October Décor – A guide to decorating your college living space for Halloween

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If you’re anything like the majority of the Michigan population during October, your heart starts racing and your palms start sweating at the first sight of candy corn, crunchy leaves or even a sniff of a pumpkin-spice latte. Not to mention the fact that Halloween is quickly approaching, and while you may not have a clue as to what you’re going to dress up as, there’s no time to waste when it comes to decorations. Whether you’re living at home with your family, in close quarters with a roommate in the dorms or settling into your first apartment or house with some friends, ing Magazine’s got you covered on some fun and festive ways to get in the spooky spirit.

Glass Jar Lights

Perfect for any type of living situation, glass jar lights are an easy way to get in the Halloween spirit. All you’ll need are mason jars, scissors, something to draw your shapes, decoupage (equal parts water and white glue) and jar lights. Whatever design you want, whether its pumpkins, candy corn or ghosts, draw the shapes and then cut them out with the scissors. Using the decoupage, paste the shapes onto the inside of the jar. Once you’ve glued the shapes onto the glass, place the lights inside the jar. Repeat these steps depending on how many mason jars you want to fill, and set them around your living room, bedroom or kitchen for some sparkly, spooky jars.

For an alternative option, replace the glass mason jars with plastic water or milk jugs. After you finish off the last of the milk or water, clean out the inside of the carton and let it dry. Next, with a black sharpie, draw whatever Halloween related shapes and characters you’d like. Finally, fill the jugs generously with holiday lights. Line the cartons close to each other so the lights can be extended into each one easily. Place the cartons outside on your patio, inside on a table or close to a window so that they’re visible from outside.

Permanent Marker Balloon Pumpkins

Who doesn’t love balloons? Grab some permanent markers, orange, white and black balloons, a helium tank (if you want them to float) and ribbon. First, blow up the balloons using the helium tank or fill them with air. If you decide not to use helium, you can create the illusion they are floating by tying the ribbon on anyway, and taping the back of the balloons to the wall. Next, draw on pumpkin faces using a black permanent marker. Be careful while doing this, as the markers smear when wet. Lastly, tie the ribbons onto the stems of the balloons and voilà! Your balloons are done. Spread them around your living space or tie them together for a fun, spooky Halloween decoration.

Window Silhouettes

These are great for Halloween, especially if there are kids (or college students in denial) trick-or-treating in your neighborhood. Using black construction paper and scissors, cut out shapes of ghosts, jack-o’-lanterns or candy corn and tape them to the inside of your windows. Leaving your lights on will show the paper against the windows, giving any trick-or-treaters a spooky sight.

Lollipop Ghosts

For a tasty decoration, lollipop ghosts are your go-to, simple option. If you’re throwing a party or just want to keep some candy around, grab some tissues, rubber bands, markers and lollipops for this Halloween decoration idea. Using the tissues, wrap the lollipop so that they’re covering the edible part, leaving the stick end exposed. At the base of the lollipop, wrap a rubber band around until it’s secure around the stick. Lastly, draw on some ghost faces using various colors for each one, and you’re done! So simple.

Bottom line — Halloween is a time to go all out with decorations. So, no matter your living situation, use your creative side to get crafty! After all, it only comes around once a year. Happy crafting!


Taylor Downs is a senior professional writing major from Kalamazoo, Mich. You will almost always find her with coffee in one hand or hyperventilating at Sephora. She loves going out to eat, indulging in TV reruns and spending time with her family and friends.