Halloween is a great opportunity to go all out and set up outdoor decorations in front of your home. From glowing ghosts to scary ghouls, this is the perfect time to use your imagination and create a dazzling display.
Here are some tips and suggestions to get you thinking outside the pumpkin!
- Keep it safe. Remember that on Halloween night, small kids will be making their way through the neighborhood in search of treats, and they don't always take the time to stay on the sidewalk or watch where they're going. Keep lawn decorations easily visible, and store any cords or wires well away from places that little feet can find them.
- If you'll be hanging strings of lights anywhere, there are a few safety points to remember. First, check all of the strings for broken or damaged lights and replace them as necessary. Also check for frayed cords, damaged plugs, and any other discrepancy that could cause a risk. To reach high places, always use a ladder.
- You can fashion homemade gravestones out of old cardboard and some paint. Look around online for funny gravestone sayings and add them with paint or magic marker. When you're ready to display these, weigh them down with small bags of sand, dirt, or rocks so that they won't get blown away.
- Create a scarecrow, monster, or other scary creature out of old clothes. For the head, use an old pillowcase or a blanket, stuffed and tied at the bottom. Draw on facial features and add fake blood as needed. Stuff the clothing with leaves or hay, and attach it all together with a staple or glue gun. These creatures can sit on your lawn furniture, hang out over a railing, or even be hung from a sturdy tree branch.
- After carving your pumpkins, rub the cut surfaces with lemon juice to keep them looking fresh. Set them up on a sturdy table or right on the ground, but out of the way of children who will be knocking on your door. Try to use mini lights, flashlights, or glow sticks to light your pumpkins with rather than candles, which are a fire hazard.
- You can buy all kinds of really fun outdoor Halloween decorations at department stores, craft stores, home and garden retailers, and party supply outlets. If you go this route, try not to overdo it. If you have too many things going on, people won't notice the individual decorations - instead they'll be overwhelmed.
- You can make "spider webs" out of sheets of cotton batten. Just tug along the sides and pull the cotton apart, bit by bit, until it's stretched out thinly and has holes throughout. Then place your spider webs over doors, on bushes, on tree branches, or anywhere else it looks spooky. Hold them in place with push pins wherever you can.
- To highlight a certain part of your Halloween decorations, use a spotlight. Make sure that the spotlight isn't too bright, and that it isn't aimed to shine directly in your window (or that of your neighbor).
- If you're planning to use Halloween music, decorations that make scary sounds, or blinking lights, try to use restraint on the days leading up to Halloween. Your neighbors will thank you! Also, if the music or sound effects are truly frightening, consider using them only in the later hours so they won't scare the very young kids who do their trick or treating at the first signs of darkness.
Stay safe, and have fun!