Budget Trunk or Treat Car Decorating Ideas


Decorating our car for the annual Trunk or Treat event at school without blowing the budget is always a challenge.

This year I again hit the dollar store for inspiration and supplies.

Budget Trunk or Treat Decorating IdeasIn case you’re not familiar with the Trunk or Treat concept let me bring you up to speed. Trunk or Treat events are a great way to build community while offering a safe environment for kids to celebrate Halloween fun. Often they are hosted by churches, schools, or local clubs.

Participants in Truck or Treat events fill a parking lot with decorated cars (or at least decorated trunks). Once the event begins the costumed Trick or Treat-ers go from car to car collecting candy.

The Good News…your kiddo will be able to collect a lot of candy in a very short time without too much walking. The Bad News…you’ll have a very large number of kiddos stopping at your car for candy so be prepared with plenty of goodies.

The biggest challenge for me is decorating my car without spending a fortune.  Thank goodness for the dollar store.

I’m going to share with you two of my favorite ideas for quick, easy, and cheap car decorating.

Idea #1 – A Monster

Purchases from the dollar store:

  • Box of Black Garbage Bags
  • Roll of Packing Tape
  • Four Poster Boards (3 White and 1 Day-Glow Yellow)
  • Glue


  • Cut two white poster boards in half using a zig-zag pattern to create teeth.
  • Create eyeballs from the remaining poster board. Cut two large circles from the white board and two smaller circles from the yellow poster board. Glue the smaller circles onto the larger ones and then draw with a red pen, marker, or crayon to create a bloodshot look.
  • Cut trash bags and tape them to together into a piece large enough to cover the back half of your vehicle.  Wrap the black plastic around your car and tape to hold in place.  I made sure keep tape off the paint to avoid damage.
  • Secure the teeth and eyes to the trash bags to complete your monster.

This was truthfully my favorite Trunk or Treat Car Decoration EVER. I wish I had a picture of that to show you because it was awesome and the kids loved it. I left the trunk open a bit as the mouth and put a flashlight in there so it glowed. Total cost from the dollar store was under $10.

This year I created another dollar store Trunk or Treat masterpiece for under $10.

Budget Trunk or Treat DecoratingIdea #2 – Spooky Graveyard

Purchases from the dollar store:

  • Graveyard Backdrop
  • Roll of Packing Tape
  • Small Pumpkin
  • Three Miniature Flickering Lanterns
  • Bag of Glow in the Dark Bugs
  • Bag of Fake Spider Web
  • Google Eyes
  • Mini Strobe Light


  • Fold the backdrop so that it is the correct height for your vehicle. My car required that I fold it about in half.
  • Tape the backdrop across the rear interior of your car if you have a hatchback or minivan. If you have a traditional trunk you can open the trunk completely and then tape the backdrop up. The backdrop did not reach all the way across my car so I had a few inches of open space. If it is way too short I suggest draping a black trash bag or two over the open edges.
  • Attach google eyes to your pumpkin.
  • Place pumpkin and lantern around your vehicle or trunk in front of the backdrop.
  • I placed the strobe light behind the backdrop so the flashing light would show through without detracting from the lantern light.
  • Stretch the fake spider web around the trunk and scatter the glow in the dark bugs so they hang from the web and cover the floor.
  • That’s it.  Quick, easy, and cheap.

If you have decorations at home already feel free to add them to your creation. I added a few fake tombstones and a vampire that I found on clearance at the end of last year along with some plastic bones that we’ve been using in our yard for many years.  My final touch was a CD playing scary music to greet our visitors.

Share your budget Trunk or Treat decorating ideas with me in the comments below. Next Halloween will be here soon.