Last Minute Halloween Ideas

An all white Halloween table.

Holidays can sometimes creep up on you, especially Halloween. If you waited and put off all your Halloween tasks, you might be scrambling at the last minute for decorations, costumes, and party ideas. Don’t worry. There are lots of quick DIY ideas that can save you.


If you put off your Halloween decorating until the last minute, never fear. You probably have some stuff on hand that can quickly become fun and spooky with just a little effort.

Mini Pumpkin Patch

Need a fun indoor decoration? Crush a bunch of Oreos into crumbs and dump them in a long, shallow serving container. Next, place candy pumpkins into the crushed cookies. Suddenly you've got a little pumpkin patch that looks amazing on a buffet or dining table.

Super Creepy Yard Ornaments

You don't need a lot of outdoor decorations to create a scary atmosphere — all you need are some sticks. Grab some twine or thread and collect some fallen sticks from the yard. Take two longer sticks, about 6 or 7 inches, and form them into an X shape. Tie them together with twine around the middle of the X. Take a third stick that's a little shorter, 4 to 5 inches, and attach it so that it comes up vertically from the junction of the X. Next take a long stick, about 8 inches, and place it horizontally across the top of the X. Make a few of these figures and hang them from the branches of the trees to create a super-spooky scene straight from The Blair Witch Project.

Gothic Candles

Grab some empty wine bottles and long, tapered candles. Use a lighter to melt the candles so that wax drips down the side, and use the bottles like candle holders to support them. Just like that, you've got gothic-inspired candles that set the stage for Halloween frights.

Create a Crime Scene

Have blue painter's tape? You've got a great decoration waiting to happen. Use the tape to create the outline of a body laying on your driveway, front porch, or sidewalk, and in minutes you've got a crime scene.


People in Halloween costumes.

Need a costume at the last minute? Don't panic. There are lots of ways you can create a quick, fun costume with stuff you've already got.

YouTube Makeup Tutorial

Be a YouTube makeup tutorial video, and put makeup on one-half of your face. You see this a lot in makeup tutorials, a side-by-side before and after on the same face.


Put on your brightest clothes and a Hawaiian shirt if you've got one. Carry a big shopping bag and keep your phone ready to take pictures so you can be a tourist at your Halloween event.

Bulletin Board

Cover a plain brown or tan shirt with sticky notes and scrap paper, and now you're a bulletin board.

Collect Hearts

Women can put on any evening dress and men can get fancied up in a suit and tie. Carry a bunch of red roses, and you're the Bachelor or the Bachelorette.

Party Ideas

A cut open pumpkin.

Have people coming over and haven't prepared? No worries. In a few minutes, you can create some nice-looking and fun Halloween party elements that won't take a whole lot of effort.

Pumpkin Cooler

Lop off the top of a pumpkin, dump the guts and fill it up with ice. This makes for a handy, festive beer cooler.

Get Out the Sheets

Grab some white sheets and toss them right over your furniture. Your home will instantly become a creepy place that looks as spooky as any neglected attic, perfect for any Halloween party.

Pumpkin Pinata

Pop some small pieces of candy inside a deflated orange balloon. Use a black marker to draw a face on the balloon, and then blow it up. Just like that, you've got a party pinata. For Halloween, of course, the pinata must be hit with a broom.

Last Minute Halloween

If you put off all your Halloween tasks, it's not a problem. With the stuff you've already got lying around, you can DIY your way to a great costume, decor, and party. No one will ever know you left it all to the last minute.