13 Spooky Good Halloween Hacks

Less stress. More spook.

Let’s get real. Halloween requires a whole lot of creativity, and sometimes it’s hard to come up with cute costumes, adorable pumpkin ideas, tasty party food and festive home decor. Enter, clever Halloween hacks — 13 of them, to be exact (totally spooky, right?).

PUMPKIN HACKS

Make a Wine Keg Using a Pumpkin

Serve Hallo-wine at your Halloween party using pumpkins as vessels for your favorite box wine. Guests will applaud your creativity.

Use a Cookie Cutter to Carve a Pumpkin

Step 5: Hammer in the Cookie Cutter

Step 5: Hammer in the Cookie Cutter

Use a rubber mallet to tap in the cookie cutter. Children can help with this step, but supervise carefully to avoid injury.

Photo by: Images courtesy of Jessica Yonker

Images courtesy of Jessica Yonker

Tired of carving the classic jack-o’-lantern? This year, carve a pumpkin with a Halloween-themed cookie cutter, instead. 

Light Your Pumpkins With Christmas Lights

Starry Pumpkins

Starry Pumpkins

Create a field of sparkling pumpkins with a drill and strands of Christmas lights. Hollow out your pumpkins and use a drill to make a pattern of holes over the surface. Fill each hole with a Christmas light and plug them in for a star covered pumpkin.

Make a twinkly, starry outdoor display with pumpkins and Christmas lights. First, completely hollow out the pumpkins, and create a pattern of holes on each pumpkin using a drill. Then, fill each hole with a Christmas light, and plug them in.

DECOR HACKS

Make a Spooky Wreath With Ping-Pong Balls

You're Being Watched

You're Being Watched

Keep an eye on trick-or-treaters with a googly-eyed wreath. To make it, pick up two to three bags of white Ping-Pong balls online or at a sports store. Use hot glue to attach them, in layers, to a foam wreath form with hot glue. Once all visible parts of the wreath form have been covered, attach small and large googly eyes. Tip: It's best to hang the wreath with a door hanger, rather than wrapping ribbon around, so the layers of Ping-Pong balls remain undisturbed.

Craft a super-easy, googly-eyed wreath to playfully spook trick-or-treaters upon their arrival. Buy two to three bags of white Ping-Pong balls, and hot glue them on a foam wreath form in layers. Once the wreath form is covered, attach small and large googly eyes.

Turn Trash Bags Into Spider Webs

Trashbag Spider Web

Trashbag Spider Web

Dramatic, inexpensive and, best of all, this trashbag spider web decoration is made from materials already in the house.

All you need to make these creepy hanging spider webs are black trash bags, tape and scissors. Ballin' on a budget, my friends.

Use Leftover Candy Corn as Decor

Aromatic Candy Corn Candles

Aromatic Candy Corn Candles

Expecting trick-or-treaters or Halloween guests? Add a sweet aroma to your front porch with candy corn-filled hurricanes. To create them, place pillar candles inside clear glass hurricanes of different sizes then fill each hurricane, roughly halfway, with candy corn.

I realize some people truly love candy corn, but I know there are some wishy-washy people out there like me. I’ll eat a piece or two, sure, but I don’t love it. Instead of throwing away the rest of the bag, dump the leftovers into glass hurricanes with pretty pillar candles, and set the hurricanes on the front porch to greet guests. Be sure to blow out the candles before they burn below the candy.

COSTUME HACKS

Be a Glow-in-the-Dark Stick Figure

DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Stick Figure Costume

DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Stick Figure Costume

Need a last minute Halloween costume? With some black clothing and a pack of glow necklaces, you can whip up this bright outfit in less than 10 minutes.

Photo by: Chelsea Faulkner

Chelsea Faulkner

Did you forget to come up with a Halloween costume? This ultra-clever stick figure idea is for you. Grab an all-black outfit, glow sticks and packing tape, and prepare for *glowing* reviews.

