29 Creepy (and Cute!) Halloween Painting Ideas for 2024

Last Updated on May 29th 2024
Halloween painting ideas

Looking for some perfect Halloween painting ideas to occupy the fall season? Autumn’s chill brings a great time to spend indoors and get crafty and creative with all manner of easy painting ideas that can manifest as both seasonal decorations and spooky home décor.  

Need some Halloween-themed art ideas? From scary Halloween painting ideas to fun and cute creations, we’ve rounded up some great suggestions for celebrating the season with paint that are perfect as an activity during celebrations, as seasonal-inspired art projects or for setting the perfect Halloween scene for trick-or-treaters. 

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Best Halloween Painting Classes

1. Spooky Paint and Sip

Paint and sips are one of the coolest and most laid-back ways to both create art and learn new skills, all the while relaxing with a cocktail or two, making it a popular fall party idea.

In the fall, numerous venues offer Halloween painting ideas and horror-themed project nights, which make a perfect Halloween date idea or paint party idea for adults.

You can find paint and sips in Atlanta, paint and sips in Portland paint and sips in Washington, D.C or paint and sips near you.

paint and sip Halloween painting idea
via Canva

2. Enroll in an Art Class

To elevate your Halloween painting ideas, try an art class. Offered at a number of art-related venues, community centers, academic institutions and craft stores, you can find courses in various mediums, including watercolor painting, pour painting and other paint mediums.

Learn to paint with art classes near you, including art classes in NYC, art classes in San Diego and art classes in Houston. You can also enroll in online painting classes and bring your Halloween painting ideas to life from the comfort of home!

3. Follow a Movie Makeup Tutorial

One of the best ways to get seriously realistic makeup effects whatever your Halloween costume, is to look the professionals of the silver screen, many of which can be found online for behind-the-scenes peeks.

You can get awesome Halloween painting ideas for faces and tips for painting the perfect zombie mask, witchy prosthetic noses with warts and more.

4. Take a Mask-Making Workshop

Papier-mâché mask-making is an easy and fun Halloween painting idea for both adults and children, offering a great opportunity to make something truly unique, whether it's silly or scary.

Many workshops provide ready-made, sturdy masks for painting, while others let you build a papier-mâché creation from the group up to your specifications. 

Cute Halloween Painting Ideas

5. Paint Your Faces

Spooky face paint ideas are a sure win at fall and harvest festivals and can be a fun Halloween painting idea for a party, particularly when face paint selections in most stores are plentiful all season.

You can do small accents like ghosts or pumpkins on cheeks or foreheads or create a whole painted face.

Halloween face paint
via Canva

6. Upcycled Halloween Décor

If you’re like many homes, you’ve amassed a number of wood lawn signs and decorations that may have seen better days.

What better way to upcycle your Halloween painting idea than to deck these out in Halloween colors and scary text like “R.I.P.” or  “Beware!“ with some paint for some DIY fall décor?

7. Make Fork Monsters 

A great beginner Halloween painting idea and fun kids Halloween idea is to dip plastic forks in acrylic paint and stamp them onto paper.

Add painted or googly eyes, feet, and other details and you have the perfect spiky little monsters. 

8. Create Handprint Ghosts

A fun activity and Halloween painting idea to do with younger kids is making handprint ghosts or monsters. Dip hands in non-toxic white paint, press them to black construction paper, then allow kids to add other elements to customize their ghosts. It also makes a fun keepsake for future Halloweens as well. 

9. Paint Pumpkins Instead of Carving Them

A great alternative to carving, painting the exterior of pumpkins allows you more creative agency and lasts a bit longer through the season.

Painting pumpkins, large and small, can be a fun activity for all ages. It also allows for vivid and bold colored colors (or even black ones). Get inspired with unique pumpkin painting ideas that will bring your fall porch décor to life.

pumpkin Halloween painting idea
via Canva

10. Paint Rocks

Readily available outdoors, rocks and stones of all sizes can be painted with Halloween character faces like Dracula, Frankenstein and other rock painting ideas, then placed along paths and in gardens for a nice horrific surprise.  

11. Make Apple Print Pumpkins

A halved apple, when dipped in orange paint and stamped on a sheet of paper, makes the perfect ready-made pumpkin shape, making this another great Halloween painting idea for preschoolers and young children. Just add stems, Jack-o-lantern faces and green tendrils to the orange prints.

12. Make Frankenstein Lanterns 

Halloween is a perfect opportunity to line your sidewalks with monstrous luminaria with a simple Halloween craft idea. You will need white or natural paper bags and candles (or LED lights).

Just paint them green and black, add eye holes and you will have a series of Frankenstein faces to greet your trick-or-treaters. You can also leave them white to make excellent ghosts. 

13. Make Painted Mugs

You can get various colors of paint at most craft stores that will allow you to customize your glassware, most of which can be set in an oven in lieu of a kiln.

