halloween retro

If you need creative yet unique Halloween décor ideas, taking on a vintage theme will help you celebrate in a memorable, retro way. Let’s Celebrate A Vintage Halloween: 20 Best Retro Décor Ideas.

These best Halloween decorating ideas will show you how to spruce up every part of your home – indoors and outdoors. A vintage retro theme screams spooky season, and it’s easy to do!

Vintage halloween

It’s time for a change on the Halloween decorating scene, and these items will have your house looking spookier than the rest! Whether you want cheap, DIY, indoor, or outdoor décor ideas, this list has them all!

1. Put Candles Everywhere

If you’re looking for living room Halloween decorations, this is the one for you – but it works for just about anywhere in your home. Nothing says old-style like candlelight! The most critical element to making a vintage Halloween theme is placing multiple candles around your house, from your fireplace mantle to your dining table and beyond.

This retro idea works best with vintage candle holders or lanterns. If you don’t have the time or money to thrift, spray-paint old bottles in a spooky color like black or red and place a candlestick in them.

2. Lay Down Old Carpets

Those old, matted carpets finally have a great use! If ancient gothic castles weren’t well kept, their carpets would have worn away into scrappy-looking things and nailed the Halloween theme. Luckily, you can bring this gothic style to your house and get that spooky vibe.

Collect old carpets, preferably with elaborate designs, and place them in your hallways, walkways, and stairs. If you pair this décor idea with others on this list, you’re bound to have a well-rounded antique theme!

If you’re crafty, you could make spooky rugs with old t-shirts like I did here.

3. Create Potion Jars

What’s an excellent spooky october without some DIY Halloween crafts? You’ll need to find small and medium-sized glass bottles and jars to get going. You should then scuff them with sandpaper and water down some brown acrylic paint to lather the bottles.

The next step is to design some labels to print and paste onto the bottles and jars. You can then fill some with water with food coloring and glitter! And add skeletons or bones.

Some label ideas include:

  • Unicorn blood
  • Dragon tears
  • Moondust
  • Mermaid scales
  • Love potion
  • Spells

4. Display Fake Fruit Or Creepy Snacks

Food is a big part of vintage royal history and halloween party. If you want to implement an antique retro theme, displaying food hints at a lavish historical status. You can place some old fake fruit like grapes, apples, and oranges in a vintage bowl, tray, or cake stand. You can make it creepier by painting it to look old and stale. Feel free to add roses, cobwebs, yellow eyes, or Halloween-themed critters like spiders or bats!

If you’re hosting a Halloween dinner party, you can make it real fruit or spooky treats instead.

5. Create An Oddity Wall

If you’ve ever watched The Conjuring and other horror movies, you’ll notice that one terrifying element is a wall of crosses! Crosses hint at a gothic vintage style. If crosses are not an option because of your religion, you can replace them with old rusty keys, candelabras, skulls, daggers, and other eerie trinkets.

It’s easy to thrift these items from vintage shops, at a flea market or buy from dollar stores. Of course that Amazon has them online too.

You’ll want to choose items in different styles to complete the look, and you can spray-paint some to keep a color scheme.

6. Thrift Spooky Portraits

Vintage portraits have stood the test of time, and you can find pictures of someone’s great-grandma or grandpa at just about any vintage shop. You could even use one of your own great-grandma! To get the retro Halloween look, place portraits on an entire wall or prop them around the house, like the fireplace mantle, coffee table, and shelf.

Anything from early 20th century is good enough but if you can find things from early 1900s then you’re a winner.

7. Create A Sheet Ghost

Nothing says antique like old white drapes! You’ll need a Styrofoam ball, some wire, fairy lights, a sheet, and black paper to create this perfect Halloween decoration. 

To make this DIY craft:

  1. Create a cone-shaped stand out of wire and stick the ball on top.
  2. If you’d like to light it up, wrap fairy lights around the wire.
  3. Put the sheet over the ball and cut out two eyes to stick onto the sheet.

You can place your ghost indoors or outdoors, as long as it is covered!

8. Display Things In Cloche Jars

Cloche jars are fabulous year-round décor items and especially useful for Halloween! If you have one, you can craft something spooky like paper bats or find dollar store items like a skull or plastic snakes. 

These display jars work for any table or shelf, adding a dramatic vintage element to your overall theme. Don’t forget a spooky tablecloth too.

Some other Halloween decorations you can put in a cloche jar include:

  • A black spray-painted rose (did someone say Beauty and The Beast?)
  • A crafted gravestone
  • Feathers
  • Twigs
  • Candles
  • Keys
  • Plastic spiders or other insects
  • A pumpkin

9. Spray-paint Some Branches

One of the simplest Halloween decorating ideas is spray-painted branches! You can put them anywhere indoors or outdoors as a decoration filler. You can spray-paint them black or red and stick them on your walls, making it look like your home has been standing for centuries to the point where nature has taken over. Feel free to stick paper bats, plastic insects, or fake cobwebs to ramp up the spooky theme!

