décor is using pumpkins. Work with materials from your local dollar store to create a jack o' lantern craft, like this one created by Chic On The Cheap on YouTube. Grab a pack of plastic wine glasses and use craft glue to cover the top of one glass. Put the glass inside the middle of a plastic planter. Use craft glue to cover the open part of an unused dustpan handle. Place it on top of the glass's stem. For a sleek look, use white spray paint to cover the planter. Add plastic bags inside for support.

Stacked pumpkin decorations are a classic, and here's another festive idea: Gather five faux small pumpkins and draw faces on each one to be craved with a knife. Paint each pumpkin with white acrylic paint. Take two of the painted pumpkins and use a knife to make a cut through the top right and bottoms. With two more painted pumpkins, use a knife to make cuts through the top left and bottom. The remaining pumpkin won't have cuts on the top. Each pumpkin will have a cut on its back. On the handle, stack pumpkins in a left-right hole pattern with the pumpkin without top holes on top. Take Christmas stringed lights, and place a handful in each pumpkin's mouth using masking tape. Place natural raffia inside the planter. 

Get inspired with witchy motifs

Decorate for the Halloween season with a witchy aesthetic. Pay attention to "witchcore" color palettes by infusing dark and light colors together, as recommended by Aesthetic Roomcore. To feature a Halloween theme, purchase a blue witch's hat decorated with silver stars to put on top of an entryway table that's covered with a black velvet tablecloth. Purchase plastic jars and apothecary jars, and use craft paint to paint the jars in Halloween-specific colors such as orange, black, slime green, and royal purple. Draw spiders and webs onto the jars with silver and gold metallic pens. These could be placed along a kitchen windowsill.

Create your own labels for apothecary jars by tea-dying the sheets (via Witch of Howling Creek). Another way to decorate the jars would be to use a graphic design program to make custom labels that feature black cats, cauldrons, and brooms. Place the jars on top of a kitchen island or keep them amongst regular containers of spices in kitchen cabinets. Play into somber and spooky moods in your home office by having drip candles next to antique books. Go simple and retro by purchasing this vintage Halloween illustration from Society 6 to hang on an office wall over a desk. 

Be festive with Halloween-inspired throw pillows

An easy way to get ready for the Halloween season is to find holiday-appropriate throw pillows. For Halloween, search for black and orange pillows with contrasting patterns, according to Practical Perfection. For those who don't want anything too kitschy, find throw pillows that have more subtle patterns, but still feature autumnal tones. Look for striped, chevron, or polka-dotted pillows to work with solid colors. Avoid Halloween novelty pillows that have too many patterns or words. It's best to go simple instead of using pillows with outlandish designs. Decorate with Halloween accessories around the pillows instead of treating them like the focal point.

These pillows would work on an entryway bench or on a living room sofa. They would also look pleasant propped up against windowsills. Want to go cutesy? Place this Handmade Cute Retro Vintage Kitsch Halloween Witch Pillow from Lisa's Creative Designs on an outdoor porch bench as a retro statement piece. Depending on how big the outdoor porch bench is, a handful of these retro-inspired pillows could be placed on top, like this Happy Halloween Accent Pillow with Jack 'O Lantern & Black Cats from Marmalade Mercantile

Bring a Halloween theme to your dinnerware

Everyone knows how bubbling cauldrons represent the Halloween season, but what about incorporating dishware that's both festive and functional for regular use? Go with fancy Gothic aesthetics for Halloween, according to Me and Annabel Lee by using charger dishes. Purchase white charger dishes online or at any kitchenware store. Before painting the rim of the dish gold, use gold spray paint to prevent streaking. Grab dark gold craft paint and paint the outer rim of the dish. In the middle of the dish, use a small dollop of gold paint and a cloth to produce a brushed effect. Once everything has dried, create a layering effect by putting a small, flat black porcelain dish on top. Place ceramic skulls on top of the layered dishes for a Victorian Halloween dinner party.

Want to get into baking for the Halloween season? Check out these measuring cups by Johanna Parker Design on Etsy. These vintage-inspired spider, witch, cat, and pumpkin measuring cups could be used as basic Halloween décor to place on a kitchen counter. Put the measuring cups on top of an entryway table next to Halloween-decorated bowls and wooden Halloween-designed plaques along the wall. Who said everyone needs to wait for trick or treat to happen at Halloween to eat candy? Arrange a few pieces of candy onto one of these Vintage Halloween Character Face Plates from Amazon and place the plates on top of a living room coffee table for guests. 

