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Halloween is creeping up on us, so it’s time to get spooky and dress up!
You don’t need an elaborate costume to join in on the fall fun. Simply create a thematic custom t-shirt for a costume party, going trick-or-treating, or as a fun way to show your passion for Halloween all month long.
Sometimes the right colors and fonts are enough to give you goosebumps, but we’ve got plenty of tricks up our sleeve to help you creep it up this Halloween. We’ve compiled a list of funny, scary, and quirky Halloween shirt ideas to get you started.
If you’re a movie and literature buff like me, you might want to get in the Halloween spirit with a t-shirt that pays homage to your favorite horror story or motion picture.
Is Rosemary’s Baby your favorite flick? Think about how you can incorporate exorcism-themed imagery in your designs. Fan of Stephen King? Take inspiration from IT, The Shining, Pet Sematary, Misery, and other classics.
Remember that literary works and movies are protected by copyright laws. If you’re an artist who makes a living with your work, you can imagine how devastating it is to have your artwork stolen and reproduced.
But you can get inspired by your favorite directors and authors without using their intellectual property—check out our copyright and trademark 101 to learn if you can print your idea or not.
One of the most popular themes for Halloween has always been magic. The season is teeming with magical creatures and spells that create a sense of wonder for children and adults alike. The world of magic provides endless space for imagination.
You might be wondering—isn’t this trend dead and gone already? Short answer—no. With series like “The Witcher” bringing magic, monsters, and mystical elements to the forefront of pop culture, sorcery, potions, and spells will certainly be the center of attention this Halloween.
You can find inspiration for your witchcraft-related t-shirt designs on Etsy, Pinterest, Shopify, and other marketplaces. Add different accessories, like a broom, hat, cauldron, or spooky makeup to complement your shirt, or create a design for bottoms to make a complete magical outfit.
Just like witches, bats and cats have always been an essential part of Halloween decorations and designs.
Black cats are often regarded as bad omens or depicted as the magical familiars of witches. Similarly, bats are the animalistic version of vampires—another popular Halloween theme. Bats are night animals, making them the perfect creatures to create a dark atmosphere.
There are plenty of ways to use cats and bats in your Halloween shirt designs—either as design elements, puns, or as the centerpiece of your artwork. To get started, check out the bat and cat-themed clipart in our Design Maker.
People often fear all kinds of bugs, insects, and arachnids, making them a great choice for creating unnerving designs. Being small, these creepy crawlies make for an excellent minimalistic embroidery design.
Probably the most popular of them all are spiders, which are used for all kinds of Halloween decorations. Spider webs cover both outfits and homes, and spiders are depicted on clothes, decor, and accessories to add a little extra ick factor.
There are various spider graphics available in our Design Maker. Design cute or funny spiders or go for a horrifyingly exaggerated spider design—just pick the ones you like and adjust the size, color, and placement.
Vampires, werewolves, and other nightly creatures have always played a starring role in Halloween festivities. Use these toothy monsters as the basis for your Halloween design and make a shirt that will get anyone’s blood pumping.
If you’re not a fan of vamps and wolves, don’t worry—there are plenty of other night creatures that can serve as inspiration for your designs. Chupacabras and banshees, for example, would look horror-ful on tees and tanks.
If spine-chilling visuals are your thing, then the realm of the undead surely won’t disappoint.
Think of the Grim Reaper—more than just a spooky sight, it carries a deep symbolism, representing the fine line between life and death. And its iconic cloaked figure and menacing scythe create an instant visual impact. If you want to up the fear factor, think about tossing some coffins, crypts, or cemetery gates into the mix.
Meanwhile, zombies tap into horror culture. Whether you’re picturing a classic zombie apocalypse scene or cooking up some zombie-related puns, there are plenty of ways to get creative. And to make your look more impactful, why not experiment with makeup and special effects?
Browse our Design Maker for reaper and zombie-themed clipart to get your creative gears grinding.
Ghosts have a special place in many cultures. They can be friends or foes, and vary widely from translucent forms of energy to realistic lifelike forms. That means you can let your imagination run wild when designing your ghostly shirts.
To create your Halloween ghost design, you can create ghostly animals, characters, or people. Make them cartoonish and cute or realistic and scary—think Casper the Friendly Ghost compared to the ghost girl in The Ring.
