Last Minute Halloween Decorations

easy halloween decorations for last minute parties

My daughter decided about a week ago to host a Halloween party at her house this weekend. I went out shopping with her for last-minute Halloween decorations. Which of course sparked a ton of ideas in my mind!

We went to several stores without much luck but we found almost everything she needed at the Christmas Tree Shop. Because it’s so close to Halloween and all the Christmas decor is already out all the Halloween decor was 40% off.

Candles are always festive and inexpensive for any holiday or occasion. I happen to really like the tapers from the Christmas Tree Shops and they often have an assortment of colors for each season.

The candles gave me an idea for a great last-minute Halloween decoration she could use. My daughter also didn’t want to spend a ton of money on the decor so this idea is also very budget-friendly.

What You’ll Need FOr This Last-Minute Halloween Decoration

  • 7 Taper candles in dark colors
  • Paint to match the candles
  • Assorted glass bottles or jars

I picked out two sets of tapers in darker colors – dark blue and grey. We also picked up two or three small glass jars. They had beachy shells tied around the necks and were very cheap. I planned to remove the shells and reuse these jars in combination with whatever glass bottles I could find around the house.

Once home, I gathered a few more glass jars from my fridge. I used a soy sauce jar, two beer bottles, and a sparkling water bottle. Anything with a narrow neck that the bottom of the candle will fit in. If it’s slightly too big or small, that’s ok because we can fix that.

Removing stickers from glass bottles

Here’s a quick tip for easily removing labels or stickers from glass bottles. All the food bottles I chose had labels wrapped around them.

To quickly and easily remove those labels, I put the bottles in the dishwasher with the heated dry setting. When the cycle is done but still hot, remove the bottles and the labels will come right off!

Painting the glass bottles


Next, you’ll want to paint the bottles to match the colors of the candles you’re using. I was using dark blue and gray. Because I’m always DIY’ing something I have a ton of paints on hand. If you don’t, you can easily buy inexpensive bottles of acrylic paints which come in a ton of different colors.

I painted the bottles, four blue and three grays. I like decorations in odd numbers because they usually display better than even sets.

It took me a few tries to get the gray paint close enough to match the candles. After painting the jars gray I realized the color of the candles was more gray/brown so I had to mix paint colors to match those.

It was extra work but I don’t think the finished look would be as good if the paint and candles don’t match at least closely. I lucked out with a blue paint (hale navy, Benjamin Moore) that was an exact match for the blue candles.

You don’t have to be super neat with the paint. If you end up with a few drip marks it will only add to the final effect we are going for.

Getting Candles to sit flush in glass bottle holders

easy halloween decorations to make

Once the bottles are dry, it’s time to add your candles. Obviously, the bottles aren’t designed for candles so chances are they aren’t all going to fit perfectly.

For bottles that are slightly bigger than your candles, simply wrap the bottoms with aluminum foil to get them snug.

how to make candles sit straight in holders

If the bottle is slightly smaller than your candle, hold a lighter to the bottom of the candle to soften it. Place it into the bottle while it’s warm and it will mold to the bottle.

One of my jars had such a small neck that I flipped the candle upside down because the tapered side fit perfectly. Then I just cut down the top part to expose the wick. For this project, that worked and only added to the overall effect.

Be sure the candles are in there snug so there’s no risk of them tipping over or falling out.

The Final Touch

last minute halloween decorations

Now burn the candles about halfway down to let the candle wax drip down the bottles. This will give you that spooky effect!

Isn’t that cool?

The candles weren’t dripping as much as I wanted at first. To hurry that along and get the very drippy look, I held a grill lighter around the top to help the sides melt down for dripping.

These last-minute Halloween decorations were cheap, easy, and quick to put together! They will make a pretty display or centerpiece for my daughter.

More Ideas FOr Last-Minute Halloween Decorations

DIY Last minute Halloween decorations

Here are some more last-minute Halloween decoration ideas.

  • String lights
  • Spray paint artificial flowers black
  • Search online for free Halloween printables
  • Cover books with fall or Halloween-themed paper
  • Drape a table with black lace
  • Use removable wall stickers
  • Hang a grouping of witch hats from the ceiling
  • Cover balloons in white fabric for ghosts
  • Gather branches, spray paint them black, and put them in a vase. Attach bat cutouts to the branches. (these bat branches are super cute)
  • Place plastic spiders in ice cube trays or in a clear hand soap dispenser
  • Make a wreath out of black lace

Hope you found some last-minute ideas you can use! Happy Halloween!

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