Make a Last-Minute Kid Costume Using a Hoodie

Your trick-or-treater will be hopping with excitem

Your trick-or-treater will be hopping with excitem

Your trick-or-treater will be hopping with excitement over this fun frog costume

No time to sew a masterpiece for your little one? Craft a simple costume out of a basic hoodie, instead. These ideas are so cute, nobody will know the difference.

Turn an Old Shirt Into a Dog Costume

Handmade Pet Halloween Business Man Costume

Handmade Pet Halloween Business Man Costume

Your pet will be ready for Halloween with this cute outfit. Repurpose old clothing to make a costume that is all business

Bring the phrase, “working like a dog,” to life with an old dress shirt and a cheap clip-on tie. This hilarious dog costume is sure to be a hit with friends.

FOOD + DRINK HACKS

Turn a Margarita Into a Morgue-A-Rita

Halloween Morgue-A-Rita Cocktail

Halloween Morgue-A-Rita Cocktail

This ooey-gooey margarita will ensure your guests have a frightfully good time at your Halloween party. The blood red maraschino syrup adds the cherry 'on the bottom' while sugary green "goo" lends a creepy twist.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Instead of concocting a difficult cocktail for your Halloween guests, make a tried-and-true crowd pleaser with a spooky twist. You only need two extra ingredients to make the oozy green slime.

Make This: Morgue-A-Rita

Make (Healthy!) Monsters With Apples

Monster Apples

Monster Apples

Turn tart apples, dried fruit and nuts or seeds into healthy treats for your favorite trick-or-treaters.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Kids will adore this nutritious snack that’s just as adorable as it is tasty. 

Make This: Monster Apples

Make Edible Eyeballs With Cheese Rounds

Halloween Party Appetizer: Cheesy Eyeballs

Halloween Party Appetizer: Cheesy Eyeballs

This fun-to-make appetizer will have your Halloween party guests doing a double take. A few simple ingredients make this savory snack a scary-easy addition to your party table.

©Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

You’ll only need three ingredients to make these creepy eyeballs. The cheese-based appetizer is perfect for a Halloween party.

Make This: Cheesy Eyeballs

Make Scary Fingers With Goat Cheese

Spooky Goat Cheese Fingers

Spooky Goat Cheese Fingers

Cheese and crackers take a decidedly spooky turn when goat cheese is fashioned to look like fingers with sliced almonds taking the place of fingernails. Pair with whole-wheat crackers and flatbreads for a flavor combo that's sure to appeal to guests of all ages.

Another creepy, cheese-based recipe, this appetizer would pair perfectly with the edible eyeballs to make a spook-tacular cheese tray. 

Make This: Goat Cheese Fingers

Our Best Costume + Makeup Tricks

See All Photos

Deck out your little trick-or-treater and yourself with one of our 50+ handmade Halloween costumes or silver screen-ready makeup ideas.

Go With a Classic

Turn items you probably already have on hand like a king-size pillowcase, cereal box and flip flops into this last-minute costume that's fit for Roman royalty. Our step-by-step instructions make this clever costume a snap.

From: Cheri Heaton

Mad Scientist Costume On the Cheap

Turn a basic white T-shirt into a clever last-minute Halloween costume in just a few steps, using materials you likely already have at home. Get ideas for 4 more last-minute costumes you can create from white T-shirts.

Photo By: Jalynn Baker

Fun Frog Hoodie Costume

Kids will love this fun costume that doubles as an imagination-stirring jacket they can wear anytime. Our step-by-step instructions and free printable templates ensure that even a sewing newbie can stitch one up for their little tadpole.

Unleash Your Child's Inner Ninja

Faux leather material and all-black clothing will get your little warrior ready for Halloween with a no-sew costume that's a snap to pull together. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

From: Cheri Heaton

Turn Your Toddler Into a Cute Cactus

This super-easy costume is perfect for little ones just learning to walk with their hands in an adult's for assistance — their arms-up position gives their body the shape of a saguaro cactus. Our step-by-step instructions show how to turn a comfy infant's onesie into one prickly character.