To design yours easily, you can explore Quick Designs, Clipart, and fonts in our free Design Maker. Depending on what you prefer, you can design a scary t-shirt or pick a funny pun to make your Halloween design un-boo-lievable.
Skeletons are another popular theme for Halloween shirts. You can either draw lifelike or cartoonish skeletons, or create a complete skeleton costume by drawing bones on a shirt and leggings.
You can use the Clipart available in the Design Maker to make your skeleton design. Play around with colors and placements, create patterns, and add a text design to make your shirt stand out.
For skeleton inspiration, explore the imagery of the Day of the Dead—a traditional Mexican holiday observed at the start of November, where families and friends gather to honor the deceased. All kinds of skeleton makeup and masks are a popular part of this event.
What says Halloween better than pumpkins?
To create your pumpkin-themed t-shirt design, draw artwork with pumpkins and Mr. Pumpkinhead or use pumpkin-related puns and jokes. You can even design an orange shirt with a jack-o’-lantern face and become a pumpkin for a day . . . or several.
It’s fall y’all! October is the perfect time to wear fall-themed apparel. Since fall is quite neutral compared to other Halloween topics, you can probably keep wearing your fall designs well into November.
Decorate your cozy sweatshirts with colorful fall leaves, fall-related quotes, or a cute harvest-themed design. You can find different fall-related graphics in the Design Maker and tweak them to make your t-shirt.
If you enjoy stories that transport you to a different era, try vintage-style designs. They create a nostalgic feel and timelessness—just think of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things. Explore different design options like spooky old houses or classic scary characters. To give your t-shirt an authentic vintage touch, opt for faded or neon colors and complementary fonts.
If you’re a fan of a dark, mysterious vibe, consider adding gothic elements. Think of eerie castles, swirling fog, and beautiful details. These elements add a layer of elegance and drama to Halloween designs.
Don’t feel like going all-out but still want to get in on the Halloween fun? Try some minimalistic design ideas! From simple graphics and embroidered patches to one-word tees, there are plenty of ways to turn up the spooky.
Create silhouettes of classic Halloween figures like a witch on a broomstick, a haunted house, or the familiar grin of a jack-o’-lantern. These designs are simple but instantly recognizable. Likewise, you can add embroidered elements, such as a ghostly outline or a spiderweb.
Finally, try out one-word ideas like BOO or EEK for a minimalistic creepy vibe.
Explore the clipart and fonts in our free Design Maker to make your own minimalistic Halloween design.
Another easy way to create a shirt design is to make a pattern. Use one element or combine several to create your own spooktacular design!
Patterns are visually captivating and easy to make. Plus, you can apply your pattern to other garment types to create matching sets in our Design Maker.
Another fun idea is to create matching Halloween shirts for you and your boo. You can either make two shirts with the same design or have two separate designs with text or conjoined ideas. It can be a great gift for your partner and make for a simple but fun costume for a Halloween party.
To make costumes for the whole family without a hassle, you can design matching t-shirts with our Design Maker. Pick a theme and comb through the built-in tools of the Design Maker to find scary and cool graphics.
Matching shirts would be great for a group of friends planning to spend Halloween together as well. You can either portray popular characters with your costumes or simply wear shirts with the same spooky designs.
Halloween puns are a fun addition to any Halloween topic. Designed a shirt with a vamp? Find a vampire joke that fits your tee. Want to spruce up your witch design? Add a bewitching pun to top it off. You can find plenty of different listicles with Halloween-themed jokes on the internet.
Remember that you can change the vibe of the design with different fonts and colors. To play up the spine-chilling or sinister elements, use red and black, neon green, orange, and yellow, instead of white, pink, and purple colors. You can also explore our Design Maker’s wide selection of fonts to find the ones that fit your text the best.
Designing Halloween shirts is a hassle-free way to create your own costume and try out your most haunting ideas for apparel designs. Pick a theme, decide the vibe you’re going for, and make the design—it’s easy to do with the built-in tools in our Design Maker.
I hope this list of Halloween shirt ideas will help you get started with your own Halloween shirt. If you get stuck, find inspiration in scary movies, stories, and ecommerce stores that offer Halloween-themed designs. Let us know how it went in the comments!
Grēte is a Senior Content Writer at Printful. After finishing a Master's degree in Creative Writing, she keeps expanding her knowledge in copywriting, translating, and editing.
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