Since moving to San Diego with my partner last year, I’ve had a lot of fun going ALL OUT during the holidays. My partner is South African (where Halloween isn’t celebrated), and I grew up in the U.S. (where Halloween is an integral part of the culture). Despite having different cultures, we’ Year is especially fun for me.
Growing up my mom decked out the house with Halloween decor so I may have taken a tip or two from her and am thrilled to keep the tradition alive.
As soon as September comes around, I love to decorate my front porch with cozy fall décor. Then as we began to shift toward October it’s ON! We’re talking about a full pet cemetery, spooky trees, and spiders galore!
We took our decorating this year to the next level! Now that we are more mindful of how we’re decorating, we worked even harder on getting our décor up to par.
I like to think I run in two modes: summer in Europe or holiday mode. This time around, we went all in and ran the full course.
Here are all the gadgets, gizmos, and decor we used to spookify our house. So that you can “Boo!” Gadgets ### Original: The first time I looked at the moon through a telescope was amazing. It was so big and so bright, it really took my breath
Our Spooky Yard
A quick note before we get started:
When you’re shopping for outdoor products, make sure they are meant to be used outside. There are a few items out there that are made for inside use only. They are waterproof, but not intended for outdoor use.
We like to take a few things from our yard and bring them inside at night, because we don’t want any of them to get damaged. For example, we take all of the tombstones out at night so they won’t get damaged by rain or sun. The few things that aren’t meant for outdoors we bring
I know that it requires a lot of work if you’re not careful, so just keep that in mind when you plan your Halloween scare-scaping.
There are a lot of pieces here, so I’m going to break them down section by section!
Front of the Fence + Gate
The fence is adorned with small spider webs, lighted by tiny flickering lanterns. We have short white picket fences on our lawns. I popped off the cap of one post and ordered five-foot tall solar-powered lanterns to replace them. They really make a tremendous difference in the overall look of the fence. “Spooky” effect. After the holidays I can remove the festive lighting and return to normal bulb covers.
- Stretchy Spider Webs
- Giant Spiders
- 3-Foot Spider Black (2)
- 3-Foot Spider Brown (2)
- Solar Lanterns
On either side of the front gate are howling wolves, a dragon door knocker, and an arch with a giant spider.
- NOTE: These are for indoors only. We used waterproof duct tape over the battery compartment and fit the base inside of the fence post to prevent them from getting wet.
- Dragon Door Knocker – NOTE: This is also for sheltered outdoor. I created a loop with a zip tie so that I could easily slide it on and off the gate if rain is in the forecast. This knocker is a huge hit with the neighborhood and a great deal for only $15. It’s noise level is extremely low, The Scarecrow is a much-appreciated addition to any Halloween display, perfect for an entire haunted house or even for a single scarecrow scene. The Scarecrow features 7-volt lights inside the eyes and mouth, along with 3-4 audio recordings. The Screamer sound can be activated by remote control.
- Giant Spider — We attached this spider to our arbor with zip ties.
The pet cemetery might just be my favorite part! While it’s fun during the day, it really comes to life at night when everything glows and we get the fog machine going.
- Grave Stones: Fear This Way Hunter Terminally on the Prowl Until Next Time Boo to You Haunt Ya Later Touch Nothing Nothing Will Touch You Trick or Treat
- Cat Skeleton
- Skeleton Wolf
- Raven Skeleton
- Celtic Cross
- Skeleton Thumbs Up & Skeleton Feet
- Bat Gravestone Fencing
- Small Bat Skeleton (1)
- Large Bat Skeleton (3)
- Spooky Tree and Pumpkin — Home Depot Original: I like to use my sink for several things. For one, it’s the perfect place to wash my hands (no soap needed! Just run water over your hands in the sink). Also, I use this faucet to fill my bottle with
- Fog Machine — Setup Explained in Section Below
Spider & Spiderweb on the House
For the large spiders that we affixed to the house, we used zip ties.
Most spiders have eight legs. Therefore, we mounted these spiders on a large piece of foam board that fit their body shape and was about 4 inches wide. The foam board was placed under the spider web to hold it up off the ground to make sure they didn’t accidentally fall from their web. We also included two front legs and two back
Before mounting anything on your wall, make sure you wipe the surface completely and let the mounts cure for at least one hour. This will ensure that all traces of dust are removed.
- Giant Spiders — On house and web
- The Giant Spider Web “ We screwed a hook into the eaves of our home to have a hold point so just be mindful of how you plan to attach the top to your house. It has a lot of tension so I don’t think an adhesive hook would hold up. The web came with stakes to put into the grass bottom.
