Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.View Slideshow
Turn your front yard into a creepy cemetery to lure guests to your haunted Halloween house.
Create a spine-tingling scene sure to entertain guests and passersby with eerie realism. Use slabs of foam, paint, and readily available props to assemble a family plot full of fun.
Trees designed by Bill Lahay. Tombstones designed by Patricia Garrington and Patty Kramer.
Every haunted gathering needs a macabre master for a host. Dress life-size fake skeletons in dashing finery to provide spine-tingling personality. Browse theater shops and vintage clothing boutiques for tailcoats and top hats fit for a boo-tiful bash.
It pays to advertise, and this stone declares there's always room for one more to join the motley band below. A rotary crafts tool easily carves the realistic lettering and arrow. And a wood file rounds the edges of the tombstone to simulate the look of weathered stone.
Merry mayhem is the order of the evening, and midnight is the magic hour. A foam cutter tool's warm blade easily cuts cracks and relief letters.
Use foam slabs to build this tongue-in-cheek monument. A rotary carving tool works great for carving lettering and dimensional decorations. For the finishing touch, make it look convincing with stone-look spray paint and crafts paints that replicate decades of decay.
This bony fellow is wearing a coat of realistic-looking spray-on stone paint to match his monument, making him look as if he's been carved out of stone, too.
This fellow may have been ill once, but he's much better now, perhaps because he has a plywood coffin for support. Realistic-looking skeletons are available from seasonal stores and online. The coffin is easy to make from a 4x8-foot plywood sheet, trim molding, and paint.
No spooky cemetery would be complete without scraggly trees silhouetted against the night sky. These dimensional 8-foot-tall trees cut from spray-painted plywood feature slot joinery so they stand alone. Decked with lanterns and crows, they lend an eerie aura to the grave site.
A grinning ghoul peers from this tombstone, its message making a bone-chilling prediction. To create this look, simply cut a hole through the foam tombstone, insert a plastic skeleton head, and camouflage edges with spackling.
It looks like one fellow has nearly escaped the bonds of the world beyond. To create this illusion, disassemble a fake skeleton and arrange the arms, legs, and head in a petrifying pose. To give the tombstone an aged look, randomly spray on a light coat of green paint.
With a touch of cheeky humor, Mr. Later and Ms. Gater eagerly await their reunion. Meanwhile, their headstone, paint-streaked for an aged look, appears to have been decorated decades ago, with its bouquet of flowers spray-painted to look as if they've seen better days.