Best Simple & Scary DIY Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Halloween is not far away which means that if you do not yet have your decorations up that you probably soon will. There are many lovely decorations you can put up. However, kids look forward to being scared on All Hallows’ Eve. Each house they walk up to is another chance for them to be scared out of their minds and another story to tell the next day at school. To help you achieve that local celebrity status, I have gathered some easy, DIY Halloween decorations that will scare your trick or treaters right off your doorstep. For more ideas, check out our new post on more scary DIY outdoor Halloween decorations.

Creep kids out with this jar of pickled brains sitting next to the candy bowl. The redder the juice, the better. And, if you follow this recipe, you can eat them as well. So, as the kids pick out candy, you can reach into the jar and casually eat some brains.

Okay, in full disclosure, this one does involve a bit of shopping. Buy a skeleton. But, rather than hanging it up, place some parts to stick out of a mound of dirt either on the ground (maybe in a fresh grave) or in a wheelbarrow near the front porch. It should frighten kids if they happen to bump into it while getting candy.

These shrunken heads should confuse the kids. Very few of them will probably be able to guess that they are apples, which means that you can tell them that they are real for the night. Just follow this recipe for a little barbaric decoration.

In my opinion, bats are not used enough in Halloween decorations. My guess is that this is due to their size. They can be quite scary though, especially when kids cannot see the black flying rats in the dark. Decorate a dim lit place that kids will walk by and get jumps throughout the night.

This is one of my favorite DIY Halloween decorations, because it can be done in practically any neighborhood. Either cut out some circles from glow-in-the-dark foam or cut circles from construction paper and color them in with glow-in-the-dark markers. Then, create some scary eyes and stick them on the trees all around your house. This will give kids the impression that they are being watched while they visit your house.

Make a creepy ‘beware’ sign using some old wood, twigs and staples. Take a tattered piece of wood and jaggedly spell out ‘BEWARE’ or another ominous phrase using twigs. Then, secure the twigs by nailing in insulated staples. The more rough barbed wire-ish it looks, the better.

Stick some bones that you have left over from the skeleton from the above decoration into a few large jars along with ash, dirt and/or cobwebs to create one of the coolest DIY Halloween decorations.

This jack-o-lantern is creepy and most definitely original. If you have some pumpkin-carving skills, give it a try, because it is sure to impress and make the kids take a double take.

For some eerie ghost-like creatures, grab some chicken wire and put your sculpting skills to work.

It is usually common to have some legs sticking out from somewhere along the house around Halloween. You can make them a bit more special by turning them into the legs of the wicked witch of the east. Just stuff yellow and black striped stockings with socks and then place the ruby red slippers on the ends of them.

These ghosts are great way to light up your path or house and when mixed with pumpkins, brings a beautiful mixture of orange and white hues. As a plus for your kids, with these, they can decorate more than just pumpkins. Just cut a small hole on the back at the bottom of the jug and insert a string of lights.

These signs are cute and ominous. They will probably not do much to deter kids, but they (and most likely their parents) will appreciate the effort.

A man-eating pumpkin should amuse the kids as they reach into the candy bowl. The original creator himself said that he used hummingbird syrup as the blood, which looks much more realistic than ketchup.

I believe that rats and crows are very underused and underrated. So, whether you simply stick a cutout onto your pillars or stash mice along the path, it it fun to add touches of these little guys, because they are both a little creepy regardless of what time of year it is.

Along with these DIY Halloween decorations, you can make some of your own mummies, ghosts, scarecrows and tombstones to place along beside to your jack-o-lanterns crawling with spider webs. If all else falls, you can be like my dad and pull out the silly string when the trick or treaters come. Do you have any Halloween decorations that you look forward to putting up each year? Let us know below.

  • Tanya - October 8, 2011 - 9:59 am

    Love this! Especially the foot sticking out of the pumpkin – must do that this year.ReplyCancel

  • karin - October 9, 2011 - 5:16 pm

    Fun ideas that can be done quickly. Give the neighborhood kids a visit to remember.ReplyCancel

  • russell - October 10, 2011 - 7:41 pm

    will do lots of this stoff and love this sitReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - October 13, 2011 - 11:51 pm

    I like the eyes on the trees because they are easy but make an impact. I don’t have any trees so I think I will put them on my bushes or maybe my front window.ReplyCancel

  • Paula Roberts - October 18, 2011 - 5:29 am

    Love the leg and foot sticking out of the pumpkin. I would call it “pumpkin revenge.”17ReplyCancel

    • claire - October 18, 2011 - 10:46 am

      ha! i love it!!ReplyCancel

  • Winnie - April 4, 2012 - 11:16 am

    Love these Halloween ideas..especially the lights using the milk bottles..great use of used material!ReplyCancel

  • Carrol - June 16, 2012 - 8:26 pm

    I think the dresses would be great in the summer garden with flower vines growing up them. What a group of clever ideas, thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - June 17, 2012 - 7:54 pm

    The chicken wire ghosts would be even cooler if you spray painted them with glow in the dark paint! That way since they’re standing in your yard under the sun all day, they’ll glow eerily at night 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Claire - June 17, 2012 - 9:06 pm

    @Nicole that is an awesome idea!