10. Repurpose Vintage Items

A perfect retro Halloween décor idea is to take some of your vintage items or thrift some and turn them into spooky creations! First, you’ll need to spray-paint it black or red, or you can skip this step. You can leave it one color or paint something to give it more personality. You can let your imagination run wild with pumpkins, skulls, gravestones, blood splatters, spiders, witch hats, and beyond.

The best vintage items to revamp for Halloween décor include:

  • Jugs
  • Vases
  • Plates
  • Ceramics
  • Buckets
  • Pictures

11. Revamp Your Lampshades With Bats Or Witches

All the small details count for something, and even your lampshades are a décor opportunity! If you have the chance to replace all your lampshades with vintage ones, that would be the best for the theme, but this idea works for any that you have.

Since light casts a shadow, you can print a bat or a witch silhouette, cut it out, and stick it on the inside of the lampshade. This is truly the easiest Halloween décor idea, yet it makes all the difference!

12. Make Blood Dripped Candles

Since the main element of making a retro Halloween theme is candles, you can take it one step further to make it extra creepy! You’ll need to find red candle sticks for this to work. Light the red candle and drip the wax onto the sides of the white candles to make it look like blood. You can also hammer a few nails into some or stick plastic spiders onto them!

You can do this with all your candles, but keep a few out if you’d like to use them after the spooky season.

13. Put Up Cobwebs

Halloween decorations would only be complete with a few cobwebs! You can buy fake cobwebs online, or you can make your own. To make them, you can pull apart some cheesecloths. You can also spread cotton wool and spray it with hairspray to keep it together.

You can apply the cobwebs to almost all these ideas or spread them around your house in doorways, walls, and corners.

14. Create An Entrance Wreath

Christmas isn’t the only time to put a wreath on your door! This fun DIY Halloween craft can be done with friends or your kids, allowing you complete creative freedom. You can repurpose a Christmas wreath, remove the ribbons, and replace them with spooky elements like snakes, spiders, bats, etc.

Vintage décor is about making a grand entrance, and a creepy door wreath sets the welcoming tone for trick-or-treaters!

Place a Black Cat somewhere in your door step for extra charm.

15. Prop Your Pumpkin On A Vintage Chair

Pumpkin carving is a Halloween tradition, but this is the year to put your work on full display! Find yourself a vintage chair and prop your pumpkin on it for all to see. You can easily get a vintage chair at an antique shop, or you can make one by scuffing up one you already have with some sandpaper and paint.

Circle the chair around with a halloween garland, play some halloween music and start carving like an actress in memory lane.

16. DIY Skull Decorations

To make this decoration, you’ll need a candle holder, a dollar-store skull, glue, paint, some ribbon or material embellishments, and doll hats if you can find them. Paint your candlestick and glue the skull onto it. Wrap a trim around the base of the head where it meets the candle holder, then glue a hat onto it. You can use these decorations for many years to come!

17. Drape Old Curtains

One of the most significant elements of old-style design is draping. If you can get some red or baroque-like curtains, you should use them this Halloween! Hang them on your walls or side them in entryways to create a cozy vintage feel.

You can use any other leftover fabric or old clothes as well.

18. Make A Graveyard

We saved the best for last! The King of vintage Halloween decorations. For outdoor décor, you can make your own graveyard to show off how vintage your home is. This tutorial tells you everything you need to know on how to make tombstones. You’ll need to buy a sheet of Styrofoam, cut out your shapes, carve some funny tombstone lettering, then paint it.

Add creepy pumpkin decorations, skeleton decoration or creepy signs to take a stroll in your front yard.

19. Brand Your Punch

If you loved the potion bottle idea, you could extend it to your dinner party punch! You can make any drink your heart desires, as long as it’s red or matches your choice of potion. Then, decide what you’d like to brand your potion, such as arsenic, witch’s brew, or bat wing elixir. You can design your sign or find a printable on Pinterest and stick it onto your dispenser for a scary vintage style.

20. Bake A Graveyard Desert Cup

Graveyards are as retro as they come, and bringing the theme over to your dessert is a fabulous idea. You can make any pudding you’d like, such as peppermint crisp tart, tiramisu, or chocolate pudding. All you need to do is to top it with Oreo or brownie crumbs to make ‘dirt,’ and place a paper gravestone and some jellyworms. You can also make a gravestone cookie if you’d like or a Spooky pizza.


With these retro Halloween décor ideas, you will have the most unique theme on the block! You don’t need home decorators! The most essential element to pulling off this theme is candles, but you can use all these concepts to create the ultimate vintage spooky home. A few ornaments and costumes for the family will complete the ghoulish holiday succesfully.

Whether you partake in the ancient traditions of All Hallows’ Eve, the Celtic rituals of Samhain, or simply revel in the modern spectacle of Halloween, October 31st has held significance for countless generations. 

While the precise origins of Halloween remain shrouded in mystery and debate, one undeniable fact is that this eerie and enchanting holiday has endured for centuries, weaving its magic through the sands of time. As we celebrate Halloween, we honor a tradition that bridges the past and the present, continuing to captivate hearts and minds with its enduring allure.

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