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Here are our top Halloween decoration ideas, some of which you will need some simple materials and flair for creativity and others a few household tools or gardening equipment.
1. Spooky walls
If you are planning on hosting a Halloween party then why not make a feature out of one of your bare walls? Perhaps you plan to repaint a wall or room anyway, so why not create a scary scene for Halloween beforehand? You could use black paint on a bare white wall to stencil on an eerie, thorny tree with a tweeting owl, set against a moonlit background. Or you could use wall stickers to add funky spider webs or graveyard headstones with freaky hands reaching out. If you don’t want to mark your existing décor, then you could always cut out an array of spiders, bats, headstones and evil pumpkins from black and orange cardboard and pin them to your freaky feature wall with temporary adhesive.
2. Brilliant broom sticks
You can’t have a Halloween party without a gaggle of wicked witches and wizards! So why not create some broomsticks to add the finishing touches to your pointed hat, crooked nose and wonderful wizard capes? You could use old broom handles and tie bundles of straw onto the back. Or for a more authentic look you could go hunting for foot-long logs or large branches to use as the base of your broom. Just make sure you sand properly any wood you use with a sander or sanding paper to prevent any splinters or injuries.
3. Sinister scarecrow
Scarecrows are traditionally used by farmers to scare birds away from their bounty of juicy vegetables but why not create yours to scare your unsuspecting guests too? The easiest way to create a head for your scarecrow is to carve a pumpkin or a turnip with a scary face. But you could also use an old pillow case filled with hay as the basis for your freaky face. This method will allow you to be more creative with the characteristics of your face; why not give him one eye, a mole or a hooked nose? Now you need to find an old shirt and pants and stuff with more hay or old scrunched up newspaper. Why not use a black and red striped top and make your scarecrow look like Freddie Kruger!
Fix your scarecrow together with string or sew the top and bottom together – you don’t need to be a competent sewer, the rougher the better as it will all add to the overall effect. Adding accessories is the fun part. If you have made a witchy scarecrow then why not add a broomstick and pointy hat or even some red sparkly shoes like the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz? You could create a severed head with another pillow case and bloody coloured straw or cover your figurine with evil rats, bats and bugs.
4. A bathroom bloodbath
We’ve all watched Hitchcock’s classic thriller Psycho through our fingers in terror as Norman Bates takes out his murderous revenge on guests at the Bates Motel. So why not transform your bathroom into an eerie scene from the movie by painting bloody red handprints onto a plain white shower curtain, footprints onto an old bathmat and blood splatters along the walls? You could also slash the shower curtain with scissors too for added affect. Your party guests may end up feeling so freaked out they leave the light on and door unlocked!
5. Lurid lanterns
Cheap circular, paper lampshades can be easily transformed into something far freakier with a bit of imagination and creativity. You could spray paint them orange and create menacing pumpkin-style faces with black paint. Or, as you would with a pumpkin lantern, why not carve out scary faces or bat and spider shapes so the fragmented light scatters eerily across your room? You could also use your lights to hang decorative creepy paper cut-out spiders or bats. Or you could even pick colourful autumnal leaves from your garden and attach them to your light decoration to emphasise the seasonal theme. Eeeek! Just make sure none of your decorations touch the light bulb to prevent any fires.
6. Grisly ghosts
If you have some tools to hand and would like to scare your neighbours during October then why not create some ghostly figures for your garden? You will need some easily pliable chicken wire, some tough protective gloves and pliers. Use the tools to shape the wire into headless, ghostly figures, perhaps with wavy Victorian style dresses. You will then need to spray paint the figurines with glow in the dark or white paint so they eerily light up when darkness falls.
7. Haunted garden cemetery
No one needs to die in the making of this Halloween decoration! To create your haunted garden cemetery cut out different shaped headstones from old cardboard boxes – cereal boxes would be ideal – and paint them grey and black to look like century-old ageing tombstones. Once the paint is dry then you can customise them either with a simple RIP or even with the names of some of your guests to spook them as they arrive at your party. You could glue some artificial moss onto your tombstones to make them look more aged or even attach some wretched looking zombie hands reaching up from the earth.
Glue a wooden or plastic garden stake onto the back of your tombstone to plant it into the ground. If you don’t mind making holes in your lawn you could also use gardening tools to create holes in front of your headstone to create the illusion of zombies having escaped.
For a more authentic approach you could also use pieces of reclaimed wood to create your headstones so they look more authentic and will last for more than one Halloween season. You can buy cheap pieces of wood from any DIY or hardware store but you will also need protective gloves, a saw and sander to complete the job.
8. Coffin cooler
What screams Halloween more than a creaky coffin? With some wood, nails and a little imagination you could make your own ‘bed for the dead’ to use in a variety of ways. If you want your coffin to be approximately life-sized you will need six pieces of wood, two for the top and bottom, two long sides and two shorter ends. Cut the bottom and top lengths of wood into a graduated coffin design, slimmer at the bottom where your feet would go. Measure out the sides and ends and nail together, sanding down any rough edges as you go. You will need some hinges for the lid and should be able to buy these from any DIY shop.
Then you need to paint your coffin black, brown or grey to make it look more authentic. Try using an old sponge or scrunched up newspaper dipped in paint to create a mottled, aged look. You can even add an RIP to the lid or your name and a freaky testament about how you might have died.
You could line your coffin with material, hay or soil, depending on how and how or where you want to use it. You could use it to create a gravedigger scene on your front lawn, perhaps even hiding in it to jump out on your party guests as they arrive! Or if you have made a smaller one, why not turn it into a drinks cooler? You could extend the theme by creating unappetising labels for your drinks, transforming ordinary tomato juice into bloody Mary’s and beer into witches brew. Serve yours with toy eyeballs, fake false teeth and plastic bugs frozen into ice cubes.