As I’ve likely explained in every Halloween post I’ve written so far, I lurv this holiday. I’m not big on the sexy costume stuff, but I do like me some gore, and I definitely appreciate a well-decorated yard. So, having always been one to gorify my house in the spirit of All Hallows Eve, I give you 10 steps to make your yard scarier than Madonna’s arms.
Step 1: Pumpkins
Do I really need to even list this as a step? Srsly? Well, to get your lawn looking uber-Halloweeny, you don’t need to get super fancy with your carving, but you do need quantity. Your knuckles will probably be pretty red from scooping out all those pumpkin innards. Do you want some cheese with that whine? Opt for simple but creepy faces – inward sloping eyebrows, slanted eyes and sharp teeth all do the trick. Get started with free printable pumpkin carving patterns here and here.
Step 2: Spider Webs
They’re a total pain in the ass to work with, but fake spider webs, when used correctly, will transform any cheery porch into a creepy, crawly candy pit. For added effect, put fake spider webs on any colorful flowers and plants that seem to have survived Fall so far. Check out this hilarious post about the right and wrong ways to use fake spider webbing.
What’s any respectable lawn without a grave yard? Buy convincing tombstones online (BuyCostumes.com has them – get 10% off with coupon) or make your own with Styrofoam or wood. Use a fine-tip marker to draw on crack marks and eerie names. Use some more of that spider webbing to make them look old and uncared for.
What good is all of your hard work if no one sees it? Pick your creepy lighting color of choice (purple, blue, green or red) for your spotlight, which you can easily conceal in a wooden create or with leaves (see below). Another must? A strobe light! Either place it outside to highlight your grave yard or add mystery to the inside of your home with lights flashing in an upstairs window. Remember, parents want peace of mind, so lighting – especially a well-lit path – is a must.
Step 5: Leaves
It seems like Fall has come a bit early this year, so you should have some raking done by the time Halloween comes around. Keep a few garbage bags worth of dead leaves in your garage until the big day, and scatter them around your tombstones and yard to up the eerie, unkempt look.
Above all things, don’t skimp on the candy and chips. Kids only want so many Smarties.
Advanced Steps for Dr. Frank-N-Furters:
Step 6: Dry Ice
You want scary? Invest in a dry ice machine and make that lawn look extra haunted. Remember to keep the mist over your yard instead of walkaways, since parents might be too worried about tripping hazards to let their kids walk your path.
Step 7: Moans & Groans
It’s not easy finding a Halloween soundtrack that isn’t cheesy, but browse iTunes for something you like. Play the music from a cracked front window; they’ll think the noises are coming from – gasp! – inside the house and will be begging to know if you’re running a full-on haunted house.
Step 8: Window Decorations
You can find some great window props online and at your local Halloween store, like bloody hand prints, eyes lurking in the shadows and the silhouettes of cats and bats. Check out this pic I found – it’s the outline of someone hanging by by the window! Creep factor: +10 points.
Step 9: Board Up Your Windows
How to create a boarded-up window effect. eHow, I love you.
Step 10: Answer the Door in Costume
What? Were you planning on greeting spooked trick-or-treaters wearing a Cosby sweater? No. The final step to decorating your yard for Halloween is to be even scarier than your lawn. Hand out candy on a silver platter as a Headless Butler or out of your cauldron as a wart-ridden witch.
Speaking of advanced decorating, did you see this homeowner who decorating his front lawn like it was an airplane crash? Dang!
Well, there you have it. Ten steps sure to turn your yard from green to ghoulish. Boom.