How to Have a Happy Handmade Halloween


Halloween is 42 days away which is plenty of time if you’re a buyer, but it’s a rapidly shrinking doorway if you’re an ecommerce seller. Not really into the holiday? That’s okay, but know this. . . according to the National Retail Federation more than 157 million Americans celebrated Halloween last year with a total spend of $6.9 billion. It’s also huge in Canada and the UK and other countries are catching the spooky bug as well. The average American planned to spend $74 on decorations, candy and costumes in 2015. Want to bet that number tops $100 this year?

If you want a piece of that action, you don’t have to give up your current product line in favor of skulls and witches (Unless you want to!). All you have to do is make a few shifts in color and tone and you’ll be ready for those grownup ghoul lovers.

4 Easy Ways to Add a Touch of Halloween to Your IndieMade Store

Change your color scheme:

Usually we recommend sticking with your brand colors and colors that compliment your product line, but in October, everyone expects a touch of fall. Click on the Design tab in the admin and scroll down to the Color options. There are more than 15 spots you can switch. Go traditional black and orange or spice it up with purple, deep red and gray.

TIP: Take a screengrab of all of the current colors so you can easily switch them back when you’re done. If you’re using the default colors for your theme, there’s a button for that.

Make a slight change to a current style:

Take a look at your current line and think about how a small change can turn an everyday piece into a holiday hit. Almost anything with fabric (purse, scarf, shirt, doll clothes) can be recreated easily with Halloween themed fabric. For jewelry, switch out a regular bead for a sugar skull, bat or faux piece of candy corn.

TIP: Instead of investing time to make an item, take a photo with the optional fabric or bead beside it and use the drop down option to show it as an additional color choice.


Market what you already have as a costume must have:

Examine your current offerings with a theatrical eye to see if you have items that can be marketed as costume pieces or fall décor items. For example, a cute 50’s style sweater is everyday wear but it’s also the perfect topper for a Grease inspired costume. Those mod 60’s inspired earrings could finish off a hippie look. Do you sell candles? Photograph them with some Halloween props to show how easily they can be used for a party. Customers will see what you tell them to see so use your text and photos and don’t leave anything to their imagination.


Trick or Treat:

Even if you don’t have any Halloween items in your store, you can still take advantage of the keyword marketing power by handing out “treats” for those who dare knock on your virtual door. Create a special graphic to promote a discount or offer a bonus treat for every sale between now and Halloween.

TIP: You might be tempted to throw candy into the box with an order but resist the urge! Chocolate and sticky sugar don’t play well with one-of-a-kind, handmade items and no one needs the extra calories this time of year. Stick to non-edible treats your customers can really use.


When the clock strikes 12!

If you are selling Halloween goods in your store, post your shipping cutoff dates clearly and often. Leave yourself enough time to create the product and get it out with at least a week to spare for domestic orders.

Adding a touch of Halloween to your store is a great way to pump up the excitement and show your customers that you’re alive and well and working. Just make sure you remove the spiderwebs and coffins on November 1st so Black Friday shoppers will find gifts instead of ghosts when they hit your holiday store.

Final Tip: some “Halloween” themed items sell all year round to cosplayers, theater companies and anyone who loves all things spooky. If you’ve invested the time and money into a high-quality holiday item, create a “dark” corner in your store for these special pieces instead of taking them down altogether.

How are you celebrating Halloween in your store? Let us know in the comments below!

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