Sunday, September 22, 2013

Use Your Outdoor Fountain for Halloween Stew

monster stewOver time, you learn to make use of the features in your yard to enhance your spooky Halloween display.

We have a fountain in our front yard right by the entryway but I've never figured out what to do with it when I decorate for any holiday.

This image, though, is the perfect inspiration for making some Halloween stew and putting that fountain to good use for once. 

Looks like they've added a bunch of plastic props, masks, and eyeballs along with some floating marsh or weeds.  (I've got a few of those I can use...)

You'd want to light this one up somehow with some nearby outdoor lights or some solar lights that point at the fountain if yours isn't already lit.

I'm sure you'd want to clean the fountain carefully after the holiday but what a great way to do something unexpected. 

If you don't have a fountain in your yard, get one of those wood (with a liner) or metal tubs, fill it with water and do the same thing.  That's actually a more flexible option since you can place the tub wherever you'd like. 

In fact, I could see setting the candy bucket right there by the guy's apple-filled mouth!

Ditch the Fake Body and Go for the Garbage Can

Every year my middle son and his friend like to dress up as some monster or other, sit quietly on the front porch as if they're simply part of the decor and then scare the trick-or-treaters.  Come on - you've done that, too!

Everyone EXPECTS that, though.  Any scarecrow, mummy, ghost, or zombie sitting by the front door is simply anticipated to be something that will jump out and get you.

If you want to do something different this year, ditch the fake body routine and go for something as innocent as a metal garbage can.

Take a look at the reactions here:

Now, that's the kind of response you want to get, right?  The screams, jumps, and then the nervous laughter when the kids realize what's happened.

One way to do this is to rig the lid with some fishing line that you pull when people pass by.  If you have large groups of people who come pretty quickly through your street you might want to rig a few different items so that you can scare a few crowds in a row before setting everything back into place.

Just make sure you're very careful about where your line is running - no tripping people as they're running to or from your house!  We don't want to hurt anyone.  I always find a good few practice runs are in order. 

5 Inexpensive Decorations to Creep Out Your Yard

I try to stick to a budget each Halloween but I always add something to my stash of decorations.  It's that building up over time that lets me switch things up year after year without my husband wanting to hold a massive garage sale to pay for the bill. 

So I went on the hunt this year for some inexpensive decorations that would work with what I already have but were more scary than things I already had.  As my kids are getting older I can finally get away with this.  (You know it's bad when your son can't even go into the Halloween outlet store with you without covering his eyes.  Had to stick with the safe and funny for awhile.)

Sunstar Industries 36 Inch Hanging Bride Decoration Multicoloured One Size price
Sunstar Industries 36 Inch Hanging Bride Decoration Multicoloured One Size

Hanging decorations can be strung from your front porch overhang, a tree in your yard or sometimes staked into the front yard with a pole or PVC pipe.

Things that wave or move get more creep value, in my opinion, which is why I like this hanging bride.  Her billowy outfit will look great with even a slight breeze.
Scary Silhouette Gargoyle Window Decoration price
Scary Silhouette Gargoyle Window Decoration

Because I usually have kids coming and going for work or to meet friends, the lights are always on in my house during the evening hours but I think that ruins the effect of my outdoor display.

My solution is to get dark window clings and coverings like these.  The indoor lights can still be on and the light coming through illuminates the window decorations so they're part of the overall scene.
Peep n Peepers Flashing Eyes Halloween Lights price
Peep n' Peepers Flashing Eyes Halloween Lights

The big stuff is easy - it's the small details that will keep people looking at your display well past the point of having grabbed the candy at the door.

These light up eyes flicker and peep out from where you put them.  You can tuck them into bushes or plants in your yard or in between gravestones in a cemetery scene.
Pressure Sensitive SCREAMING DOORMAT Halloween Decoration BATTERY OPERATED (Just Place It Under Your Doormat) price
Pressure Sensitive SCREAMING DOORMAT Halloween Decoration BATTERY OPERATED (Just Place It Under Your Doormat)

Always add something unexpected to your display to make it more interactive. 

Remember when you were a kid and you crept up to the door waiting for things to move or make a sound?

That's the whole experience and kids still want to experience that thrill.  Tuck this noise maker under your doormat and every kid who comes trick or treating will get a little surprise.

15ft Neon Light El Wire w/ Battery Pack for Parties Halloween Decoration (blue) price
15ft Neon Light El Wire w/ Battery Pack for Parties Halloween Decoration (blue)
Bright neon decorations are so cool!  They really stand out and the color choices these days are wonderful.

This string light comes in purple, red, green, and white, too.

You can string it around your windows, your yard, or use it to light up other pieces in your display.

Halloween Outdoor Decorations Going Neon Glow

Halloween Yard DisplayUsed to seeing all those brown and black graveyard scenes at Halloween?  How about switching to neon and really lighting things up!

When we moved from our old house to this one, I didn't realize just how bright the street lights were in our neighborhood. 

As a result, it seems harder than ever to really get our decorations to stand out.  Orange lights get washed out in the soft glow from the street lamps. 

But neon?  Who could miss that, right?

There are lots of LED decorations to choose from these days and some of that additional lighting can be done by just replacing the bulbs in your outdoor lights with some bright colors like blue, purple or red. 

What I really like about this display is that EVERYTHING has some color to it.  The gravestones even have glow-in-the-dark writing, the little skulls on the ground have glowing facial features, and the boiling pot has a purple light coming up from inside the pot.

If you're looking for a new way to do your yard this Halloween come up with a new color scheme, throw in some cool lighting effects, and go neon.

Creating a Graveyard Fence for Your Outdoor Display

Most of the year I'm grateful to have a small front yard.  It's a lot less work!  However, there are two times a year when I really wish I had more room to work with - Halloween and Christmas.

I love to decorate my yard and my kids, husband and I put a lot of time into our displays.  I don't like using just those blow up decorations but prefer something original and unique.

The graveyard displays are one of my favorites but I only have a little yard so I can't really give it the nod it deserves but a girl can dream, right?

One important element of a graveyard scene is the fence.  There are a number of ways to create one but I like how this woman uses the features in her yard to construct her fence (but let's not talk about how she must have the space to store all those pieces!).

She's got some great tips, too, for reusing old costume decorations as parts of her graveyard scene.  Gees, I must have 10-15 old costumes from the boys from the past few years and several of them would go in a scene like this.