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
Don't expect much R & R at this Halloween-theme inn. The guests are skeletal, the concierge ghoulish, and the decor haunting. While you wouldn't want to sleep at the Dead & Breakfast Inn, it sure makes for a spellbinding outdoor Halloween lawn display.
Where can a ghoul go to rest her tired bones? To a dead-and-breakfast, of course, where the guests have expired long before their welcome. Welcome Mr. & Mrs. Skeleton to the Dead & Breakfast Inn by transforming your yard into a graveyard of hospitality.
This concierge (a Halloween store mannequin) has been serving at the dead-and-breakfast since 1892, but his demeanor is just as friendly as ever. He greets each guest with the promise of a quiet stay: There are no activities planned, and once you check in, you can never check out. Download the free card pattern, and glue it to heavy cardstock. Fold the card in half and display on a butler's tray with a concierge bell.
Create a relaxing haven for guests right in your front yard. Make this "boo-doir" by pounding a rusty iron bed frame into the ground. Top the bed with ancient-looking linens -- tea-stained white pillowcases. Print out the words "HIS" and "HERS" from a computer, cut out, and trace onto the pillowcases; fill in the letters with black permanent marker.
Take haunting hospitality to the next level. Leave a few mints and a single rose on the bed to welcome guests to their luxuriously spooky accommodations.
Create a comfy spot for spirits to relax using secondhand finds (such as a discarded headboard, a breakfast-in-bed tray, and an old lamp). A skeleton guest won't have any complaints about his room.
This skeleton won't be complaining about a lumpy mattress since he prefers to levitate while sleeping. Assemble this bed by screwing a cleat into the headboard and footboard of a cast-off bed. The cleat creates a ledge for a sheet of clear acrylic -- the perfect resting place for a levitating skeleton. (Dimensions of acrylic sheet will depend upon the width of the bed and the size of the skeleton.)
Even the dead don't like to be disturbed. Use this simple warning sign to make sure no one wakes up the skeleton guests.
These crows stand guard to protect the resting skeleton. Not to mention they add a creepy accent to your dead-and-breakfast scene.
After a night of rest, a macabre breakfast is in order. The blushing bride, still in her gown (scour thrift stores for inexpensive garb), lingers over her morning meal while chatting with a crow.
The trick to keeping this bride's perfect posture in order is a well-hidden support system. Use string to tie the skeleton's spine to a chair spindle so she can enjoy her breakfast without diving skull-first into it.
Fine hotels pride themselves on matching flatware and tableware. Fake a perfect set by spray-painting assorted wares with black spray paint.
Tie the table decor in with the rest of the spread by spray-painting candlesticks with black spray paint. Top the candlesticks with miniature pumpkins and a crow to serenade guest with its squawking song.
Mr. and Mrs. Skeleton will be whisked away by horse and buggy to their graveyard home after a honeymoon stay at the dead-and-breakfast.
For this couple, the honeymoon phase may never end. Give wedding vows a whole new meaning with a timeless wish painted on a weathered-wood sign.