You might have killed the indoor decor (in a good way), but making outdoor Halloween decorations is a whole other beast. Fortunately, transforming your outdoor space into a Halloween hellscape doesn’t have to be a fright.
Whether you want make-shift pumpkin patches, a papier mache graveyard or a pathway adorned with flickering lanterns, you’re in the right place. Whatever your spooky style, the Gathered team has you covered!
This guide will take you through a variety of ideas and inspiration to turn your garden into a sinister masterpiece. You’ll get all the top tips and tricks to bring your garden to the afterlife. Find out how to make your own decorations with easy-to-follow guides. Plus we share our advice on arranging or placing your decorations so they complement each other and your space.
Main image: Halloween fairy lights, Amazon
- Why outdoor decorations are increasingly popular
- What makes the best outdoor Halloween decorations?
- Outdoor Halloween decoration style - Take the quiz!
- Creating your demonic display with outdoor Halloween decorations
- Making the most of your outdoor Halloween decorations
- Have a merry horrid Christmas with Halloween trees
Though indoor Halloween decorations are not uncommon, outdoor decorations have traditionally been a little more unusual, though there are signs that this is rapidly changing. Since 2020, when most of us were confined to our homes, interest in outdoor Halloween decorations almost doubled in the UK and US.
Restrictions may have eased, but the craze is continuing to take off. That’s why we’ve put together this guide for you spooky folk out there who are ready to take their outdoor space to new terrifying heights.
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Where to start with your outdoor Halloween decorations
The first thing to think about is who you’re decorating for. Are you throwing a party for friends? Are you having a family get-together with kids? Or are you simply decorating to surprise and delight trick-or-treaters?
If it’s the latter, then your door decoration should be the main focus. This means we’re talking wreaths, pumpkins, lanterns and signs. Get started on your front door with our Halloween wreath ideas, which are a great and relatively easy way to make your door the centre of attention. It’ll also let the neighbours know that you’re happy for their little ghouls to come a-knocking.
Check out this lovely Halloween wreath video tutorial for beginners:
If you’re throwing a Halloween party for adults, then we recommend you lean into the horror element of the holiday and avoid cutesy designs. You can impress your party guests with a night to remember by illuminating your outdoor space with string lights. A combination of lights in orange, red or purple is ideal for creating an ominous glow.
Remember: It’s like Christmas but on the dark side!
Outdoor decorations will differ from indoor crafts in several ways. You’ll need to consider the following when it comes to making or buying your outdoor Halloween decorations.
It might sound obvious, but waterproof decorations are a must! Especially if you live somewhere with lots of rain (ahem…England).
Your decorations will likely remain up as Halloween approaches, so they should survive for at least a week. They need to be able to handle the elements, so think about what October is like in your neighbourhood.
2. Quick to make
Are you a bit of a last-minute kind of person? No problem: you’re going to want quick and easy decorations to put up.
3. Easy to move
Unless you fancy leaving your decorations up all year round (we wouldn’t judge you), then you’re going to want your decorations to be easy to move and store.
We’re all about upcycling here at Gathered. That’s why we want all your decorations to be sturdy enough that they can be used year after year. You can always experiment with different garden setups to make every Halloween unique (more on that later).
There are plenty of Halloween styles to choose from; scary, cutesy or colourful! If you’re not sure which best suits your needs, we’ve created this quick quiz so you can find out your spooky style. This will help you plan your outdoor Halloween decorations easily.
Got your style? Skip the quiz and keep reading.
What’s your spooky style? Take the quiz…
Keep a note of your answers.
1. On Halloween would you rather…
A). Have a hot choc and read a book
B). Carve pumpkins
C). Go Trick-or-Treating
D). Watch a horror movie
2. Which colour do you prefer?
3. What would you dress up as for Halloween?
A). No fancy dress for me
B). A witch/wizard
C) A ghost or ghoul
D). Anything gory
4. What’s your favourite out of these animals?
5. Which is your favourite out of these movie genres?
Read on for more detail!
Mostly A: The autumnal lover
You’re a fan of all things autumnal. Pumpkins, brown leaves, the crisp autumnal days. You’re the kind of person who wants to wrap up in their favourite fluffy jumper and watch some feel-good movies.
Your outdoor decorations should focus on cute pumpkin carvings, fairy lights and maybe a few fake cobwebs brought out for the big day.
Mostly B: A little spooky
You love the autumnal vibe but with a little spooky twist here and there. This means pumpkins with creepy faces and glowing green-coloured lights. An autumnal wreath would make the perfect door decoration for you, but make sure to choose one with a spooky twist.
