Celebrate the Best of Halloween: DIY Outdoor Decorations

Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkins on a porch stairs

This year, Halloween will look very different than all the years before. COVID-19 has put many celebrations on hold, including Halloween parties and even trick-or-treating.

But you can still get into the spirit of the season with fun DIY house decorations you can do with your kiddos!

Fun, silly, and spooky outdoor decorations is a great way to still make Halloween feel special. We’ve gathered some great ideas for you and your family to make this Halloween something worth celebrating.

1. Garage Door Monster

Transform your garage into a massive monster with a mouth that opens and closes! All you need is some large butcher paper, tape, and a little creativity.

Step 1

Measure your garage so that you know what dimensions of paper you’ll need. Covering the entire thing in black paper will level up this already spooky decoration!

Step 2

Cut out some teeth and the eyes, then have your kids help paint the different pieces. You can also use different-colored paper for the details, like the pupils, irises, gums, and teeth.

Step 3

Adhere the butcher paper to the garage and siding with tape or Command Strips, being mindful of peeling them off carefully after you’re done with the decorations.

Now watch as the mouth opens and closes each time you press the garage door remote! It even eats cars!

2. Skeleton Party!

Pick up some life-sized skeletons at any Halloween store and set them up in different casual arrangements in your front yard. You can put together fun outfits with your own clothes, or stop at a thrift store to make funky outfits for them.

You can dress in them in suits with boutonnieres like they’re going to prom, stand them up with a leash attached to a skeleton dog, or have them roast marshmallows around a fake fire, like above!

You can use wire to hold them in whatever position you wish.

3. Witch Coven

Easily create this coven of spooky witches out of stakes, black plastic grocery bags, and a few other supplies to adorn your yard. Most of the supplies you’ll need can easily be found at hardware or craft store near you.

You will need (per witch):

  • lots of plastic grocery bags
  • 1 plastic vegetable/fruit bag
  • clear packing tape
  • black plastic round table cloth, 84 inch round
  • 2 black cable ties 11 inch
  • 1.5 yd black tulle
  • 1 black hat
  • 1 stake (2×6 board)

Step 1

Stuff one vegetable/fruit bag with other grocery bags (this will create a circular shape for the head). Use packaging tape to shape and close the bag.

Now stuff one of the regular grocery bags with the other grocery bags for the chest of the witch.

Step 2

Lay the two stuffed bags beside each other so they’re touching, and the round bag is above the other.

Then lay your wooden stake on top of the bags and affix the stake to both of the bags with tape.

Step 3

Find the center of the round tablecloth (if you don’t want to eyeball it, fold it in half as a semicircle and grab the center of the fold).

Set your witch upright and drape the cloth over it (like how you’d put on a sheet to be a ghost), and make sure the center of the cloth is on its head.

Use a cable tie to wrap the cloth around the head, then use another at the bottom of the torso. This will create a little flared skirt around the witch from the rounded edge of the tablecloth.

Step 4

Decorate! To give the witch a little more texture, use tulle around the waist the same way you put on the tablecloth, or drape it over its shoulders like a cape.

You can also use the tulle to roll up into a long rope and use as arms. Leave an arm’s length free on one side of the witch, continue along the tulle and wrap it around her neck.

If you have multiple witches, leave some dangle between them, and continue wrapping the rope around them. Tie little ribbons where their hands would be so there’s some weight that makes the shape of their arms look for realistic.

Place on a witch’s hat, and you’re all set!

4. Plastic Lawn Vultures

Turn pink plastic flamingos into blood-thirsty vultures for Halloween! Your lawn will be the site of many hungry scavengers in search of leftover candy.

All you need is some paint, glue, tape, scissors, a grocery bag, and a white boa.

Step 1

Tape over the beak of the flamingo and paint the head and neck a maroon color (spray paint works best).

Step 2

Once that’s dry, cover the area you just painted with a grocery bag (to protect the color) and paint the body black.

Step 3

Remove the grocery bag and tape over the head of the bird, leaving the beak exposed. Paint the beak black (it might be better to do this by hand with a paintbrush). When that’s dry, remove the tape and paint the eyes black, too.

Step 4

Cut up part of a white boa long enough to wrap around its neck. Secure it with gorilla glue.

To look even more realistic, push down the vultures into the ground a little deeper than you would a flamingo — they are’re quite as tall as flamingos, and they’ll want to be close to the ground where mice and other food scurry around!

5. Ghost Milk Jugs

This is a super easy and affordable craft for you and the kids! Plus, it helps recycle milk jugs that you probably already have lying around.

Step 1

Save your empty milk cartons and wash them out (they can get really stinky if you’re not thorough).

Step 2

Go to town drawing little faces on them with Sharpie markers or paint. Set them out on the porch for the neighborhood to see.

Step 3

Drop a battery-operated candle in them so they’re spooky in the dark, too.

6. Masking Tape Hand

This false hand is super easy to make, and can really add some spooky flair to your front yard this Halloween.

Step 1

Put a drinking straw along your arm then wrap up everything in masking tape (sticky side out).

Step 2

Wrap tape around your hand again, this time sticky side in. Be sure to get good coverage around your fingers, wrapping them individually.

Step 3

When you’re done, cut it off along the drinking straw in a straight line, being careful not to hurt yourself.

Step 4

Add a little tape to seal where you cut the tape to get it off. When you’re done, stick a glowstick inside and set it up in the yard!

7. Eyeball Pumpkin

What a scream! Watch over your yard with this eerie pumpkin.

Step 1

Paint a small white pumpkin like an eyeball. Making a detailed iris and even veins will make it even spookier.

Step 2

Place the eyeball pumpkin inside a bigger pumpkin with a hole cut in an almond shape. Your trick-or-treaters will feel eerie walking onto your porch!

Despite the challenges of 2020, it’s easy and fun to make your home look festive this Halloween. Celebrate all month long, and save these decorations for next year.

Whether you’re into more gory and scary decorations or cute spooky ones, adding a little flare to the outdoors will get you invested in the holiday and ready to make some spooky costumes. Anything from ghosts to fake cobwebs (but not real ones – yuck!) will set the stage for your family this year.

It really feels like the spooky season once autumn has decorated our lawns in a blanket of leaves. Typically, homeowners will rake their leaf litter into piles and stuff them in plastic bags to eventually make their way to a landfill.

But there may be a better and more eco-friendly way to take care of your lawn and leaves this year. Learn more about why you shouldn’t take your leaves this year >