A steady stream of peculiar strangers showing up at your door? It must be Halloween. Give them something to remember with a front yard that’s decorated to celebrate the colorful fall season and this kid-friendly holiday. Check out our list of 10 awesome DIY Halloween decorations to inspire you.
We divided them into three themed categories — friendly, ghoulish and classic — to suit your family’s preference for welcoming your guests.
Friendly Halloween Decorations
If most of the trick or treaters in your neighborhood — and under your roof — are 8 and under, consider playful decorations. Try the following 10 ideas for inspiration.
- Superhero pumpkins. Of course, the No. 1 do-it-yourself Halloween project involves carving up pumpkins and pulling out the goop — a Halloween tradition that has its roots in Ireland. You do the carving while leaving the task of cleaning out the guts to the young ones. But you can skip the knives altogether by challenging each other to paint the pumpkins in the images of Wonder Woman, Batman, Spiderman or your other favorite superheroes. Make it a contest, with prizes for most original, super duper and funniest.
- Scarecrow. When was the last time you saw a “real” life-size scarecrow? The kids will enjoy helping you browse a resale shop for the perfect outfit for your new friend. Think outside the box. Make a scarecrow rock star or scarecrow clown. Or create a scarecrow family if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.
- Sparkle with lights. The same theory behind lighting up the home for the Christmas holidays can work here. Use pumpkins, gourds, leaves and other natural fall accents to decorate your porch, benches and other areas around your home. Accent them even further with orange or clear lights.
- Welcome, Casper. Introduce a little ghost into the mix. Use a simple white cloth and an empty milk jug (upside down) to help you form the head. Use magic marker to form the eyes and grin. Thread a wire through the top to hang the friendly ghost from a tree. Experiment with wire if you want to give your ghost a bit more volume throughout the body.
Ghoulish Greetings Decorations
Older kids and adults enjoy a good old-fashioned fright. Give them a few surprises with outdoor Halloween decorations that will raise a few goosebumps. Try out these ideas.
- Graveyard surprise. Draw inspiration from some classic Halloween horror films, like Return of the Living Dead, to create your own graveyard. Take the opportunity to rake some leaves and debris from the yard. Place a few piles near the entrance but don’t forget to place an outstretched bony arm underneath it all — ready to grab the ankles of passersby. Paint cardboard to create some interesting tombstones.
- Dark silhouettes. Freddy Krueger, the Headless Horseman, the Grim Reaper. They all have a place in horror folklore. Use large sheets of cardboard and black paper to create life-size versions of their silhouettes. Place them in various spots in the front of your home, including the garage door or near the porch … lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on unsuspecting visitors.
- Enclose your space. There’s nothing like a narrow pathway with dark shadows to creep a person out. Think about all your favorite haunted house destinations. Create that same sense of dread by hanging sheets of dark fabric around the entrance of your porch. Experiment with spider webs, ghastly sheets of white fabric and large boxes painted black and decorated with goblins to surround your visitors as they seek out a few treats.
Classic Halloween Decorations
If you prefer a more subdued, classic approach to Halloween, try traditional decorations that give a nod to the season as well as your design aesthetics. Try on these for size.
- Hay for days. Get a couple of bales of hay to create an instant platform for your decorative fall accents — pumpkins and gourds in varying sizes. Add designer touch by painting your pumpkins in your favorite neutral shades with accents like glitter, buttons and sequins. Or keep them as they are in all their natural glory.
- Bring out the luminaries. Use paper bags, coffee cans, small glass jars or other containers to create luminaries along your sidewalk or entryway. Place candles or electric tea lights inside for a beautiful glow. Whether you choose to punch designs in coffee cans or cut designs in paper bags, you’re sure to wow your guests with this simple, enchanting welcome.
- Go vertical. As with interior decorating, look for ways to decorate for the Halloween holiday by looking up. Fasten your choice of decorations — gourds, fall leaves or DIY creations — to cord, rope, wire or sturdy string. Hang your creation from trees, along your porch or around your front door.
Halloween is a time to express a bit of fun and creativity. Enjoy this holiday with a bit of DIY fun and leave an unforgettable impression on your visitors.