It’s that time of year when thoughts of October the 31st start creeping in. Go ahead and start planning your annual celebration. A big part of this includes preparing your Halloween decorations at home and trick or treat.
Keep in mind that things might be different this year, depending on where you live. Kids may not get to do the rounds as a safety precaution. Don’t let that stop you from bringing the experience to your crew in the comfort of home. Even if they can still go from house-to-house, imagine how memorable Halloween will be when they come home to a Trick or Treat tree!
Here’s an idea. Why not transform last year’s holiday centerpiece into your October 31st showstopper? Your kids can literally pick goodies off the branches to carry out their favorite tradition with a twist. Don’t forget to complete the scene with other Halloween decorations at home.
Crochet and crafts maven Twinkie Chan made edible ornaments to hang on her Tuxedo Black Christmas tree. Read on for her video tutorial, plus more decorating tips and inspiration from our very creative friends.
1. Pick out a color for your Trick or Treat tree.
Some of the best Halloween house decorations feature black and orange, the holiday’s traditional color duo. Consider picking a tree in either of these hues to trick out with your yummy creations. Aside from a wide range of colors and heights, Treetopia Christmas trees come in slim, full, and pencil shapes to suit the size of your space. Oh, and did we mention light bulbs and strings, and tree stands that match the foliage?
But, black and orange aren’t your only options. A modern Halloween color palette also includes, white, electric purple, and even silver. A luminous shade of lime green works for accents and tree decorations. It’s the color of slime, glowing ghosts and goblins, and witch potions.
Choose trees in either of these colors. By the way, if you like your Halloween themes gory, then a red one is your best bet. Michael Myers agrees!
2. Pick a theme for your Halloween decorations at home.
When it comes to choosing a theme for your Halloween decorations at home, pick one that strikes the right creepy chord with everyone. Here are some ideas from our creative friends to get you started.
Read these posts for helpful tips and ideas for Halloween decorating themes:
3. Make edible Halloween decorations at home.
Craft ornaments to match your theme of choice. The catch here is they need to be edible because what’s a Trick or Treat tree without actual loot? Your ornaments can be made from homemade goodies or store-bought ones. Check out what Twinkie Chan did for her Trick or Treat tree in the video below.
Did that work up a monster appetite or what? To recreate these edible Halloween decorations at home, here’s what you need:
Monster Sugar Cookies
Ingredients and Materials
• 2 ¾ cups flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• ¾ cup white sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 4 cups powdered sugar
• 3 tbsp Wilton meringue powder
• 4 tbsp water
• Parchment paper
• 4-inch circular cookie cutter
• 1 straw
• Wilton frosting tip #233 for the monster hair
• Wilton pastry bags, at least one for each icing color
• Food coloring in neon colors (Twinkie used ChefMaster Liqua-Gel Food Color 6 Neon Color Set)
• An assortment of candy eyeballs from Wilton in different colors and sizes
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make Monster Sugar Cookie Halloween Decorations at home:
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Mix butter and sugar until fluffy, using an electric mixer set to low-medium speed.
- Add egg and mix in.
- Add vanilla extract and mix in.
- Slowly add flour mixture to butter and sugar at low speed. Do not over mix. Mix until flour is just incorporated.
- Form dough into a mound and cut into fourths.
- Make a small disc out of each fourth.
- Place each disc between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out to ¼ inch thickness, keeping in mind where you will place your cookie cutters.
- Chill the dough for 15 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- When dough is chilled, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and use the circular cookie cutter to cut out the dough. Don’t forget to cut out a small hole with the straw for your ornament hanger. The hole should be at least ½ inch from the edge of the cookie.
- Place the cut-out dough onto parchment-covered cookie sheets.
- The average sugar cookie bake time is 10 to 12 minutes, but since 4-inch cookies are fairly large, you may need 18 to 20 minutes. Turn the cookie sheet around in the oven half-way through the bake time. Bake until cookies start turning golden brown on the edges.
- Cool cookies on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make royal icing, mix powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water in an electric mixer at low speed for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth. Have extra water and powdered sugar on-hand in case you need to adjust the consistency. Aim for stiff peaks. The icing should hold its shape for at least 15 seconds.
- Divide icing into as many bowls as you want icing colors.
- Mix food coloring into the icing a few drops at a time.
- Choose one color to start. Make sure to put plastic wrap over the other bowls to keep the icing from drying out.
- Drop the icing tip into the pastry bag. Trim the bag so that the top of the icing tip just peeks out.
- With a spatula, load icing into pastry bag. Twist the top of the bag and squeeze the icing down toward the tip.
- Start adding hair to your monster cookies with icing. Press the icing tip just slightly above a cookie and start squeezing. Keep squeezing while you lift the icing tip off the cookie. When the hair is the length you want, stop squeezing but keep lifting. You can play around with the length of the icing hair.
- After covering the entire cookie except for the small hole, press on candy eyeballs.
- Ice all your cookies and let them fully dry for 2 hours. You can speed up this time by placing them in front of a fan, with no heat.