- Zip Ties & Mounts
For the web, you need to have a certain amount of tension. Just enough to support the spiders and not so much that they’ll tear it. The web is delicate but also sturdy enough to hold things if handled correctly. It’s made of a yarn-like material and we pulled as much tension as we could. after adding the spiders above
Starting with the web of yarn, I would follow the instructions to hook the web first. Then, as you can see, I continued weaving my way upward with the stretchy spider web. This helps to secure the big spiders and their threads for me.
At the bottom of the web, we placed spiders in their proper places. We used zip ties to hold them in place, but you can use duct tape or other means if you’d like. They are a bit heavy when they’re hanging upside down, so be sure to center them over their legs
It is an experimental process. We only put two big things on the web so it wasn’t too heavy and so far, so good. We’ll see how they go through the month of October!
We have two fog machines. We use the large one for the cemetery and I have the timer accessory as well as a tube kit that connects to the fog machine. The tube runs along the base of tombstones, causing the fog to disperse evenly throughout the cemetery grounds. Without it, it tends to blast and cover things which are unlucky enough to be doesn’t work well for the cemetery.
The tubes help keep things low to the ground and spread it out a bit more.
Then we have a smaller fog machine that we use on the front porch where we have a projector animation in the window. This one has lights and I usually use the green light.
- Fog Juice
- Fog Hose Tube Kit — Cemetery
- Fog Machine Timer — Cemetery
- Large Fog Machine — Cemetery
- Small Fog Machine with Lights — Front Door
We got a high-capacity fog machine for the cemetery so we wouldn’t have to refill it throughout the night. I tested it and found that I could run the fog machine using the timer for about four hours, which should be more than enough time for our funeral.
I typically set the fog machine to run every 45 seconds. That way, everyone that passes by our house can enjoy the fog as they walk by.
Some of the things we use for our haunted house aren’t as efficient as others. For example, we like to use a fog machine during the weekend because it’s a bit more work to bring this in and out every night.
The fog machine is not meant to be left outdoors.
The Front Porch
Last year I went crazy with real pumpkins and ornamental cabbage, but they rotted too quickly. So this time around we opted for fake pumpkins and I think they look just as good!
The stairs of my home are adorned with two types of potted mums and Firecracker Dahlias from Home Depot. The porch is finished off with four solar lanterns for the evening and a “Trick or Treat” banner hanging from the pergola.
At the entrance we placed two gargoyles and a spooky sign to fill the space between the front gate and porch.
- “Haunted Stop Dead End Sign” — “Clearance at Home Goods” no link.
- Gargoyles (2)
- Pumpkins on a porch – went with fake pumpkins this year got them at Michael’s
- Trick or Treat Banner
- Solar Lanterns Version 1
- Solar Lanterns Version 2
Front Porch Projection
In case you remember last year’s Halloween decorations, the projector and front porch animation was one of my favorite things. I have since updated this and am now using a Kodak 350 Luma Projector as it sits on our dining table. It works great! Furnishings. We don’t want some huge setup inside our home.
I set up my projector on a small tripod and project it onto our sheer white curtains in our dining room. These are the curtains we keep permanently open so we don’t have to change them out! You can use any sort of sheer white fabric as long as the light source comes from behind you.
The files are from atmosFX. I have the Boo Crew Collection Witching Hour and Jack O’ Lantern Jamboree 3. For these I saved the files I liked onto a USB drive and plugged that into the projector.
- Fog Juice
- Front Porch Fog Machine
- Kodak 350 Luma Projector
- USB Drive
- Bluetooth Speaker
- atmosFX: Boo Crew Collection Witching Hour Jack O’ Lantern Jamboree
It’s helpful to make one long video rather than having individual clips that come with your download. To continuously loop a video I pulled the files into iMovie and created a single 20-minute long video. Then I put the USB drive in my computer and added it to my media library.
You could also use the Inshot app on your phone.
When using a Kodak Projector, you can connect it to a Bluetooth speaker which sounds great. I set up the projector inside and connected it to a Bluetooth speaker, so I could hide the speaker in the yard and make it sound better as people passed by.
Always take care when using headphones. Final Word Thank you for purchasing this book! I hope you learned something new about English language and how it works, and that you were able to relate to the humor in each of these examples. If you liked the examples above, I hope you will enjoy the other thousands of entries I have collected
The Set-Up / To Bring Everything to “Life”
Sometimes the electrical setup is harder than planning the actual decorations, so I wanted to include a little blueprint of how we set up all of the cords and connected it to a smart plug so that everything could be on a timer and controlled from the Alexa app.
