57 Creepy-Fun Outdoor Halloween Decorations You Need This Year
Give your home a haunted makeover with these spooky and surprisingly simple Halloween yard decorations.
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Set the spooky scene
Once September arrives, it’s game on when it comes to embracing the joys of the fall season—especially Halloween. And if you’ve been daydreaming about transforming your normally cozy abode into a full-on haunted house, you’re going to love these outdoor Halloween decoration ideas. While you probably have a few spooky items in your attic already, adding DIY components really adds to the ambiance; plus, it’s a big trend this year. “Many people have learned new skills and crafting techniques [over the past 18 months],” says Anna Olsen, Manager of Crafted Content at JOANN, “and Halloween is a great opportunity to put those newly created skills to work.”
Not all that crafty? Not a problem! There are a ton of easy ways to create a total Halloween mood without even picking up a glue gun. Think seasonal wreaths and assorted door decorations, ethereal ghosts, no-carve pumpkins, and even festive baskets where you can stash the best candy on the block. You can also use the spooky store-bought decorations you already have and update them with some DIY goodness. “Using DIY projects to keep your main Halloween decor pieces relevant is a great way to keep decorations fresh while also keeping storage space in mind,” notes Sarah Fishburne, Home Depot’s Director of Trend and Design. And, of course, it’s hard to resist some of the newer spooky offerings, like these Amazon Halloween decorations that will totally impress the trick-or-treaters.
The bottom line? You can’t do this wrong. Simply pick the spooky or seasonal theme of your choice and go all in with your yard decorations. Then turn your attention to the inside of your home and deck your halls with these other DIY Halloween decorations. Happy haunting!
Jack o’ lantern flower pot
Who says jack o’ lanterns have to be made from pumpkins? One of the easiest ways to update your outdoor space for Halloween is to decorate your flowerpots with cute “carved” faces.
Make this: Design your look with a stencil or go freehand with a little paint, creating funny and spooky faces on terra cotta pots. Fill with your favorite fall plants or flowers to complete the craft.
Looking for something that screams Halloween? An eyeball wreath should do the trick!
Make this: For this one, you’ll want to buy some ping-pong eyeballs or DIY your own with Sharpies. Hot glue makes easy work of attaching these creepy little guys to a foam wreath, and a black ribbon ties up everything nicely—or, um, creepily. If you can’t resist a good pun (or a bad one), you’ll love these punny Halloween costumes that are super easy to make.
Miljan Živković/Getty Images
Seasonal yarn wreath
Not sure you’re up for even the smallest amount of sewing? This wreath relies on variegated yarn for the autumn look and is super easy to make.
Make this: Dab a few dollops of hot glue on a wreath base, then wrap the first few inches of yarn around the form. (Go with subtle autumnal colors, or black and orange for a more traditional Halloween look.) Keep going until your wreath is done, tucking the last strand under the form and gluing it in place. You can also glue on felt designs like leaves.
Gravestone chair cover
Give your regular old porch or patio furniture a Halloween makeover with these frighteningly simple gravestone-inspired chair covers. RIP your normal furniture…at least until October 31st is over!
Make this: This beginner-friendly project uses only one type of fabric, stencils, fabric paint, and a fabric pen. Simply trim the fabric, eyeballing your chair to figure out the right size, and sew together a few seams. From there, get creative. Consider using this list of the funniest tombstones that really exist for inspiration.
When it comes to outdoor Halloween decoration ideas, the real key is adding your own creative touch. These are simple white wooden beads…but on Halloween, they look like low-key spooky eyeballs.
Make this: Buy several packs of white beads in different sizes. Using a hot glue gun, glue the beads on an empty rum bottle in random patterns for a creepy-cool effect. Make things even more eerie by using a black marker to create the effect of eyes (or use googly eyes instead). Fill the bottle with incense or branches and set it on your porch for an ominous welcome. Here are more Halloween party ideas that are a whole mood.
These itsy-bitsy spiders are creepy-crawly in all the right ways…and super cute, too! Plus, these indoor/outdoor decorations are incredibly easy to make.
