Setting Your Halloween Scene
Celebrate the Season
Halloween comes but once a year and you only get one chance to impress visitors. Whether Trick or Treaters, party guests, or family and friends they will remember your decorations and talk about them long after the visit. So why not make the most of your chance to impress and dress up your porch or other area with a tableau you can build upon and change out as often as you desire?
Please keep in mind such restraints as foot traffic, how close visitors will get to your scene (we don't want them tripping or getting hurt) or if you will allow visitors to interact with the scene. A candy bowl could be added or a punch bowl, but keep in mind your pieces are then likely to be bumped or jostled.
Above all have fun and enjoy the following Halloween scene for the front porch as it grows. Please note, all photographs are my own and if you wish to copy for personal use, feel free. However if you copy for Internet use please give credit where credit is due and a link back, thank you!
As always if you own the copyright to any material used herin and would like a link and credit or something removed, please contact me.
The Show Begins
Here the simplest details set the scene. An ornate gold tablecloth is topped by a black candelabra with white candles (trust me, they are there) beside a golden skull decorated for the Day of the Dead that adds a touch of elegance.
Left like this this makes an ideal party table to put snacks on, or a place for Trick or Treaters or party guests to pose. Note: It doesn't matter if your aren't crafty or neat, this is Halloween. Goodness knows my eyesight is so bad I couldn't hit a barn door with a bazooka, but it is fine on Halloween.
Here two characters have joined the scene. Note that they are both dressed in costume and the richness it adds to the scene. Let the costumes tell a story. Who are these characters and why are they meeting here?
The more of a story you can tell guests the more impressed they will be. Or if setting the scene for a party, have a contest and let guests write their own description of the scene. Have a small prize ready for the winner and your party will be remembered for a long time to come.
Change Out Costumes
Just by changing his hat and adding a cape and walking stick this fellow became rather dapper, didn't he? Note that good details like a hand sewn opera cape, silver skull topped cane and vintage brooch to clasp his cape add to his sense of elegance.
Now what story would you tell your guests? Does he seem to have a different backstory now? Why would a skeleton who is oh-so-dapper and elegant be visiting your party or greeting Trick or Treaters?
He can be yours
Well not him precisely, but the same type of skeleton can happily haunt your scene.
He's a wonderful fellah, or she is a wonderful gal. But this sturdy skeleton is literally screwed together and can withstand reasonable use. He's also heavy enough to sit up on his own, which is a big plus with character props.
Add In Eerie Details
A simple design can speak volumes. Here a papier-mÃ¢chÃ© coffin is topped with a skull candle and backed with the candelabra. This gives you a more upscale design for a party or catered event. But think of the message it conveys to the viewers.
Do you want them to see you and your decorations as elegant but slightly spooky? Then a design scheme like this in rich golds and black with a hint of silver and white is ideal for you.
Mix and Match
Here we combine elegant with a more festive touch for a more light-hearted design that will appeal to kids of all ages. This also makes your display a little less scary for younger visitors like Trick or Treaters. Also adding red and gold bring in colors that appeal to younger children.
Skeleton Pirate - Anmated character do up the ante.
Adding an element that is higher takes the eye up and changes the dynamic in a scene. Adding an active element like this windsock that will blow in the breeze also adds energy as it moves in the breeze.
It should go without saying, but this is not the time to light those candles.
Add More Characters
Here a third character has joined the scene. Who will you tell visitors he is? Does he have a name or a history? Everyone becomes a kid on a sugar high again on Halloween, so visitors really do want to know. Think up something good before they ask. Most house haunters have an name for every prop and can tell you his or her personality. What name would you come up with? What story?
Change Out Props
Have a different party coming up? Want to surprise your guests? It is as simple as changing out your props. Here a hand-painted tombstone and makeshift vase (it is a tea light holder) give the table an entirely new feel. There is also enough room for a bowl of treats.
If you only own one Halloween book...
make it this one! My all-around favorite, it describes setting a scene, making costumes, tombstone, food and more. A must-have for anyone serious about Halloween.
My all time most used, dog-eared, falling-
Consider just one character
Here our dapper fellow returns with slightly different props. Does he seem the same as before? What has changed? Just changing a few key costume pieces can help kids and guests relax around a prop. Keep in mind that props you don't want people handling should be out of easy reach.
Keep Trying New Things
Here another tombstone has been placed upon the coffin for a fun effect. Props like these are easy to make and only take inexpensive paints and enough drying time to be ready for the party of Trick or Treaters.
Take a closer look.. - if you dare!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Don't forget to dress up! - The right makeup will help you blend into your scene.
Nightcat would like to thank
Monsieur et Madam Samedi et Mme Muerte for their generous permission to photograph certain items. Merci!