Old White T-Shirts = Easy Mummy Costume

Coffee and a few old T-shirts are all you need to create stained mummy's rags. Finish the look w/ a layer of all black clothing underneath and makeup. Get ideas for 4 more last-minute costumes you can create from white T-shirts.

Photo By: Jalynn Baker

Pretty as a Peacock

This is one costume she'll want to wear year-round for imaginative play. The fluffy tulle tutu is sure to be a hit and so easy to craft that you'll want to make them in lots of colors. Learn how to make the no-sew tutu plus a peacock feather headband with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer, Ten22 Studio

Let Them Show Their Strength

This no-sew costume is a showstopper but can be pulled together last-minute using a few inexpensive supplies from the craft store. Learn how to make your own.

From: Cheri Heaton

Mommy-and-Me Costume: Cookies and Milk

You and your toddler go together like ... well, milk and cookies! Whip up this cute costume using a cardboard box, felt, round chair cushions and basic craft supplies. Learn how to make your own.

Glow-in-the-Dark Stick Figure

An all-black outfit, glow sticks and packing tape are all you need to pull together this last-minute costume that gets 'glowing' reviews. Get our tips for dressing the kids or yourself in a snap

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Adorable Baby Bull Costume

Inexpensive felt, a ready-made beanie cap, black leggings and a top and are all you need to craft this cute (and comfy!) bull costume for your baby or toddler. Get crafting to make this cute cap.

Easy Skeleton Costume

Turn a basic white T-shirt into a seriously creepy Halloween costume with a pair of scissors and a little imagination. Get ideas for 4 more last-minute costumes you can create from white T-shirts.

Photo By: Jalynn Baker

Scary Skeleton Makeup

Realistically resemble the deceased with this skeleton makeup treatment. Although the finished result looks hard, our how-to instructions will make creating a skeletal look quick and easy — transform yourself in under an hour. Learn the trick to making your eyebrows disappear.

Sweet in a Snap

Card stock, coffee filters and a cherry-red balloon are all you need to turn wardrobe basics into a last-minute ice cream sundae costume. Get our tips for pulling off this oh-so-sweet look

Photo By: Clara MacLellan

Pirate Makeup

Transform your little buccaneer into a pillaging pirate this Halloween with our easy-to-follow makeup tutorial and costume tips. Get step-by-step instructions.

Witch Costume

Your little one is sure to cast a spell in a wee witch's costume made up of a no-sew tulle tutu, pointy craft-foam hat, DIY twig broom, black T-shirt and striped tights.

Lion Makeup

Turn your cub into a roaring lion for Halloween with our easy-to-follow makeup tutorial. Learn how to replicate fur with face paint.

Troll-Tastic Headband

Harness a little good luck this Halloween and craft this troll-themed headband. It's a no-sew accessory that'll put the easy finishing touch on a colorful costume. Get crafting with our tutorial.

Squeaky Clean Costume

Channel your inner clean freak to turn a plain white T-shirt and balloons into a clever bar of soap costume. Get ideas for 4 more last-minute costumes you can create from white T-shirts.

Photo By: Jennie Andrews

Hoodie Costume: Black Bat

Our printable templates make it easy to turn a basic black hoodie into a warm and cozy bat costume that's perfect for trick-or-treating on a chilly night or just a game of pretend in the backyard. Sew up one of your own with our free printable templates and step-by-step instructions.

Mommy-and-Me Costume: Kangaroos

Keep your baby close with a clever costume idea that's comfy for your little one while keeping your hands free. Our downloadable templates and step-by-step instructions make crafting the hats quick and easy.

Adventurous Explorer Costume

Adventure awaits! Outfit your little one for the wilds of trick-or-treating in this easy-to-create Halloween costume that uses clothes they already have and a few materials from the fabric store.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer, Ten22 Studio

Dinosaur Costume

This inexpensive dino costume is easy to make with just basic sewing skills, and so comfy that kids big and small will want to wear it long after Halloween. Get crafting to turn a basic hoodie into a kid-pleasing costume.

