While the actual ideas for decorating your home for Halloween aren't so scary--they're easy and practical--the end results will be. Lighting your driveway on Halloween night not only dresses up the occasion, it provides a safe walkway for trick-or-treating kids. Window stencils, styrofoam critters, and carved pumpkins are fun and simple to make. And, to top it all off, a faux Halloween tombstone in your yard ought to scare just about everyone.
When it comes to decorations, you can decide how much to do and how much to spend. It's guaranteed that someone else in the neighborhood will outdo you. On the other hand, getting the family involved in making and installing the decorations can be a fun event unto itself. And making your own, rather than putting out store-made decorations, means your home will have character. (Or at least, chilling characters.)
Lighting the Way Luminaries have come into vogue in Asian or Southwest theme outdoor parties. Now you can make your own for Halloween out of plastic jugs. You can download free patterns online from Better Homes and Gardens that wrap around the jugs and attach with household tape. You simply paint the pattern and add details with markers. Pour sand into the bottom of the jug and install your candles.
Build Creepy Styrofoam Spiders This one's fun. Buy two sizes of styrofoam balls and paint them black. The smaller size is the head. Now build the limbs from black pipe cleaners. Glue additional facial details with construction paper. Dangle the spiders from the doorway where kids are bound to see them. You'll find photographs of the models and the building process at Disney Family Fun.
Jumpy Jack O'Lanterns and Terrifying Tombsones Pumpkin carving can be an art. You'll need a serrated blade to cut off the top and paring knives to carve holes for the face. A hardy kitchen spoon should be ample to dig out the seeds. Make the pumpkin last a few days longer with store-bought, non-toxic preservation spray and by coating the insides with petroleum jelly to ward off mold.
The tombstone project is more demanding. You'll need foam boards, spray adhesive, PVC pipe, and rebar. HGTV has the complete, detailed process online for creating an especially spooky tombstone. Once the foam tombstone is assembled, you use a stencil from your computer printer to add the details. Boooo!