As the breezes turn cool and the leaves turn, back-to-school time quickly gives way to Halloween and Halloween decorations. It is a holiday that is represented as much by colored leaves and fall images as it is by scary characters and creepy scenes. That is why the Halloween decorations you choose to use to adorn your home should be representative of your thoughts and feelings about the holiday.
As a parent of small children, you may want to tone down the scary nature of the holiday and build up the fun. Help your children make their own Halloween decorations and they will get much more enjoyment out of the celebration. Use black construction paper and white paper to make ghosts; dip your child’s foot in the paint and help him make a foot print on the paper. When the paint is dry, have your child adorn the ghost with eyes and a mouth, or whatever he chooses. Creepy spiders can be made from single cups cut from egg cartons and painted black. Add a face with markers or glued on embellishments, and bend eight pipe cleaners to make the legs. These activities are fun for young children and help assuage any sense of fear that may be welling.
The Haunted House Look
If your goal is to attract Trick or Treaters to your door on Devil’s Night with your Halloween decorations, you may choose to make your home look like a haunted house. Pre made decorations like artificial spider webs and strings of lights that look like eyes are a great start. Other Halloween decorations you may want to add might include a “man,” made from an old set of clothes stuffed with newspaper hanging from an upstairs window or ghosts made from bed sheets and wadded newspaper, hanging from the trees outside. You can set out a grill with a stuffed mask on the grate to resemble a cooking head, and vinyl clings or temporary paint can be used to make it look like blood is dripping from your windows. Play a compact disc of Halloween noises to create a creepy ambiance.
The Cemetery Look
The cemetery is a setting that is often associated with Halloween, with a repeated theme of the dead coming back to life. You can create a cemetery in your front yard with a few carefully chosen Halloween decorations. Plastic tombstones are available at most discount stores and Halloween stores, or you can make them yourself. They do not have to be perfect; in fact, the image of an old, decaying tombstone is creepier anyway. Add funny sayings, fake names, or the names of friends you know will stop by. Take this a step further by making it look like one of the dead is coming out of the ground. This can be done with homemade Halloween decorations. Using tomato stakes, secure two boots, upside down, into the ground, and then do the same with a pair of big heavy work gloves. Make a head with a rubber mask stuffed with wadded newspaper or plastic bags and secure that in the ground as well. When placed correctly, it will look as though a man is literally rising from the grave.
Pretty Halloween Decorations
Not everyone wants to make their home look creepy or silly at Halloween. For those who would prefer a more classic look will like more natural looking Halloween decorations. A hay stack with a fabric scarecrow makes a pretty fall decoration that is perfectly appropriate for Halloween. Place it by your front door and surround it with pots of chrysanthemums in orange and purple. A wreath of dried leaves and fall berries hung on the door welcomes visitors while celebrating the season at the same time. These kinds of Halloween decorations can be kept out all autumn long, and as the leaves fall, their colors and textures will complement the look you have prepared around your home.
Whether you have chosen to use Halloween decorations that scare off visitors or welcome them warmly, Halloween lights have found their way into just about any look. Like Christmas lights, Halloween light come in long strings to be placed in your trees or shrubs, or to frame your front porch roof. They come in dark purple and orange, and shorter strings may have light covers in the shapes of ghosts, bats, and skulls. As the night falls earlier and earlier, these lights illuminate your home and your Halloween decorations with an eerie glow.
Possibly the most iconic Halloween decorations available are pumpkins. When our children are still tiny, we trek them off to the pumpkin patch to choose the best pumpkins for your homes. We carve happy, sad, and scary faces in them and light them up with candles inside. This tradition goes back a very long way. However, we have more recently come to look at pumpkins as more versatile Halloween decorations, carving them to depict scenes instead of just faces. Patterns are available to help us create complex pictures that come to life when they are illuminated.
On the other hand, you do not have to carve your pumpkin to make it decorative. When they are left solid, they last much longer and can go from being Halloween decorations to being Thanksgiving decorations as well. Do nothing to them, but include them in a grouping of dried flowers and ears of Indian corn, or spray paint them gold and add a decorative ribbon for something a little flashier. Your Halloween decorations will tell those outside a little about you and your ideas about the holiday, so be sure to create the look you desire most.
Protect Your Halloween Decorations
Whatever display you create, there are steps you can take to keep your little beggars safe on Halloween night. Temporary fencing is available in the fall for people and parks to keep blowing leaves out. This same fencing can keep others from harming your display and also keep people from walking through your yard and tripping over your Halloween decorations or electrical cords. Be sure also to bring in your smaller pieces at night to prevent theft.