The decorations on the outside of your home will set the stage for your Halloween party. You can either go “all-out creepy mode” with zombies, grave dwellers and ghosts or you can create a more classic Halloween scene with strobe lights, pumpkins, and witches. We’ve put together some ideas that will hopefully satisfy your craving for some spooktacular outdoor Halloween decorations that are sure to make your party a hit!
Halloween Yard Decoration
Nothing says “The Halloween Party is Here” like a huge, lit-up Wicked Sign! This sinister-looking sign is a Halloween decoration that is sure to set the scene that the Halloween party going on inside is not for the faint of heart. Just stake the letters into the ground, plug the sign in and the 60 mini lights create a glowing effect around the letters. Add a fog light and some creepy birds or snakes to create the ultimate “wicked” Halloween look.
Setting Up a Halloween Graveyard
What does every graveyard need? Tombstones, of course. To create tombstones, simply purchase large pieces of Styrofoam, paint them black and cut them into tombstone shape in several sizes. Once the tombstones have been shaped to your liking, carve RIP and names into each tombstone (or whatever creepy saying you want) and paint the words with glow-in-the-dark-paint. For more tombstone ideas including some clever quotes for tombstones, see our article How to Make a Tombstone.
After you stake your tombstone Halloween party decorations into the ground, up-light them with a spotlight or black light and add a fog machine. Place a black plastic trash bag in front of the tombstone, cover it with some dirt and shape it into a mound in front of the tombstone so the grave will look fresh. Throw down some leaves and some fake bones and you’ve got yourself a real graveyard. Tip: Make sure you place the plastic trash bag down before adding the dirt so the dirt will be easy to remove after Halloween has passed.
If you want to kick up the spooky factor a bit, create a one-of-a-kind graveyard by adding several graves and characters to your tombstone decorations. Create graves by strategically placing dirt mounds around your yard, and then add a couple of animated Halloween zombies. Place some Ground-breaking Skeletons in the ground and cover them with dirt or leaves and they’ll look as though they’re coming right up out of the ground. You can also purchase packs of faux human bones, spiders, broken-down looking lanterns and shredded clothes to lay around your yard – just make sure they are well lit.
Who do you find wandering around in graveyards? Witches! Stake some iron Witches around the yard – the soft glow of their tea light candle lanterns will make a spooky effect throughout your yard. Sit her companion, the black cat next to her to keep her company while she stands watch in the graveyard.
Place some skeleton dogs and cats outside to guard your graves and tombstones. You can pose them resting against a tombstone, perched on top of a grave or just sitting outside the doghouse waiting for “guests” to arrive. You can also put a collar and leash around the dog and pose a 6-ft skeleton next to him like he’s going for a stroll around the graves.
Don’t Forget the Trees
If you have trees in your yard and you want an ultra-scary look, get some mannequin heads, white sheets, and some thin rope. Drape the white sheet over the mannequin head and tie the rope around the mannequin’s neck. Drape the rope over a tree limb and hoist the ghost up. Cut out some fluorescent scrap paper in the shape of small, round eyes and paste the eyes onto the white sheets. Add a black light to the base of the tree and you have a spooky ghost. If that’s too gruesome for you and you’re looking for a more “witchy” theme, hang a trio of Witches hats to light up your trees. These Witch hats make a nice compliment to the Wicked yard sign. For additional ideas on what to hang in your trees, see our article on Halloween Tree Decorations.
To add some serious spookiness to your home, strategically place a Halloween strobe light in front of your most gruesome Halloween party decorations and set the strobe speed to your desired effect. Set the strobe light to slow if you want to highlight your scary display or set it to fast to really pump up the vibe on your Halloween display. You’ll also want to set up a couple of fog machines around your yard.
Light Up the Walkway
If you have a long walkway to the front door, you can line the path with some creative Halloween bags. Just take paper bags, cut them out with a spooky scene or scary Halloween sayings and add a light inside the bag so the scene will shine through. For safety, use flameless tealights, which can burn for up to 12 hours on one charge. If you don’t feel like taking the time to create your own walkway lights, animated eyeball lights are sure to show light the way to your door. They’re sound-activated and light up and move back and forth to keep your guests and trick or treaters on the right path. For a more traditional Halloween pathway, Metal Pumpkin Lights can be placed along the walkway or around the outside of your yard.
If you’re going to leave your outside lights on remove the regular bulbs from your current light bulbs on the porch or the driveway and replace them with red or purple lights. For more ideas on how to light an adult party, check out our article on Lighting Ideas for Halloween Decorations.
Whew! They Made it to the Porch
When your visitors actually make it to the porch, greet them with a life-sized animated Witch. Clutching her broom in her bony hand, her eyes light up and she moves her head as she utters different phrases to greet your guests. Sit a Misting Cauldron at her feet and add a fog machine to enhance the effect.
In one area of your porch, set up some hay bales and mix in some hay and cobwebs on the floor of your porch to give your entry an aged, dirty look. Add beat-up looking pumpkins, fake snakes and any old wooden pieces of furniture on your porch.
Perch some fake Halloween crows and fake owls along your banisters, on hay bales, atop old furniture or sit them on top of pumpkins. You can even add a menacing black cat that will turn his head from side to side as he keeps a watch out for unwanted visitors.
Hang some white or cream colored thread or fishing string from the eaves of your porch (that’s almost invisible to the naked eye) so your guests will feel like they’re walking through a real web as they enter your home. Hang more cobwebs in the corners above your door jamb and along the door knobs. You can even add a fake, bloody handprint to your door. Take a bottle of red children’s washable paint and put it in a paper bowl. Mix in a couple dabs of black paint to darken the red paint. Once your paint looks “bloody,” dip your hand in the paint and then touch your door. If you streak it, it will look like someone was in a real hurry to get out of your haunted abode.
On the door, you can create a black flower wreath. Buy a regular wreath at a craft store and either cover it with black painted flowers or dried, dead flowers and tie it the wreath hanger with a crisp black bow. Add some fake plastic spiders on the door handle and up the door to give your entry the deserted-house look. For more wreath ideas, see our DIY Halloween Wreaths article.
Nothing says Halloween like pumpkins on the porch. After you carve your pumpkin and give him a grimacing face, add a flameless tea light candle and, for an ultra-spooky effect, add some rubber snakes squirming out of the eyes of the pumpkin. Any rubber bugs or reptiles will do, but nothing is as sinister as a snake. To finish off the front door, you can add some fake spider webs all over the windows, and anywhere else where they can be draped.
Now you’ve Halloween party decorations set up for the outside of your home, now see what you can do to make your house scream with some clever Halloween party ideas for the indoors.