- Holidays and Celebrations
Spook Out Your Front Porch
A Spooky Porch Brings Chills to Your Visitors
I love Halloween and one of the things I love to do is spook out my front porch for my neighborhood trick or treaters. Every year I try to do something different to keep it fresh, but I also try to keep it friendly. I don't want the little kids to be afraid to come up the steps and get their candy. I don't go out and spend a lot of money. I try to keep it simple, using Halloween props from years past or making my own with household items. Keeping your decorating simple makes it easy to take down the next day.
I also dress up to hand out the candy. I have made my costumes and bought them, so I have a tote full to choose from. My friendly, little Bichon dog likes to hang out and greet the kids. He doesn't like wearing costumes, but since he's pure white I tell everyone they must be seeing my ghost dog. Most of the kids know Happy so they think it's funny that he's a ghost.
Here are some suggestions for you to spook out your own porch. You can go even further by adding your own ideas. Have fun!
This porch photo comes from junkgardendgirl.blogspot.com. She has some great ideas you might like.
Creepy cloth is great for hanging in porch openings or draping across railings.
I love putting these faces on my trees. Watch your trick or treaters react when they spot the faces.
Skeleton Flamingos are creepy fun and truly unexpected.
Kid friendly, these ghosts will last for years.
This spider is a hoot, especially with those witch stockings and boots.
I consider pumpkins the main ingredient in Halloween decorating. My husband and I take a Sunday in early October to go shopping for pumpkins. We visit many local roadside stands and farms looking for the best prices and best looking pumpkins. I like to choose many different sizes from small gourds to the largest pumpkin I can carry. Pumpkins come in a variety of colors and I love choosing as many as I can from bright orange to green to white "ghost" pumpkins.
I carve some of the pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns and leave some of the pumpkins natural. My porch is enclosed so I place a jack-o-lantern in each window. I line my steps with different size pumpkins from large to small and place at least four jack-o-lanterns in the flower bed in front of the porch. Jack-o-lanterns provide a source of spooky light and look great lined up on a porch railing.
For lighting sources I use tealights, battery-operated lights or glow sticks. The glow sticks give the pumpkins a truly frightening look. You can also use strings of twinkle lights if you have access to an outlet, but make sure the inside of your pumpkin is very clean.
If you don't want to carve your pumpkins you can buy pumpkin lights.
Inside or Outside
Which do you decorate more the inside or outside of your house?
Cheap and Quick
Create bats from paper plates. If you can't find black plates, use white plates and spray paint the bats black. Create ghosts from white paper plates. String bats and ghosts on fishing line or thread, then hang them all around the inside of your porch.
Tie strings of bats together at one end and attach the tied end to the top of the door or a window. Spread the strings out and tape them to the floor of the porch. Now you have dozens of bats flying off the porch.
Cut black garbage bags along the bottom seam and down one side. Hang them across porch openings to create an enclosed space. Decorate the bags with old fashioned Halloween cutouts. Crisscross white string between the porch roof and railing to form a giant spider web. Tape a paper plate spider to the web.
Use black garland to drap around your door and add paper plate bats, ghosts and spiders to spook it up. These paper plate scaries also look good added to a grapevine wreath. You can find black garland and grapevine wreaths in craft stores, dollar stores and online. If you can't find black garland buy an inexpensive box of scouring pads like SOS pads and string them together to form a garland. Then decorate with your paper plate scaries. Just don't put the scouring pad garland in a place where it will get wet if it rains or you'll have soap running all over the place.
Draw faces on pumpkins with paint markers and set them in pots with artificial fall flowers and leaves found at dollar stores. Add a floppy straw hat to the pumpkin for fun. Place the pots on either side of your front door or flanking the bottom of your stairs.
Want to decorate with something super cheap and super quick? Then just visit your local dollar store and purchase spider webs in a bag. Stretch them all around your porch and the stair railings. It will look really creepy and takes very little time at all to do. Plus each bag comes with a small plastic spider so you don't have to add any!
Scarecrows and More
During our pumpkin shopping treks, my husband and I usually purchase gourds, bunches of corn stalks and bales of hay. We toss the gourds in the flower bed and place them in pails made from margarine containers we spray paint black and green. We stick cornstalks in the flower bed and tie them to the stair railing. We stack the bales of hay on either side of the stairs. (Warning, mice like to hide in the bales, so I usually place a humane mouse trap behind the bales to capture any stowaways and set them free far away from my house.)
Scarecrows can be purchased at many different stores, but I prefer to make my own. I stuff old clothing with crinkled up newspaper and set it on a chair on the porch. A pumpkin makes a good head, but sometimes I'm in an Ichabod Crane frame of mind and leave the scarecrow headless. Makes for a great conversation piece.
Luminaries are nice to line front walkways and driveways especially in areas where there aren't any streetlights. I make mine out of brown paper lunch bags and cut out spiders, bats, ghosts and cats. You can use the templates on this lens to cut out the shapes. I use battery-operated tea lights instead of candles because they are safer in case of knock overs.
I also like puking pumpkins. Save the insides when you clean out the pumpkin for carving. After your pumpkin is set up place the guts inside the pumpkin's mouth and let it spill out onto the ground. Place a pointed hat on the pumpkin and a stick broom near it and you have a puking pumpkin witch.
Using your imagination and a mix of store bought and homemade decorations, you can create the spookiest porch on the block.
Not Dorothy's Scarecrow
A good source to make your own scarecrow.
Very old school, but a great decoration to cover your entire door.
I have these and stick them in my flower beds and alongside my driveway.
I have a few of these hats. I like them because they look spooky.