Halloween Outdoor Decorating Ideas

jack o lantern with candle

Outdoor Halloween decorations can get expensive.

Your neighbors may have a huge lighted display with moving monsters and dancing tarantulas. You can go that route if you want, but here are some less expensive decorating ideas that the kids will have lots of fun with.

Pumpkins and Gourds

Pumpkins and gourds can be expensive this time of year, depending on where you live. But if you can take a trip out into the country, you should be able to find a farm where the pumpkins and gourds are plentiful and the prices are low. You can buy as many as you can afford and use them for decorating indoors and out. You may even be able to save some of them for Thanksgiving decorating.

Pumpkins can be carved, painted or simply placed around the yard with other items to create a Halloween or fall harvest theme. Gourds can be used in the same way. By taking gourds of different shapes, you can come up with all sorts of creations. The more of these fall vegetables you have on your porch, the more festive your home will look.

Paper Bats

You can make paper bats for decorating with black construction paper. Other colors can also be used. The bats are easy to cut out and your kids will enjoy helping you do it. You can find patterns to use online. Even Martha Stewart has a recommended “bat shape”.

Once the bats are cut out, you can hang them up using fishing line. Just use a hole-punch or a small nail to make a hole in each of the wings to run the fishing line through. Using painter’s tape to attach the fishing line to the ceiling of your porch makes them easy to remove when Halloween is over. You can also scatter the bats about in bushes around the yard and hang them from trees or fence posts. You just can’t have too many paper bats!


Ghosts are easy to make. All you really need is a white sheet. If you don’t happen to have an old white sheet to use, you can buy some inexpensive white fabric at a local sewing goods store. The thinner and cheaper fabrics are the best in this case. You want a thin lightweight material that will flutter in the breezes on Halloween night to create a spooky effect.

You can make a whole family of ghosts from a single yard of fabric. The facial features can be drawn on using a Sharpie. If you’re good at sewing, you can use black fabric and sew on the eyes and mouth. Look around your yard to find items that can be used to drape your sheet ghosts over. Your lawn gnomes, for example, can become ghosts for Halloween. If you have stake lights at the edges of your walkways, they are perfect for small ghosties and the lights make them glow at night.

With a little imagination and a few supplies, you can quickly get your outdoor living spaces ready for Halloween. Be sure to get your camera ready and take lots of pictures!