A custom mug decked out in pumpkins and ghosts is perfect for hot cider, hot cocoa, pumpkin spice lattes and all manner of fall beverages. It's also a fun Halloween painting idea to do as a party activity.

white coffee mugs with skeleton face painted on them
via Canva

14. Paint Your Pet

Pet paintings are always a fun way to honor your animals and decorate your home. Try painting your pet in Halloween costume regalia for the canvas or paint your pet as the tiny monster they are. Pet portraits are a perfect acrylic painting idea for beginners.

15. Cookie Decorating 

Cookie painting is a perfect Halloween party endeavor for all ages. Mix up a few batches of simple frosting colored with food coloring in spooky colors like orange, green and blood red. Let your artists decorate sugar cookies for a tasty Halloween treat.

16. Chalk Your Sidewalk

What's the only thing possibly more fun than sidewalk chalk? Glow-in-the-dark sidewalk chalk! Use this chalk to create spooky scenes and messages to greet Halloween party guests and welcome (or warn!) trick-or-treaters as they approach your house. 

17. Rework Museum Classics Halloween Style 

The great master painters of the past several centuries did a good job of capturing the beauty of the natural world. Consider creating your own versions of their classic paintings in pure horror.

Repaint Munch’s "The Scream" or Van Gogh’s "Starry Night" with a Halloween twist. They are also great Halloween paintings on canvas to hang during the season. 

Halloween themed Starry Night painting idea
via Classpop!

Scary Halloween Painting Ideas

18. Create Ghostly Spirit Photographs

You can transfer most laser-printed images from one sheet of paper to another using acetone or nail polish remover, which means you can easily make your own spirit photography experiments on par with Victorian Spiritualists who attempted to capture the spirits around us in the earliest eras of photography.

For this vintage Halloween painting idea, add your transfers to existing photos, paint them purple or green to look authentic and see if you can fool your friends or create some cool effects.

19. Put a Monster on It

A fun upcycling Halloween painting idea is to take boring thrift store paintings of prints and add monsters, ghouls and other creatures to otherwise peaceful landscapes and still lifes.

While a floral Thomas Kincaid landscape painting may not be what you need, a Kinkaid with Godzilla stomping through the brush may be the perfect solution.

You can also add a sea monster to one of Monet’s famous waterlily prints or Michael Meyers to a rural landscape for a fun Halloween movie painting. A day of thrifting and creating also makes a creative couple painting idea or fall date idea!

20.  Make a Haunted Dollhouse

Another fun upcycling project, you can create a phenomenal haunted house out of an ordinary dollhouse with some paint and other materials like paper, miniature furniture, creepy accessories and a little ingenuity. 

21. Blacklight Body Paint

Using neon paint, you can paint on black paper, cardstock, fabric or even black velvet to create amazing blacklight posters that, when illuminated by a blacklight, emit a spooky, otherworldly glow. You can also make glowing patterns for a trippy painting idea.  

woman wearing Halloween glowing body paint
via Canva

22. Recreate a Crime Scene

Stage a murder scene for your next Halloween party idea. Add some police tape and use chalk or glow-in-the-dark paint to draw silhouettes on the floor and against walls.  

23. Play With Creepy Old Photos  

For a fun vintage Halloween painting idea, cabinet card photos can be found aplenty in thrift and antique stores, usually at reasonable prices.

Already giving off a creepy vibe, they are especially fun to alter with paint or paper collages. You can also find printable versions online. Add them to some ornate frames for great Halloween decor. 

24. Paint a Custom Spirit Board

An interesting, (but possibly demon-summoning?) Halloween painting idea is to paint a custom Ouija board. You can either start from scratch with cardboard or customize a thrifted game board version. They make great pieces of art all year long, but especially around spooky season. 

25. Paint It Black 

For another simple yet scary Halloween painting idea, consider buying some cute animal or human figures from the thrift store and painting them with matte black paint. They will go from adorable to horrifying with just a couple of coats. 

black Halloween painting ideas
via Canva

26. Make Spooky Tattoos 

You can get printable tattoo paper from most craft stores and online retailers. Just create some great Halloween and horror-inspired tattoo ideas and print them out for some seasonal fun that lasts around three to five days. This also makes a great art idea for teens.

27. Capture Fairy Skeletons in A Jar

Most dollar and discount stores sell small decorative skeletons for a variety of craft purposes. You can paint them black or ghastly green, add some paper or mesh wings and stuff them in a jar for a great piece of unique seasonal décor. 

28. Create a 3-D Haunted Portrait

3D holographs or lenticular paintings are all the rage in Halloween décor, featuring an image that changes depending on the angle you view it from.

You can paint your own scary Halloween painting idea by manipulating the plane of vision via this great tutorial on creating lenticular paintings. 

29. Collaborate With the Dead

Another activity of the spooky Victorians, people believed that an artist could be moved, through automatism in a trance state, to commune with the dead by allowing the spirits to manipulate their pen or brush on the paper or canvas.

For a creative yet kind of scary Halloween painting idea and party activity, try giving your guests markers or paints and summoning the spirits to make art. 

group of friends having a Halloween seance
via Canva

Whatever your level of experience and style of celebrating Halloween, these seasonal Halloween painting ideas will provide hours of fun and amazing decorations and décor. From scary to sweet, there’s something for everyone.

For even more fun art ideas, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!