On Halloween, the slightest wisp of the imagination can transform otherwise ordinary critters -- whether raucous backyard crows or peaceful garage spiders -- into terrible, hair-raising monsters. Therein lies the thrill of trick-or-treating.
Sure, candy is important. But what lasts in memory is not the sweets so much as the setting in which they were offered. Outfit your porch or entryway with beastly birds and oversize arachnids, then watch the costumed creatures descend in droves.
The front-door welcome sign is "spun" with chalk on a crafts-store blackboard in a ready-made frame; sticking plastic spiders onto woodwork with weather-stripping tack prevents damage to the finish and allows for easy removal. At the entrance to the creepy sanctuary, the mother spider waits on a web fashioned from fiberglass window screening decorated with a white paint marker.
A huge web can enclose your porch to top off this decoration -- just cut an opening for guests to enter.