Sweet Ideas for DIY Trick-or-Treat Buckets and Bags

Published August 22, 2022
Kids crafting trick or treat baskets for Halloween

No other holiday comes close to the chance to live imaginatively with special and spooky individual touches every step of the way like Halloween does for trick-or-treaters. Kids and teens get to pick out their costumes, and they can complete their perfectly coordinated or last-minute costumes with the finishing touch: the trick-or-treat bucket! From a DIY trick-or-treat bucket to the standard pillowcase, how else will all those ghouls, witches, and heroes tote home their treasures?

Pumpkin Trick-or-Treat Bucket

The pumpkin trick-or-treat bucket is the most identifiable and classic of all the trick-or-treat vessels; and you can easily pick one of these up at the store. Or, you can grab a plain orange bucket and give it a bit of magic, or even give your traditional pumpkin bucket a little swish and flick to make it the one your kids will be asking for year after year.

Children covering face with Jack O Lantern

There's absolutely nothing wrong or bad about grabbing a ready-to-go pumpkin trick-or-treat bucket. Honestly, who doesn't have a memory or several dozen pictures posing when you were a kid with that iconic staple of Halloween? There's no shame in the easy Halloween game.

DIY Pumpkin Bucket

If you have a bit of extra time on your hands, consider getting a bit crafty and adding some embellishments to the trick-or-treat bucket. With so many arts and crafts supplies at your disposal year-round, but especially with the colors of Halloween fully stocked during the spooky season, you can adorn the store-bought pumpkin bucket with everything from ready-made glitter glue to traditional glitter that'll outlast the next three holidays if you're not careful.

DIY Pumpkin Bucket

It is more than understandable if glitter isn't allowed in your home, and there's no art supply that's more traumatic for kids and adults alike. In place of glitter, consider using paint as a friendly-to-all colorful alternative. Make it an event for the kids to decorate, using brushes or their own little fingers to live their dreams of not only aspiring princesses and monsters but artists as well. Go ahead and utilize glow-in-the-dark paint, too! Consider painting over the eyes and mouth to create an eerie effect, or mix it in with splashes and dots with the other paint and glitter.

Halloween designs have you positively beheaded with no inspiration? Keep it simple by spelling out trick-or-treat!

Decoration Ideas for a Pumpkin Bucket

Challenge your little monsters to match their trick-or-treat pumpkin to their costume. Is Brent going as a friendly clown? Glue on a few rubber noses or red pompoms, adding clown make-up to the face of the pumpkin. If Mike is going as a bloody vampire, add puncture wounds to the side of the bucket using paint or red glitter for oozing blood. Before everyone heads out to trick-or-treat, break a glow stick to toss into the pumpkin, illuminating it like a jack-o'-lantern.

The Bottomless Trick-or-Treat Bag: The Pillowcase

The second most iconic trick-or-treat candy receptacle, but quite possibly the favorite thanks to its endless depth, is the pillowcase. The trick-or-treat pillowcase is as simple as grabbing one off the shelf in the linen closet or shucking one currently in use off a pillow. Preferably the trick-or-treater's pillow.

For the planning type, you can acquire a collection of skulls, ghosts, or Halloween-themed pillowcases. Keep an eye out for those to go on sale just after Halloween, so you don't need to lose any sleep over a once-a-year pillowcase.

Decorating a Trick-or-Treat Pillowcase

Like a trick-or-treat pumpkin, you can decorate your trick-or-treat pillowcase with any sort of fabric-friendly DIY you can dream of. Create designs with glitter pens, fabric paint, or puff paint. Create swirls and nonsensical designs or make the pillowcase an extension of the costume. Using coloring pages, cut out Halloween designs to trace onto your pillowcase or use spray paint to create an outline.

For Mike the vampire, add bats or make it a similar pattern or color to the cape. If Corey is dressed as a superhero, use a matching print or outline the shape of a field onto the pillowcase. Paint or tie dye the pillowcase with red, yellow, and orange for a giant candy corn look. Channel poisonous colors with green, purple, and just a hint of black. For Morgan, who is going as a black cat, paint on glowing yellow eyes, complete with cat ears and whiskers.

