Eerie Outdoor Halloween Decorations
Deck out your front door, porch, sidewalk, and yard with eerie Halloween decorations that cast a spooky spell over the whole neighborhood. Each easy Halloween ideas is made for outdoor displays and can weather the cold or rain.
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Crow Silhouette Planter Box
Pay homage to the spooky, bird mascot of the season with this easy weekend DIY project! Assemble your planter box using wood from the hardware store (or purchase a premade planter) and trace a cutout crow shape onto the finished outside edge. Finally, fill in the silhouette using black paint and let dry before placing outside and filling with mums.
(image credit: Gretchen Holcombe)
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Colorful Skull Luminaries
Play with all the colors of Halloween with neon painted luminarias. To make, dab glass paint onto clean glass jars using a sponge. Use a few coats and a paint brush to smooth the final coat. Draw or print skull clipart onto contact paper, remove the backing, and adhere to the dry painted jars. Dab on a few thin coats of black paint and remove the stencils when done. Add tea lights to the jars and use them to line your walkway come trick-or-treat time.
(image credit: Amanda Formaro)
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Lacy Ghost Mobile
To create your own ghoulish spinning mobile, you'll need large plastic Christmas ornaments, lace fabric, white and black yarn, black felt, an embroidery hoop, white string, and fishing line. Although the supply list seems extensive, it's a straightforward project. To start, wrap the ornaments with the lace and tie with yarn. Adhere felt eyes. Wrap the embroidery hoop with black yarn and add enough string to hang it from your porch ceiling, an overhang, or a tree. Attach the ghosts with fishing line.
(image credit: Monica Shanks)
Eerie Halloween Entry
Check out this decked-out Halloween entry. We share DIY tips!
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Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns
Beat the elements with these all-weather paper lanterns. Simply coat paper bags with Modge Podge and let dry (you'll need to gently disassemble and later reassemble the bags for this step. Chose battery-operated tea lights for worry-free lighting on Fright Night.
(image credit: Ashley Rose)
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One bird: Not a big deal. A whole flock of them? Well, that's something a little more scary. Assemble a collection of faux ravens and arrange them in a variety of poses on your fence, porch banister, deck railing, even roof line. Secure with cable ties and black duct tape.
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Think of the spooked resonses from passersby when a passel of whiskered pests marches up your front walk. Enlarge our rat patterns, below, then transfer to plywood. Cut out the rats, sand, and paint them black. Screw vertically aligned U-brackets to the back of each rat. Prop up the rats by slipping each rat's U-brackets over a plant stake pushed into the ground.
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Flying Bat Display
Ominously animate your yard with colonies of going-airborne bats. Enlarge and trace our bat patterns, below. onto black foam-core board and cut out; poke two holes into each bat for black cable ties to hold it onto a branch. Stick tall limbs into the ground or into sand-filled buckets. Place the largest bats high on the branches and smaller ones toward the bottom, making sure each cable tie is tight.
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Ensnare trick-or-treaters with this crafty doormat that resembles a spiderweb. To make, cut a 3x4-foot lightweight black mat into a 36-inch diameter circle using heavy shears. With chalk, draw a spiderweb design onto the mat. Cut clothesline into pieces to fit your design, and singe the ends of each piece to prevent fraying. Use heavy-duty white glue to attach the clothesline pieces to the mat, covering the chalk lines.
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You can evoke Halloween without going to great lengths to be scary. Pumpkins -- the most treasured symbol of the season -- used to be bland and basic, but new types and shapes add visual and graphic texture. Stack several pumpkins on top of each other to create a sculpture; accent with potted seasonal flowers and tall dried cornstalks. For a little bit of eerie, add a faux raven or large spider.
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Polka-Dot Halloween Wreath
Looking for Halloween outdoor decorations that are a wee bit scary but mostly just fun? Try this colorful, ever-so-slightly creepy wreath, festooned with lacy, dotted fabric and faux rats. To start, cut 18 to 20, 8x2-1/2-inch strips from lime green cotton fabric. Apply crafts glue thinned with water to the back of the strips using a foam brush. Cover a 12-inch plastic foam wreath form with the fabric, smoothing the ends to the back and securing with T-pins. Overlap fabric strips to cover the whole form and let dry.
Next, lay a piece of lace fabric with 1-inch-diameter dots or other pattern over the fabric-wrapped wreath; cut an X in the center so the fabric wraps easily to the back. Secure with T pins. Trim excess fabric and hot-glue rubber rats to the wreath. Tie a sheer black ribbon into a bow and glue in place.
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Upside-Down Witch Halloween Urn
This easy-to-make Halloween decoration looks like a wayward witch landed headfirst in a moss-filled urn. To re-create the look, dress bendable mannequin legs (available online) in striped hose and buckled shoes. Place upside down in a tall urn filled with moss by your front door.
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Give your visitors a frightful hello with a welcome from these bare-boned greeters. Pose several skeletons on the porch and on the roof, securing them with fishing line. Add props as appropriate to your Halloween aesthetic -- scary or whimsical.
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Toxic Spill and Insects
Poisonous it is not: This "puddle" -- meant to look like a toxic spill -- is actually hardened white glue. Outline a desired shape on a melamine sheet; fill in with glue and let dry. Using a font of your choice, create a "poison" label and attach to an empty bottle. Add a squirt of glue to the bottle, then lay it on its side. Remove the dried glue puddle from the melamine, place it and the bottle where desired. Attach plastic insects with more glue.
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This overflowing cauldron is full of spooky potion ingredients, including spiders, rats, eyeballs, and bat wings. Fill two plastic cauldrons (found at Halloween stores) with spray-foam insulation; let dry. Use spray paint to add a yellow-green tint to the dried insulation. Tip one cauldron on its side and adorn with creepy-crawly items.