Mostly C: Definitely creepy
Oh, you’re certainly on the darker side! You should go for cobwebs and spiders, bats and other creepy animals to complete your display. Putting a twist on the classic pumpkin would be right up your alley too, why not try painting one in dark colours?
Mostly D: Full-on horror fanatic
You’re the creepiest of the lot! Halloween is your time to shine. This means full-on garden graveyards, glowing lanterns and creepy window displays. It’s time to take your garden from boring to horror!
If you fall somewhere between two answers, take a little inspiration from each to create your perfect outdoor decoration style.
Now you know your Halloween style, it’s time to start thinking about bringing your ideas to life!
1. A pathway of glowing lanterns
A pathway of candles leading up to your front door will create an eerie glow to welcome guests and trick-or-treaters to your home.
Use glass jars with lids and battery-powered tealights or fairy lights to display these outdoors.
For seasoned crafters, we recommend adding scenes to your jars to create a silhouette effect. We’ve got a free eerie skyline template or you can create your own using simple black paper. Check out the full tutorial for how to make your spooky lanterns.
2. Use pumpkins to enhance your outdoor Halloween decorations
It’s pumpkin time! The undisputed symbol of Halloween is essential to complete any outdoor decoration scene. We’ve found these lovely ceramic pumpkins from the Range, ready to be decorated!
- Buy now from The Range
Not sure how to decorate your own? Follow along with Gathered’s easy pumpkin painting tutorial.
Painting other pumpkin designs
You can apply the techniques in this article to create your own design based on your stylistic preferences. You can stick with the classic orange pumpkin, or use blacks and reds to create a grimmer finish. Browse pumpkin painting ideas for more decorating inspiration.
Don’t forget the waterproof seal!
Make sure you seal your work once you are finished! We’d recommend a waterproof sealant like the one below. This means you’ll be able to leave your pumpkin outdoors and it’ll last.
Carving pumpkins for outdoor decorations
If you would prefer the classic pumpkin carving (great for getting kids involved) you can watch our fun video on how to carve a pumpkin.
3. Creating an outdoor graveyard
Creating your own graveyard is a great way to make a first impression. You’ll only need a few items to create an exciting display.
This one is obvious, but there are a lot of styles to choose from. This set of two gravestones by Hidden Corners is actually made of stone! Sturdy, long-lasting and reusable, they have a spot at the base to pop a candle in (battery-powered will work best outdoors). This will give your gravestones an eerie glow.
- Buy now from Etsy
‘Don’t say we didn’t warn you’ - something you can say with confidence using creepy signage. Place these signs close to your front gate or leading up your pathway for the best impact on party guests or trick-or-treaters.
- Buy now from Etsy
We’ve mentioned this one already, but lights really do set the mood. Try draping them between the gravestones, alongside your pathway or hanging them in trees.
To hang your lights you’ll want to use outdoor decorating clips. These clips from Command are adhesive and damage-free. For the light clips to work at their best, you need to ensure you stick them to a clean, dry surface.
Once you bring all of these elements together you’ll have a graveyard to be proud of!
4. Rock painting to make your garden unique
You might not think of rock painting when it comes to Halloween. They do, however, go hand-in-hand and can be very effective when decorating your garden path or outside your front door.
Rock painting is a great chance for kids to get in the Halloween spirit too. They can choose their favourite rocks and have at it! Acrylic paint works especially well on rocks and better yet it’s low-cost. Remember the sealant, you can use the same one as we mentioned earlier for the pumpkin painting.
If you want to take your Halloween rock painting to the next level, use glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint. It’ll add a whole new eerie dimension to your garden.
Got your kit? Now it's just a matter of what to paint. Ghouls, pumpkins or even an eyeball? We’ve rounded up our favourite Halloween rock painting ideas to inspire!
5. Creepy spiders and ghostly webs
You can’t really get much more Halloween than a giant plush spider dangling over your front door. This spider set from Amazon is a stop-and-stare (or scare) decoration. It’ll impress your neighbours and give the trick-or-treaters a thrill!
Pair this decoration with glowing lanterns to cast shadows from your spider.
Starting your Halloween decorating and planning as early as possible means you’ll get the most out of the spooky season! Early October is the best time to start as autumnal decorations can be used all season. Save your creepier stuff for the week leading up to the big night!
Whatever your Halloween style turned out to be, planning is key! Ensure you are prepped and stock up on supplies in advance, as sometimes DIY decorations can take longer than you expect.
Fans of horror can keep the autumnal celebrations going right up until Christmas with these amazing Halloween trees. And yes, they’re exactly what they sound like: Christmas trees designed for Halloween!