Mummy Makeup

Basic makeup, coffee (yes, coffee!) and spirit gum are all you need to turn your kid into a card-carrying member of the undead. Our step-by-step instructions show you how to perfect the sunken eye look.

Ladybug Costume

A handmade tulle tutu (that's actually reversible), basic red sweatshirt and felt are all you need to craft this comfy ladybug costume complete with a personalized leafy trick-or-treat tote bag. Get crafting to make this cute costume.

Cupcake Costume

An old laundry basket, wrapping paper, felt and basic craft supplies are all you need to dress your little sweetie up as their favorite icing-and-sprinkle-topped treat. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer, Ten22 Studio

Glam Dark Fairy Makeup

Adults with a flair for the dramatic can take the typical fairy costume for a walk on the dark side with this step-by-step makeup tutorial.

Aviator Costume

Get your little flying ace ready for a night on the town with our easy-to-follow instructions for transforming everyday clothing into a vintage pilot's uniform complete with a custom-fitted aviator's hat.

Candy Dots Costume

Need a little girl's costume you can whip up in a flash? Then this clever costume idea is for you. Just hot-glue painted foam halves onto a white jumper for a sweet disguise based on the classic candy. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer, Ten22 Studio

Adult Pirate Makeup

Turn your childhood dreams of Caribbean piracy into reality with this silver-screen-worthy makeup treatment. Basic makeup plus a specialty item from the costume shop will have you shiverin' timbers in under an hour. Learn the easy trick for faking gold or blackened teeth.

Feathered Fairy or Angel Wings

These feathered wings are perfect for occasions that require a costume, like Halloween or a Christmas nativity play, but are also sturdy enough to be worn for everyday imaginative play. Learn how to make your own.

Creepy Ragdoll Makeup

Go disguised as a ragdoll this Halloween. Our easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions will show you how to totally transform your look with makeup. Plus: Learn how to add 3-D stitches with yarn and eyelash glue.

Shark Costume

Inexpensive felt and basic sewing skills are all you need to turn a child's gray hoodie sweatshirt into a warm-and-cozy great white shark costume. Get step-by-step instructions.

Teenage Frankenstein Makeup

Little girls and tweens will love going decked out as this fashion-forward monster teen. Our step-by-step makeup tutorial shows you how to get the look.

Brave Knight Costume

Turn your little hero into a brave knight for Halloween. Our free printable template and step-by-step instructions make it easy to pull this look together even a last-minute costume.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer, Ten22 Studio

Easy Viking Costume

For less than $25, turn your little marauder into a fearsome Viking warrior with furry brown toilet seat covers or bathmats, leather cording and a store-bought helmet and hammer. Get crafting to make your own.

Cute Puppy Makeup

Turn your little one into a cute puppy this Halloween with minimal makeup you can apply in a jiffy. Requiring just cream face paint, a black eyeliner pencil and basic tools, kids will love this makeup treatment so much that you may want to keep extra supplies on hand to pup them up for birthday parties or school carnivals.

Wee Golfer Costume

Just a few easy do-it-yourself additions will turn clothes they already have into a cute Halloween costume on the fly. Dress your little duffer in traditional golf attire, then finish the look with a DIY pom-pom topped knit hat and golf bag that can also be used to stash their candy haul. Learn how to quickly craft a yarn pom-pom with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer, Ten22 Studio

Hula Girl Costume

A hula girl costume is a classic but rather than dressing your little girl in a store-bought costume, craft a one-of-a-kind look using crepe paper and air-dry clay. Get step-by-step instructions.

Let Halloween Go to the Dogs

Don't forget to get your best friend in on the action. When constructing your pup's costume, just be sure to use only soft, lightweight materials that won't obstruct their eyes, nose or mouth. Also, don't pile on the layers as pups tend to heat up quickly, making a minimal costume best. Note: Always keep Halloween treats safely out of your pup's reach. Both chocolate and the sugar-free sweetener Xylitol can be deadly for dogs.

Ghoulish Vampire Makeup

Turn your teen into a bloodthirsty vampire for Halloween with our easy-to-follow makeup tutorial. Get step-by-step instructions.

