10 Trunk-or-Treating Decorating Ideas

Trunk or treating can be a fun and creative experience. How can you make a memorable experience?

If you have young children, it can often become a hassle to embark on traditional trick-or-treating. Moving from house to house while carrying or guiding a young child is certainly fun, but it can wear you both out very quickly. Thankfully, trunk-or-treating is a great option, and it can be fun for children of all ages! 

If you plan on participating in a trunk-or-treating event, you may want to brainstorm some ideas beforehand. Having a plan will help you create the best-looking trunk in the parking lot, and the kids will want to rush over to see what you’ve created. It’s important to remember that you can make your space three-dimensional to really get in the holiday spirit. 

Use items like a speaker playing spooky sounds, objects that will go around the car to create a larger space, and if you have access to a power source, you can even add a fog machine. Try to use decorations that won’t be too difficult to attach to the fabric since you’ll likely have to set everything up once you park in the lot. It’s also important to set everything up in an easy way to take down once the event is over. 

You can even double up with the car next to you to create a large scene that the whole neighborhood will love. It’s a great way to get the most out of a certain theme because you’ll have two spaces to decorate and create with instead of one. Keep in mind that most children passing through are likely quite young and not yet able to walk around the neighborhood on their own, so you’ll want to stay away from gory or creepy decorations. 

Here are a few ideas to help you decide how to decorate your trunk!

1. Under the Sea 

A great way to decorate your car and have fun while doing it is with an under-the-sea theme. You can easily find items at craft stores or online to help bring this theme to life, and it’s a fun, relaxing option that will contrast many other cars in the event. 

You can use blow-up floaties and blue cloth to look like water and even use the area around the car to include a kiddie pool and a few palm trees. The kids will love the bright and fun theme, and you’ll love having a beach chair to relax in while you give out your treats. 

haloween decoration in the trunk for trick or treat

2. Disney Princess 

Since most children coming through at these events are very young, having a Disney princess theme will be a huge hit! They’ll love the bright colors and seeing their favorite characters coming to life. Whether you dress up as a princess or just use the colors associated with characters like Snow White or Belle, you’ll be a huge hit. 

Inside the trunk, you can add memorabilia like teacups and candlesticks from Beauty and the Beast. Grab a speaker and play the soundtrack to really get the kids excited! 

3. Jack-o-lanterns 

A classic way to enhance your trunk-or-treating experience is with tons of jack-o-lanterns. These are easy to find or make and are not overly scary for young kids. You can carve out some scary faces and some goofy faces to create a balance that won’t deter any children who scare easily. 

You can make the trunk look like a pumpkin patch or use hay bales and tables around the car to display the expertly carved jack-o-lanterns lit with candles. 

cute jack o lanterns for haloween

4. Spider Webs 

If you’re going for a classic Halloween look, utilize spiders and spider webs. This is a great way to decorate because you can make it look however you want, and it’ll be a big win at the trunk-or-treating event. It’s just scary enough to keep everyone on their toes, but it’s not too spooky for the younger kids. 

You can use one large fake web or web-like material on several spots around the car. Adding a large spider could be a fun addition, especially if you place it near the candy bowl. This is a classic and cost-efficient option that the whole neighborhood will love.  

A car trunk decorated for halloween

5. Wild Animals

Most trunk-or-treat cars will utilize a spooky or scary Halloween theme, so you might have to go a different route if you want to stand out! Creating a safari or wild animal theme will be a huge hit with the younger crowd. They’ll love the animals like tigers, gorillas, giraffes, and bears. 

You can have safari sounds playing in the background and even use the area around the car to feel like you’re on an actual safari. This will offer the kids a break from scary decorations and give them a vehicle to look forward to on their journey! 

car trunk decorated with a safari themed decor

6. Haunted House

Creating a haunted house from your car may be easier than you think. You can create an awesome haunted-looking house with some poster board, craft foam, and paint. Create the board to fit around the trunk once it’s opened and position it so it seems like the trunk is inside the house. 

You can add candles around the outside of the car, lights around the house, and even some pumpkins to decorate the home itself. The kids will love the mystery and thrill of a haunted-looking house, and parents will love that they don’t have to go through any scary tunnels like in a traditional walk-through haunted house.

Haunted house decoration for Halloween on the trunk

7. Skeleton Take Over 

Adding a modern twist to a traditional theme is always a fun option! You can incorporate skeletons which are usually used to add a spooky element to Halloween decorations and make it a friendly and fun theme. Use multiple skeletons in and around the trunk and arrange them to look like they’re playing cards, fishing, or just hanging out together.

This modern and fun twist will give your car something unusual and unique. Kids will love laughing at your skeleton arrangements, and parents will be thankful that it’s a funny twist on a decoration that could otherwise be scary to young children. 

A small halloween skeleton hanging in the car trunk
A skeleton sitting in the trunk of a car

8. Harry Potter 

One of the most-loved movie characters is Harry Potter. Creating a Harry Potter theme is a great idea because kids young and old will recognize the hero and love the chance to see their favorite movie come to life. You can use the theme music or even have a small TV set up to play one of the movies as trunk-or-treaters stroll by. 

It’s easy to find a costume to help you look the part, and you can make your own wands and brooms for decorations. With the help of a little magic, this will easily be one of the most-loved cars in the neighborhood.

A girl wearing harry potter costume holding a book and a wand

9. Pirate Themed 

If you want to avoid specific characters and spooky elements, you can use a pirate theme! With this theme, you can incorporate a fun pirate costume, a pet parrot, and even a few skeletons. It’s relatively easy to find or make your own decorations, and the kids will love it!

You can even use the area around the car and create an actual pirate ship. Using some scrap wood or craft foam, you can create what looks like the side of a pirate ship to interest the trunk-or-treaters.

A pirate themed decor for parties

10. Superheros 

You can never go wrong with superheroes. This could be a great opportunity for your car, especially now that there are so many to choose from. You can select one specific hero to decorate around or create a montage of multiple ones and use fun colors like red, yellow, green, and blue. 

This allows you to dress as your favorite hero and pay tribute to other heroes that the kids may also love!

Jessica Childres
Jessica Childres is a Georgia native and former teacher. She loves to share her skills, knowledge and passion with others. She has an ongoing interest in real estate, home decorating, and design.
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