So many ornaments are battery-operated which is a huge pain in the butt to switch out.
To better facilitate the use of your smart home items, I found a solution to make battery-operated devices into electrical outlets. So being one who is all about smart home technology, I noticed battery-powered connections on Amazon.
They sell single and 3-plug adapters. Since we have six light-up cemetery items, we bought two of the 3-plug adapters. You simply pull the batteries out, pop them into a cable battery, and plug it into your outlet.
Extension Cords/Smart Outdoor Plug
- Cemetery: The red light-up decorations are all connected using a 4-outlet outdoor smart plug. 3 tombstones go into one outlet, and another 3 tombstones go into the second outlet.
- Tree, and Pumpkin: I ran an extension cord from a third outlet to the tree and pumpkin. All of this goes into one waterproof box, which connects with the other box by way of a waterproof cable.
I’m all about automating things as much as possible. We have our entire setup on three extension cords. Here’s how they are setup:
The smart plug can be connected directly to your Alexa app, and you can create a series of commands that will send the plug into action. For example, you could say, “Alexa, turn on my porch lights at sunset and off at sunrise.”
Dedicated Outlets:Make sure to use a dedicated outlet for the fog machine.
It’s really important you don’t overload your electrical outlets. We currently use two outdoor outlets and run the cemetery and tree light setup to one, but we have a second outlet that we run a single extension cord to for our fog machine.
Waterproof Cable Box
All of the plugs are plugged into a waterproof outdoor cable box. I have that all plugged into a smart outdoor plug connection so I can create timers and control everything from the Alexa App in my phone.
Even though these items are designed for outside use, it’s still a good practice to seal off any openings that lead to electricity.
In order to prevent water from getting into the pocket rocket’s battery pack, you can use tape or sealant. All that is needed is a length of duct tape that has been cut in half and then folded over several times. The taped end should be placed over the end of the battery pack. Then you need to put waterproof sealant
Make sure everything is watertight!
On the back side of some of the tombstones where I felt there might be weak spots in the foam I did a little duct tape reinforcement.
If you want to protect your outdoor decor even further, apply Scotchgard® UV Protectant Waterproofing Spray. To start with, this product is very effective at repelling stains and grime. IMPORTANT: Test an area before you spray fully. And if you are going to tape anything, be sure to do that before spraying with the it once it’s been sprayed.
Supporting the Gravestones with Stakes
The stakes I used for the outdoor tombstones were not very strong. To solve this problem, I bought 16-inch U-shaped stakes from a hardware store and stuck them to the tombstones with clear sticky mount zip ties. This way they stay in place, but still aren’t difficult to move around.
- Battery to Plug Adapters
- 4-Outlet Outdoor Smart Plug
- Waterproof Duct Tape by Gorilla Glue
- Waterproof Outdoor Cable Box
- U-Shape Stakes
- Sticky Mount Zipties
Socially Reassured Trick-or-Treating
Last year we created a trick-or-treat mechanism so kids could get some candy without having to come into our yard. To be perfectly honest, we’ll likely do this every year as our yard is rather large and I don’t want anyone to trip as they walk up.
The Candy Bags
To create the candy bags, I took paper bags and clothespins. Then I made mini purses out of them with printable label designs downloaded from Etsy. I secured each bag to the clothespin by sewing it to the clothespin’s wooden base.
I filled each bag with two things of candy: Organic Black Forest Gummy Bears and Organic Allergy-Friendly Lollipops. I don’t have children myself but I have plenty of friends who do. As a result, I know how important it is to be aware that many kids in the world have allergies to nuts and other food Choose food that is allergy-friendly as much as possible.
I hung “Trick Or Treat Stay 6 Feet!” signs along the string holding the bags of candy. Hopefully, this would make it clear to kids that they could only take a bag or two.
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String everything on hangers hung on the shepherd’s hooks.
I’d suggest lighting up your Easter display with solar uplighting. This is a great way to brighten the candy bags for visitors. A few families missed seeing the paper hats, but we had lots of attention with our light show on our house.
Non-Candy Bags Options
While I normally avoid single-use plastics because of the plastic pollution crisis. So I bought a party favor set from Amazon that had some wizarding goodness like a wand. For those bags I want to see into, I’ll get myself a bag with clear sides so people can see what’s inside. inside
I also bought some wired ribbon to create a more wonky Harry Potter effect to the ribbon.
Here you have it! That’s my ultimate guide to how we spookedified our house for Halloween and how you can create a similar display.
I would love to hear your suggestions for decorating our blog in the comments below.