Every year, the outdoor Halloween decor seems to get more and more elaborate. It’s almost as if we’ve collectively decided that Halloween is the best holiday of the year, and we’ve committed to showing it off in our front yards.
Of course, when it comes to decorating the garden for All Hallows Eve, there are a few types of households. First, there is the overall scarefest. The neighbor whose yard is so scary, small children (and even some adults) avoid it while trick-or-treating.
Then there is the house that takes the sophisticated approach to spooky; the house whose Halloween decorating ideas look like they came straight off the Pinterest homepage.
And finally, there’s the family-friendly Halloween approach. The house where you can tell the kids picked out most of the decorations because it’s more fun than scary.
Whatever category your outdoor Halloween decor ideas fall under, we’ve got inspiration for it below.
Outdoor Halloween Decor – Ideas and Inspiration
From terrifyingly chic to just plain scary, this outdoor Halloween decor will help you celebrate everyone’s favorite holiday, transforming outdoor fall decor into spooky schemes.
1. Add spooky touches to your fall setup
If your fall porch decor is still in good shape, you don’t have to replace your entire display for Halloween. Instead, just throw in some spooky accents that match what you already have.
At home in Chicago, above, stylist Danielle Moss (opens in new tab) added a Halloween door decor moment with a bat-themed wreath and doormat to her pile of pumpkins.
“And if you’re looking for easy pumpkin ideas that aren’t carved, stacking them around the front steps is a great way to add a splash of fall color for Halloween,” says Rachel Crow, Homes & Gardens‘ Gardens Editor.
2. Defeat an old friend
Let the neighbors do a double whammy with your outdoor Halloween decor by putting a skeleton or two on your front porch furniture. Increase the creativity by adding some props, such as a coffee mug, a rake or a musical instrument.
3. Decorate for a spooky celebration
Make an outdoor Halloween party an elegantly spooky affair with cones of candy, flickering candlelight and an over-the-table display of vines and string lights.
Don’t worry if flower arranging isn’t usually your thing. In this case, simple autumn flowers for pots, and the more natural Halloween table decor looks, the more it fits the scary atmosphere.
4. Put cobwebs in the corners
Another simple way to liven up your fall decor ideas: copy Shea McGee from McGee Studio (opens in new tab)‘s example above and add cobwebs in the corners around your entrance. For an added scare factor, drape them around your front porch lighting as well. (Just make sure they don’t touch the bulbs.)
“While you don’t have to include bright colors to make your space feel Halloween-ready, it’s still helpful to stick to a palette to create a cohesive look,” says Shea.
“Whether you like more traditional Halloween colors of orange and black or want to go for a minimal, muted look, start with a jumping off point like artwork or even the finishes in your home, and build your decor around that.”
5. Celebrate ghouls’ night out
A group of ghosts wandering towards the street makes for a ghastly sight. If you’re feeling crafty, make your own ghosts with white fabric (old tablecloths or sheets are an easy makeover) wrapped around large Styrofoam balls or rolled up bags of leaves. Short of time? The awful trio above can be bought ready-made at Grandin Road (opens in new tab).
6. Hang witch hats
Looking for a simple way to spruce up your outdoor Halloween decor?
‘Flying witch hats took Instagram by storm last year. And it’s not hard to see why,’ says Jo Bailey, Homes & Gardens‘ Deputy editor and stylist. “The look is fun and scary, but still understated enough for those who prefer their Halloween decor outdoors to have a touch of restraint.”
7. Go bold with simple stickers
Flying bats are a Halloween decorating trend that works well on their own, or as part of a larger decorative display. Here, design firm Clark & Aldine (opens in new tab) paired them with piles of pumpkins and a frowning jack-o-lantern for a look that’s festive, not scary.
8. Cast a spell
Have you thought, when planning your front yard landscaping ideas, that you will have to make room to host a séance on the front lawn with a ring of ghosts around a bubbling cauldron? There’s something unsettling about casting spells in the front yard, but isn’t that the point?
9. Light the way
Amp up front yard lighting ideas by lining the front yard walkway with Halloween themed lights. These Jack-o-Lantern globes (opens in new tab) are solar powered, so setup is as simple as sticking them in the ground.
10. Hang a wicked Halloween wreath
Fall wreath ideas can be quickly transformed into spookier styles and will save you having to make a Halloween wreath from scratch.
‘Simply add elements of black to your fall wreath, and include some spooky details. Amazon sells a set of 30 hanging wooden Halloween decorations (opens in new tab) which can be quickly attached to it and used elsewhere in the front garden,’ says Lucy Searle, editor-in-chief of Homes & Gardens (and Halloween fan).
11. Make a pumpkin planter to decorate your porch
It takes minutes to make a pumpkin planter, but it makes a big impact and is a great way to display fall flowers, which you can of course decorate with Halloween trinkets.
“As long as the flowers themselves can withstand the drop in temperatures, the pumpkin planter will last longer outside than inside,” says Rachel Crow. “Or, display it in your entryway at night, put it back outside to enhance your outdoor Halloween decor during the day.”
How do you make outdoor Halloween garden props?
DIY lovers will find many options for making Halloween decor outside. Some ideas to try?
- Make your own ghosts: To do this, pile leaves from your garden in the center of a large piece of scrap fabric or an old sheet, then bundle the sheet up around the leaves and tie to form a head. Create a hook at the top with a piece of floral wire, and hang.
- Cut faux pumpkins: Real pumpkins only last a few days once carved, but faux pumpkins last indefinitely. Light them up with LED tea lights for decor that lasts all season long.
- Cut out tombstones. Reuse cardboard shipping boxes to create DIY headstones. First, but tombstone shapes from the cardboard. Then add a few layers of papier-mache and finish with a coat of outdoor-approved spray paint. Attach a pole to the back and stick it around your yard. You can also cut tombstone shapes from pre-made cardboard yard signs.
How do I decorate the front of my house for Halloween?
There are many ways to decorate the front of your house for Halloween, but some of our favorites are:
- Create a graveyard. Turn your front yard into a graveyard! Buy (or make) headstones to stick in the ground, then litter the area around them with skeletons and ghosts.
- Add cobwebs: One of the simplest ways to decorate outside for Halloween is to hang stretchy spider webs from the corners of your doorway, over fence or over porch lights.
- Hang ghosts on the trees. Elevate your Halloween decor (literally) by hanging ghosts, witches or skeletons from the trees.
- Exchange your lighting. Another easy way to haunt your garden? Replace the light bulbs in your path lighting or phton patio lighting for orange versions.