10 things to take your Halloween decor to the next level
Spooky season has arrived.
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The spookiest holiday of all is just around the corner—and you’re going to need more than a few pumpkins scattered around your porch to properly decorate.
Halloween is on Thursday, Oct. 31, which means you’ve only got a few weeks to add an eerie flair to your home before hoards of trick-or-treaters arrive. From smart plugs to spider webs, we’ve rounded up 10 essentials you’ll need to decorate for this Halloween. Here’s what you should buy.
1. A smart plug so you can control Halloween display remotely
Got an elaborate display of orange string lights, or maybe some of those inflatable Halloween decorations (like these adorable stacked pumpkins) for your front yard? Chances are you probably don't want to leave your comfortable bed and go outside to shut off your Halloween display late at night.
With the help of a smart plug, you can turn your decorations on and off right from your phone, and most importantly, without ever leaving the comfort of your cozy bed. To get the most bang for your buck, we recommend the eufy Smart Plug by Anker, which connects via WiFi and is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
2. Tools to make a porch-ready jack-o-lantern
One of the tried and true traditions of Halloween, pumpkin-carving is a fun family activity and a great way to show off your creativity—even if things don’t go as planned, it can at least result in a pie.
Of course, carving pumpkins does necessitate some hardware—and those options can vary greatly depending on who’s doing the carving.
Looking for a carving kit for kids but want to stay away from sharp implements? This Pumpkin Puncher product can let the younger set create a great-looking jack-o-lantern without sharp knives or acute fine motor skills. The kit comes with a bunch of cookie cutter-like metal shapes you can use to punch holes in your pumpkin to look like spooky eyes or goofy smiles.
Want a great and sturdy tool for the older crowd? This pumpkin carving tool has a 4.3 out of 5 rating with over 300 reviews on Amazon. Owners praise its durable construction and ease of use.
If you’re looking to experiment a bit and maybe try out pumpkin shaving, this popular kit comes with a plethora of tools. This kit is notable for including a few versatile tools useful in non-pumpkin mediums as well, so this kit will keep you covered if you want to keep exploring sculpting.
- Get the Pumpkin Punchers Carving Kit on Amazon for $19.99
- Get the Warren Cutlery Pro Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit on Amazon for $19.51
- Get the Newbea Professional Pumpkin Carving Kit on Amazon for $21.99
3. A smart speaker to play scary sounds and songs
It wouldn’t be Halloween without a perpetual loop of creepy noises, now would it? To add some extra flair to your Halloween extravaganza, check out our favorite Amazon Echo smart speaker, the Echo second-generation. When using the Amazon Alexa app, available for iOS and Android devices, you can enable the “Spooky Halloween Sounds” skill to hear an endless stream of eerie sounds. To turn on the noises, say, “Alexa, start Spooky Halloween Sounds.”
4. Fake spiderwebs create creepy ambiance
Cobwebs have always been great at setting a certain mood, like an area is ancient and forgotten. Many Halloween décor schemes find ways to integrate cobwebs, because they’re a versatile accent to whatever other decorations or fixtures you have.
Want to create a subtle ominous ambiance? Drape some cobwebs over furniture, between fixtures, or over shrubs outside. Want to dive into the arachnophobia? Apply the fake webbing liberally, then hang up some fake bones wrapped up in cheese cloth to create the cocooned remnants of a colossal spider’s snack. Want a similar effect but don’t have the time? They actually just sell large, web-wrapped bodies that move.
Regardless of how subtle or over-the-top you’re looking to make your Halloween, fake cobwebs are the perfect sticky filament to tie everything together.
5. A smart doorbell so you can talk to trick-or-treaters
Some people like to sit in their driveway or on the front porch to pass out candy on Halloween night, but if you’re more of a sit-indoors-and-wait kind of person, then you can have some fun with your smart doorbell. Our favorite smart doorbell, the Ring Video Doorbell 2, lets you view and talk to visitors at your front door. While you're on the way with a stash of candy, you can use the Ring doorbell to tell a Halloween joke or let trick-or-treaters know you’re coming.
6. Skeletons to satisfy every theme
Skeleton decorations are another Halloween staple because they can run the spectrum from silly to spooky—no matter what kind of holiday vibe you’re trying to establish, there’s a skeleton for you.
When you’re looking for a skeleton, you’ll probably want one that’s poseable, because it allows the decoration to be incredibly expressive. Going spooky? Make it loom out at passers-by with arms threateningly raised. Going silly? Maybe try a big ol’ wave, dancing pose, or just accessorize it with a fake mustache.
There are also tons of different types. Just looking for an entry-level skeleton? They are heavy paper skeletons for wall-mounted whimsy. If you want a more substantial skeleton, invest in a large, poseable pal that you can dress up to fit any Halloween theme for years to come.
Want a skeleton more specifically tailored to fit your theme, like a macabre undercurrent to a pirate-themed party? Add a mermaid skeleton to your swashbuckling soiree. And if the Game of Thrones finale inspired a dark fantasy decor, there’s a dragon skeleton that’s perfect for you.
If you’re not ready to invest in an entire skeletal structure, check out these bags of bones available for more à la carte decorating.
7. Color-changing light bulbs that you can control from your couch
Individual colored light bulbs are cool and all, but have you ever used our favorite smart light bulbs that can display more than 16 million colors and shades of white, including black and orange? The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit (third-generation) is our top pick for smart bulbs—and we think it's the best color changing bulb you can buy, too. The bulbs integrate with smart assistants like Alexa, Google, and Siri, and can easily be controlled from your smartphone.
8. Ghosts to add a spooky touch
Ghosts are a great Halloween decorating tool because at minimum they require one piece of cleverly-hung fabric, but there’s also an incredibly high ceiling for those who want to get creative.
If you’re looking for a higher-tech display that also requires very little upkeep, use a top-rated projector like the Anker Nebula Mars II and a rear-projection screen to display some spooky ghost footage through one of your windows.
- Get the Anker Nebula Mars II on Amazon for $499.99
- Get the AtmosFX Ghostly Apparitions DVD on Amazon for $19.99
9. A set of outdoor string lights that change colors
String lights are another great way to decorate for Halloween. These smart string lights from Govee connect via WiFi or Bluetooth and can be controlled from your phone, Echo, or Google Home. One 24-foot strand comes with six color-changing bulbs and each bulb can be customized to a certain color and brightness. You can even connect up to four strands to create a seriously spooky light show.
10. Inflatable yard decorations create a quick and easy Halloween
Inflatable yard decorations have become a staple of every holiday season, with offerings available for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and more. They’re a great way to create a large holiday display without much setup.
While there’s a ton of options available out there, some of the most highly-rated are a spooky light-up ghost, a grim reaper driving a pumpkin carriage, a row of jolly jack-o-lanterns, and a pumpkin wizard.