If your kid is a member of the tot lot, or you don’t do late nights, Trunk or Treat might be the perfect alternative to all that traditional Halloween fun. Gather a few friends or neighbors, back up the car and let the open trunk become the perfect stage set. Whether you’re looking to wield the glue gun for weeks beforehand or want last minute inspiration for a community event, we’ve sourced some stellar backdrops and prize-winning tips from 10 Trunk or Treat pros. Scroll down to see them all.


Some poster board is put to use along with a diaper wipe box, some PVC pipe and Hazmat stickers to make this ghostbusting containment machine. Add a proton pack made from Tupperware odds and ends and plenty of cans of black spray paint and the ghosts and ghouls will have met their match. Who you're gonna call? Just head to Instructables for the detailed how-to. 


Finding Nemo

The genius of this Nemo-inspired trunk is turning the pumpkins into clownfish. With a blue background in the truck and a hand-painted Dory, the stage is set. The tissue paper decorations add a pop of coral color.

Little Mermaid

Another underwater theme is The Little Mermaid. Swim noodles are great for creating coral, either standing upright or cut and curled. Disney fan Natalie Cittadino added styrofoam coolers, tissue paper, and coffee filters to make the coral reef. The fringed seaweed was made from a plastic tablecloth and would work for any aquatic scene. Fairy lights and a chest of treasure complete the look. 

Big Mouth

Family cars seem to swallow junk so why not turn that trunk into a super-sized mouth? Some fabric for a tongue and a cut-out of pearly whites was an obvious choice for Manhattan Dental Care. Make those teeth a little scarier, and you've got the start of a monster's mouth. Just pile up the candy and see who is brave enough to put their hand in.


Acrylic paint on old cardboard boxes creates Elsa's stunning Frozen Castle.  A genius touch is using melted water bottles for the icicles and fairy lights to add some sparkle. The pumpkin buckets and snowflakes came from the dollar store and the styrofoam coolers double as blocks of ice. 


Here's an idea that will pop! Fill the car with yellow helium balloons accessorized as minions, and you'll be all set with a despicable display. You could also use blue balloons for an aquatic bubbly underwater scene or multicolored ones as gumballs. 

Bat Cave

A cave is the perfect Halloween backdrop whether you're a monster, ghoul or bat. The stalagmites and stalactites for this bat cavern are made from styrofoam attached to the open trunk with paper bats hung on a string or attached with toothpicks into the foam. Head to Tikkido for the details. 

Cookie Monster

A great Cookie Monster Trunk or Treat just requires the right color blue. This version from Love of Felt uses a wooden frame, a black fabric mouth, brown felt cookies and poster board eyes. You could also have the open trunk as the mouth, blue fabric stretched in place, styrofoam balls for eyes and cookies made out of cardboard.

Great Pumpkin

Peanuts for peanuts! This trunk uses dollar store props and some well-crafted cutouts to create a low-budget Halloween scene—Linus sitting in wait for the Great Pumpkin. This clever Charlie Brown comic strip scene used plastic pumpkins, burlap to line the trunk, some fall fabric placemats and faux leaves plus a poster board Linus and welcome sign. Head to Lynlee's for all the details. 

Noah's Ark

If the kids will loan their stuffies, you can easily create a jungle scene or pair them up to create the classic scene from Noah's Ark. Preschool director Sherry Carter knows a thing or two about creativity—she uses a decorated cardboard box and a plank of wood and marches the animals two by two.  

—Emily Meyers



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