Work with Halloween banners

According to Square Signs, Halloween banners are a fun way to spice up the indoors or the outdoors of the home for the season. Find a banner with a cheeky phrase and tack it onto a wall in the living room above a tiered table with black candles on top and decorative Halloween pillows on the bottom. Situate bat decals around the wall to make it look like the bats are flying out of the banner. For the outside, hang a banner on a fence in the backyard and put decorative skulls beneath the banner on the ground. Decorate a child's bedroom with retro cartoon banners featuring ghosts like Casper, or this Halloween Glitter Ghost Banner from Etsy. The banner could be tacked on a wall next to bookshelves featuring cutesy ceramic Halloween figures.

Craft a Halloween banner featuring creepy Halloween creatures (via Organize & Decorate Everything). Gather various colors of cardstock to make owls, candy corn, ghouls, pumpkins, black cats, and Frankenstein's monster out of triangular-shaped paper. These creations could be clothes pinned to a piece of twine that's attached to the front of a living room fireplace. Go vintage scary with moons and witches galore with this Vintage Halloween Cutout Banner from Etsy. Halloween banners look fine by themselves attached to a fireplace mantel. You could also consider adding a Halloween runner on top of the fireplace's ledge with a few faux pumpkins. 

Light up for the holiday

Give your home plenty of candlelight to set the Halloween mood, but be sure to do so with safety in mind, recommends Made Terra. To prevent fire accidents from happening, keep candles enclosed inside candle holders for protection. Stuff candles inside jack o' lanterns and display them on the front porch. Go for candle holders featuring Halloween motifs like this Vintage Halloween Ghost and Pumpkins Candle Holder from Ruby Lane or this Vintage Halloween Witch Candy Container from Ruby Lane. Find black and orange candles to place inside holders, and display them on top of a bedroom bureau or dining room table. Character candle holders could be used as decorations on their own as well.

Sometimes it's best to use battery-operated candles instead of working with real-life candles. For trick-or-treaters, create a row of battery-operated lights to mark the entrance to the home for candy, such as these Place & Time Halloween Ghost Pathway Lights from JoAnn. Make sure wires are hidden and aren't in the way. Battery-operated string lights featuring ghosts, pumpkins, and bats could be hung around the fireplace, along a hall's entryway, and or on top of the front door of the home. 

Don't forget Halloween tabletop designs

Host a grown-up Halloween dinner party by setting up the kitchen table for the holiday, as stated by Laura Lily. When decorating a Halloween tabletop, try to incorporate three to four colors that mesh well with each other. Oranges go well with black, but try to play with other colors as well. Poppy shades of slime green and sassy hot pinks with royal purples are great colors for plates, dishes, and silverware when setting up tablecloths, napkins, and plates. Why not go for a simple spider theme? Check out a home décor store or Halloween store that sells black lace spiderweb tablecloths. Purchase silver or gold-colored spider napkin holders. The silver and gold will tone down the brighter dishware colors.

Skeleton designs are popular during Halloween. Check out this CirCleO Happy Halloween Retro Dancing Skull Table Runner and Placemats Set from Amazon. Look for chalices and goblets that feature skulls or skeletons for an extra creepy vibe. Silverware in metallic sheens would work nicely placed on top of the placemats. Keep neutral dishes and bowls in shades of cream or ivory. Add candlelight with black tapered candles placed around the table. Find brass vintage candle holders for rustic, masculine tones.

Get musical for the season

There's nothing better than playing scary music during the Halloween season. Think about what kind of theme you'd like to incorporate at home, as noted by Mella Music. From scary to funny to classic, there's something for everyone when it comes to Halloween-inspired music. Want to feel fancy at a Halloween party at home? Establish an old glamour 1920s feel by playing jazz music in whatever music format you prefer. Decorate by placing antique brass candelabras with dripping white candles around the dark corners of the home. Situate black lace on coffee tables and couches in the living room.

