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Journal

October 13th

Halloween Decorating

If you’re thinking about decorating your porch and yard for the spookiest night of the year, you can do it without having to spend a lot of money. Here are a few low-cost ideas for showing your Halloween spirit to the world:

You can get rolls of yellow Caution tape (the type you see at crime or disaster scenes to keep people out of certain areas) fairly inexpensively at most hardware stores, and if you put it up around the perimeter of your yard, accompanied by a sign that says something like “Fright Scene: Enter at Your Own Risk.” You can enhance that spookiness even more by replacing your regular porch light with a black light bulb. Adding a few Halloween-oriented items like skulls and ghost figures that glow in the dark will be even more effective.

If you want your pumpkins to last longer (and even to be reusable when you scrap your Halloween decorations and begin decorating for Thanksgiving), don’t carve them. Paint them with acrylic paint. You can create an infinite variety of faces or scenes, and your pumpkins will last much longer. There’s also none of the mess involved with carving them. Place your pumpkins in groups of three to five of varying sizes and shapes. It makes for a much more effective display.

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A little paint can go a long way in creating great-looking tombstones, too. You can paint simple boards grey and then use black paint to add silly or scary epitaphs that will delight visitors.  

You can create some wonderfully spooky scenes in your windows by cutting out silhouettes of the various Halloween icons, such as black cats, witches, and skeletons, out of construction paper. When it gets dark, your windows will take on a lovely macabre look when the light is blocked out by those eerie objects.  

Simple scarecrow-type figures, topped with rubber Halloween masks, can also be effective in adding some scare factor to your front porch and lawn. Just stuff a shirt and pair of pants with straw or leaves, add the mask, and you’ve got an instant horror figure for just a little time, imagination, and very little money.