Decorating & Design

October 28, 2010

Last-Minute Halloween Decorating

So, Halloween night is almost here. It’s a funny holiday really… With two kids, I feel obligated to dress the outside of my house. But I kind of hate how everything becomes so messy looking outside at this time of year. Add the fake webs and scary bits, sprinkle with rain and wind, and you’ve got yourself a downright mess.

So, what to do? Well, I dress the urns outside my house about two weeks before Halloween night. This gives me a chance to pull out summer plants and replant any that can be salvaged before it gets too chilly outside.

Have a look at how I create my Halloween urns. They are an easy way to decorate your exterior tastefully.

Photo Blog DIY Halloween Decorating Urn

Start with a classic urn. The large Boston fern that lived here all summer just came inside.

Photo Blog DIY Halloween Decorating Pumpkins

Have pumpkins on hand for decorating. I love these grey/green ones that I picked up with the family at a curbside farmers stand. Watch Kathryn Bala’s DIY video for decorating pumpkins with drills, or leave them as is for a haphazard harvest look. Note that white and grey pumpkins are much harder to carve than the orange ones, as the flesh is much thicker, so be prepared if you buy this variety.

Photo Blog DIY Halloween Decorating Birds

Add a few black feather birds with wire at the base of their feet (available at most craft stores).

Photo Blog DIY Halloween Decorating Pumpkins Birds

Then, find a large sculptural branch — large is key here as you want to make a statement. I found this fallen branch at my neighbourhood park. (Got some looks dragging it home!) Secure the branch deep in the urn’s earth so it won’t blow over — you could even place rocks at its base. Angle the branch so any small twigs are out of the range of little kids’ faces and so no one will get caught on it. Add extra bracing by placing pumpkins at the base of the branch. (I’ll carve these later and they will go back in place.)  The last step is to simply add the birds to the branch, placing them in different directions. So easy! You could go a bit further with webs and spiders, and even drape the branch with lights, but I prefer this simple arrangement leading up to Halloween.

The over-the-top decorating happens the day of Halloween at my house — that way my kids get excited and involved, and I don’t have to live with the crazy decorating for too long. (A smart compromise.)

Photo Blog DIY Halloween Decorating Grave Cross

Last year, I created a graveyard in my front parking area — the pea gravel was the perfect ground cover to pile up around homemade crosses and a makeshift grave (a plastic toboggan with a body made of newspaper and cheese cloth). It was a bit of work but the kids loved it (ah, to be 10 years old). This year I’ll do something similar, but we’ll wait for Sunday morning to figure it out.

For more decorating ideas, check out our Halloween Decorating photo gallery, and try these Halloween Party Recipes if you’re hosting guests this weekend.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Photo credits:
1-5. Morgan Michener