How To Decorate The Top Of Your Kitchen Cabinets For Halloween

It’s time to make those kitchen cabinets boo-tiful!  The top of your kitchen cabinets is a great spot to add some spooky décor for your next party. Depending on your cabinet height and style, you may have a vast amount of unused decoration real estate. 

Don’t let it go to waste! This space is almost like having a second mantle or shelf to add your own festive touch. Use decorations you already own or look for something new.

Go all in with a horror movie theme or keep it kid friendly with bright colors. Whatever style or theme you choose, you can’t go wrong when using  this generally ignored space in a fun new way. 

Before you grab your decorations and get out the ladder, take a look at our Decorator’s Guide below. Then browse our top 5 decoration inspirations from around the internet followed by some FAQs. 

Stick with us and your cabinets will be extra spooktacular this year! 

Decorator’s Guide 

Space 

While planning your top of cabinet decor, the first thing you need to do is measure your space. How much room do you actually have from the top of the cabinet to the ceiling?

Make sure you have at least 1 foot, but 2 feet is ideal. Any less space and your decorations will be limited to mainly small items (you’ll read why you want to avoid that next). 

Now that you know what size space you are working with you can move on to selecting decorations. 

Size of Decorations 

When decorating above a cabinet, consider using bigger items. Small objects and details are hard to see from the ground.

Avoid small haunted villages, miniature pieces or overly detailed items. Use larger items to visually extend the height of your cabinets and make your room feel larger. 

Great items to consider are birdcages, skeletons, pumpkins in a variety of sizes, flameless candles, lanterns, spiders, cauldrons, bats, skeletons, signs, and garlands. Add dimension by layering decorations front to back.

Also add interest by placing items at varying heights. Use decorative boxes, baskets, or cake stands to lift up items. Avoid any items that will touch the ceiling as these will make the room feel smaller. 

Weight of Decorations 

When you start planning your decorations, consider weight too. Make sure your items aren’t heavy enough to cause damage to your cabinets.

Opt for a plastic witch’s cauldron instead of metal for this one. It will also be infinitely easier to set-up and take down your pieces if they are lightweight. 

Safety

There are definitely safety concerns to consider when decorating the top of your cabinets. The first one is to practice proper ladder utilization.

Make sure your ladder is sturdy and properly set-up before climbing up. Always have a helper or someone else in the house when using a tall ladder to help keep it steady so you can avoid accidents and injury. 

The second safety concern is fire. Make sure none of your decorations will be a fire hazard. Use only UL safety rated light sets. LED lights run at the coolest temperature and therefore, are the safest string lights on the market. 

Another fire concern are any lights surrounding or above the upper cabinets. Be aware of the temperature of the light bulbs in your ceiling and light fixtures. Incandescent bulbs get hotter than LED bulbs, so they can potentially melt your decorations at best and catch fire at worst. 

Never ever use real candles above your kitchen cabinets. Nothing with an open flame should be that close to your ceiling.

Decoration Inspiration: Our Top 7 Picks

Spooky Spiders

Spooky Spiders

Not for the faint of heart. These spiders are frightfully fun! You can extend this look from the front of the cabinets all the way to the top or only across the top. This inspiration is easily adjustable based on your specific cabinets and space.

Make sure you don’t block access to any of your cabinets! The bright purple color is unexpected and makes this one even more eye-catching. Love it!

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Just Christie

Black and White

Black and White

An understated option that works well with lots of styles is black and white. I love the use of large numbers with a festive sign. Combining these with bat garland and mini pumpkins makes this one a winner.

You can easily replicate the numbers with cardboard or wood options from your local craft store. A little DIY will give this one a completely custom look. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Maison de Cinq

Pumpkins with Fairy Lights

Pumpkins with Fairy Lights

All you need for some festive top of cabinet decor are some pretty pumpkins and fairy lights.These are shown on a fireplace, but would look just as nice up high.

If you have the space, you can add a metal basket for height as well.  Be sure to look for fairy light sets that come with a remote control. No one wants to climb up and down to turn lights on and off each day. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of chasing daisies

More is More

More is More

Who said less is more? You can always go all in and add your favorite decor pieces above the kitchen cabinet.

This one combines spooky spiders, webs, garlands, lights, faux fall florals, and much more. The key to this look is layering items from front to back and staggering height for interest. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Joyful Daisy

Black Crows and Candles

Black Crows and Candles

This one is simple and easy to recreate. The standout pieces of the owl and crows paired with the untraditional teal color scheme make this one boo-tiful and fun.

The varying height of the decorations and the simple garland make this one interesting and easy to recreate year after year. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Our Best Bites

Pumpkin Garland

Go minimal with a favorite sign or piece of artwork layered behind a garland. Here we raised up an antique family sign using black metal sign holders. Be sure to look for a very full garland, or layer 2 strands together, to keep things easy. I love the traditional colors and items and for this one. It doesn’t get much easier than this! 

Photo courtesy of Festive Finds

Velvet Pumpkins and Spiders

Create a rich and glamorous feel with velvet pumpkins and tiny plastic spiders. First we raised the pumpkins up on white cake stands to add some dimension and interest.

Next we add two ceramic candleholders. One is a ghost and one is a pumpkin. Then, we layered in the yellow leafy garland.

The final step was adding the spiders. We also use these pumpkins for Thanksgiving, so we don’t want to permanently attach the spiders.

These are plastic spider rings so the fit well on the stem of the pumpkins and prop up nicely along the base. Any that needed some extra help to stay have a tiny piece of painters tape keeping them on. 

Photo courtesy of Festive Finds

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Put Decor On Top Of Your Cabinets For Halloween?

Why not? Decorating is part of the fun of the holiday so we say go for it! If you want to do it, don’t let anyone talk you out of it! 

If you decide to go for it, consider the following.  First think about how much time you have available. Do you have time to decorate and take down these pieces? Second, consider space.

Do you have space to add festive items? Many cabinets are within 6 inches of the ceiling and may not leave enough room for decorations. You do not want your decorations to touch the ceiling.

Third, what look are you trying to achieve with the kitchen? If the decor above the cabinets makes the kitchen feel too busy or full, you may want to skip it. 

Remember, nothing is permanent. You can always make adjustments or do something totally different next year! 

What Are The Easiest Decorations To Use On Top Of Kitchen Cabinets?

This all depends on how you define easy! To me the easiest pieces are those that take a bit of real estate but are not exceptionally heavy.

My picks for easiest pieces are garlands laid on top, flameless candles, lanterns, bird cages, lightweight pumpkins, skeletons and signs. 

Are Halloween Decorations Above Kitchen Cabinets Safe?

You should always be conscious of potential fire hazards in the home. The biggest things to avoid would be candles and electric items that are not UL rated (meaning they have been evaluated and rated for safe use in homes).

If you go with lights LEDs are a great option because they do not produce heat like traditional incandescent bulbs. 

Also watch out for incandescent light bulbs as a part of permanent lighting the kitchen. Keep holiday decorations away from lights for fire safety, but also to avoid damage to your decorations.

No one wants to discover melted pumpkins during the take down phase of decorating. 

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