Trunk or Treat Decorating Ideas

A rusty old truck decorated with pumpkins
Buddy Mays / Getty Images

Trunk or treat events provide a fun, safe, and convenient atmosphere for Halloween trick-or-treating. The parties take place in a parking lot and are often sponsored by a church, school, or community organization. Due to the large distances between houses, trunk-or-treating is especially popular in rural areas. At the events, participants adorn vehicle trunks with decorations that thrill even the youngest ghosts and goblins. Join the festivities and dress up your car or truck with these trunk or treat ideas.

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    Halloween Fun

    Inflatable decorations, happy pumpkins, and friendly ghosts can make your trunk non-threatening for younger guests. A Halloween ghost and pumpkin tree is a unique decoration that will liven up your trunk—it can even be used to pass out candy. You may also want to add a complimentary Halloween window decoration to make your windows glow.

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    Noah's Ark

    Since churches usually hold trunk or treat events as part of their children's ministry outreach programs, any Bible-related theme is perfect for your trunk's decor. A Noah's Ark theme is kid-friendly and is very simple to design.
    Have an adult wear a long white beard to act as Noah and use stuffed animals to represent the animals on the ark. Use cardboard to create the ark structure around the back of your trunk or use plywood to make a larger ark to sit on the ground behind your vehicle.

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    Pirate's Treasure Chest

    Ahoy, matey! In this fun pirate theme, your trunk becomes a treasure chest full of chocolate coins and candy. Since pirates are a popular birthday party theme, it's very easy to find pirate-related items at your local party store. Make a weathered map, fly a pirate flag, and use an old wooden box as a treasure chest. Once you've created the set, enhance your scene with a plastic sword, hook, and lots of treasures. Don't forget to complete the look by wearing a pirate hat and a patch as you hand out candy.

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    Mad Scientist's Lab

    What would trunk or treat be without a mad scientist? Use poster board to make wacky gauges for your mobile lab. For an interactive experience, set up a table and let your trunk-or-treaters try kid-friendly science experiments or conduct your own demonstrations. Don't forget your wild hair, goggles, and tattered lab coat.

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    Fall Colors

    You can't go wrong with a fall colors theme. It's also a great choice if you plan on offering festival games from your trunk. Pumpkins, hay, scarecrows and any other fall-related decorations will work in any size trunk. Dress up in overalls as you pass out candy and be sure to top your look with a straw hat.

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    Spider Web

    Get tangled up in this spider web trunk or treat idea. To make the spider's body, take a black sheet and gather up the ends to form a circle. Stuff it with newspaper and fasten the ends with a rubber band so that you have a large black ball. Glue brightly-colored pipe cleaners or felt to form the eyes and mouth of your spider. Attach the spider body to the top of your car. Complete your spider with legs made from pool noodles spray-painted black or flexible black plastic tubing. Use rope or white string to make a spider web across your trunk and put candy inside for kids to grab. If you have a larger vehicle, you can sit inside the trunk (behind the web) and hand out candy.

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    Bake Shop

    Impress trunk-or-treaters by making your own sweet treats—or at least look like you've been baking away all day. Turn your trunk into a bakeshop with its own assembly line. Use pedestals to display giant muffins and cupcakes, which can be made from felt. Cover a small ladder with cardboard and attach banner paper over it to make your assembly line. Put on a baker's hat and your apron to pass out candy fresh from your assembly line.

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    Candy Utopia

    Transform your trunk into a candy utopia to guarantee you'll have lots of trunk-or-treaters visiting your vehicle. Cut shapes from poster board to represent candy and secure skinny white PVC pipes into large Styrofoam balls. Wrap the balls in cellophane wrapping paper and attach a thin piece of rope to create giant lollipops. Use pastel colors, balloons, and confetti to finish off your own wonderland full of candy.

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    Step right up—the carnival has come to town. You can usually find carnival-related supplies at party stores, including games, decoration, and quirky prizes. Dress up as a clown or an unusual carnival act to give kids the ultimate carnival experience.

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    Flower Garden

    Brighten up your trunk with a flower garden theme. By setting the scene with flowers, bumblebees, and a large sunshine, you'll have the prettiest trunk in the parking lot. Garden gnomes or other garden accessories make cheerful additions. Dress up as a gardener, bumblebee, or ladybug to hand out candy.

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    Safari Animals

    If you have children, you likely have more than enough supplies for this safari theme. Gather your children's stuffed animals, such as giraffes, tigers, and lions. Arrange your trunk as if it's a wild animal safari. If you have an SUV or large trunk, you can use a baby gate to keep the animals safe cozy in their cage.

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    The Menacing Mouth

    An easy yet effective idea is to use a poster board to turn your trunk into a menacing mouth. If you have a larger vehicle, like an SUV, you'll have plenty of room to add eyes if you want. A red blanket can spill out from the trunk to look like a long tongue. You can even put candy in the trunk on the red blanket so kids have to walk up the tongue to get their treats.

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    Surf Shop

    Fight those fall temperatures and open up a surf shop from your trunk.
    Display your surfboards (or make mini boards out of cardboard) and fasten a sign for your shop to the top of your open trunk. Then you'll need some beach accessories—plastic sand pails, shovels, sunblock, beach balls, umbrellas, and beach attire. Don't forget a portable speaker to play beach music to complete the experience.