Make this: Grab four black pipe cleaners and fashion them into a spider-like figure. Keep going until you have as many spiders as you’d like. Then, string them onto some twine and find the perfect home for them! If you’re a parent, put these on the list of super easy Halloween crafts your kids will love to make.
Floating ghost heads
Warning: Visions of this haunting trio might keep you up at night and inspire their very own ghost stories. Shine an eerie backlight on them and you’ll spread the terror to the whole neighborhood.
Make this: The stars of the show are the foam craft heads. Cut off the necks and cover each head in cheesecloth, strategically spackling a little Mod Podge to the top of the head and forehead to keep it in place and highlight the spooky faces. Attach a screw and some fishing line to the top of each, and let the scares commence!
Grab-and-go candy door hanger
Not going to be home when the trick-or-treating starts? This DIY candy holder, which hangs on your front door, is the perfect solution—and it doubles as an awesome decoration.
Make this: Buy a half craft pumpkin in white or any color that goes with your decor. Cut your favorite mouth shape into the pumpkin, leaving plenty of room for trick-or-treaters to grab their candy. Screw the pumpkin onto the chalkboard, paint on some eyes, write a Halloween message in chalk, and you’re done!
The best DIY Halloween decorations take you by surprise. This wreath is deceptively pretty…until you notice the spiders!
Make this: Stretch spider webs across a classic white berry wreath. Then glue plastic spiders of different sizes to the wreath and webs. If your guests don’t already have arachnophobia, they just might after they see this!
If you’re a new mum, this adds a note of macabre Halloween humor to all the cute new baby gear.
Make this: Grab a piece of wood big enough to be able to make a statement design. You can either cut a face into the wood, use a stencil, or print out a pre-drawn design. Wrap burlap or a gauze-like fabric around the wood to make it look more like a mummy. Feeling extra creepy? Add red lights in place of eyes. Either way, you’ll also want to check out the cutest baby Halloween costumes for your little monster.
Halloween countdown sign
Let the neighbors know that you simply cannot wait until All Hallows’ Eve to get into the Halloween spirit with this cute countdown. Bonus: Teach your kids to count and also look forward to an occasion.
Make this: Create a festive pattern with ribbons for the border and background, then fashion the days with a contrasting color like bright green. Cover the numbers with cute Halloween-themed tags (think ghosts and pumpkins) and affix them to the calendar with magnetic tape. Pull one off every day until you get to the 31st! Just make sure to keep this particular craft under a covered porch since it’s made of fabric.
Nightmare Before Christmas garland
This outdoor Halloween decoration idea looks a lot more complicated than it actually is. By using elements from this must-watch Disney Halloween movie and relying on fun Halloween colors, you’ll create a total mood without a ton of effort.
Make this: Gather Halloween-colored wide mesh ribbon, black garland, and circular white wooden cutouts (from which you’ll make skeleton faces, including at least one of Jack Skellington). Lay the garland on the floor and place the ribbon on top. Secure everything with the tinsel arms of the black garland. Finally, glue some tinsel on the back of the wooden cutouts and bend the tinsel around the garland. Hang it around your door and you’re done!
This Halloween yard decoration is fun to make with smaller kids. Plus, it’s a nice lesson for the kiddos on how to recycle in a more creative way.
Make this: Gather your old tin cans and paint them white. Then, paint large eyes and an O-shaped mouth in black. Finally, hang some white fabric from the bottom opening of your can and feed a string through a small hole in the top. You can hang these ghosts anywhere and watch them take flight in the wind!
We love the old-school creativity involved in making these DIY outdoor Halloween decorations. Easy and bright, they make a cute project that will take just a few hours and a bunch of crepe paper.
Make this: You will need plenty of Mod Podge for this project, along with some mason jars, white and orange tissue paper, black cardstock, and LED tea lights. First, cover your jars with Mod Podge and wrap the tissue paper around. Next, cut away the excess tissue paper, and use more Mod Podge to attach your black cardstock eyes and mouth. Finally, brush another thin layer of Mod Podge over the jar. Once everything’s dry, and add your tea light candle into the jar.
