Cheap DIY Trunk or Treat Decor Ideas

Decorating for Trunk or Treat and Halloween need not break your bank.  I define“cheap” as  1.) What I’ve Already Got, and 2.) What I’ll Re-use. So when it comes to cheap Trunk or Treat decor, I combine everyday items with fun splurges that I will use again after Halloween.

Most likely, you ransack your house when decorating for Halloween. You already own most of what you need to decorate for a cheap Trunk or Treat, too. Think bedsheets, safety pins, painter’s tape, flashlights, unused Hurricane Dorian prep items, TP, construction paper, hot glue–and a Rockstar Mom Attitude.

And, like me, if you get a little too excited about a trip to Hobby Lobby, you’ll seize the excuse to purchase reusable Halloween decorating supplies: battery packs, tea lights, ribbon, white lights, garland, etc.

To keep spending in check, I first consider what I’ve got before finalizing my Trunk or Treat decorating.

What You’ve Got: Toilet Paper

Go with a mummy theme. Create horizontal stripes of TP across your trunk. Attach two paper eyes to the TP with safety pins or hot glue. Paper plates work as well but reinforce the layers of TP.

What You’ve Got: Mason Jars

The jar trend likely stocked your garage with these babies. Mason jars make for some adorable mummy luminaries. Hot glue some googly eyes and pop a battery-operated tea light inside. You can make it fancy-pants by using gauze and Mod Podge—but use what you’ve got on hand. Remember—this decor is for one. Night. Only.

What You’ve Got: Bedsheets

In short, bedsheets make cheap trunk or treat backdrops. Use pins to attach the sheet to the ceiling of the car or the trunk door with painter’s tape.

  • If you have blue sheets, create a blue sky and attach paper clouds. Gather your kids’ Toy Story toys and hang Buzz with iridescent gift curling ribbon (or fishing line). With your kids’ help, you can create a base/floor to the trunk with miscellaneous toys, somewhat like a diorama. Bonus points for playing the movie’s soundtrack and rigging up white lights.
  • If you have black, navy or dark purple sheets, roll in the Great Pumpkin for a Peanuts theme. The sheet—with white lights or attached white paper stars—becomes the night sky for Linus. Most likely your family already has a pumpkin or two. Snoopy makes a great pumpkin portrait! Download a free pumpkin stencil.
  • If you have white sheets, embrace the cheap ghost-in-the-sky decor. (Give me simple supplies that create a snazzy focal point any day.) This plan for creating a glowing ghost doesn’t require much shopping. I favor iridescent ribbon over the fishing line (no fisherwomen at my house, thanks). It would spook the treaters if you dressed as a ghost–what could be more creepy? Bwaa-ha-ha-ha.

And of course, the delicious splurges

Once I’ve nailed the theme, I indulge my favorite splurge: the candy. If my theme is ghosts, I go online to order ghost-like treats. If it’s Snoopy, I order peanuts. The treats reinforce my theme and are consumable. Yummo.


Jackie is mom to Sydney (11), Landon (8) and Harper (4). They enjoy swimming and riding their bikes. Jackie earned her B.A. from Wheaton College. She’s originally from West Michigan and taught secondary language arts for seven years. She has lived across the United States and Canada, but she has lived in Tampa Bay since 2015. Jackie enjoys running the Belleair Bridge, writing and traveling. Follow her at IG #jackiesager1, FB Jackie Sager PrayWriteRun and personal blog