Halloween Decorating From Minimalist to Maximalist

Grab some ordinary objects from around your home, add some seasonal swagger and you have a Halloween tablescape for any taste.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Set the Mood

There's something funereal about these silver vases filled with silvery dried eucalyptus. Perfect for Halloween. A cloud of moss placed at the base of the egg brings in a lovely garden element.

Setting the Stage: A Minimalist Effect

You can make your Halloween tablescape simple or you can push it over the top. Use elements you already have: small plants, bell jars, candles, candy dishes and simple tablecloths as a backdrop to build a Halloween narrative around. Add as many scary touches as you like. Keep it natural, or make it kitschy. It's all about building a Tim Burton-inspired set piece that you can change throughout October. Start with some key players and create a story.

The Players: A Metal Finial

You can mix items, especially ones in black, white and silver you already have around the house with a few newer store bought items to create a Halloween table. Black, white or burlap fabrics provide a nice, basic backdrop for seasonal tableaux. We liked these plain black finials for their graphic, slightly sinister appearance.

The Players: A Mummy

A scary/sweet mummy suddenly transforms ordinary objects into spooky ones on your tablescape with his mere appearance on the scene.

The Players: Glitter Crows

Silver candy dishes are topped with grapevine globes (placed on a layer of sphagnum moss) and then crowned with glitter crows from the craft store.

The Players: Pumpkin Family

Go minimalist or bring a dose of color to your Halloween table with everyone's favorite jolt of seasonal impact: orange pumpkins!

The Players: Dried Eucalyptus

Dried elements and anything sourced from the garden make for a great Halloween design element: this silvery green eucalyptus, moss and succulents all convey a gothic attitude.

The Players: Mummy and Tree

Tim Burton's clever "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and the 1920 German silent film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" inspired this juxtaposition of our mummy and a graphic black wooden tree.

The Players: Candy Corn Trees

Whimsical candy corn trees can help give your decor a more playful tone and create a tiny forest on your table top.

The Players: Succulents

Succulents have a slightly otherworldly tone that really suits a Halloween theme, especially when placed in inexpensive terra cotta pots you've spray painted black. Use black sand or stone to cover your soil.

The Players: Mushroom

Fungi are another unusual, slightly unsettling garden element that can make for a fun addition to your decor. This plaster mushroom seemed just right for a gothic table. Look for offbeat items in garden shops (the terrarium displays are a good place to check), craft stores, antique stores, or even in your own home for inspiration.

The Players: A Papier-Mache Mouse

This papier-mâché mouse head seemed just about right for our little world on a table.

The Players: Egg

A pretend ostrich egg made of plaster fits the globe leitmotif in some of our tablescapes to come. You can't help but wonder: what lurks inside that egg or inside that black finial globe?

The Players: Glitter Spiders

Glitter somehow manages to tone down the icky-factor in spiders. Craft store spiders are cheap and easy to place just about anywhere for a subtle touch of Halloween flair.

Quirky Centerpiece

Bringing little figurines, a tiny black tree and crows together creates a charming storybook ambiance.

Pumpkins Predominate

Keep it colorful, bright and pared back with a mix of various gourds and pumpkins and some fun candy corn trees.

Growing Menace

Our plaster egg, bell jar, a small terrarium and succulents create a slightly old-world, lush centerpiece.

Succulents at Dinner

Not every Halloween display has to be super scary. Go for gothic instead with a mix of succulents, some spray paint glitter-encrusted gourds and a few simple store-bought touches like a black tree or glittery spiders.

Back in Black

There are all sorts of elements already in your garden you can move inside. Cheap terra cotta pots and grocery store gourds can get a quick and easy spray of glitter or plain black paint. You don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy the season.

Go Goth

Add plant tags with the Latin genus and species names to succulents like this Fenestraria aurantiaca or other plants you choose for your Halloween tablescape. They can be great conversation starters.

Mouse Under Glass

Everything seems to become much creepier and dramatic when placed under a vitrine, especially this papier mâché mouse head, a tiny dose of Halloween morbidity for your table.

Modest Mouse

Come evening, our little rodent under glass becomes even more frightening.

Mummy and Friends

Our old friend the mummy gets an appropriately sinister landscape of black candles, spidery succulents, glitter-encrusted gourds and our black finials for good measure.