With less than 3 weeks left before Halloween, it’s time to think about some decoration. The easiest way to add some holiday flavor to your blog is to change your icons. Unfortunately, most of the Halloween-themed icons I could find are either low quality or just useless (not to mention the fact than 99% of these icons represent nearly identical Jack-o’-Lantern images).
One set of icons that I can recommend, is offered by TNerd.com and includes 6 social icons (Twitter, RSS, Digg, Delicious, Technorati and Stumble Upon – see the image on the left). According to the authors, these icons can be used for any private and commercial projects for absolutely free with no restrictions.
Smashing Pumpkins: A Free Halloween Vector Icon Set was created by Pien Duijverman and featured two years ago in Smashing Magazine. Images from this set have been widely used by designers ever since, you can see some of them in WordPress Halloween themes listed below.
The best of the rest is the Haunted Hotel icon set from Japanese designers HYBRID:WORKS. The set includes 12 icons (10 pumpkins, a hotel and a haunted hard drive) and a cool wallpaper. And it has a really nice Flash-powered homepage (click the Haunted Hotel link in the right part of their site).
You can see the list of other Halloween-related icon sets in my bookmarks on Delicious.
If you are up to a more radical change, you may try and install a special Halloween theme for WordPress. Below is the list of the best 5 free Hallowen-related WordPress themes I could find.
A clean and simple theme, easy to customize.
A very carefully designed, highly customizable but not the most usable theme (on the majority of screen resolutions only the top of the first post can be seen without scrolling down). By default it doesn’t display images on the main page, only the post thumbnails. Note that to show the name of your blog in the header, you’ll need to edit the logo.png file (see this tutorial to learn how to achieve the ‘supernatural’ text effect).
My personal favorite in this list. The only thing I don’t quite like is the list of tags that may easily get too long.
Another ‘design first’ theme from V. Has the same strong and weak sides as the V-Halloween theme from the same author.
A simple theme with many small cute details. The artist has really done a very good job here.
And if you are ready to spend some time and make your design truly original, check out the Dark Book Of Photoshop by Jan-Roger Nielsen. This infographics explains several simple approaches you can use to create ‘magic’ and ‘supernatural’ effects.