15 Easy (and Mostly Edible) DIY Halloween Ideas

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From ghoulish decor to spooky-sweet treats, we've rounded up our favorite DIY Halloween ideas to help you celebrate with creative snacks and decorations.

Mash-up of frankenstein guacamole, monster felt jars and gumdrop toothpick sculptures

Halloween is almost here and, if you’re anything like me, you’re bubbling with excitement. However you’re celebrating this year, these easy DIY Halloween ideas—ranging from creepy crafts to spooky and sweet Halloween treats—will help add some festivity (and fright!) to your holiday.

1. Ghoulish Gummies

Monster GummiesTaste of Home

This jiggling Jell-O candy may be frightening to some, but one bite and you’ll realize it’s totally sweet. Here’s how to make it: Combine unflavored gelatin with limeade, following the package’s instructions. Pour the mix into an ice cube tray. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until the gelatin is soft. Place Halloween-shaped candy (think: gummy body parts, spiders or “vampire” teeth) into each mold. Return to the refrigerator and cool until firm.

Editor’s tip: For other spooky Jell-O Halloween recipes, try these wiggly pumpkins and champagne blood shots (for the adults).

2. Painted Pumpkins

Painted chevron pumpkinTaste of Home

Decorate your fresh-picked pumpkins without breaking out the carving set. Paint adds a dash of color and doesn’t cause as much of a mess! Use masking tape to create a pretty design (get inspired by these adorable Disney painted pumpkins), then spray-paint the pumpkin outside. Your finished piece will look just as great indoors as it does on your doorstep. There’s only one downside to painting pumpkins: You miss out on the deliciousness of roasted pumpkin seeds.

Editor’s tip: If you’re using tape as a stencil, remove it while the paint is still tacky to prevent the design from chipping.

3. Monster Spray

Monster SprayTaste of Home

Finally, a surefire way to confront those monsters hiding under the bed. Team up with your youngster to turn an empty spray bottle into “monster spray.” Decorate using bright stickers, googly eyes and craft paper (or try this monster repellent printable), then fill it up with water and get spraying. Kids will have fun warding off goblins and ghosts around the house. Heads up: Your kiddo may want to keep this by their nightstand long after the holiday is over!

4. Frankenguac

Frankenstein guacamole for HalloweenTaste of Home

Speaking of monsters, this Frankenguac recipe offers a fun take on Mary Shelley’s classic tale. This easy appetizer comes together in minutes—especially if you use already-made guacamole! Bring Frankenstein’s monster to life using small dollops of sour cream for eyes, black olives for the nose and bolts, and refried beans for the mouth, pupils and stitches. A few evil laughs are definitely encouraged.

Editor’s tip: This recipe really comes together when you add detail, but you don’t need a decorating kit to do so. Make those fine lines using a DIY piping bag: Scoop the refried beans into a plastic sandwich bag and use scissors to snip off a small section of the corner.

5. Candy Cauldrons

Candy cauldron decoration for HalloweenTaste of Home

Friends will be completely spellbound when they receive this tiny treat. You can find plastic mini cauldrons at most craft stores around Halloween time. Grab one for each person in your crew and decorate with ribbon. Write the recipient’s name on the front in your spookiest script. Fill it with candy or this sweet-and-salty Halloween snack mix.

Editor’s tip: These personalized cauldrons make excellent classroom (or office) treats, adorable goodie bags and creative placeholders.

6. Dazzling Pumpkin

Glittery pumpkins for Halloween.Country Woman

Who said ghoulish can’t be glamorous? Make your pumpkin extra pretty this year using glitter and glue. Spread a thin coat of tacky glue over your pumpkin, then sprinkle glitter over top. (Be sure to have a plate underneath to collect the leftover glitter.) Soon you’ll have a pumpkin that’s almost as shiny as the robot costume you wore last year.

Editor’s tip: Want Halloween decor that’ll last a lifetime? Use this idea to decorate an artificial pumpkin.

7. Caramel Apples

Caramel applesTaste of Home

Nothing says “fall” quite like a caramel apple. Whether you buy pre-made caramel apples or follow our easy caramel apple recipe, wrangle some friends to help decorate with melted chocolate, sprinkles and crushed candy. Make it a competition by seeing who can come up with the best design. (Although everyone ends up winning with a sweet treat!) If this project doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, we have more caramel apple-inspired desserts waiting for you.

