Whether you’re into natural cornstalks and scarecrows, smiling goblins or ghoulish zombies, Halloween offers an opportunity to pull out all the decorating stops!

It’s hard to overdo Halloween; you could argue that the more decorations you have, the more protection from evil spirits — or tricksters — on All Hallow’s Eve.

Here are 4 ways to decorate your home for Halloween.

    Trick-or-treaters, with baskets in hand, leave a brick home that looks abandoned
    Make your home look abandoned with spider web decorations and hanging toy ghosts. Dump some leaves near the entrance as well. (DepositPhotos)

    1. Abandoned House

    To turn your home in a creepy, deserted house:

    • Decorate windows with artificial spiders and cobwebs
    • Apply broken-glass stickers to windows
    • Darken the porch lights with black lights or yellow bulbs
    • Temporarily hang the porch swing crookedly
    • Prop scraps of wood across windows for a boarded-up effect.
    • If the first frost has killed off your summer flowers, gather dead stems for spooky arrangements.
    • Add flickering electric candles in the windows

    Home exterior decorated for fall and Halloween
    Children who visit this home can enjoy a fun, but not too scary, trick-or-treating experience. (DepositPhotos)

    2. Kid-Friendly Goblin House

    Have your children lend a hand with these craft projects:

    • Carve or paint pumpkins to decorate porch steps.
    • Use bed sheets or plastic drop cloths to make white ghosts.
    • Make jack-o’-lantern scarecrows using old clothing, straw and goofy hats.
    • Replace the porch light bulb with a black light.
    • Hang homemade decorations made out of white paper on the front porch.
    • Make a Halloween tree with orange and black streamers, strings of orange lights and homemade Halloween-themed ornaments.
    • Add inflatable lawn decorations and battery-powered flickering candles

    House decorated for halloween
    Add a touch of spookiness to your home for Halloween. (Joe_Potato, Getty Images Signature)

    3. Gory Scene

    If you’re more into tricking than treating, add these creepy lawn ornaments:

    • Tombstones
    • Skeletons
    • Ghouls
    • Monsters
    • Rats
    • Spiders

    Or, put together a scary scene using old furniture, clothing and dolls.

    Paint scraps of wood or cardboard to look like tombstones and hang scary-looking figures or silhouettes from the trees.

    Finally, use a smoke machine and scary sound effects on the stereo to creep out even the bravest of souls.

    Front porch fall display featuring jack-o-lanterns and bales of hay
    Your home doesn’t have to be scary to be festive. Here’s a fun fall front-porch display. (DepositPhotos)

    4. Harvest House

    Create a picturesque autumn scene with these decorations:

    • Bales of straw
    • Cornstalks
    • Scarecrows
    • Pumpkins
    • Gourds
    • Corn

    Even if you go spooky for Halloween, keep a few pumpkins uncarved to enjoy through Thanksgiving!

    A brick home adorned with Halloween decorations (orange string lights, a Boo sign, and various lawn fixtures)
    Want to decorate your home for Halloween, but you’re not sure where to begin? Start with the entry and work your way out.

    Halloween Decorating Safety

    Here are some tips to make your yard scary and safe, regardless of your Halloween theme.

    Light Strategically

    Halloween is all about darkness, but make sure there are low lights to guide visitors along the path. Pirate path lamps light the way with a scary touch.

    Keep Walkways Clear

    Keep decorations off walkways and securely tape down any power cords to make sure trick-or-treaters don’t trip over your decor.

    If you’ve got low decorations or dangling wires from trees in your yard, form a barrier with tombstones or straw bales to keep visitors out of harm’s way.

    Avoid Fire

    Battery-powered candles work great inside jack-o’-lanterns, and solar or plug-in spotlights can be used to create creepy shadows and path lighting.

    Never leave lit candles unattended, even down inside a pumpkin, and if your neighborhood has lots of trick-or-treaters, steer clear of bonfires.

    Make ‘Tricks’ Just for Fun

    If you have scary characters, surprise goblins or dangling spiders, make sure they don’t actually touch, trip anyone or cause harm.

    It’s better to err on the side of pretending to trick, rather than risking hurting or really frightening someone.

    Further Reading

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Danny Lipford

    Danny Lipford


    Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

    Learn More