Decorate Your Home for Halloween
by Mike Morris, editor
Halloween decorations can be elaborate or simple, store-bought or homemade, scary or silly. Turn your home into a visionary Halloween scene with these fun and frightening ideas.
Take a deep breath and follow these three simple tips:
Create a spooky graveyard scene in your front yard. Ideal props include headstones, spider webs, bats, ghosts, witches, skeletons, vampires, werewolves, undertakers, corpses rising from the ground and other sinister characters. Illuminate the scene with outdoor blacklights and fog machines for the best effect at night.
Young families can opt for less scary themes, such as friendly ghosts and witches, or scarecrows and pumpkins. Light the path to your door with homemade paper bag luminaries with Halloween-themed cutouts.
Continue the outdoor theme at the front door to greet party guests and trick-or-treaters alike.
For a scary theme, drape spider webs above the door, loaded with plastic spiders. Make a spooky door curtain with tattered cheesecloth splattered with red paint to look like blood. Attach a “Keep Out” or “Beware” sign or eerie door panel to the door, and use a fog machine, blacklights and eerie music to welcome everyone to your haunted house. For the friendly outdoor theme, you can also find door panels with cartoon ghosts, witches, Jack-o-lanterns or skeletons.
Indoors, continue the eeriness with mood lighting. Candlelight casts spooky flickering shadows, but for safety consider flickering LED candles. Strobe lights, blacklights and colored lights work well, too. Lower the dimmers or install 7-watt bulbs for the same effect.
Opt for focal points instead of overkill. One or two interesting features in a room is easier to live with than witches, ghosts and goblins everywhere. Think haunted house instead of funhouse. Complement the traditional orange and black colors of Halloween with autumn shades of red, gold and brown in accessories. Ample amounts of black paired with crimson elements can add a mature and elegant air.
For accessories, skip cutesy cardboard cutouts in favor of ornate candle holders and spider webs made from draped cheesecloth. Sling lengths of black or crimson cloth over sofas, chairs and drapes to create a chilling atmosphere. Contrast the darkness with white decorations such as skulls, ghosts and fake eyeballs.