By Laurie Jo Miller Farr
Are you ready to get into the spirit of things this Halloween? Take your spooky instincts way beyond carved pumpkins and a jack o' lantern in the window with these inexpensive, beginner-level DIY projects for at-home decorating with a creepy All Hallows Eve theme.
Front Lawn As A Graveyard
If you have a front yard, transform it from green grass into a creepy graveyard. DIY tombstones are a quick, easy, and realistic way to scary-up your exterior decor. You'll need:
- foam board
- a marker
- 5-inch wooden dowels
- spray paint
- a serrated bread knife or razor cutter tool or electric carving knife
Use the knife or a razor cutter to cut out the shapes. For stability, insert 5-inch-long wooden dowels into holes drilled in the bottom of the foam board. Secure them with construction adhesive and let dry. Apply a base coat of interior flat brown or grey paint or use spray paint. When your gravestone is dry, add the RIP. Who's in your grave? Will Knott Rest, Helen Bach, or perhaps Seymour Coffin?
Front Door Or Porch With A Spider Web
Turn your front entrance into a haunted house with a giant, sticky spider web. You'll need:
- black electrical tape
- tacks or a heavy duty staple gun
Start with two long strips of friction tape for the outside edges of the web, running them right across a window if there is one. Then add several more long strips to fit the space, securing the ends to the wall using tacks or staples. Add shorter strips between the long ones and you're done.
Windows Draped In Tattered Curtains
Continue with the haunted house theme at your front windows and door. You'll need:
- kids' scissors
- duct tape
Give the cloth a dingy, old look by soaking it in a sink full of coffee or tea. Wring out the cloth and hang it dry. With your fingers, tear and shred the cloth, fraying it at the bottom with the dull scissors. Make little holes here and there. Use duct tape to secure the cloth to the top of the window frame so you can peek out at trick or treaters.
Bloody Handprints On The Windows
Bloody red handprints are one of the scariest, most realistic touches you can add to a pane of glass. You'll need:
- cling film kitchen wrap
- non-latex surgical gloves
- all purpose glue
- adhesive tape
- plastic spoon and bowl
- red food coloring
- a cutting board or clipboard
Cover your flat surface with the cling film, stretch tight, and secure with tape at the back. In an old plastic bowl, mix the food coloring one drop at a time into an ounce of glue and stir. Cover the palm of one gloved hand in glue and press it onto the cling film. Lift and let it dry before repeating with the glove covered in colored glue and press it on the same print. Do likewise to make fake drops of blood, too. When the hand prints are completely dry they'll be transparent. You can peel them off the cling film and fix your bloody art onto any smooth surface.
Hanging Witches Hats
Order a few inexpensive nylon witch hats online or buy them in the Halloween costume section at your favorite store. In addition, you'll need:
- fishing line
- long needle
- LED light sticks
- safety pins
- outdoor command hooks for lights
Attach the command hook to the ceiling where you want to hang the witch hats. Thread your needle with 2-3 feet of fishing line and feed it through at the outside tip of the hat to the interior, leaving some line on the outside. Secure a safety pin to the line on the inside and add a lightweight light stick to the pin. Now just tie a loop in the end of the fishing line on top of the hat and hang it on the command hook.
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