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Halloween Centerpiece Ideas: 12 Frightfully Fun + Inexpensive DIY Displays

Think outside the vase with surprisingly stylish displays, from blooming gourds to batty lanterns!


Whether you’re prepping for a spooky Halloween party, an eek-chic dinner with your nearest and dearest or a cozy festive movie night, decorating your indoor space is a big part of the fun — but it can also get pricey fast! The good news: You can make wow-worthy yet affordable decor displays using ordinary around-the-house supplies and craft store staples. Here, we rounded up a dozen dazzling, homemade Halloween centerpiece ideas that are sure to bewitch your crowd without breaking the bank. Keep scrolling for 12 scary-cute decor ideas!

1. Mesmerizing mummy mugs

Halloween centerpiece ideas: Teacups filled with orange fall flowers and covered in gauze to look like cute little mummies

Dip into a first-aid kit for a sheer-genius material that turns any mug into a spirited (and adorable!) tabletop accent. To make each mummy vase, wrap a white coffee or tea cup with double-sided tape, then cover with a length of gauze. Next, use a dab of poster putty to attach two craft-store googly eyes. Fill the mug with water, snip a dahlia stem (or other orange fall bloom) to 2 inches, then pop in the bloom. (To wow your dinner guests as soon as they arrive, click through for spellbinding Halloween door ideas on our sister site.)

2. Carrot creature ‘candles’

Halloween Centerpiece Ideas: Spooky-cute carrot creature displays that show a carrot placed in a candleholder with little eyes

Jeepers creepers, how did these curvy candles get those peepers? Each taper “candle” is actually a carrot with a silly stare made of black-eyed peas. To make: For each taper, use a paring knife to carefully carve two notches into a long carrot, then pop in the black-eyed peas to create eyes. Place the carrot in a black candleholder. To display, cluster a trio of “candles” on a tabletop. Insider’s Secret: To give carrots extra shape, use a peeler to accentuate small curves and bends.

3. Impressive pumpkin cooler

Halloween centerpiece ideas: pumpkin as a drinks cooler

A gourd-turned-cooler is a festive and functional addition to your table — and it doesn’t take a fairy godmother to whip one up! Simply cut the top off a large and wide pumpkin, then remove the pulp and seeds with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Then, place a clear plastic bowl in the gourd; add drinks and fill to the top with ice. (For more pumpkin carving inspiration and advice, check out these jack o lantern faces on our sister site.)

4. Unexpectedly cute tabletop crawlers

Table accent that looks like a spider made from a potato, pussy willow branches and Googly eyes

With their purple potato bodies and fuzzy little legs, these critters aren’t creepy — they’re cute! To make: Start by using a paring knife to cut two notches into one end of a spud, and then press in two black-eyed peas for the eyes. For the legs, cut six 6-inch-long pieces of pussy willow, gently bending each to form a knee. To finish, use a skewer to poke three holes along each side of the potato, and then insert the pussy-willow legs. Place on a plate and display. Tip: Enhance the purple hue of the potato (and add a touch of sheen) by rubbing the skin with a bit of cooking oil.

5. Happy haunted birdhouse

Halloween Centerpiece Ideas: Haunted birdhouse covered in cookies

All it takes is a craft-store birdhouse, some paint, and handfuls of cookies to create this spooky structure. It’s sure to boost the fright factor of your festivities! To make: Coat a birdhouse with black craft paint. Let dry, then hot-glue peanut cookies to the roof, round cookies to the sides, and wafer rolls around the base. Trim the roof with orange gel icing. To make the crow, cut from black paper, glue to a pipe cleaner, and then glue to chimney.

6. Whimsical skyline silhouette

Halloween Centerpiece ideas: Neighborhood skyline made out of scrapbook paper cut outs

Halloween centerpiece ideas go beyond your typical floral bouquets! “Any eye-catching DIY decor that’s showcased on a holiday table becomes a centerpiece,” says Kate Striegel, founder of Chic On A Shoestring. Here, a row of haunted dwellings is the perfect backdrop for a magical spread. To make: Use one large sheet of black poster board for every four houses. Cut the poster board in half, then fold both pieces in half, making a crease on each pair to connect two houses. Using a piece of chalk, draw the outline of each house, adding windows and doors. With scissors, cut out the houses, windows and doors, keeping the creases intact so the houses are joined. For colored windows, simply tape pieces of tissue paper to the back of the poster board, filling in the cutouts.

