Favorite Halloween Ideas from the Archives

There’s just a week and a half until Halloween and we’re working double time to make sure everything is ready for our annual costume party. I realized I usually don’t get around to posting about what we did for decorations or food until after the fact, so I thought it would be fun to compile a few of my favorites from years past right here–while there is still time to execute a few of them in your own home if you wish!

Last year, we made 100 Harry Potter-esque floating candles for the living room. It was so moody and magical and I can’t wait to break them out again this year. Read the easy tutorial right here–best done with a couple of girlfriends.

DIY Harry Potter Floating Candles | Chris Loves Julia

A variety of dips and things to dip are always a crowd pleaser and you can usually eliminate utensils, too! One year, we served the dips in small pumpkins! I used my old pottery tools (this $6 set will work!) to carve in the name each pumpkin, then we placed the dip in a bowl in the hollowed out pumpkin.

Pumpkin Dip Holders | Chris Loves Julia

When seating is short and the weather is nice, hay bales couldn’t be more perfect. They can seat 2-3 adults comfortably and they usually will only cost $3-$5 a bale!

Hay Bales as extra seating | Chris Loves Julia

7 years ago, before our very first party, I cut out hundreds of bats from black cardstock and tied them to fishing line, hung from the ceiling.  We still use them every year!

Hanging bats! | Chris Loves Julia

The shelves in our reading room always get spooky before our big party, but it’s mostly from things we already have around the house. Besides a few dollar store crows, webs, and rats, I cut branches from outside. Celebrate the dead plant, fill vases with water and drop in some food coloring and stick to a color scheme. It’s always fun to swap a few frames with free vintage printables, too.

Shelves decorated for Halloween | Chris Loves Julia

Hay bales + pumpkins (I love all the different colored ones and the more warts, the better!) are a decoration that can last through Thanksgiving, but for Halloween, I always add a few crows. I can’t tell you how many trick or treaters sat on those hay bales for an impromptu photo shoot from their parents that year!

Front porch Halloween Decor

We’d love to hear your Halloween traditions! Do you go all out? Are you into creepy or classic?!


  • Reply October 23, 2016


    I was listening to your “Entertain us” podcast as I was prepping for a small birthday party for my husband. I’ve known that you love to host, but it made me realize that you’re a wealth of knowledge and could post lots of specific tips on the blog. Things like- your daily to-do list during the week(s) before your party (from buying and prepping food to cleaning and decorating). I’m sure you’ve figured out what to prioritize (and how many days in advance) to make hosting such a huge amount of people go smoothly.

    I stress out about hosting a dozen people, so I know I would love to see the logistics of how you prepare for parties. (Maybe not this year with the ORC in the mix, but keep it in mind for the future.)

  • Reply October 20, 2016


    I LOVE all these ideas!!!!! Thank You!

  • Reply October 20, 2016

    Kim | Yellow Brick Home

    Your floating candles are still a favorite of mine. You killed it. We want to come to your party!

  • Reply October 20, 2016


    I love the Vintage Printables! How did you print them? I’m trying to figure out a way to make them 8×10 or larger.


  • Reply October 20, 2016


    I cut 7″w bats out of black cardstock, and use painters tape to adhere their bellies to the wall. I place them in a cluster, swooping out of the fireplace and up the white wall, all the way to the ceiling. Very cool impact for only a few dollars.

  • I’m hosting my housewarming party / halloween party next week-end :) Those ideas are great as I am currently in searching mode to find how to decorate and what to serve to the guest !!!

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