Halloween is one of the most "decoration friendly" holidays. From the new colors of fall, to traditional Halloween icons like jack-o-lanterns to new fads like "Halloween trees", there's a lot to choose from. A well-decorated house can make Halloween a special and fun time of year for families. And who couldn't use a little more family fun? Here are some suggestions for Halloween house decorating based on different motifs we all commonly see when people decorate their houses for Halloween. (Use the stores noted at your own discretion, I haven't shopped at them personally...)
1. Go natural. Halloween is a centuries old holiday. Over those centuries, decorating traditions have certainly emerged. Many of these traditions involve nature. One way to decorate your home around this time of year is to embrace those nature-based decorations. This includes, of course, carving a jack-o-lantern (or several) and lighting it on the porch, front steps, or in a window. It also includes objects like cornstalks, haystacks (best kept outdoors) and straw-filled scare crows. You can keep up the theme using natural autumn colors in your home like gold, orange and brown, and using candles with natural scents like cinnamon and vanilla. (Try yankeecandle.com)
2. Go Great Pumpkin. As Charlie Brown specials remind us, Halloween is definitely a holiday for kids. Decorating with a kid-friendly theme is a popular option. Jack-o-lanterns are a mainstay, or try easier "paint it yourself" pumpkins. Pseudo-scary monster, witch, ghost or black cat cut outs are available at most Hallmark- type stores, as are Halloween decorations with kids' favorite cartoon characters ranging from SpongeBob to Disney. (Halloween is a big season for selling to kids...) Filling the house with Halloween-themed decorations that kids can enjoy will make Halloween enjoyable for young children. Not as enjoyable as all that candy, but close.
You can also use the crafts your kids will inevitably make in school, or get them to make some crafts of their own at home. Besides the basics - cutting and pasting, watercolors, crayon drawings - you can get more elaborate. Sponges cut in circles and dipped in orange poster paint or ink can become pumpkin stamps great for use on black construction paper. For other craft ideas, check around the internet at sites geared to kids crafting (like Kids Domain).
3. Go scary. Of course, you may want to decorate your home in a creepier manner. Go more trick than treat, in other words. There are plenty of ways to do this, too. Sites like Gore Galore (a PG-13 site, FYI...I mean, it is called "Gore Galore"....) offer everything from creepy dismembered plastic limbs and heads to skulls and gargoyle wall decorations. If you don't want to go all out, buy a few plastic spiders and leave them strategically around your house to scare the family, or swap out a few regular lights with a black light as Halloween gets closer.
4. Get a Halloween Tree. If you think decorating trees is just for Christmas - well, you'd be right. However, it seems these days some people also like to decorate trees for Halloween. Of course there are many ways to create a Halloween tree. You can secure a many-forked branch into a pot of soil. You can break out a plastic Christmas tree centerpiece and use that. You can even cut down a real fur tree and bring it inside, just as you would for Christmas. I wouldn't. But you could if you wanted to.
To decorate the tree, use your imagination. Hang kids' crafts or old Halloween photos from black or orange yarn. Hang glo-sticks or twinkling white lights on the tree. Put a witch's hat on the top instead of an angel or star. Place pumpkins at the foot of the tree on a Halloween table covering. You could even use black and orange streamers if you wanted. Your theme is your own to choose and depends on how big the tree is. For some samples, try Williams Sonoma or Halloween Decorating with Terry.
Halloween is a great, fun, festive time. Use your imagination and make your home's décor part of the celebration!