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Best Simple & Scary DIY Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Halloween is not far away which means that if you do not have your decorations up yet that you will soon. There are many lovely decorations you can put up, but generally kids want to be scared on All Hallows’ Eve. Each house they walk up to is another chance for them to be scared out of their minds and something to remember for the rest of their lives. In light of this, I have found some easy, DIY Halloween decorations that will scare your trick or treaters right off your doorstep {and check out more here}.

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 it as well. So, as the kids pick out candy, you can reach into the jar and eat some brains.

Okay, this one does involve a little 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 will definitely frighten kids if they happen to bump into it while getting candy.

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

Bats are not used enough, probably because they are small. They can be quite scary though, especially when kids don’t see the black flying rats in the dark. So, decorate a place they will walk by, but not see very well to get jumps throughout the night.

This is one of my favorites, because it can be done in virtually 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, color in some scary eyes and stick them on the trees all around your house. That is all that it takes to make the kids feel like they are being watched the entire time they are at your house.

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

With some bones that you have left over from the skeleton sticking out of the ground or wheelbarrow, stick them in some large jars along with ash or dirt and cobwebs. The dustier, the better.

This one is creepy and definitely original. If you have some pumpkin-carving skills, give it a try, because it is sure to impress and make kids think twice about what is really inside a pumpkin.

For some eery 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, but make them a little bit special by making them 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, they get to decorate more than just a pumpkin. With these, they can draw as many faces as they want on milk cartons, too. 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 won’t do much to deter the older kids, but the little ones might take it seriously and may be a little timid pressing onto your door.

A man-eating pumpkin will definitely amuse the kids and make them not want to get too close. It is pretty easy to do and the creator said he used hummingbird syrup as the blood, which looks much more real than ketchup.

Rats and crows are very underused and underrated. So, whether you simply stick some paper onto your pillars or stash mice along the path, add touches of these little guys, because they are both a little creepy no matter what time of year it is.

Along with these, you can make some of your own mummies, ghosts, scarecrows and tombstones to place along next to your jack-o-lanterns crawling with spider webs. If all else falls, you can make like my dad and pull out the silly string. Happy Halloween everyone!


  • 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

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