- view all thumbnails
Infuse plain white lanterns with spooky spirit in minutes. Run lengths of black ribbon along the surface of an open paper lantern (we made one lantern with ribbon and one without). Print basic jack-o'-lantern clip art (a quick online search offers lots of options) onto white paper. Trim and tape to the front of the lantern. Hang it on your porch for a delightful welcome.
Offer a warning welcome gate-side with a pretty banner sharing a Halloween phrase. Create a basic triangle template and use it to trim six triangles from outdoor-ready fabric (ours is the type that's used to cover picnic tables). Back each triangle with black cardstock; trim. Paint wood letters a bright color (glow-in-the-dark paint is a fun option), and adhere to each triangle. Use purple rickrack to create the banner.
Editor's Tip: Spray your project with a clear coat of waterproofer or plan to bring it in on damp days.
No time to man the door this Halloween? Set out a cute bucket at your gate for a grab-and-go way to celebrate the holiday. Spray-paint a bucket black, coating it a few times for full coverage. Paint wood letters with glow-in-the-dark paint to spell "treats" and attach to the bucket. Stick a shepherd's hook into the ground and hang your full-to-the-brim treat pail from it.
Ever wondered what to do with those cute, inexpensive urns from the crafts store? With a simple coat of spray paint they become spooky Halloween decorations. Stuff cotton batting and blocks of crafts foam inside. Stick white branches into the foam as desired. Cut-from-paper black bats, fabric leaves, black webbing, and a few creepy-crawly spider accents complete the look.
Nothing says "Halloween" like an orange-and-black color scheme—a perfect way to greet your guests, whether they're party-goers or trick-or-treaters. The giant floating pumpkin is actually an oversize paper lantern that's been spray-painted orange. Smaller orange lanterns are tied to bamboo stakes and planted in black pots full of succulents. Piles of orange pumpkins and gourds flank the black Dutch door.
Orange and bronze mums, pumpkins, gourds, and a bundle of cornstalks from the local garden center can transform an everyday door into an inviting fall display perfect for Halloween. Pull up a straight chair or rocking chair and drape it with a cozy quilt. Add a grapevine wreath and your door is a little bit country—and a whole lot inviting.
Your visitors will have no doubt that they're welcome when they see this vintage wheelbarrow with a welcoming message at the front door. Paint your sentiments on two large pumpkins with black or white paint. Place the pumpkins in the wheelbarrow and surround them with squash, gourds, bittersweet, and autumn leaves.
Make a spirited first impression by turning a sidelight window into a gruesome message board. Piercing cat eyes and bold lettering send a cautionary note to all who come to your front door. Use black and white papers and green stickers for cat eyes. For the message, print large letters from a computer, trace them onto black paper, and cut out. Tape the letters and eyes to the glass.
Set a dark mood by disguising the view inside the front door. Cut black paper to fit the door glass and any side windows, then trace and cut out Halloween shapes. Tape the black paper to the windows and cover the cutouts with yellow tissue paper. Your spooky designs will glow when you turn on the interior lights. Line the path to the door with glowing pumpkins.
Set a spooky tone this season with decoupaged plates displayed by the front door. Use computer-printed house numbers embellished with copyright-free skeleton illustrations. Search for the art online under "human anatomy" or "anatomy."
Since white objects are highlighted at night, a grouping of ghostly door decor made from painted gourds is sure to catch the eye and chill the heart in the dark. Use black paint to create the spirited expressions, and dangle the gourds from dormant vines, porch rafters, or tree branches. Finish off your front-door masterpiece with dried bittersweet and a painted twig wreath.
Park your witches' brooms right next to the front door. Make your own brooms by wrapping twigs and grass around wooden dowels. Then mark your Halloween "parking lot" with a sign made by printing on iron-on transfer paper and ironing the design onto a painted stretched artist's canvas. Spooky high jinks welcome here!
Who can resist these adorable Halloween treat trees to flank your front door? They're easy and festive. Fill an orange bucket with sand and insert large tree branches painted black. Cover the sand with sheet moss. Add the treat buckets and a few small black crows. Invite kids to help themselves to mini buckets of treats hanging on the branches.
A rustic chair next to the front door gets a shot of Halloween cheer when topped with a collection of gourds, squash, and pumpkins. The doorway is wrapped with a garland made of flexible twigs bundled with wire and woven with leafy branches. Mini pumpkins hang from a beam overhead while a faux bois urn supports a stack of pumpkins in graduated sizes nearby.
Celebrate the beauty and bounty of the Halloween season with pumpkins, squash, gourds, and flowers ripe with color. Nature's bounty is so pretty and interesting on its own that it needs few embellishments to become a wonderful focal point. Carve or paint a squash or gourd with a cheerful jack-o'-lantern face to add a bit of whimsy.
Add some serious sparkle and eye-popping color to your front door. Glitter-coated pumpkins in bright purple, pink, orange, and green will wake up your entry with pizzazz. Create a jaw-dropping archway with a garland of crows, ribbons, and a Halloween message. Spray-paint white or green garland if you can't find it in black, weave ribbon through it, and scatter glass ornaments all around. Use painted wood letters to spell out your Halloween message.
'Tis the season for jack-o'-lanterns and they are everywhere on this playful front door and porch. Simply paint expressions on paper lanterns and hang in a cluster for maximum effect. Then make Halloween pinatas on sticks and place in planters to flank the entry. Crepe paper jack-o'-lanterns put the finishing touch on the door.
Invite the spirits of Halloweens Past with a seance at your front door. Create a spellbinding phantom to hover over the scene with a repurposed white gown torn to shreds and enhanced with torn white plastic trash bags. Cover an old table with cloth and top with an old lamp base or wine coaster to hold a small garden gazing ball. Add a book of spine-tingling ghost stories. Boo!
With a little "witchcraft" you can set the stage for a spooky evening at your front door. Light a warm path to your door with luminaria and a lighted grapevine garland framing the doorway. Dangle a few faux bats and spiders near porch lights. Add black witch, cat, bat, and ghost silhouettes made of heavy paper to windows to increase the spooky ambience.
Create a hotel sign to welcome guests at the front door of your haunted Halloween abode. An old cast-off post gets new life when paired with a DIY sign. Simply assembled from 1x8-inch boards, the sign is painted and attached with eye hooks and chain to a vintage signpost. Be sure your sign reads "vacancy" so trick-or-treaters will know they can approach.