    @Carrol I guess I didn’t think of them in a pretty way, but that could be coolReplyCancel

  • Jo Lynne - July 8, 2012 - 11:11 am

    Love your ideas! Hope I have enough talent to make the chicken wire figures. We live in the country with scraggly old cedar trees out front. I think they would look fabulous thereReplyCancel

  • Sarah - July 15, 2012 - 12:44 pm

    These are WONDERFUL ideas!…I’ve not seen any around here like them…thanks!ReplyCancel

  • rhonda - July 20, 2012 - 8:23 pm

    I love these ideas.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne bickford - August 8, 2012 - 11:39 pm

    Thanks for these great ideas!ReplyCancel

  • Terri - August 23, 2012 - 9:27 pm

    Want to learn how to do the chicken wire dresses…ReplyCancel

  • Claire - August 31, 2012 - 11:53 am

    Glad you like them and hope they come in good use this Halloween 🙂ReplyCancel

  • nicki curtis - September 8, 2012 - 4:54 pm

    Where do you get the glow in the dark paint?ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - September 19, 2012 - 5:57 pm

    Is there a trick to sculpting the glow in the dark dresses? Thank You for the Great idea and I look forward to giving it a try.ReplyCancel

  • Margaret - September 19, 2012 - 10:14 pm

    Awesome ideas!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany - September 27, 2012 - 11:21 am

    What’s the best way to go about making the hanging bats?ReplyCancel

  • Casi - September 27, 2012 - 4:38 pm

    These are amazing ideas!
    I love the ghost dresses. They’re so imaginative, I never would of thought of doing something like that.
    My 5 year old is throwing a Halloween party this year and i’m thinking of creating a Halloween Town in the backyard. The ghost dresses will be an AWESOME addition to it!

    Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Claudia - September 27, 2012 - 7:30 pm

    I love the ghost dresses and the witches legs (which I had seen but using pool noodles instead but socks is cheaper and better!) I have a question though, when making the ghost people out of chicken wire, how much do you use? Do you have an video that shows how to do it?ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Curtis - September 28, 2012 - 8:31 am


    I just saw glow in the dark paint at Walmart! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • maria - September 29, 2012 - 7:09 pm

    amazing ideas, I love the dresses. can’t wait to get started .ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Hilderbrand - September 30, 2012 - 3:25 pm

    What a find! I cannot believe all of the great and innovative ideas here. I am so excited to try a few of them in particular. The pumpkin carving is an absolute must and seeing as clothing is my game, I think I’ll give the ghost dresses a whirl. Thanks for all of the great pictures and inspiration! My son is gonna LOVE it!ReplyCancel

  • Anne Einhorn - October 5, 2012 - 10:31 pm

    I love the ethereal chicken wire ghosts and am anxious to try them this year. What is the best tool to use for cutting the chicken wire and where is the best place to find glow in the dark paint?ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - October 6, 2012 - 12:12 pm

    @ Anne: I just made these yesterday and I was able to find the glow in the dark spray paint at Walmart in the paint section. They are about $5 a can. I hope this helps-Good Luck!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - October 18, 2012 - 12:32 pm

    Attempting to make the ghost dresses. What’s the best way to do it.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Lou Sinclair - October 18, 2012 - 7:16 pm

    THESE ARE AMAZING! thanks for sharing 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Natural Handcrafted Soap - December 29, 2012 - 1:06 pm

    Very CreativeReplyCancel

  • Tricia - January 9, 2013 - 9:25 pm

    I love the chicken wire dresses. Do you have any tricks or pointers on the easiest way to make them? Wonderful ideas.ReplyCancel

  • Patsy - May 2, 2013 - 6:44 pm

    Great ideas…ReplyCancel

  • valerie lee-hatch - July 15, 2013 - 5:13 pm

    Love Halloween decorationsReplyCancel

  • Christine - August 21, 2013 - 12:30 pm

    The ghost dresses are great! I just told hubby I want to make them. I think stenciling a card board cut out of the dress may help shape it better.ReplyCancel

  • Victoria Romeo - August 26, 2013 - 10:05 am

    I see you have many comments about the ghost dresses. Do you have a video or some tips on the best way to construct them?
    Thanks!! The dresses really are awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - August 28, 2013 - 7:03 pm

    @Victoria {and anyone else who’s wanted to make the ghost dresses}:

    Excited so many people are interested in making these ghost dresses! We do not have a video tutorial of how to make the dresses but my suggestion is to cut the chicken wire, using wire cutters, in a large triange. Cutting it like this would allow you to then wrap the “dress” around. Not sure how to attach the end pieces but I would just overlap them slightly {hopefully the grass and dirt will hold the wire down}. Once you have the round triangle, push in around where you want the waistline to be. Feel free to cut the top to shape like the photo. Then you can start shaping the skirt by grabbing the skirt with your fingers inside/underneath the skirt and your thumbs outside. Then push in. Do this all around the skirt and you should get the look you want. Hope this helps everyone!!ReplyCancel

  • Brooke Rowan - October 31, 2013 - 1:47 pm

    I was looking for Halloween ideas at the last minute on the internet.I saw Annie’s website and was like hum I wonder what this is.I saw what it was and was like wow.ReplyCancel

  • handmade - April 19, 2017 - 9:13 am

    Nice scary hallowing!!ReplyCancel

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