If you love the spookiest holidays of the year, chances are you are already preparing outdoor Halloween decorations for your annual exhibit.
But creating the perfect haunted front yard isn’t enough just to collect gifts from your local store, says Kris Golojuch, owner of Scareventures, a haunted house theme company. “You want to take the time to make a plan,” he says. “You want something that looks like it’s been thought out, not just put together.”
How to create the ultimate outdoor decor for Halloween? Start here.
DIY Outdoor Halloween Decorating Ideas
Whether you’re the type to put together graveyard decorations that bring all the local ghouls and goblins together, or you’re just looking for some simple and striking Halloween porch ideas, try these spooky DIY ideas for inspiration.
Stay on a theme
You have plenty of spooky options for your Halloween exhibit, from aliens to zombies. But rather than having a bit of everything, like cute pumpkins paired with serial killers, Golojuch recommends sticking to one theme.
“When you have a big mishmash of random props that don’t have a theme, it looks like you’ve just bought one of everything,” he says. “Storytelling is a big part of it – it’s best to have an immersive theme and tone throughout.” So in other words, if spiders are your thing, make them the center of your entire display and don’t start bringing in zombie corpses.
Knowing when to stop
We’ve all seen over-the-top outdoor Halloween lawn decor, where every square inch of real estate is covered in something, and you can’t find a place to focus. Instead, emphasize quality over quantity. “Make sure you have adequate spacing so nothing gets lost,” says Golojuch.
Add lights and sound
Even the best outdoor Halloween decorations might need a little more oomph to level up – and lights and sound are just the ticket.
“Lighting is huge for a home den – you have to highlight and accentuate the accessories,” says Golojuch. Don’t go for a big spotlight, which will distort your scene, instead use smaller lights to brighten certain elements and create strange shadows.
It’s easy to make a personalized spooky playlist, complete with sounds like owls hoot and the wind blowing, and is that a wolf in the distance? “The sound adds so much and makes the scene immersive,” says Golojuch. “There are free programs you can use to mix these things up and create your own personalized soundtrack.”
Don’t be afraid of DIY
Golojuch likes to make his own decorations with building materials like foam and anti-erosion fabric. But if you’re not ready to take out the power tools, there are some easy things you can do to improve your screen, like adding clothing or dabs of paint to make a plastic skeleton look more authentic.
Save something exciting for Halloween
Refresh your outdoor Halloween display for the big day with something interesting, whether you’re adding spooky pumpkins, a few spooky new characters, or an old-fashioned scary possibility.
Golojuch still remembers when a neighbor had a stuffed scarecrow on his porch for the whole month, then slyly traded it for a real person who caught traps on the big night.
Halloween porch decor
Put down the welcome mat for trick-or-treaters, ghouls and goblins when decorating your porch. If it’s a covered porch, this is the perfect place to use more delicate outdoor Halloween decorations that won’t stand up to the elements as well.
Perch these lifelike crows on planters or other Halloween decorations – they’re made for the outdoors, but they’ll likely last longer as part of your porch’s Halloween decorations.
Gothic Halloween Wreath
Fancy feathers, an elegant raven and a generously sized black bow add to a sophisticated wreath for your front door.
Animated doorbell with eye
Greet the sweet tooth (and other guests) with this lively doorbell that is sure to grab their attention.
Eyeball plant markers
Insert a pair (or a small set) of these spooky eye antennae into your porch planters (or pumpkin) to create an eye-catching display.
Modern skeleton crown
This sleek and elegant wreath adds subtle touches of spooky skulls amid faux eucalyptus and lamb’s ears.
Place this six-foot-long climbing plant along a railing or wrap it around a post to add an extra spooky element to your porch Halloween decor.
Pull out this welcome mat for trick-or-treaters and other Halloween guests.
Outdoor pumpkin decor
Pumpkins are a staple of Halloween decorating whether you go for one of the realistic knockoffs or the real deal.
Black pumpkin lanterns
Looking for a new take on traditional pumpkins? These architectural lanterns will add a soft glow to your outdoor pumpkin decor.
Modern pumpkins stickers
Express a scary feeling on your cool pumpkins with these simple stickers. They can be easily removed to keep your pumpkins looking festive throughout Thanksgiving.
Stacked Pumpkin Halloween Decor
No time to sculpt? No problem. This cute stack of jack-o ‘lanterns can light up your front yard or they are the perfect addition to a pair of planters flanking your front door.
Pumpkin and squash wreath
This realistic looking decorative squash wreath is the perfect centerpiece for your porch decor.
Hand painted Gourd-geous doormat
Greet your guests with this pumpkin themed rug.
Halloween Lawn Decor
Your lawn offers the greatest expanse of land to showcase your outdoor Halloween decorations, whether you opt for traditional (and always spooky) graveyard decorations, cobwebs, or something entirely different.
If your Halloween decorating style tends towards the kitsch side, these cute and spooky zombie flamingos may be just what you needed.
Holding witches hand
Place these witches with glowing orb heads around a misty cauldron filled with dry ice, and you have a spooky centerpiece for your Halloween lawn decor.
Balkan vampire cross statue
For the perfect Halloween graveyard decorations, invest in better quality gravestones (like this tough resin version) that will last for more than a season.
Halloween spider decorations
This generously sized (two to three foot!) Spider set is the perfect addition to your Halloween lawn decor.
The bigger the better when it comes to Halloween spider decorations, so skip the lint bags and go for a pair of full-scale spider webs. (Mix in some skeletons or bones for an even spookier look.)
Glowing eyeball fairy lights
To turn your landscaping into something spooky, string some eye light strings in the bushes.