We’re rounding up Halloween lighting ideas for decorating standalone fixtures or objects, not pictures of lighting installed in people’s front yards for the occasion. Let’s face it: some of us just don’t have the money, wherewithal or ability to go all out with big light shows like that, even though they are totally awesome. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little Halloween fun with lighting!
You can do all of these things yourself and often with stuff you already have around the house. Some of them are even decorations meant to go on your chandeliers or other light fixtures. Many of these projects make use of LED tealights, which are very affordable and efficient. Keep them after Halloween to use in your holiday decor!
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention how string lights can help you create a spooky atmosphere this Halloween. They give off a warm white glow that is just perfect for this season. Try pairing string lights with jack o’lanterns to get the look just right.
These cute bat lights are really little origami balloons that you put on top of string lights! Get your folding hands ready and read the instructions over on Oh Happy Day!
Drape wispy cheesecloth over the arms of your chandelier to make it a ghostly chandelier. This was part of the Halloween decor at Kansas City’s Curious Sofa. Traditional style chandeliers would look especially spooky with the cheesecloth!
This creepy-cool candle cluster is made of various cardboard tubes: wrapping paper size, paper towel size and toilet paper size. Hot glue (let the adults do this part!), flat black spray paint and LED tealights complete the look. You could put this on your front step or make it a centerpiece at a Halloween party. More details here.
Do you have a pond or even a pool that will be visual to trick-or-treaters or part of a Halloween soiree? Put LED tealights inside plastic jack-o-lantern buckets and let ’em float. As you see here, a variety of colors creates a really cool look. You can also illuminate your pond or water feature all year long with a submersible pond light, like this one from Kichler.
Have the adults do this one: cut the back of a plastic jack-o-lantern bucket like the ones used above, then fit it around your outdoor wall light. It’s a really effective and fun way to let people know you’re doling out candy. (You may want to add some sort of temporary adhesive, like masking tape, in the back to ensure the bucket stays up the whole night.)
This chandelier has been adorned with skeletal detailing and a nest of spider webbing. The trick is to not lay it on too thick or else it will just look like a clumpy mess. Instead, slowly pull small strands out from all directions. It will reflect the light in a cool way!
If you don’t have outdoor pathway lighting (yet), here’s an idea that uses Christmas light strands. Line the way to your front door and then carve mini pumpkins to go over the bulbs. Since this is from Martha Stewart, there’s an incredibly detailed way she recommends to make the shapes: cookie cutters, hammers, a serrated knife and pliers are involved. It’s recommended that you use white pumpkins. But if you just want to freehand it with carving, there’s no judgment here.
I always liked making luminaries at Christmas, but now the idea works just as well two months earlier! There are actually a ton of Halloween luminary ideas that use various materials for various looks. But this one involves mason jars and googly eyes. How can you say no to mason jars and googly eyes?
More googly eyes! This craft uses the humble white paper cup, a strand of white Christmas lights, a hole puncher (or awl, if you have one) and googly eyes to create spooky but not too scary ghosts. Great for little kids.
This option is good for folks with older kids or a macabre sense of humor. A colorful variety pack of Sharpies, ping-pong balls and white Christmas lights are the materials here. The original crafter uses an x-acto knife to cut a small hole for inserting the light bulb, so an adult needs to do that part.
The original link this craft came from is gone now, but it seems like an easily-understood idea: take black construction paper, cut out Halloween-themed shapes, then tape closed into a lampshade shape and place over the lampshade-style shades on a chandelier. You could also try orange paper with a jack-o-lantern face!
A similar idea works for table lamps. Cut bats out of black paper and tape them to the inside of the shade. Turn on the light and it’s exciting! (New table lamps are pretty exciting, too!)
For bath lights, drape wispy fabric (the exact type used here isn’t specified, but it was part of what looks like a really cool dead-celebrity-themed Halloween party) over light fixtures to dramatize the glow. Keep the fabric away from bare light bulbs, though, especially if you use incandescent bulbs.
This one might be my favorite. Like the black candle cluster above, it makes use of cardboard rolls, so if you have a pile that you’ve been forgetting to recycle, here’s a use! Paint the rolls white and add wax drippy effect if you like. Fit in the LED tealight, then hang down from the ceiling with fishing wire and use tape to keep it all together. It’s also a great idea for Harry Potter fans since it’s meant to simulate the floating candles in the Great Hall of Hogwarts castle. In fact, the idea was originally used for a Harry Potter party that looked incredible.
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