- When icing is dry and has a matte appearance (no longer glossy), cut off 6 to 8-inch pieces of yarn, string, or ribbon. Insert them through the hanger holes on your cookies. Tie a knot to secure. Handle your cookies carefully since the thin spikes of dried icing can be delicate.
- Now your monster cookies are ready to hang on your tree!
Spooky Marshmallow Eyeballs
Ingredients and Materials
• 1 bag of jumbo marshmallows (Twinkie used Campfire Extra Large 2-inch Marshmallows)
• 2 packs of large candy eyeballs from Wilton
• 1 bag of red candy melts (Twinkie used Make ‘n Mold Candy Wafers)
• 1 small Ziploc bag
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make Spooky Marshmallow Eyeball decorations at home:
- Take a handful of candy melts and put them into a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time and stir afterward each time. They should be smooth after a minute or so.
- With a spoon or small spatula, place melted candy into a small Ziploc bag. Press all the goo into one corner and twist the bag.
- Snip the corner of the bag with scissors. You want a very small opening.
- Squeeze a small mound of candy onto the top and center of a marshmallow. Use a toothpick to draw veins with the candy.
- Stick a candy eyeball right on top. If you need more candy to make it stick, squirt on a little more.
- Repeat with the rest of your marshmallows, re-heating more candy melts when needed.
- You can also attach two eyeballs together with an extra dollop of candy melt. I find it’s less messy to wait for your individual eyeballs to cool and harden before connecting them.
With a little effort and your wild imagination, transform basic bakes and sweets into Halloween-worthy decorations.
Hi, everyone. I'm Twinkie Chan, and I'm excited to partner up with Treetopia to bring you some fun and easy Halloween house decorating ideas. I'm feeling a monster theme right now because they can either be really scary or really cute. I think mine are going to end up pretty cute, but you can let me know what you think.
I'll show you how to make two different edible kinds of decorations for your tree that are also super easy to create. To make your monster cookies you probably have a lot of these ingredients in your house already: 2¾ cup of flour, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of unsalted butter, ¾ cup of white sugar. 1 large egg, 1½ teaspoons of vanilla extract, a cookie-cutter. I'm using one that's 4 inches in diameter, but you can use whatever you have. A straw or something that will cut out a tiny circle in your dough in order to string up our cookies and turn them into ornaments.
Grab an assortment of candy eyeballs. They can be yellow or green. I also have a selection of just white eyeballs in different sizes. Feel free to use whatever you have. For the icing to decorate our cookies, you need 4 cups of powdered sugar. This will ultimately make about 3 cups of icing, so be prepared you might need to make more. Three tablespoons of meringue powder and 4 tablespoons of water.
A couple of pastry bags. At least one for each color of cookie that you're going to decorate. This is a Wilton tip number 233. It has a bunch of little holes to create grassy and hairy textures. I have a selection of neon-colored food coloring in gel form. You can also use any color that you have around the house and doesn't have to be gel either. It can just be a regular food coloring.
Some yarn or string. This is some gold-colored thin ribbon in order to hang the cookies. Lastly, you'll need some parchment paper. This is not only important for baking but we're also going to use it to roll out the dough. For your spooky eyeballs, you'll need a bunch of marshmallows.
You can use the jumbos from the store. These are extra super jumbo roaster camping style marshmallows but you don't have to go this big if you don't feel like it. Some red candy melts. Mine melted as they shipped to me and came out in these weird clumps. Don't worry about it if yours look that way too. We're going to melt this all down anyway.
More candy eyes. These are the large-sized candy eyeballs from Wilton. A couple of toothpicks and there's a black bag. In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, your baking powder, and your salt. With an electric mixer, beat together your butter and your sugar. It's really easier if you wait until your butter is at room temperature.
Then, add in your egg. Then, mix in your vanilla extract. With your mixer at a low speed, slowly mix your dry ingredients into your wet until they're just incorporated. You don't want to overmix this. Grab a sheet of parchment paper to cover your surface and divide your dough into four discs. Take one disc, sandwich it between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it out to a ¼-inch thickness. Do the same with your other three discs.
Chill all of your dough either in the freezer for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once your dough is cold and firm, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. When you take the dough out of the refrigerator be sure to work fairly quickly because it will come to room temperature and start getting really smushy. Peel back the first layer of parchment. Put a little flour on your cookie cutter. With your straw you want to poke your hole for the hanger, so you can hang them on your tree.
Transfer these cookies to your cookie sheet. Save all of your scraps. Roll them out again and chill them again and you can cut more cookies from them. Take your cookies to the oven and bake them until they're golden brown around the edges. That will be about 12 minutes, but you want to take a peek at about 5 minutes. See how they're doing, turn the tray around and judge how much longer you think that they need to bake.
Since my cookies are pretty big, they took about 18 to 20 minutes to finish baking. When they look golden brown on the edges, leave it to cool off in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then you can transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. To make your royal icing, put your 4 cups of powdered sugar into your mixing bowl. Add meringue powder and 4 tablespoons of water. Set your electric mixer to low. You want to limit as much as possible the amount of air that's going in your icing.