Painting trick or treat pillowcase

Make the candy-catcher pillowcase scream Halloween with bloody red or deathly black handprints using fabric paint, doodling spider webs, outlines of bones, crime scenes, or other creepy crawlies. Creepy glowing eyes with glow-in-the-dark paint will undoubtedly pop in the darkness as trick-or-treaters monster mash their way from house to house. Sew on felt designs of spiders, owls, or ghosts for a pillowcase for trick-or-treating you can add to over the years. Think of the potential photo album material and Kodak moments. If the pillowcase finds itself with wear and tear, simply sew it up, haphazardly or with patches, for a purposeful worn and creepy look.

Put your sewing skills to work, even those that may not be polished, by adding designs in stitches. Even the most amateur sewer can claim it's part of the design to be a bit off-center or eerie looking. After all, most Halloween decorations already look a bit worn.

If you really want to utilize the full sheet set, turn your trick-or-treater into a ghost using a matching sheet. Spirits ought to be fashionable too.

Trick-or-Treat Bucket

Make any bucket a trick-or-treat bucket. First, make sure that the inside is totally clean, especially if you're using a paint can or a plastic bucket you have lying around the house. You don't want paint chips to mix in with candy wrappers when hands are quick to snack on goods during strenuous trick-or-treating.

Take a paint brush or spray paint can to the outside of the bucket to have a clean, blank canvas to work with. To complement Jeana's mermaid costume, utilize Halloween printables and stencils to depict an eerie scene, perhaps a haunted house with a ghostly family, or an underwater castle. Trick-or-treat buckets are a great way to get kids excited for Halloween and an easy way to give kids something else to look forward to while they anxiously count down to trick-or-treating.

Halloween girls running with DIY treat baskets

Get extra creative by adding texture to the bucket. For Lisa, who is going as a parrot, wrap or glue sticks to the bucket for a bird's nest, or glue on colorful feathers. For Natalie, who has her heart set on somehow pulling off a marine biologist costume, paint the lower outside of the bucket with glue and dip it into sand, painting or gluing on fish and other aquatic animals for one that'll go down in the history books in your household.

Paint the outside of the bucket all black, with glow-in-the-dark paint around the top for the perfect cauldron that'll make Martha the witchiest one on the block. Consider the bucket to be a paintable pumpkin or black canvas to adorn with Halloween designs til your ghoulish heart's content. Not the creative type? Paint the entire bucket in glow-in-the-dark paint, or use felt to cover the bucket with a simple yet festive design.

DIY Halloween Trick-or-Treat Tote Bag

Pick up a Halloween or costume-appropriate tote bag to use for trick-or-treating. Tap into the same pumpkin bucket or pillowcase ideas and jump into decorating and customizing the tote bag. Paint on Halloween designs or monster faces. Layer on pieces of felt to create shapes and designs. If Thomas is going as a train conductor, build a train using felt or paint, complete with cotton balls to mimic the steam.

Two children dressed as firefighters caring trick or treat diy bags

Mummify your tote bag with some athletic tape, or glue on self-adhesive bandage wrap for that crinkly mummy look. Add a bit of tarnish to the wrapping by giving it a light spray paint with a spritz of brown, gold, or black. Place the tape around some drawn-on or glued-on googly eyes to complete the mummy look. You may also opt to stencil on and paint a spooky design like giant spiders crawling in webs.

Arts and Crafts Supplies for Decorating a Trick-Or-Treat Bucket and Bag

As you browse your closet of towering supplies, look to your yard, or stroll the store's aisles for inspiration, consider a few of these supplies for your trick-or-treat bag decorating.

Halloween Arts and Crafts Supplies
  • Googly eyes
  • Rubber creepy crawlies
  • Felt
  • Glow-in-the-dark decorations
  • Ribbon
  • Cotton balls
  • Halloween masks
  • Craft rope
  • Halloween-themed towels or bedding
  • Fake flowers
  • Tree branches or leaves
  • Sand

Trick-or-Treat Buckets That Scream Fun

Whether you're running short on time or you want to add a few extra Halloween activities to your October festivities, a perfectly creepy or photoworthy trick-or-treat bag will make this Halloween one to remember. Next year's trick-or-treat bucket might be as much fun, if not more, than all that costume planning.

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Sweet Ideas for DIY Trick-or-Treat Buckets and Bags