For those who'd like to purchase a record player to play scary tunes, check out this ByronStatics Vinyl Record Player from Amazon. Pair this Halloween Howls: Fun & Scary Music LP from Amazon to play on the record player. For those who aren't huge music fans but still love vintage and retro musical decorations, this darling Retro Halloween Centerpiece Haunted Radio from Etsy would look right at home on top of a kitchen island or a guest bedroom side table next to fall-inspired scented candles. It could also be placed on top of a bathroom counter alongside solid-colored orange, tan, and brown bath towels and washcloths to tie in autumn décor. 

Make fun Halloween decor with papier mache

Craft a couple of vintage-inspired Halloween candy bowls out of paper mache, as demonstrated by Salinda Nichols on YouTube. Blow up a couple of balloons to about average size. Concoct a mixture of ½ cup of water and ½ cup of flour in a bowl for the papier mache solution. Grab old newspaper sheets and tear the sheets into long strips. Once the newspaper is torn into strips, dip the strips in the solution and cover the balloons with the wet strips. After everything is dry, it's time to do a little research! Look online to see what vintage Halloween décor looked like in the past. It could look something like this Ino Schaller Paper Mache Pumpkin from The Well Appointed House. Take another papier mache balloon and use black, yellow, and red paint to create the visage of a black cat.

 You can also use this method to make papier mache bowls — just leave half of the balloon bare, and pop it once the papier mache dries, leaving a bowl shape. Then, paint it however you wish! Once the paint has dried, fill them with candy and display them wherever you need a touch of vintage Halloween charm. Mix different art media forms by having papier mache Halloween candy bowls decorated amongst modern plastic and ceramic Halloween character bowls. Stack biggest to the smallest left to right along a living room windowsill, or along the kitchen island. 

Look into the future by having fortune teller parties

Do you want to see what the future holds? Add magic during the Halloween season by hosting a fortune teller party, recommends Ritzy Parties. Before getting started on the festivities, set a table featuring crafted mystical accessories. Use craft paint and glitter to coat over the front of old hardback books to make your own spell books. In the middle of the table, place a medium-sized planter filled with faux moss that'll house a glass "crystal ball." Take a glass globe and put polyfill inside with an LED votive light. Put long-stemmed faux flowers in the planter alongside crystals and tarot cards.

For each guest who attends the fortune-telling party, make a place setting by layering fancy charger plates in intricate designs. Each guest could have their own handmade wooden spell box on top of the charger plates next to miniature crystals. Work with jewel tones in purple, blue, and green shades when creating the fortune teller theme. Find a gold embroidered purple amethyst table runner, and use it with cobalt blue ribbons tied around faux gold silverware. Fold emerald green napkins into triangles to shape around the dishes. Prop this 9.25" Vintage Beistle Halloween Paper Decoration Witch Fortune Wheel Game from The Jolly Christmas Shop on a dining side table against a wall. Spin the wheel and be mystified! 

Celebrate with moon motifs

Make your own vintage-inspired moon Halloween decorations by crafting, as noted by Up All Night DIY. Craft a moon sculpture by putting air-dry clay over a Styrofoam ball. Don't forget to make cheeks by rolling two balls of clay, and placing the clay balls two inches above the bottom of the Styrofoam clay ball and one inch across. To create craters, use the back of a paintbrush and make dots all over the Styrofoam clay ball. Make a nose in between the two eyes with the back of the paintbrush as well. Once the clay has fully dried, use white craft paint to cover the clay moon's head. Sketch and paint eyes as well. Paint and wrap garland around the hat for an additional festive touch. The moon sculpture would look pleasant amongst other crafted vintage-inspired Halloween items displayed on a dresser or everyday table.

Another moon-related craft would be a moon on a stand. Print out a vintage moon face to place on top of a round flat white board. Place transfer paper underneath the printed vintage moon face. Grab a pencil to trace the moon's facial features. Put the transfer paper aside, and use gray and charcoal paint to shade in spots and color craters. Look around at craft stores to purchase a gray, blue, or black mini wooden stand to represent the nighttime. Find a small wooden stick, and glue one end to the stand and one end to the rounded board. The moon stand could act as a centerpiece on counters, on an outdoor porch table, or on a desk in a bedroom. Working with vintage-inspired Halloween accessories is fun, and can be worked into most home design aesthetics.