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Fiendishly Simple Halloween Yard Decorations

Fiendishly Simple Halloween Yard Decorations

Fiendishly Simple Halloween Yard Decorations

Original Halloween designs by Marian Parsons and Layla Palmer


Halloween Yard Decorations

Halloween is as much an outdoor celebration as an indoor one, so what can you do to transform your yard or garden area for this spooky and fun festival?  Here are ideas for Halloween yard decorations to send tingles down the spine of your family and party guests.  Halloween or ‘All Hallows Eve’ is all about ‘things that go bump in the night’.  Shrouded in darkness outdoors spaces become mysterious terrains full of the unexpected.  Just what is lurking in the shadows in your garden or yard?  Adding extra suspense to the natural drama of the night is not difficult, and just needs a little imagination and some basic materials. Look at these Halloween Yard Decorations .

Creepy Tombstones Halloween Yard Decorations Create a Graveyard Atmosphere


These creepy Halloween yard decorations look just like the genuine article, grey and grim. As a backdrop to your party festivities these tombstones will set an awesomely creepy atmosphere.  To make the headstones you will need:

  • sheets of approx 5cm x 30cm x 91cm dry Styrofoam sheet – one sheet will make 2 tombstones
  • a serrated bread knife
  • a paring knife
  • a permanent marker
  • black spray paint
  • dark gray and white acrylic paint
  • a 6 or 7 cm paint brush

Step 1: To make the outline of the tombstones get some images of simple headstone shapes from the internet or library then using a permanent marker pen.  Draw this onto your Styrofoam sheets.  Do stick to simple shapes that you can reproduce easily.  To help with curves use a large round bucket lid or similar.


Halloween Yard Decorations

Step 2: Cut the tombstone shape out of the foam following the outline you have drawn.  Use the serrated bread knife for this.  The knife will cut through easily but will leave quite a mess so its best to do this outside.  Keep the knife at right angles to the foam.  This activity must never be done by children unless closely supervised by adults.


Step 3: Draw your creepy design on to your tombstone blank.  Again take inspiration from images of real tombstones but remember simple images like: crosses, skulls or RIP are instantly recognized.  Don’t worry if you need to make corrections as the tombstones will be painted.


Step 4:  Once you are happy with your sketch then it is time to make your Halloween tombstone more realistic by carving the design into the surface.  This is easily done using a serrated paring knife.  You simply scratch the surface of your sketched lines with the tip of the knife and gradually carve out grooves to a depth of 2-3 cms.  For the best results hold your knife at an angle.


Halloween Yard Decorations

Step 5:  The final stages in these Halloween Yard Decorations are to paint your tombstones.  Firstly use the black spray paint to cover the entire surface.  This must be done in a well ventilated space or outdoors.  Use long even strokes from different directions to ensure even coverage.  Again this most not be done by unsupervised children.  Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before moving to the next step.


Step 6:  To create an awesomely authentic stone effect with this Halloween Yard Decorations the next stage is to dry brush the black surface with the acrylic Paint.  Start by applying a thin coat of grey paint with the 6cm paint brush.  Drag the brush lightly over the surface so that paint doesn’t get into the carved design.  Allow this coat to dry.

Step 7: To add more depth to the paint effect, apply a second dry brush coat in the same way, but this time use a mixture of dark gray and white acrylic paint. Allow this coat to dry completely.


Step 8:  Apply a third and final coat in white acrylic paint using the same technique as before. Adding these multiple layers of paint will create a very realistic granite appearance. Allow this final coat to dry and your tombstone is ready to display.

Helpful Tip:  To position your Halloween tombstones outside, insert bamboo or metal skewers into the tombstone and stick them securely into ground.  For authenticity, place your tombstones close together and at uneven angles to replicate an ancient graveyard effect.

Scare Your Guests with Ghostly Halloween Yard Decorations


Halloween Yard Decorations

For a super spooky effect and one that is sure to be loved by children, how about having some scary ghosts floating through your garden. It’s easy to create these ghostly Halloween yard decorations using inexpensive craft items. For the best effect your life size ghosts will look fantastic hanging from trees or alternatively, place one on your front porch to give ‘Trick or Treaters’ a real fright!.

For each ghost you will need:

  • 6-8 packages of muslin or cheesecloth
  • 1 large foam ball
  • 2 small foam balls
  • A paint roller extension pole or similar long stick
  • 2 meter rules
  • A hammer
  • 2 short large-headed nails
  • A jug of liquid fabric starch
  • an empty spray bottle
  • a sheet of black felt
  • scissors
  • fabric glue
  • large sewing needle
  • spool of fishing line

Step 1: To create each ghost’s framework, construct a skeleton by layering the paint roller extension pole and two meter rules crossed over as illustrated. Use a large-headed nail to attach these together, one on top of the other.


Step 2:  Secure the Extension Pole framework in a non windy spot for ease of draping the ghostly fabric.


Step 3:  Attach the ghost’s head by pushing a large foam ball onto the top of the extension pole.


Step 4:  Attach the ghost’s hands by fixing a smaller foam ball to each of the outstretched yard sticks.


Step 5:  Draping the cheesecloth is where your ghostly figure will start to come to life, so to speak!  Start by draping large sheets of muslin over the framework as shown.  Continue to add more fabric and adjust the folds until you are happy with the effect.


Step 6:  Fix your ghostly form in place by using Spray Starch:  Dilute the fabric starch and pour into the spray bottle.  Saturate the head arms and upper structures with the starch solution.  Leave the body free from starch so that your ghostly figure will trail in the breeze.


Step 7:  Once the starch has hardened fully, its time to create the ghost’s eerie features.  The shapes of these are down to you.  For an adult party the phantom’s features can be made particularly gruesome, but for a kid’s party maybe you could go for a more friendly or comic impact.  To create the eyes and mouth cut these simple shapes out of black felt and use a fabric glue to stick them on the head.


Halloween Yard Decorations


Step 8:  Now its time to remove the small foam balls that have formed the hands, do this with care so as not to damage the delicate forms in the stiffened fabric.


Step 9:  To suspend your ghost you will need to attach fishing line to the arms. Using  a large sewing needle thread a long length of fishing line through the fabric of both hands. Knot these securely so that your apparition doesn’t disappear in a gust of wind.


Step 10:  Finally, attach the fishing line to head, again using the large sewing needle, attach a long length of fishing line to the top of the ghost’s head. If possible pass the needle straight through the foam ball for extra strength.  Knot this length of fishing line very securely.


The really exciting part of the whole process is to display your fabulous floating phantoms on trees or hooks in the yard or outside your front door to ‘welcome’ guests.   Of course these creepy ghouls would look super dramatic if positioned near your terrifying tombstones.  Combine these dramatic Halloween yard decorations with some of the eerie lanterns and carved pumpkins described in our other Halloween feature articles, for a perfectly creepy outdoor party setting.

By Jaz

Halloween Yard Decorations