As a kid, I lived on a quiet street with lots of families, so we used to go trick or treating to our neighbours’ but that was it. I don’t really remember people putting up many Halloween decorations!
However, a couple of years ago, I took a trip to California at the beginning of October, and couldn’t believe how many lawns and buildings were decorated right at the start of the month! Our American friends across the pond definitely love to go all-out for Halloween, and the variety of decor ran the full spectrum from “whimsical and fun” to gory and unsettling.
This trend for more impressive Halloween decorations seems to be slowly making its way to the UK, and I’m sure I see more and more displays each year. So, if you’re interested in trying out some Halloween garden ideas, I thought I’d put some of my favourites in a list!
I will say, I love the spirit of Halloween, but I much prefer the bright, playful kinds of decorations over the ones that try to genuinely scare people! So, in my selection of Halloween garden ideas, you’ll mostly find inspiration that’s fun, low-cost, creative and family friendly. Leave me a comment if you think you’ll try any of these!
Let’s start with something simple, shall we? Lots of modern homes have metal doors, meaning you can have any number of things attached with a little help from some craft magnets (try the garage too, if you have one)! In a post from www.leighlaurelstudios.com, you can see how effective just a few spiders crawling towards a door handle can look – I certainly would think twice before touching it!
Ghoulish Graveyard Planters
How genius is this?! Make the most of out-of-season planters by transforming them into a spooky grave for Halloween. All you need is a novelty headstone (which you could DIY with any spare wood you have lying around), some old shoes and a creepy mask. You could also use fake zombie hands, or a plastic skeleton and make it look like they’re “crawling” out of the grave instead!
Whimsical Witch Hats
Over at polkadotchair.com, they’ve got a guide to creating these light-up witch hats that appear to float in the air. You can find all the details there, but the gist is that it’s pretty low-cost, incredibly easy and super effective. Using fishing wire, you can hang these hats from just about any outdoor ceiling, beam or branch.
Honestly, I can never be bothered with the faff of carving out jack-o’-lanterns. It had never even crossed my mind that I could still enjoy these classic Halloween decorations without actually having to cut them up at all! I love the quirky painted designs on this set. Search for “no-carve pumpkin designs” to see how you can stick, spray and brush your way to gourd glory.
Spooky, Stranded Witch Legs
Put on your ruby red slippers and try this playful planter decoration, inspired by the Wicked Witch of the West! You’ll need some spooky tights and some plastic or polystyrene mannequin legs (it’s amazing what you can buy on the internet) – but pool noodles will do in a pinch. Get your legs dressed (shoes recommended), then bury the waist in a planter or urn with soil. Add some decorations like dead plants, pumpkins or spiderwebs to finish the look.
Horrifying Hessian Sacks
It’s amazing how creepy some simple hessian (or burlap) sacking material can look when used well! Get several metres from a haberdasher or fabric shop, and spend a little bit of time getting it creased and grubby. Mud, fake blood and brown paint are all helpful here! When it comes to hanging it, use raw cord or twine and make sure it’s draped loosely and unevenly for best effect.
Whether you want low-effort decorations, or to add some extra details to an extravagant theme, these “blood-spatter” decals will do the trick. Trail the red footprints along your garden path and hand prints on the door… Just be prepared for delivery drivers to leave your parcels by the gate!
Menacing Morgue Door
Some craft foam sheets, tin foil and creativity can quickly turn your front door into a mortuary. It’s simple, and to the point. If you want to up the horror factor, add fake blood, hand prints, or zombie hands peeking out from the edges.
Pretty Pumpkin Paper Chains
Paper garlands are always a good choice for a low-cost, high-impact decoration. These jack-o’-lantern paper chains look especially dramatic in orange and black, and it’s easy enough to recycle them if you don’t want to hang onto them for next year. This post at muumade.com has some printable templates for pumpkins and ghosts.
Cobweb Coverings for Windows
I have one friend in the UK that’s really into decorating her house for Halloween – specifically with kooky, homemade accessories. One of my favourites is this simple white spider web made from string, which looks cool wherever she puts it. Take a look at a video tutorial here to help you make some, and then try using them on windows, your front door, garden table and fencing. Remember you don’t have to use them flat – stringing them out across corners looks awesome too!
Skeleton String Lights
Maybe you just want something small to show off your Halloween spirit. No problem! String lights come in all kinds of shapes, and skeletons, skulls, jack-o’-lanterns or ghosts are the perfect way to decorate your doorway or window sills for some subtle spookiness.
