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Setting Your Halloween Scene

Updated on October 11, 2013
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Nightcat loves everything about Halloween! She’s pretty sure it is a national holiday and if it isn’t it should be.

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.

Character Placement

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.

Need a prize for adults?

1280980 Witches Brew 14.oz Medium Jar Yankee Candle
1280980 Witches Brew 14.oz Medium Jar Yankee Candle

Witches' Brew is one of my all time favorite scents from Yankee Candles and I'm sure your prize winner will be thrilled with this gift. Going to a party? It makes the ultimate thank you gift.

 

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.

Bargain Basement Barney The Famous 5 Foot Halloween Skeleton
Bargain Basement Barney The Famous 5 Foot Halloween Skeleton

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-mâché 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.

Build Up

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.

Halloween How-To, A: Costumes, Parties, Decorations, and Destinations
Halloween How-To, A: Costumes, Parties, Decorations, and Destinations

My all time most used, dog-eared, falling-apart-because-I've-used-it-so-much guide to Halloween. It covers everything from movies and music to make up and decorating ideas.

 

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!

Enjoyed your visit? - Please comment!

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    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 3 years ago

      @CharMarie: Thanks so very much, CharMarie. Hugs! :)

    • CharMarie profile image

      CharMarie 3 years ago

      Love your lens! You're really creative!

    • Nightcat profile image
      Author

      Nightcat 3 years ago

      @24hourdentist: You should see it now, 24hourdentist! It looks like Halloween and Mardi Gras had a baby and left it on my front porch, lol! Thanks for the visit, hugs! :)

    • profile image

      24hourdentist 3 years ago

      I like this lens a lot because of how interactive it is! I bet your house is ragin on Halloween!

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you so very much, Anja! I can't wait to see their reactions, for sure. :)

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Music is always a good idea, Jan. Thanks for visiting. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great Spooky Display ideas. Other "haunters" have told me they use my music for their displays. Just an idea.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wow, a lot of great ideas here, I loved your photos, this is so creative. The trick or treaters will sure have fun when they ring on your doorbell!

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @lewisgirl: Thank you, Lewisgirl, hugs! :)

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @rosaceasufferer: Thanks so very much, rosaceasufferer. Hugs! :)

    • lewisgirl profile image

      lewisgirl 4 years ago

      Creative lens!

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      Another brilliant and fabulous lens!!!

    • rosaceasufferer profile image

      rosaceasufferer 4 years ago

      nice share. great scene and characters

    • Nightcat profile image
      Author

      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @salesbabu-bangalore: Thank you, salesbabu-bangalore, hugs! :)

    • profile image

      salesbabu-bangalore 4 years ago

      nice lens

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @nonya222: Thanks so very much, terilass! Hugs! :)

    • profile image

      nonya222 4 years ago

      Love it, some great idea here.

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @Judith Nazarewicz: Thanks so much, junaz11.

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      This a perfect page, just in time for Halloween!

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @girlfriendfactory: Thank you so much, girlfriendfactory, and thanks for the visit, hugs! :)

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 4 years ago

      Always nice to see how easy it is to be a quick-change-skeleton! Lovely ideas!

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @jura: Thant's wonderful to hear, jura, thank you! Hope you have a wonderful Halloween, hugs! :)

    • profile image

      jura 4 years ago

      I love this lens it did give the idea for this coming hallowin .

    • Sojournstar Media profile image

      Angela Hobbs 4 years ago from The TARDIS

      Very nice Lens, just in time for Halloween!

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @Meganhere: My pleasure, Meganhere! Thanks for visiting, hugs! :)

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @Max Globe: Thanks so very much, Max_Globe! Thanks for visiting, hugs! :)

    • Max Globe profile image

      Max Globe 4 years ago

      WOW! Decorations are really great!!!!!

    • Meganhere profile image

      Meganhere 4 years ago

      Halloween isn't celebrated in Australia but I put up my decorations every year. Fun lens. Thank you.

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @Diaper Bag Blog: They are total sweethearts when you get to know them, stajo82. Promise. :)

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @Louidam1 LM: Thank you so much, Louidam1! My ego and self-worth got ripped to itty bitty shreds by some really nasty comments. Thank goodness I moderate! But I truly appreciate the kinds words. Hugs! :)

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Louidam1 LM 4 years ago

      Great job with your decorations!

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 4 years ago from Czech Republic

      Whoooaaa!!! These creepy guys made me getting goose bumps.

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @Art Inspired: Thanks so very much, Artinspired! Thanks for visiting, hugs! :)

    • Art Inspired profile image

      Art Inspired 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your tips for setting a Halloween scene. Great job! Make it a great day!

    • Nightcat profile image
      Author

      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @Holley Web: Thanks so much, 24websurf! I'm so happy it is doing so well I had a blast making it. Thanks for the visit and kind words hugs! :)

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 4 years ago

      This has to be one of the most awesome Halloween lenses I have ever read! Congratulations on the well deserved Purple Star of Excellence!

    • Nightcat profile image
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      Nightcat 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you so very much, Uma! I'm always excited for summer's end. You know I'd live that one special day year 'round if I could. Thanks so much for the visit and kind words. Hugs! :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      First I thought "no no noeeee!!! I never want summer to end" and you You have enchanted me into the good fun of Sowen summer's end, reminding me that each season brings wonder and yes fun which to me is the real reason for being alive here. Thank you. Plus I love the pirate clip he is so clever and this view into making up , costuming so simply, is great.