Put emphasis on the sweet side of outdoor Halloween decorations with this trick-free front porch that will look good all season long. We'll show you what to do with pumpkins, lanterns, mums, and more.

By Hannah Bruneman
Updated October 07, 2019
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Cobwebs and spiders are great for Halloween, but they will only last you a few weeks in October. Instead of going the spooky route with this year's Halloween decor, consider cute, but still festive, fall front entry decor.

Carson Downing

These pumpkin decorations won't intimidate young trick-or-treaters when walking up to your doorstep for candy. Plus, you don't need to tear it down as soon as November arrives—white lanterns, hay bales, and muted fall colors will carry you through the entire season! Learn how to recreate this exact look, below, or use it simply as inspiration to create a front door Halloween display of your own.

Carson Downing

A stairway is prime real estate for outdoor fall decorations. Halloween pumpkins, lanterns, gourds, and more can easily be on display without being in the path of trick-or-treaters. Balance each step by displaying decor of various heights and weights. For example, tall lanterns balance stout pumpkins, while small gourds and leaves fill in blank spaces. Paint is the easy answer for decorating a pumpkin sans carving. Place a few pumpkins painted with a buffalo check pattern into the mix for a fun farmhouse look. Be sure to line everything up on one side to make a clear path for guests.

A good outdoor Halloween display is all about the layers. A line of pumpkins outside your front porch can look boring, but festive fall props can bring the look to the next level. Here, small and medium hay bales serve as a base. A large green pumpkin sits on top, while smaller Halloween pumpkins are layered in front. Lanterns filled with Spanish moss and LED candles make for a charming nighttime element. A tall vintage bucket filled to the brim with mums breaks up the look with much-needed fall florals.

If your front porch permits it, string a tiered fall garland across the railing. This DIY pom-pom garland features three layers, each different from the last. Its simple design doesn't take away from the rest of the front door Halloween display but adds a sense of style to a place that would otherwise be left blank. This fall garland is easy to make by looping DIY felt mums and beads onto string to create a beautiful pattern.

A gorgeous white bench is a perfect place to sit and enjoy fall afternoons. Arrange a cozy lineup of outdoor Halloween decorations with a blanket and pillows to stay warm while handing out candy. The rest of the season, let it be a peaceful place to enjoy your morning coffee or hot chocolate in the afternoon. Surround the bench with various pumpkins and gourds so it looks lush and full even when it's too cold to sit outside.

Let guests know they're welcome any day during fall, not just Halloween night. We traded a traditional Halloween wreath for a custom DIY fall sign made from an old picture frame. With a few coats of chalkboard-style paint, this frame is ready for any scribbles or doodles you wish to display. Since it's easily erasable, this is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at calligraphy.

Pumpkin carving is a fun holiday tradition but the mess just isn't for everyone. To save yourself the frustration, consider an alternative method for decorating your pumpkins. Here, we used a marker to write a favorite fall motto on the pumpkin. If calligraphy isn't your cup of tea, you can also use paint, stencils, stickers, and more to spice up your pumpkin design. Another benefit? Keeping the pumpkins intact will prevent rot, meaning you can enjoy their beauty long past October 31.

If you don't think you can do much with a narrow front entry, think again. The secret is not to build out... it's to build up! This small display starts with a pile of pumpkins at the base. By snapping off the stems of a few, we were able to stack three pumpkins on top of each other for a whimsical look. The next level of the display features bright white chrysanthemums, followed by lush, extra-long wild grasses. The towering pampas grass here is sturdy enough to stand up to the strong autumn breezes.

Make sure your trick-or-treaters have a place to stand while they anxiously await your answer. This simply adorable fall doormat is a quick DIY project you can make in an afternoon. It is decorative in the early fall, but the tough, sturdy fabric will come in handy as the leaves start to fall and boots begin to track in more debris.

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