Wicked Wheelbarrow Load
Skeletons are a quintessential piece of Halloween decor, but coming up with new ways to pose them can get challenging. I really enjoy this idea – half-burying one in a wheelbarrow of soil and garden debris, as a spooky surprise for anyone curious enough to look inside!
Simple Lawn Spectres
A jig-saw, plywood and paint is all you need to make these incredibly cute ghost silhouettes. Pop them in pots and flowerbeds and let their mischievous faces delight you every time you walk past! Actually, this Digs Digs post has heaps of fun ideas (as well as some freaky ones), especially if you want comical positions for plastic skeletons!
Pallet Phantoms for the Porch
I’ll admit, when I was creating our list of DIY pallet projects, I didn’t even think about using them for seasonal decorations! These cute ghosts are made using whitewashed pallet wood that’s been glued together (using wood glue) and cut into spooky shapes. Add eyes and mouths with black paint, and either attach a wire or rope to hang them from the wall, or leave them leaning by your door.
Freaky Floating Jack-o’-Lanterns
Witch hats aren’t the only thing that can float with a bit of magic (and fishing wire)! Over at Sugar and Charm, they show you how to throw a tasteful, grown-up Halloween party with a vintage vibe. These floating jack-o’-lanterns are part of the aesthetic, and I really like them! You’ll need to find (or make) lightweight, papier maché pumpkins in order for the string to support them, but the visual effect of spooky floating faces is worth it!
Evil Eyes Entryway
If you like front door decorations, how about these spooky eyes peering out from behind bandages? You’ll need a sheet of black card to go across the width of your door, with two semicircles in orange, yellow or green to attach as eyes. The bandages could be made with loo roll (honestly, that’s what it looks like here) but October in the UK definitely means rain, and therefore a gross soggy mess. Try strips of old sheets, instead.
Devilish Direction Signs
This piece of signpost decor is a fun, creative project that’s easy to make with a few bits of salvaged wood. You’ll need a post for the base, and several small planks to cut into “arrow” shapes for locations markers. Make sure to stain or paint everything a dark colour, and try writing your locations in different fonts to keep it interesting. When it’s in place, you could even add strings of cobwebs, pumpkins at the base or a pretend crow at the top!
Creepy Candlelit Kitties
Another really cool way to use pumpkins without having to do too much carving (although there is a little bit). Create “cats” for your front step, by combining a tall, sturdy gourd with a smaller, rounder pumpkin on top. Carve eye-holes in the smaller pumpkins, and then spray everything glassy black. Candles in the “heads” of your creepy kitties will create the effect of a sinister stare once the sun goes down. Check out the instructional post at Sunset.com for additional tips.
Googly-Eyed Gauze Ghosts
These “floating” ghosts are so pretty! They might not terrify the neighbourhood, but they ARE perfect for a family-friendly Halloween celebration, and will help you get into the spirit of the holiday! This set is available on Etsy, but if you’re feeling creative with glue and gauze you could even try to make them as a DIY project.
Witchy Welcome Mat
This cute Halloween idea is very similar to our witch-legs-in-plant-pot suggestion earlier! Instead of a witch being trapped in a planter, this time she’s been squashed by your house (so it still reminds me of the Wizard of Oz). It’s a little bit easier in that you don’t need to source mannequin legs, and you can fashion “ankles” with some thick socks or cardboard tubing. You’ll just need some opaque striped socks and pointed shoes or boots from a charity shop. More tips at Dollar Store Crafts (well worth a read).
Haunted Playhouse of Horrors
Give your garden toys and kids playhouse a spooky makeover with the help of fake cobwebs, homemade signs and a cuddly toy cat. This is especially helpful if you’re not planning on decorating your house for Halloween, but are being pestered by little ones!
Terrifying Tentacle Creature
Okay, I know I said that all of these ideas would be low-cost and relatively low-effort… But I just couldn’t resist this one! This amazing creation is built to look like it’s emerging from the manhole in the ground, and uses a metal frame hidden inside the incredible HVAC ducting sleeves. The build instructions can be found on instructables.com. Of course, you could use these as inspiration for a smaller-scale project, using green tights, plastic tubes, pool noodles or something similar.
These are all my favourite Halloween garden ideas from the internet for now – I can’t wait to try some of these out! Did you have any favourites? What do you think about decorating your home and garden for Halloween in general? I’d love to know.