Robin Hood Costume

Easily turn budget-friendly felt and polyester fabric into a no-sew Robin Hood costume that you can pull together in a jiffy. Make your own with our step-by-step directions.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer, Ten22 Studio

Chalkboard Treat Bucket

Create a Halloween treat bucket that can be decorated and customized each year to coordinate with a costume or theme. Kids will love this interactive trick-or-treat accessory that can be topped with a lid to safely store their stash. Make your own.

Ice Cream Cone Costume

Your trick-or-treater will have a license to chill in this clever homemade costume that uses craft store supplies and white tights to transform your little ice cream fan into a giant soft-serve cone. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer, Ten22 Studio

Fairy Princess Makeup

Give your little girl a glittering fairy princess makeover for Halloween with our easy-to-follow, step-by-step makeup tutorial.

Glittering Trick-or-Treat Bag

Get kids ready for trick-or-treating with a custom-painted and glittered Halloween tote bag. Our free printable templates and instructions make this a great kids' craft.

Enchanting Mermaid Makeup

Fishnet hose and shimmering eye shadow are the trick to replicating fish scales for a seductive-siren look this Halloween. Our step-by-step makeup tutorial shows you how.

HGTV Fans' Best Costume Ideas

HGTV fans are a creative bunch! Check out 25 of our favorite ideas submitted by folks just like you.

Garden Goddess Makeup

This Halloween, go as the enchanting comic book and feature-film villainess. Our easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions show you how to apply the fantasy makeup to give even a basic costume a silver screen-worthy look.

Halloween Headbands

Turn plain headbands into fun Halloween party favors and costume props with card-stock cat ears or a tiny witch's hat. Get the kids crafting with this easy project.

Zombie Makeup

This Halloween stop them dead in their tracks with this ghoulish zombie bride look using makeup you already have on hand plus a few extras from the costume shop. Learn how to create a corpse-like pallor.

Paper Princess Crowns

Surprise your little princess with a handmade Halloween crown. Perfect as party favors, these crafty goodies also make great costume accessories or gifts for your favorite trick-or-treaters. Our (free!) printable templates make this craft a snap.

Butterfly Makeup

Face paint, gel glitter and basic makeup are all you need to transform your little one into a beautiful butterfly this Halloween. Our step-by-step instructions make it a snap.

Mini Witch's Hat

This fascinator is the trendy finishing touch to an adult or kids' witch costume. Felt and cardboard are all you need to make the basic hat which you can embellish with feathers, ribbon, lace, rhinestones or whatever you'd like. Learn how to make your own.

Capitol City Vixen Makeup

This Halloween show that you're a fan of the popular book series and feature films with this step-by-step makeup tutorial for achieving the Capitol's big-screen look.

Spider Makeup

If your little one is a fan of spiders, this makeup treatment is for them. Use everyday makeup, white face paint and liquid latex to give them a serious case of the creepy crawlies, our step-by-step instructions show you how.

Pumpkin Mini Hat

Budget-friendly felt, quilt batting and cardboard are all you need to craft this cute pumpkin top. Stitch on a bit of ribbon as a chin strap to create a quick-and-easy costume accessory. Get step-by-step instructions.

Cat Makeup

Let your inner party animal roar with this Broadway-stage-worthy cat makeup that takes only 30 minutes to apply. Finish the look with a headband with attached felt ears, a solid color ensemble and a tail. Learn the trick to creating dramatic cat's eyes.

Sunflower Mini Hat

Top a cardboard circle with layers of felt petals to craft this cheery sunflower hat-ette.

Dragon Makeup

Use face paint and craft brushes to turn your little one into a colorful dragon this Halloween — complete with scales. Our step-by-step instructions make it easy.

Match the Setting to Your Costume

HGTV fan 1flatoolman put his handyman skills to work turning the bed of his truck into a pirate's ship to delight kids at his local trunk or treat. A concrete tube forms the mast, while old sheets were dyed black to create the weathered sails.

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