Halloween is just around the corner, so now is the time to get busy planning your decor. The traditional color palette for Halloween includes black and orange. This year add purple, silver, gold, and neon green to your color scheme.

Maybe you don’t want to decorate your entire house. Problem solved – dedicate one room, the fireplace mantle, an entry table, dining table or the front door to your Halloween decor.

Begin with the front door; add some colorful mums and a decorated pumpkin or two. Instead of carving the pumpkins, use glitter, acrylic paints or gold or silver leaf. Complete the picture with a collection of witches’ brooms.

Need something more scary? Hang a grapevine wreath that you have spray painted black and add plastic snakes. You can increase the scare factor by adding several hanging bats, some paper mache ghosts and a few skeletons (those that glow in the dark are ideal).

The entry table is the perfect spot for Halloween decor. Create your own spooky tree. Clip some branches and leave them natural or spray paint them black. Place the branches in a vase filled with black beans. Gather some black plastic spiders and paint them silver, gold or neon green and hang the creepy crawlies from the branches. Add some spider webbing, and you have a vignette to welcome all witches and goblins into your home.

Make bleeding candles using tall white tapers. Visit wwww.marthastewart.com for complete directions. Place the tapers in glass candlesticks and bring them out for Halloween dinner. Serve “Boo” Spaghetti or “Eyeball Taco Salad” – visit jeannebenedict.com/recipes/boo-spaghetti/ for complete directions for the spaghetti and www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Eyeball-Taco-Salad for directions for eyeball taco salad.

To create a Halloween mantle, add a couple of candlesticks painted in black, silver or purple and use black or deep purple tapers. Use a few mini pumpkins that have been painted black or white and add glitter or luster dust. Remember to add some spiders of various sizes. These can be crawling along the shelf or they can be hung at varying lengths from the mantle. The spiders don’t have to stay black; paint them silver for added shimmer. Use a plastic ivy garland and spray paint it black. Allow it to flow across your mantle so it appears to be alive.

Save a few empty wine and/or beer bottles (three works nicely). Pour white paint into each bottle to coat the inside, pour out the excess and allow the bottle to dry. Get creative with a sharpie. Add a skull and crossbones, or the word poison, or tie a black ribbon around the neck of each bottle with a tag attached that reads poison. The poison bottles will add height and another layer to your Halloween mantle.

Having a Halloween party? Set up a candy bar. Choose a color scheme for the candies maybe black and white or orange and white. Use unique glass jars to display some of your favorites. Create your own labels – punch a hole in the label, thread ribbon through the hole and secure the label by tying a grosgrain or raffia ribbon around each jar. This way, the jars can be reused and refilled for other holidays.

Halloween is not complete without witch’s brew. Use a large plastic cauldron (a canning pot works nicely) and, wearing heavy duty gloves; place dry ice in the bottom of the cauldron. (careful not to allow children, pets or adults to touch or eat any of the dry ice). Pour some room temperature water over the ice and the fun begins. Add a punch bowl to cover the smoking liquid and add your favorite punch to the bowl. Add a ladle and serve.

Sharon Preston is the owner of Decorate in Aiken. Sharon is certified in interior decorating and has been decorating residential and commercial spaces for 11 years. Email her at prestonss@aol.com.