Sing it with us: They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky…the Addams Family! It’s a classic song for any Halloween playlist, and no one is more adorable or instantly recognizable than the hirsute Cousin Itt.
Make this: Some raffia table skirting, a Derby hat, and a pair of black sunglasses turn a tomato cage base into this classic TV character, which you can display on your porch.
Invite trick-or-treaters to enter through the cemetery. These lightweight foam tombstones look so realistic, it’s scary!
Make this: A bit of spray paint and some stencils can easily transform styrofoam or cardboard shipping boxes into spooky headstones. Bonus if you create creepy or clever names and epitaphs for family members.
Class things up a bit with a little Edgar Allan Poe this Halloween. And take bets on how many of your trick-or-treaters’ parents say, “Quoth the raven nevermore….”
Make this: Pick up an inexpensive plain doormat, or use one that you already own. Use a free printable or stencil for the bird shape and spray-paint it with black spray paint for a cool doormat you’d normally pay a pretty penny for.
If you want your DIY outdoor decorations to freak out the neighbors, this is the way to go! They’ll seriously do a double take and maybe even check to make sure he’s not real. (We mean, you look nice and all, but hey, you just never know….)
Make this: Believe it or not, this will cost you just pennies. All you’ll need are some big black garbage bags, newspapers to crumple up to make the body, and twine or duct tape to help make the shape.
What’s worse than real rats? Ghost rats, of course!
Make this: Use white spray paint to fully coat a grapevine wreath and a whole bunch of plastic rats. Once it’s dry, secure your spooky rodents in the pattern of your choice by using a plastic-specific glue or tying them to the wreath.
Halloween yard decorations don’t have to be big to be creepy. Sometimes a smaller version of something lovable is the creepiest of all. Case in point: these Barbies who have seen better days.
Make this: Use paint—in white, red, yellow, black, and green—to give your old dolls an undead makeover. Cut holes into their outfits to make them look extra worn. Bonus points if you pose them in a dilapidated Barbie Dreamhouse. Ever wonder why we’re so obsessed with zombies? Check out the origins of the undead and these other spooky Halloween monsters.
What’s scarier than a skeleton propped up in your yard? A skeleton climbing up the side of your house!
Make this: Buy skeleton props and either suspend them from your house or stick them on with industrial strength Velcro strips. Evil tip: Reposition them often to make your neighbors wonder if they’re seeing things.
Love gardening and love Halloween? Show off both your passions with one handy decoration. (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves, and if you can’t either, you’ll love these Halloween puns.)
Make this: You can buy hands at a craft store (that sounded a lot creepier than we’d intended) or create molds of your own hands. Paint them white or trickle them with fake blood and then plant them in your flower pots.
What’s scarier than one ghost in your yard? ALL the ghosties.
Make this: Buy a string of outdoor lights (check to ensure they’re not flammable). Take a small square of white fabric, drape each round light, and tie with a string to create heads. Then, use a marker to draw on black round eyes or other creepy features.
Before you throw out those stained curtains, consider repurposing them for Halloween yard decorations.
Make this: Dip worn-out, light-colored curtains in coffee or tea to give them that aged look. Don’t have any on hand? Buy some muslin or another thin fabric. Consider shredding the edges for the full haunted house effect, and hang them outside your windows so they can blow in the breeze. If you’ve ever wondered if you have your own friendly (or not-so-friendly) ghost, learn the signs your house could be haunted, according to paranormal experts.
What brings all the ghosts to the yard? Um, that would be you!
Make this: Use foam balls to give your ghosts’ heads the right shape. Drape the balls with white flowing fabric, then stick a garden dowel through them so that your spirits seem to be floating over the ground.
Blood-splattered window posters
You won’t find these window treatments at Bed Bath and Beyond…though maybe at Blood Bath and Beyond!
Make this: As any zombie fan worth their salt can tell you, there are always warning signs—very often literal ones. For these outdoor Halloween decorations, repurpose wood to create boards, write your message in paint, and splatter “blood” on the sign. Don’t try to be neat; you want the fear factor to come across in the drippy message. Need to lighten the mood? These Halloween jokes should do the trick!
