Decorating Your Yard for Halloween

By decorating your yard for Halloween, you'll provide a lot of fun for your friends and neighbors. You don't have to repaint your walls to decorate, just use a few simple tricks and treats you can transform the front of your home into an inviting, and a little bit spooky, wonderland for all the little ghosts and goblins-and the big ones as well. Begin plotting your project just after Labor Day, and plan to execute your creation by the second week of October. That way, you and your neighbors will have plenty of time to enjoy it and get in the spirit of things.


It's important, if you live among a lot of families with young children, to make your yard appealing to the younger set. You don't want to scare them away with Hollywood special effects and a hatchet wielding zombie which appeals to the older set, but you do want to maintain some of the eerie nature of the celebration. Finding the right mix takes some forethought.

If you have a creative flair you can turn your yard into a whimsical yet scary setting for little to no money. Do-it-yourself ghosts, dummies, jack-o-lanterns and gravestones can adorn your yard for next to nothing. Be sure to invite the family to join in the fun.

You can make the gravestones as elaborate as you like. You can purchase thick ply Styrofoam at your local craft store, paint it a stone grey, and "etch" the name into the foam with a screwdriver, then go over the etching with permanent black marker or paint. You can add your own scroll work if you like, along with "birth" and "death" dates for a realistic look. Insert a piece of rebar or garden stake into the bottom of the tombstone for stability, leaving a good bit exposed to insert into the ground.

An easy way to make a ghost to festoon to your tree is by using a balloon, covering the balloon with a white trash bag so that the creation resembles a ghost. Lightly tie the trash bag below the balloon so the balloon will stay inside. Affix your creation to a tree branch so the breeze can make it appear to flutter and float. You can complete the look by drawing on a face using a broad point permanent marker. A large tree that can support several "ghosts" creates a dramatic effect, however, if you don't have a tree, affixing ypur ghostly creations to your house corner at the eaves is also an option.

One fun project which will provide a thrill for the older kids is to set up a stuffed dummy with a masked face sometime prior to the events of Halloween evening. Use a pair of your own (or those of someone who will help carry out the fun) jeans, a flannel shirt, boots and gloves. Make sure you display your dummy prominently, sitting in a chair on your porch or in the yard.

On Halloween night, remove the dummy, put on the clothes, place the mask on your face and a bucket of candy on your lap. You can either offer them candy and leave them to wonder, or remain stock still, say something, and scare the daylights out of them!


You can add special effects for a little bigger investment. Dry ice, in a bucket of water, placed randomly around your yard will give off an eerie fog. Black lights to replace your porch lights can add to the mystery. Play some spooky sounds on your stereo and move the speakers outside. Decorating your yard for Halloween need not be expensive, only fun. Come on! Don't be a scaredy-cat!

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