Editor's Tip: Wear gloves and always direct the spray-foam application away from you. Don't let small children near the display until the spray-foam has dried.
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Snakes Under the Doormat
Guests will step back in fear, thanks to a slithering mass of snakes. Spray-paint rubber snakes glossy black. Create various lengths of snakes by cutting them in two; arrange at the edge of a thick plastic-foam board and glue to the edges. Set the board underneath a doormat.
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Wicked Witch Silhouette
This life-size outdoor witch statue stirring a cauldron full of heads is sure to draw attention to your yard on Halloween. Get our free witch pattern, available below, and then learn more about how to make the statue from plywood and black paint.
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Easy-to-find supplies and a few minutes are all it takes to create this elegant, holiday-theme wreath. Cut enough spiderweb fabric to cover an embroidery hoop; secure with hot glue. Attach a plastic spider with another dab of hot glue; tie a bow from black ribbon and hang.
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Bat-and-Cat Garage Door Design
Think of your garage door as a giant canvas on which you can place a multitude of Halloween images. This temporary artwork is made from removable black cloth tape (in 2-inch and 3-inch widths) and black crafts-foam sheets cut into spooky shapes. Simply use loops of tape to press the silhouettes into place on the garage door.
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Kids can help create this whimsical, colorful wreath with a hidden surprise -- spiders! Start by assembling materials: 40 to 50 plastic-foam balls (1 inch, 1-1/2 inches, and 2 inches wide); fuzzy black and plain black, green, purple, and orange yarn; a 12-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF) wreath form; seven 12-inch-long black chenille stems; and googly eyes. Wrap and cover one large, two medium, and two small plastic-foam balls with fuzzy black yarn, using hot glue to secure (these will be your spiders). Wrap the remaining plastic-foam balls with the black, green, purple, and orange yarn. Tie four lengths of black yarn to the wreath, spacing evenly, to create eight spokes. Weave a continuous spiral with a long length of black yarn to create a spiderweb. Hot-glue the yarn-covered balls to the wreath, then attach the fuzzy yarn balls. Cut the chenille to create legs (eight 3-inch pieces for the large spider, sixteen 2-inch pieces for the medium spiders, and sixteen 1-1/2-inch pieces for the small spiders); insert into the yarn balls and bend to form legs and feet. Hot-glue the spiders to the yarn balls and hot-glue eyes to the spiders.
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Ghoulish Glaring Eyes
These unblinking eyes are sure to make guests do a double take. Select plastic-foam balls in varying sizes and draw large pupils using a permanent marker. Use a toothpick or stick to hold eyes together. Attach the pairs of eyes to a dark-color bench or fence to help them pop.
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Trick or Treat, Happy Halloween, Boo: Whatever your Halloween sentiments, use pretty pumpkins to spell it out. Use painters tape to mark off stripes; paint with black acrylic paint. Trace letters or words with stencils; use a small brush to paint them with more black paint; let dry. Using a large drill bit, cut out evenly spaced holes.
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Turn a tree into a frightening spider nest with stringy white weblike material. String material around tree branches to create the illusion of a massive spiderweb. Fashion some of the material into balls and add small plastic spiders for a spooky spider tree.
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For a less scary approach, cut out some costumed trick-or-treaters for your yard. This ghost and witch fit right into the Halloween scene with their candy-filled buckets.
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Owl-in-Tree Door Silhouette
Simplify the window silhouette concept by crafting just one shape and placing it in a prominent spot: your front door. All who ring your front doorbell will be greeted by this chilling display, perfect for trick-or-treat night.
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Wheelbarrow of Bones
Put your wheelbarrow to work during the graveyard shift. Punctuate a heap of dirt with plastic bones and watch the trick-or-treaters' reactions.
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Witches and More Window Silhouettes
Show the neighborhood your Halloween spirit with a facade of sinister decor. Copy, enlarge, print, and cut out our silhouette patterns. Trace onto black paper. Cut out the silhouettes and tape onto the inside of indoor windowpanes. Illuminate your display from the inside with a few strategically placed lamps.
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Light your sidewalk with a lineup of petite pumpkins. Hang carved jack-o'-lanterns from shepherd's hooks using hangers crafted from heavy-gauge wire. Battery-powered candles will keep the pumpkins illuminated without risk of fire.
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Cat and Jack-'O-Lantern Silhouettes
Skip the standard jack-o'-lantern and step it up a Halloween notch with pumpkin-face silhouettes. The scary stack gets some company from a pack of black cats.
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Spooky House Numbers
White plates adorned with skeletons display house numbers in a way that gives guests a glimpse of spooky things to come. Simply decoupage computer-printed numbers and Halloween graphics to clean, dry plates. (You also could use rub-on or sticker numbers.) Use your fingers to smooth out any extra wrinkles and decoupage medium. Let dry, then completely coat the plate with decoupage medium again and let dry. Display in a plate rack or by using multiple plate hangers.
Editor's Tip: These plates are for decorative use only and should not be put in the dishwasher. Simply wipe them clean with a damp cloth.
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Outdoor Skeleton Crew
Gather a group of skeletons to act as spooky yard greeters. Perch the gang on a bench or ledge and add top hats and bow ties. These guys are sure to create a bone-chilling Halloween.
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Hanging Ghost Gourds
Adorn your front stoop with a tangle of lifeless branches and vines hung from porch rafters. Paint gourds white and add ghostly expressions with black paint. Suspend gourds from the rafters so they hang down among the vines. When darkness comes, the apparitions will be illuminated by shifting shadows, a scene guaranteed to frighten and chill.
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Scare the pants off passersby with a front yard featuring mummies that eerily rise and pose to haunt the twilight landscape.