My Socially Distant Alternative to Trick-or-Treating? A DIY Candy Clothesline

Despite reports that only 12 percent of families intend to trick-or-treat this year, and the fact that in the past, only five or six kids ever come to my door, I've been committed to making Halloween happen for anyone who decides to dress up. With a toddler at home, a candy slide seemed like a hassle, and I wanted to signal to kids everywhere that this house had candy and was down to give it out by the bag-full (largely to save me from myself, because I can't stay away from the Midnight Milky Ways). That's when it hit me: Why not try a candy clothesline? The candy can be portioned out in bags and spaced out, so little Elsas and Blippis can unclip a bag and go, all while social distancing.

It's a low-effort, no-real-DIY-skills-necessary project you can tackle in less than an hour, and it's a heck of a lot easier to source the supplies last-minute than orange Easter eggs or PVC pipe (for your All Hallows Eve egg hunts and candy chutes) right now.

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What You'll Need:

How To Assemble The Candy Clothesline:

  1. Paint the dowels and let them dry. No patience for that? Skip it!
  2. Evenly space dowels along your walkway, sticking them at least six to eight inches into the ground so they don't tip over from the weight of the bags.
  3. Tie the rope to the top of each dowel.
  4. Fill bags with as much candy as you'd like. Evenly space them out along the clothesline, securing each with a clothespin.
  5. Create a sign instructing people to grab a candy bag from the line. (I kept it simple and straightforward: "Happy Halloween! This is no trick—enjoy a treat from our candy clothesline!")

candy clothesline bag

That's all there is to it! If you really want to go next-level, you could get actual clothesline pulleys and reel in your line whenever you need to reload it with more goodie bags. For me, though, I'll stick with a simple fix, wiping down the clothespins with Clorox wipes and restocking as needed, should October 31st defy tradition and more than half a dozen kids come to my door. Stranger things have happened in 2020, after all.

candace davison bio

VP of editorial, recipe developer, cookbook author

Candace Davison oversees PureWow's food and home content, as well as its franchises, like the PureWow100 review series and the Happy Kid Awards. She’s covered all things lifestyle...