I have some extra water and powdered sugar here because sometimes getting the right consistency can be a little bit of a dance itself, so we want to make sure that this becomes smooth. We also want it stiff enough to be able to hold the shape of the hairy icing tip. This is the texture we're looking for. It still feels pretty smooth and I can move my spatula through it.
However, when I make a little peak, put a dab onto my—will get any surface and pull away. That little peak stays up for at least 15 to 20 seconds. If it falls back down, then you still need to add more powdered sugar. But, this is looking really good to me.
This amount of icing will cover about 14 to 16 cookies. You can divide that up into as many colors as you want. I'm dividing this up into two. Grab two bowls, one for each color, and your food coloring. With a spatula spoon in however much frosting you want for this first color. At this point, if you want to put on gloves, that could be a good idea. When you’re working with food coloring, it can get all over the place. My finger is already a little bit pink, but I'm not going to worry about that so much. I just wanted to say that in case you need your hands to look really clean for some reason.
I'm going to be using my neon blue. I would start with just a drop or two. It's always easier to add more rather than try to take away. Before putting this in a piping bag, I'm going to mix up my other color just because we don't want this icing to start drying out. If you're going to be a while mixing up a bunch of different colors, cover your first bowl in saran wrap.
Grab your pastry bag and your tip number 233 and drop the tip into the bag. All the way down there and we're just trying to determine where to cut the tip of the bag. You can a make a little mark with a pair of scissors like this. Back the tip out a little bit. This looks like about an inch for me. Push the tip back through. You can see here the plastic has cleared the tip so the frosting can come out, but the tip is still snug within the bag.
Take the open edge and peel it back to about sign. Start twisting the top of your bag so all this icing doesn't ooze back out top. See, this is ready to go. The technique here is really simple. You just push the tip against the top of the cookie, pull up, and let go when the hair is the length that you want it. It's little short bursts of squeezing, lift, and stop squeezing. Squeezing, lift, and stop squeezing. It creates this really fun hairy texture.
Be mindful of the hole that we left for the hanging loop. Squeezing the icing out of the bag will also get a little bit easier once your hands start warming up with icing. Don't forget to put on your monster eyeballs. When you've finished icing all of your cookies, they'll need about 2 hours to dry. To get your cookies ready for your tree, grab your ribbon or yarn or string. Cut maybe 6 to 8 inches and gently loop this through the hanging hole in your cookie. You can tie this off maybe an inch or 2 inches from the top of the cookie.
How adorable, I mean, super scary is this for a Halloween decoration at home? Let's make some spooky eyeballs. Grab your red candy melts. You might want to remove some of the honks and microwave a little bit at a time. Just do it for 30 seconds. Check it, stir it, and do another 30 seconds. You want to be careful not to scorch it but you do want to get it to a nice smooth consistency.
You want to spatula your candy melts into the bag. Squish all the candy towards one corner. Cut a really tiny corner of this black bag off. Grab one of your jumbo marshmallows and squeeze a disc of melting chocolate right on the top. Take one of your toothpicks. You can drag it out and draw little red veins like this. Grab one of your candy eyeballs and stick it right in the top and center like that.
You can easily customize both of these projects to suit your own unique aesthetic. Edible decorations are fun to make and delicious to eat but remember to take them off your tree at the end of the day. You don't want them to spoil or attract unwanted creepy crawlies. Check out Treetopia for even more ideas for the very best Halloween house decorations.
4. Add non-edible ornaments to your Trick or Treat tree.
Make your Trick or Treat tree your best Halloween house decoration yet with more ornaments. You can take the store-bought route or rope the kids in on the fun and get crafting. These DIY accents will complete your theme, and they don’t have to be edible, either. For ideas, check out these ornaments by Jennifer Perkins and John Lavelle of The Art Dream.
Want to create DIY Halloween decorations at home? Check out these posts for scare-worthy ideas:
The idea behind a Trick or Treat tree is to give kids the opportunity to carry out one of their all-time favorite traditions in a unique way. Ask them to pick their edible ornament treats from the tree soonest to avoid food spoilage or attracting real creepy crawlies. Hanging more ornaments leaves you with a Halloween centerpiece that still looks amazing for the rest of the party.
Treetopia tip: If you want to keep edible ornaments on your colorful Christmas tree for longer, consider creative and creepy packaging.
5. Decorate the rest of your Halloween haunt.
Why end with your Trick or Treat tree when you can go all out with more decorations? Throw in some freaky foliage for a Halloween theme with impact.
For instance, Twinkie Chan transformed her space into an Alien Autopsy Room. She draped a garland around her cabinet of unearthly specimens. You have to see her crocheted extraterrestrial for yourself.
On the other hand, Vickie Howell’s theme is all about knitting up some good vibes. She used a garland to decorate a nook as tribute to her love of oracles. Want more of her mystical motif? Check out her blog post.
Head on over to these posts for more decorating tips and tricks. They’ll teach you how to make over Christmas wreaths and garlands into fang-tastic Halloween décor.
We hope this post helps to make this year’s celebration even more unique. If it does, share it with those who are looking to create edible Halloween decorations at home. If you have more yummy ornament ideas, share away in the comments section below.