If you like your DIY Halloween decor to be more chic than shriek, this pretty pumpkin’s for you.
Make this: Believe it or not, this one starts with a cheapo plastic pumpkin bucket. Clip the handles, stuff the pumpkin with balled-up newspaper, cover the top with duct tape, and spray-paint the whole thing white. Glue strips of burlap to the pumpkin once it’s dry, and then affix a pretty flower design to it.
Birds aren’t the only ones that will be terrified of this scarecrow. Seriously, you may need to apologize to the neighbors for this DIY decoration.
Make this: Drape a square piece of burlap over a foam head, tying it at the neck with twine, and brush Mod Podge all over the face and head. Once it’s dry, add black paint to the eyes, nostrils, and mouth, and smudge a little all over to give the burlap a dingy look. Hot-glue barbed wire in the appropriate spots, and ta-da! Add the disembodied head to your porch decorations or use it to top an actual scarecrow.
Floating witch hats
Levitation requires some fancy spellwork—or a little invisible fishing line.
Make this: Buy a bunch of pointy black hats. Use a safety pin to secure a lightweight glow stick or LED light to the inside of each, and attach the glowing hats to your porch ceiling with clear fishing line, creating the effect that they’re floating. For more Halloween magic, watch these utterly enchanting (and sometimes totally terrifying) witch movies.
The witch is in! Though it looks like she may have made a crash landing on your porch.
Make this: Buy or borrow an old mannequin and pull on a pair of striped tights in Halloween colors. Then add some shoes from Goodwill or spray-paint an old pair of sneakers, adding some felt at the top to make them a little more witch-like. Turn the legs upside down in your largest planters for a whimsical take on a spooky theme.
Harris Hui/Getty Images
Yes, Halloween yard decorations really can be this easy. Let’s put it this way: A hanging ghost is a classic for a reason.
Make this: Take an old sheet and shape it with a wire underneath for maximum spookiness. Paint on eyes and an open mouth in black, and hang from your tree. Extra points if you put LED lights by the eyes.
DEBOVE SOPHIE/Getty Images
Zombie garden gnome
This isn’t your mother’s garden gnome. Like a pint-sized extra from Night of the Living Dead, he’s a flesh-eating version of the classic lawn ornament—so watch your ankles!
Make this: If you have cute garden gnomes or lawn soldiers, now is the time to zombify them. Add blood, a decomposing look, and glazed-over eyes. Make them as cute or as creepy as you like. Sometimes just making them look weathered or weary is enough to get the Halloween vibe going. Bonus points for using rotting gourds as a centerpiece. Get more decor inspiration from these classic Halloween movies.
A black-and-white color scheme adds an upscale feel to any entryway.
Make this: Spray-paint foam jack o’ lanterns from the craft store in alternating black and white. Drill a strategic hole in the top and bottom of each, and stick a black dowel through all of them. Plant the pumpkin-adorned spike in a flowerpot with some seasonal flowers at the bottom and you’re done! Bonus points if you use pumpkin carving templates to create cool faces for your pumpkins.
Witchy garage scene
This is one amazing outdoor Halloween design scheme! Double, double, toil and trouble coming right up!
Make this: Download a pattern or create your own on a roll of kraft paper. Paint it black with acrylic or outdoor paint. Hang your witchy creation just in front of your garage door, and position orange or yellow lights behind it for a gently creepy glow. Still looking for some costume inspiration? A witch is always a good option, though you can take things to the next level with these impressive yet incredibly easy Halloween makeup ideas.
Giant spider and web
Easy-to-make spiders that are both creepy and cute? Yes, please!
Make this: Fill a black trash bag with leaves and cinch to form the head and body of a giant spider. Pipe insulation and PVC elbow joints make the legs. Run clothesline around your yard to form a web, add some stretchable webs across certain portions of it for good measure, and position your creepy new friend in the center.
Grace Cary/Getty Images
Spinning circus clown
Creepy clowns are always a fun and spooky Halloween staple. And if Pennywise from Stephen King’s It is your idea of a living nightmare, then a sinister clown/skeleton hybrid is the Halloween yard decoration for you.
