Trunk-or-Treat Theme Ideas for Any Size Vehicle

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

During trunk-or-treat events people come together in a parking lot or other designated spot and hold Halloween trick-or-treating from car to car just like one would go from house to house. This can provide a fun, safe, and convenient atmosphere for trick-or-treating, especially for rural areas that have long distances between houses. For trunk-or-treat events, participants often adorn their vehicles with Halloween-themed decorations in addition to dressing up in costumes themselves.

Here are 12 trunk-or-treat theme ideas to decorate your vehicle.

  • 01 of 12

    Happy Halloween Fun

    Happy pumpkins, friendly ghosts, and other nonthreatening Halloween decorations can make your vehicle festive and fun, especially for younger guests. Put the focus on decor with silly faces rather than menacing ones if your trunk-or-treat event is for young children. You also might want to add Halloween window decorations, such as an orange-and-black wreath or orange string lights, to make your vehicle feel spirited and approachable.

  • 02 of 12

    Pirate's Treasure Chest

    Ahoy, matey! With a pirate theme, your trunk will become a treasure chest full of chocolate coins and candy. Because pirates are a popular birthday party theme, it's easy to find pirate-related items at a local party store. Make a weathered map, fly a pirate flag, and use an old wooden box as a treasure chest for Halloween candy. Don't forget to complete the look by wearing a pirate hat and eye patch as you hand out candy.

    Pirate theme from HappyMoneySaver via Pinterest

  • 03 of 12

    Mad Scientist's Lab

    A mad scientist theme fits perfectly with the creepiness of Halloween. 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.

    Mad scientist theme from via Pinterest

  • 04 of 12

    Fall Harvest

    You can't go wrong with a fall harvest theme for Halloween. It's also a great choice if you plan to offer 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.

    Harvest theme from via Pinterest

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Spider Web

    Get tangled up in a spider web trunk-or-treat theme. To make the spider's body, take a black sheet and gather 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 on pipe cleaners or felt to form the eyes and mouth of your spider. Complete your spider with legs made from pool noodles spray-painted black or flexible black plastic tubing. Put the spider on top of your car. And use rope or white string to make a spider web across your trunk, placing candy inside for kids to grab.

    Spider web theme from via Pinterest

  • 06 of 12

    Bake Shop

    Impress trunk-or-treaters by making your own sweet treats—or at least pretend to make them. Turn your trunk into a bake shop with its own assembly line. Use pedestals to display giant pastries, which can be made from felt. Cover a small ladder with cardboard, and attach banner paper over it to make your assembly line. Then, put on a baker's hat and an apron to pass out candy fresh from your faux assembly line.

    Chocolate factory from via Pinterest

  • 07 of 12

    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.

    Candy utopia from via Pinterest

  • 08 of 12


    Step right up—the carnival has come to town. A carnival theme is a perfect fit for a fun community event like trunk-or-treating. You can usually find carnival-related supplies at party stores, including carnival games, brightly colored decorations, and quirky prizes. Dress up as a clown or an unusual carnival act to give kids the ultimate carnival experience.

    Carnival theme from via Pinterest

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Flower Garden

    Halloween doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. Brighten up your trunk with a flower garden theme. By setting the scene with flowers, bumblebees crafted from felt, and a paper sun, 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.

    Flower garden theme from via Pinterest

  • 10 of 12

    Safari Animals

    If you have children, you likely have more than enough supplies for a safari theme. Gather your children's stuffed animals, such as giraffes, tigers, and lions. Then, arrange your trunk as a wild animal safari. If you have a large trunk, you can use a baby gate to keep the animals safely behind a "fence." Dress up as a safari guide to give fun facts about the animals as you hand out candy.

    Safari theme from via Pinterest

  • 11 of 12

    Menacing Mouth

    An easy yet effective trunk-or-treat idea is to use white poster board to turn your trunk into a menacing mouth. Simply cut giant teeth out of the poster board, and attach them to the top and bottom of your trunk. If you have a large vehicle, you'll also have plenty of room to add eyes above the teeth 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.

    Trunk mouth from via Pinterest

  • 12 of 12

    Surf Shop

    Fight those cool 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, such as plastic sand pails, shovels, beach balls, umbrellas, and beach attire. Don't forget a portable speaker to play beach music to complete the experience.

    Surf theme from via Pinterest