8. Monster Buckets

Three metal jars covered felt and multiple colored dots, stripes, fangs and cutesy facesTaste of Home

Take your tablescape up a notch with this fun, funky decor. Wrap old soup cans in colorful felt and secure with hot glue. Cut vertical slits or a zig-zag pattern across the top and decorate with googly eyes, pom-poms or whatever else is hiding in your craft box. Fill these not-so-scary cans with treats like these scary eyeballs and creepy candied corn.

9. Spooky Stuffed Peppers

Three stuffed peppers in a row, each a different color and carved with jack-o-lantern facesTaste of Home

Carving isn’t just for pumpkins anymore. Use a small paring knife to carve a jack-o’-lantern face into a hollow bell pepper. Then follow our vegetarian stuffed pepper recipe to fill with a savory mix of rice, beans, tomatoes and cheese. It’s an easy way to add a spooky twist to family dinner.

10. Mad Scientist Station

Purple 'brain' on a green plate surrounded by beakers and jars of labelled candy and juiceTaste of Home
Got a children’s party to host? They’ll go crazy over a mad scientist theme. Serve punch from beakers and fill test tubes with sprinkles, rock candy or nonpareils. Make room at the table for kids to create their own supersized molecules using gumdrops and toothpicks. For the grand finale, whip up a brainy cake and decorate with swirled frosting.

11. Ghastly Garnish

Three sangrias with fruit shaped like bats and pumpkins skewered and stuck insideTaste of Home

Whether you’re reaching for a mocktail or a boozy libation (like one of these Halloween cocktails), these fruity swizzle sticks add an extra layer of festivity. To get the look, quarter an apple and press a small Halloween-themed cookie cutter through the fruit pieces. Skewer, adding orange slices and cranberries. Alternatively, you can skip the drink and gather the fruit kabobs in a vase to make an edible bouquet.

12. Martian Marshmallows

Marshmallows attached to lollipop sticks decorated as martians arranged on a plate.Taste of Home

Whip up a batch of these adorable martian marshmallows for your spooky soiree. (And don’t worry about making a mess—the mix of candy coating and shortening in this recipe helps decorations like colored sugar, nonpareils and licorice slices stick to the marshmallows.)

13. Power-Tool Jack-o’-lantern

Five illuminated jack-o-laterns that are carved with mini holes that form different patterns and designsTaste of Home

With proper supervision, power tools can be a fun way to carve pumpkins. Use an electric screwdriver to create your jack-o’-lantern this year. First, design a dotted pattern on your pumpkin using pushpins. Then drill holes using an electric screwdriver (or try these other power tools for carving pumpkins). Keep the holes 1 or 2 inches apart from each other so that the pumpkin doesn’t collapse.

Editor’s tip: To get a clean hole, position the drill bit perpendicular to the pumpkin. This will also help let more light shine through.

14. Mini Maple Pumpkin Pies

Mini pumpkin maple pies in the shape of jack-o-laterns arranged on a plateTaste of Home

Even if you’re not attending any Halloween bashes this year, cooking handheld recipes is a fun way to make simple meals feel like party food. Try these mini maple pumpkin pies for a compact spin on the classic fall dessert. Use a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter to form the pies and a paring knife to carve the faces.

15. Spooky Luminaries

Mason jars covered in halloween-themed tissue paper like ghosts, jack-o-lantern and monsters lit up by candlesTaste of Home

Got a few mason jars handy? Turn them into haunting luminaries with orange and black tissue paper. Spread a thin layer of decoupage glue around the glass, then layer on the paper. Once dry, stick a candle (electric is a safe option) inside. Arrange the lanterns on your doorstep or use them to decorate your dinner table. If you’re feeling fancy, apply designs like spiderwebs, cats, witches and ghosts.

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Teddy Nykiel, Taste of Home Associate Digital Editor, contributed to this article.

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Nicole Doster
Nicole is a writer, editor and lover of Italian food. In her spare time, you’ll find her thumbing through vintage cookbooks or testing out recipes in her tiny kitchen.