Make this: Buy a wig head, or use an old doll head, for this creepy craft. With acrylic paint, create bright and exaggerated features on the head. Use an old pillow as the body and attach skeleton hands to an old wire hanger underneath the clothing material. Consider recording spooky laughter and using a motion-sensor device to set off a cacophony of laughing clowns whenever someone steps on your property.
If you’re still not over American Horror Story: Coven, create a witchy circle of your own.
Make this: You can add witchy figures or simply position a cauldron in your yard. Paint a huge pot black and add one or two fog machines. Use water to keep the vapor going. One word of caution, though: Keep this away from children and pets!
Halloween candy holder
If you’re having a hands-off Halloween, creating a snack station means everyone can easily access the treats from a safe distance.
Make this: Paint a plywood box, add the word “Treats,” and drape with string lights. Then top with a tombstone to create the perfect ambiance. By the way, did you know that there’s more than personal preference involved when it comes to your choice of sweets? Here’s your zodiac sign’s favorite candy.
Dollar store laundry baskets become cages for otherworldly beasts in this clever DIY. Who knew laundry could be so scary? OK, that was a trick question…
Make this: This one requires a little clever cutting so that you can attach two spray-painted laundry baskets to create a cage. (Go with black spray paint or a dingy silver, depending on the vibe you want.) Attach them with zip ties, but before you seal everything up, put the captive of your choosing inside. Add to the effect with heavy-looking plastic chains.
Remember those ghoulish twins who were slaughtered at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining? If you smooshed them together into one creepy doll, it would be this life-size, two-headed creature.
Make this: Buy a two-headed skeleton or craft your own. Dress it up in lace or something equally incongruous, and accessorize with long necklaces, wigs, and party hats. With their eternal laughs, at least these gals look like they’re having a blast in the great beyond! Don’t miss these skeleton puns you can’t help but find “humerus.”
Subtle, spooky, and super affordable. Seriously, all you need is adhesive black vinyl (or even a cheap plastic tablecloth) and inspiration from your nightmares.
Make this: Use scissors or an X-acto knife to create your creature. If you go with the adhesive vinyl, all you have to do is pull off the backing and stick this on the window or door of your choice!
There’s something extra scary about a house that’s barely decorated for Halloween with one incredibly creepy detail!
Make this: All you need for this one is a spare wheelbarrow from your garage. Fill it with dirt, leaves, and some plastic bones for instant eeriness!
Sound plays a big part in a truly terrifying Halloween, and this simple mobile has a creepy clacking effect.
Make this: Drill small holes in various plastic skeleton bones. Then use fishing wire or string to attach the pieces, and string ’em up! Put your decidedly disturbing mobile in the breeziest part of your porch and it’ll be music to your ears. Whether you go simple or over-the-top with your decorations or costume, you’ll want to show them off—and you’ll need the right Halloween Instagram captions to do that.
Spider egg sac
Can we talk about how gross this is…and how easy it is to make?
Make this: Take a white balloon and fill with sand or something that gives it an oblong shape and the right kind of lumps. Glue on tiny plastic spiders so they seem to be emerging from the sac. Hang near an outdoor light fixture for maximum ick.
Viktoriia Hnatiuk/Getty Images
It’s time to do some Halloween crafts with the kids! This one is less on the frightening side and more on the festive one. Bonus: All you’ll need is some crepe paper and scissors.
Make this: Pile up squares of tissue paper in alternating Halloween colors. Trace a jack o’ lantern shape on the top one and cut through. Use two-sided tape to stick everything together and hang your pumpkin buddies anywhere you want. Just make sure to put this under a covered porch or take it inside before it rains.
Those teeth sure look sharp, not to mention bloody. Enter…if you dare!
Make this: Cut out teeth and eyes from a large sheet of wood or cardboard. Paint both in Day-Glo or even glow-in-the-dark colors and create a disembodied face hanging above the entryway. Want to add a little gore to your own Halloween costume? Here’s how to make fake blood.
Want an outdoor Halloween decoration idea that will take only about 30 minutes and look ridiculously good? Read on!