7. Perfectly pretty blooming pumpkin

Halloween Centerpiece Ideas: Bouquet made out of orange roses and shaped like a pumpkin on cake plate

Everything’s coming up roses — even on Halloween! “Spray roses can be found in a range of lovely orange hues and they cluster together beautifully, making them the ideal choice for a pumpkin­-shaped arrangement,” says floral expert Lynn Jawitz, owner of Florisan Fine European Floristry in New York City, who created the festive look shown here. It’s the perfect arrangement for an entryway or dining table!  To do: Trim the stems of about three dozen orange-hued spray roses to 2 inches. Then, take a 6-inch floral foam sphere and slice 1 inch off the bottom­ so it has a flat, level base. Next, soak the foam in water. Insert roses one at a time at the sphere’s crown. Continue to add concentric rows until the foam sphere is covered. For the stem, tuck in a trio of palm frond snippets at the crown of the pumpkin. Place arrangement on a pedestal plate and display on a tabletop. 

Florist tip: The simple key to keeping your pumpkin perky is ample hydration. To ensure the most even result, swap your watering can for a turkey baster. Its nozzle will get in between roses, while its bulb gives you precise control over how much H2O you dole out. Watering from top to bottom will guarantee the most balanced dispersion.

8. Eye-catching bat-covered lantern

Halloween centerpiece ideas: Bat-kissed wooden lantern

A spooky bat-covered tabletop lantern is a fun finishing touch for any surface! To make, pop a pumpkin candlecup (filled with a battery-run votive) inside a white birdhouse or lantern from the craft store. Finish by attaching three bats (cut from black construction paper) to the roof using pieces of poster putty. Showcase on tabletop near a few battery-run tealight or votive candles.

9. Bewitching bobblehead trio

Halloween Centerpiece Ideas: Treat Cups that are decorated like cute characters including a skeleton, a pumpkin and a cat. Cups are filled with candy and served on a tray

Ordinary art supplies easily turn disposable cups into candy holders that work double duty as a cheery tabletop trio display. To do: Hot-glue a thick pipe cleaner to the inside of a paper cup, then stake into another candy-filled paper cup. Glue on paper “face” details (like the Jack, skeleton and cat shown) and an optional pair of pipe cleaner “arms.” Group cups on a tray and display at center of dinner table or an entryway table.

10. Friendly feline tabletop display

Halloween Centerpiece Ideas: Two pumpkins painted and decorated with paper eyes, whiskers and ears to look like two cats

Pumpkins go from plain to tongue-in-cheek chic when they’re “dressed” in black-cat costumes — all it takes is a little paint, paper and raffia. To do: Coat a pumpkin with black spray paint; let dry. Cut out “ear” shapes from black paper. Hot-glue a wooden skewer onto the back of each paper ear and insert it into the top of the pumpkin. Cut paper cat eyes, a curved triangle nose and raffia whiskers. Use more hot glue to position the paper cutouts, as shown.

11. Sweet and simple wrapped floral bunch

Halloween Centerpiece Ideas: Supermarket bouquet popped into small vase and vase is wrapped with polka dot napkin "wrap"

A small, stylish floral arrangement adds a cheerful touch to your buffet table without overshadowing the food or making a kid-friendly party feel formal. For a perfect-size bouquet, arrange a handful of bright seasonal blooms in a range of fall hues within a water-filled drinking glass. Finish by wrapping the outside of the glass with a decorative paper napkin or a piece of patterned fabric, securing with clear tape.

12. Twinkling autumnal focal point

Floating candle display in glass cup placed onto a plate kissed with fall blooms

Halloween centerpiece ideas are just waiting to be found — in your cupboard! Here, around-the-house supplies like a drinking glass, a saucer, spices and more combine to make a gorgeous glowing focal point for your dinner table or buffet! To do: Fill a glass three-quarters of the way with water, and then add red and yellow food coloring until the water has a red-orange tint. Add a few drops of cinnamon extract or essential oil and pop a floating candle on top. The heat from the flame will activate the cinnamon aroma to keep your gathering sweetly scented all evening. For extra flair, place the candle on a saucer and add a handful of seasonal blooms and berries around the glass.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

For more stunning and simple DIY Halloween tips, check out:

DIY Halloween Nail Designs That Add Spooky, Festive Flair To Fingertips

4 Inexpensive Halloween Pet Costumes (That They Won’t Hate Wearing)

Halloween Movie Night Ideas: Party Pro Shares Festive Sips, Snacks and Flicks

19 Ideas for Halloween Cupcakes That Make the Sweet Treats Deliciously Spooky

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