Halloween window cling decorations come in numerous types like vinyl decals, gel clings, stickers, and posters, but not all are created equal and frankly, not all are worth your money. There are some things you should know before you rush out and buy that really cool looking Halloween window cling.
I’ve learned what makes a good – and a terrible – window cling over the years by trial and error. To me, it comes down to three primary considerations: Stain-resistance, durability, and transparency. Since window clings aren’t typically very expensive, I’m going to leave cost out as a major deciding factor.
Sadly, I’ve learned the hard way that gel clings have a tendency to stain certain materials. I once left my bloody handprint gel clings on top of this vinyl ghost cling that I’d set on a table for a few minutes while tidying up after Halloween, only to find that the colour had run and stained the other cling. They never stained my windows or mirrors, but suddenly I no longer trusted their quality. For that reason, I replaced them with non-gel handprints and have never looked back.
Don’t get me wrong – my daughter still loves her pumpkin and witch themed gel clings and every year she puts them up on the window. She does the same with Christmas gel clings too. I just make sure they only touch glass.
If you plan on re-using your window clings, be sure to get the higher-quality ones, as they tend to be quite affordable anyway.
Cheap gel clings will tear easily, forcing you to dispose of them after only one use, while the good ones are surprisingly strong — even when a six-year old tugs them off of the window.
Some vinyl decal and poster clings are actually stickers and can leave a hard-to-clean sticky glue residue, so my advice is not to leave your new clings on display for too long the first year, until you can determine whether they’re good quality or not.
Personally I’ve had great success with Amscan window clings, and terrible luck with dollar store brands. I’ve been re-using my Amscan clings for years without any issues. That’s because they’re adhesive-free static clings, which I highly recommend. I guess it’s true what they say: you get what you pay for (usually).
Transparency is a matter of preference, but also of professionalism in my opinion. It’s all about the finished look, especially when it starts to get dark at night and your party guests are about to arrive. A window cling with transparent background and edges that blend into nothing is an ideal choice, as it creates the illusion that there really is something outside (or inside) your window.
Any window cling with clearly visible edges just won’t look realistic, which is why I like to avoid opaque backgrounds at any cost.
That said, if you can cover the entire window with the cling without any edges showing, great! Be sure to measure twice before buying though. In my personal experience though, the dimensions are never quite right to fit perfectly into a window – and I’ve tried every window in my last two homes, without any luck.
You can also buy a larger non-transparent cling and try to cut it to size, but I’ve found that usually, either the height or width still won’t be right, or you’ll end up having to cut a vital part of the image.
The simplest and most effective approach is to find a cling with transparent edges (and ideally a transparent background as well) that will fit your window. Even if it’s a bit smaller than your window, that won’t matter because the transparency means it won’t show.
Not Just For Windows
You don’t have to limit your thinking to just window clings. There are many variations – like clings for your floor, car window, or even toilet tank. There are also other accents like bloody shower curtains to go with your bloody hand- and footprints, for example. Party stores and online retailers like Amazon (or Amazon.ca if you’re in Canada) and Spirit Halloween have many of them to choose from.
I hope this helps and provides some context the next time you’re looking at Halloween window clings.
Of course, it’s just my opinion. I’d love to find out what your favourite clings are. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences by posting them below!
Get more helpful Halloween party tips in the Hosting section.