When night falls, a cast of creepy characters can help turn your yard into a landscape that's equally frightening and enchanting.
Welcome trick-or-treaters in hair-raising style by turning your front porch into a bat cave with just our template, thick black paper, and painters' tape.
Plants that are past their prime can be simply bewitching on Halloween. Their imperfections -- the dramatic shapes, colors, and textures not found in just-bloomed plants -- are part of the appeal. To create this arrangement, we tapped our gardens for rose hips and seed heads from coneflowers and asters. See what catches your eye in your yard.
Casually adorned with colorful fallen leaves, a simple grapevine wreath is illuminated by tea lights set inside mini-pumpkin holders. Suspended from a ceiling hook, it gives a warm, rustic atmosphere to a front porch. To make the glow last, light the candles just before your guests arrive.
Pumpkins are thick-skinned, but it's easy to poke through them for a new take on decorating. Here, two miniature pumpkins become a wise owl. Secure pumpkins together with skewers. For eyes, push toothpicks through the tips of two pumpkin seeds, insert in pumpkin, and fan out slightly; repeat several times. A pearberry completes each. To add a chrysanthemum plume, make a hole with a toothpick and insert stem. For the beak, dig out a small opening and wedge in an almond.
Who knew a benign pumpkin patch could yield such otherworldly creatures? Assume the role of Dr. Frankenstein this Halloween, and create your own monster, using stacks of pumpkins, gourds, and squashes. Only the heads need carving; if the bumpy body parts don't sit squarely on each other, level them with a serrated knife, then use toothpicks, pushed into the flesh, to assemble them. Before attaching the head, insert a low-wattage light bulb, and plug it into an outside socket or heavy-duty extension cord.
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