Decorating For Halloween
Written By Aleksander McMenamin
Halloween is just around the corner, and if you haven’t already, it's time to decorate your house for the season. Below are some ideas that you can employ to make your house the spookiest (or cutest!) one on the street.
Don’t be afraid to use pumpkins
Pumpkins scream Halloween. There are many things you can do with pumpkins, that are either cute or creepy. You can line your walk with jack o'lanterns carved by you and your kids, place jack o’lanterns on the porch, or put cute little uncarved pumpkins in your windowsills. You can even hollow them out and turn them into planters and place flowers inside the pumpkins. Carve welcoming statements like “Happy Halloween” or “Trick-or-Treat” on your pumpkins instead of faces for a cute alternative. If you’d like to go for the creepy look, opt for scary carvings with your jack o’lanterns. Stack the pumpkins, with a creepy face on top, and give them arms for a zombie-pumpkin. As they begin to decompose, they will look even more terrifying. If you don’t like the idea of rotting pumpkins on your doorstep, you can purchase reusable faux pumpkins from any Halloween store.
Get creative with spider-webs
You can buy bags of cobwebs from Halloween stores and place them around your home: front porches and garage doors are great places to start. You can purchase a giant spider-web from Etsy or Halloween stores, or make your own out of yarn or a black garland. Make the webs more spooky by lining them with spiders; you can purchase small bags by the gross to toss into the cobwebs. You can also purchase giant spiders and hang them all along the front of your house. Just be sure to safely use your ladder when you hang decorations around the outside of your home. Check out this blog for ladder safety tips.
Throw in a dash of bat
Just like any good potion, your yard needs a dash of bat-wing. The bat has been a symbol of Halloween for many years, with some folklore stating that bats could communicate with the dead. Many believed that vampires and witches could turn into bats, strengthening the association with this frightening holiday. Traditional Halloween celebrations included large bonfires that attracted lots of insects, also attracting bats, thus the association of bats and Halloween. Cut out black bats out of felt or black paper and attach them to the side of your house. If you’d like, you can hang them from the overhang of your home with fishing wire or string.
Don’t forget your doormat
You say a lot about your home’s personality based on your doormat. There are hundreds of scary or cute Halloween-themed doormats that you can place at the front of your home. Find one that suits you: whether it is a spiderweb, bloody footprints, or a coir“beware” or “trick-or-treat” mat. Don’t forget to decorate the staircase and ground leading up to your door as well. Use sticky paw prints to make it look like a large animal visited your home, or create a trail of bloody, dragging footprints to make it look like a dying zombie came to trick-or-treat.
Greet guests with life-size haunts
While your guests wait for you to answer the door, have a life-sized ghoul stare them down. You can purchase a life-size skeleton to do the trick, or you can make a ghost out of chicken wire. If you have the technical skill, make your door greeter respond to motion, terrifying your guests. Create cheesecloth ghosts to hang precariously from your roof. Give them creepy faces and skeleton hands to add to the effect.
Tell stories with tombstones
Turn your yard into a graveyard by placing tombstones around the grass. You can purchase tombstones at the store, or make them out of foam and spray paint. Be clever and put silly or scary epitaphs and names on each one like “D.M. Bones”, “Izzy Dead”, “Here lies the last child to Trick-or-treat here”, “I’ll be back”, or “You’re next.” Have skeleton arms breaking out of the ground near the tombstones for an extra haunting effect.
Employ your window
You have a lot of fun real estate in your front-facing windows. You can create silhouette scenes with shapes cut out from black paper depicting cats, bats, spooky parties, etc. You can also buy window clings that are either traditional Halloween symbols, or mad scientist-esque decor like bloody body parts. Optionally, you can use 3-dimensional props in your window to create scary scenes or wish visitors a Happy Halloween. For example, you could put a creepy doll in the window that you found at a thrift store to spook guests.
Aleksander McMenamin enjoys wandering the great outdoors and thinking about the ailments that bring ill upon society. A typical day in his life may include learning a dead language, teaching unfortunate children to paint their feelings on canvas, or wiping the sweat from his brow as he finishes work in an immaculate garden. Currently, Aleksandre enjoys writing on a variety of topics for various sites around the interwebs.