Decorating your home for Halloween should be more than just hanging up some streamers and putting a pumpkin lantern in the window. The first impression people get when they come trick-or-treating or arrive at your party is the front of your house and your garden and you’re really missing out on setting a spooky atmosphere if you don’t decorate your garden for Halloween.
Some of the most effective decorations I’ve seen for Halloween are for use outside – think about making your house look so scary that people will be scared to come to the front door! This is how you really turn your home into a creepy haunted house for the evening.
A graveyard in your garden
One of the scariest ideas I’ve seen for Halloween is turning your front garden into a graveyard. This can be truly scary at night especially if you add some atmospheric lighting and creepy props.
How to recreate this look at home? First you’ll need some gravestones. You can make these yourself out of polystyrene and paint if you want, although it’s much quicker and easier to buy them ready made. This set of five gravestones is great value for money and looks really authentic. Buy a couple of sets for a really impressive look:
To make the graves look really authentic, put them in the ground at random angles so it looks like they’ve been there a long time and are starting to deteriorate. Scattering dried leaves all over the ground is the perfect finishing touch. Luckily you can get these easily and free at this time of year – just go to your local park and gather them up. You’ll probably want to collect them over a few days so you have enough to cover your whole lawn. If you really want to terrify passing trick-or-treaters, you can lie down in the leaves and get up when they walk past!
You could also add an entrance sign for your graveyard like this one; “Last Stop Cemetery”
Next consider adding some extra spooky props to your graveyard. These skeleton stakes are perfect as once they’re in the ground, it looks just like a skeleton is trying to dig its way out of the grave!
If your budget is a little higher, you won’t regret splashing out on a full skeleton – just imagine how terrified your visitors will be when you see one of these lying in a makeshift grave! What’s special about this skeleton is that it’s battery operated and the skull lights up and blinks on and off spookily.
You could also scatter a few skulls around, maybe one half-buried. These life-size skulls look very realistic and make a fine Halloween prop.
To make your graveyard look even more spooky, add some fake cobwebs hanging from the trees and between the gravestones. This stretchable spiderweb is very cheap so you can buy lots of it and each packet comes with a plastic spider – add a few more for extra effect.In terms of lighting, for this look, the darker the better. Candles suit the mood and don’t light up the scene too much. As normal candles are a fire risk, it’s a good idea to invest in some electric flameless candles like these. They come with a remote control and a timer and look very realistic:
These LED solar jars are also very effective if scattered around on the ground and hanging from trees. As they’re solar powered, you don’t have to worry about batteries and they’re a really versatile outdoor light that you can use at any time of year, not just Halloween – they’ll look really beautiful in your garden when it’s returned to its normal state!
Finally, if you can fit it in your budget, a fog machine will really make a world of difference in creating that spooky graveyard atmosphere. Fog machines these days are very compact and much cheaper than you might think, for example this one is currently less than £30.
Festive and fun outdoor Halloween decorations
You don’t have to make your garden terrifying if you’re trying to create an impressive look for Halloween. If you’re hosting a party for kids or expecting lots of young trick-or-treaters it’s probably not a good idea to create the graveyard look above as it might be a little too scary for your younger visitors.
Instead you can create a fun look with novelty lights, friendly ghosts, funny pumpkins and other not so scary Halloween symbols.
If you’re going for this look, the lighting is probably the most important part. Fairy lights always work well and you might want to think about what colours or designs will work best with your garden and your other garden halloween decorations. plain white fairy lights are fine, but orange or green versions work even better for halloween. You could also use a rope light to guide the path to your front door for trick-or-treaters, like this one:
novelty lanterns like the ones below also help to light up your garden and brighten things up. Don’t forget to add some traditional carved pumpkin jack-o-lanterns too.
Once you’ve got your lighting sorted, you can choose some other fun props to place around the garden. Remember to keep it funny rather than too scary. Something like this giant spider is a good choice – kids know spiders are supposed to be a scary Halloween thing but this one has a face that’s too funny to be scary. These are also so cheap that you could buy several of them if you have a large garden. Maybe construct a giant spiderweb out of string or spray-paint one on your lawn:
These pumpkin bags are a really simple, cheap and easy Halloween garden decoration and they’re also useful for collecting fallen leaves and other garden waste. Don’t use normal black bags when you can use these fun Halloween ones that double up as an outside decoration!
These hanging ghosts are a cute idea if you have trees in your garden and they also look funny instead of scary so you won’t run the risk of terrifying any neighbourhood kids:
If you’re looking to make a big statement, something like this giant inflatable ghost is eyecatching but as it’s not realistic, it’s not too scary. You can also get these giant inflatables as a witch and other designs.