October 31st is just around the corner so I wanted to share with you all a decorating job I’ve done in the San Francisco Bay area for 15 years. The Lady of the House is crazy for Halloween and the displays in her front yard have slowly expanded over that period of time.
Ghosts, zombies, skeletons, black cats, purple trees with limbs that move, rats, spiders, pumpkins, mums, butlers, maids and skeletons that scream out frightening cries in the night – you name it – it’s all here. Here are some Halloween decorating ideas which I hope inspire you for your own yard.
The props have been collected and used for years – they have come from wholesale display houses, retail catalogues, the San Francisco Flower Market, the Los Angeles Mart and even K-Mart, Sears and Orchard Supply Hardware (you don’t need to break the bank to have a welcoming front porch display). A few years ago some took flight over the Pacific Ocean when a fierce storm rolled in the day before Halloween. Those which remain look all the more authentic tattered and dirt stained!
Tip: Tatter and slit your ghosts and ghouls even more than they already are – that way they’ll really flutter in the wind!
Because the lawn is artificial, everything is attached with fishing line and wire to posts on painted plywood platforms. The headstones are made out of a variety of materials including styrofoam, fiberglass, resin and plastic. Some of the figures are ones which did not weather that storm too well so on the ground they lie. I throw in some faded hydrangea flowers for that “Mortitia Addams” touch.
Tip: Position some of your gravestones at an angle – it makes the graveyard look older!
The Front Porch
Kids and adults love this decorated front porch. There’s so much to see and hear as many of the figures move and talk. A mixture of fall garlands adorn the porch railings and pumpkins and squashes line each step staying up right through Thanksgiving.
Tip: The ghoulish figures spanning the front porch are tied together with fishing line so they have movement but stay facing the street and walkway.
Now I know not everyone has a sleigh in their front yard but because it’s there – we decorate it. At Christmas time Santa sits in the sleigh pulled by 3 large reindeer to the delight of the young children in the neighborhood. For Halloween and Thanksgiving, it’s decked with artificial fall garlands and Bittersweet branches which have been around for years (reuse at its finest!) and pumpkins and mums bought in nearby Half Moon Bay.
Tip: Covered florist wire and fishing line are indispensable when decorating.
Have fun decorating! I’ll leave you with this thought:
“I’ll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween. ” – Charles Swartz
All pictures not watermarked were taken by Randie Marlow, a professional photographer.