Make this: Buy green plastic Halloween buckets at the dollar store and paint them white, blocking off the bottoms so they remain green. Paint on a black pupil and red streaks so that the eyes look bloodshot. Position your pair in the bushes so it looks like someone—or, rather, something—is watching.
Ghostly milk jug lanterns
Stop recycling the milk jugs for the next couple of weeks so you can make a row of these goofy decorations.
Make this: Grab a Sharpie, some Christmas lights, and a craft knife. Draw spooky or silly faces onto a couple of milk jugs. Then cut a hole in the sides of your milk jugs and feed the lights through it.
Yukiko Yamamoto/Getty Images
Mini pumpkins at the gate
There’s no law that says Halloween decorations have to come with jump scares. Decorate your fence with these little guys…or stick their heads on the pikes in macabre fashion. Whatever works!
Make this: Buy loads of small pumpkins and gourds and draw cute faces on them. Now put them where you want them. Yep, that’s it! Here are more creative pumpkin-carving ideas if you want to get a little more elaborate.
Jack o’ lantern mash-up
If you love Halloween but hate the idea of decorating for a holiday that lasts one day only, consider extending the fun. This technique is also a subtle nod to The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Make this: Scoop out the insides of a pumpkin and carve designs that aren’t exclusively related to Halloween. From Christmas trees to Thanksgiving turkeys to Hanukkah dreidels, it’s a fun way to play around with the notion of holidays being one-size-fits-all.
Rick Brodey/Getty Images
Just because Halloween is traditionally orange and black doesn’t mean it always has to be.
Make this: Buy flood lights, but go with a completely different palette like purple or ice blue and decorate your house in a way that looks cool but not typical. Start with a spooky glow and then build from there in complementary and contrasting colors.
Kenneth Brown/Getty Images
Black glitter pumpkins
There’s something incredibly chic about dressing up in all black—and that goes for your pumpkins, too!
Make this: After you scoop out your pumpkin and carve your design, spray the inside with glittery orange paint and let dry. Do the same for the outside, except with glittery black paint. The result is elegant, with just the right amount of mystery. To pick your own gourd, check out the best pumpkin patch near you.
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Rustic witch’s broom
You don’t have to go overboard to remind everyone that Halloween is a mystical and magical time of year. Sometimes simple is the way to go.
Make this: Sure, you can buy a broom, but if you want to add some old-school flair, tie together some sticks and wrap them with twine for an old-fashioned look.
This is truly the stuff nightmares are made of, don’t you think?
Make this: Here’s another easy approach to create hybrid outdoor Halloween decorations. In this case, a gruesome-looking skull is attached to spider legs. Twist the legs up into the base of the skull, or use a little hot glue to hold everything in place. And whatever you do, keep that unholy creation far, far away from us.
Stefan Cristian Cioata/Getty Images
Does anything scream “2020s” more than this masked-up pumpkin? In addition to being a clever addition to your holiday decor, it’s a good reminder for your guests to stay socially distanced and to mask up before entering your abode.
Make this: Draw on eyes with a Sharpie or carve them out, and then glue on a disposable mask.
This could very well be the cutest outdoor DIY Halloween display ever. And it’s functional, too. Set up this backyard theater, put on one of the best Halloween movies for kids, give them some treats, and you’re good to go! Instant fun—with social distancing!
Make this: Invite the tots you know to decorate a large rectangular cardboard box. (Paint them in different colors ahead of time.) Add paper plates as tires and steering wheels, and make sure to have plenty of Halloween stickers on hand so they can add a little extra flair to their rides.
Catherine Delahaye/Getty Images
These pumpkins are so pretty, they look like they should be in a magazine! Wow the neighbors with your artistic skills and don’t tell a soul how easy they were to make.
Make this: Download a pattern or buy a stencil and trace it onto a large pumpkin. Then carve out an intricate and unexpected design. To create uniform holes like this, use a drill or a special carving tool for precision. Now that you’re all set with your outdoor Halloween decoration ideas, it’s time for a different kind of fun—see if you can answer these Halloween trivia questions!