Halloween is a great holiday in that there’s absolutely no pressure to make a fancy meal , worry too much about formal traditions or to deal with family obligations. All you have to do is put together a costume (or not), buy a bag of candy to hand out to trick or treaters, and get in the spooky spirit. All of this means that you have a little bit of extra time to deck your house out with ghoulish gear. And again, since there’s not the same kind of pressure you’d get with Christmas or other holidays, you can get crafty, buy goofy dollar store decorations, and just have some fun without worrying about things being too perfect. Here are some fun ideas for dastardly décor:

Pumpkins!

You can’t do Halloween without a pumpkin. Carve it into a traditional jack-o-lantern, help your kids stick foam stickers or marshmallows onto it, paint it, glue buttons or beads onto it, smear it with glitter glue — it’s all good. Or if you want a more tasteful fall display, artfully pile a pumpkins of a variety of sizes and colours onto your front porch or steps.

Windows

A big reason to decorate at Halloween is to let kids know that you’re happy to have trick or treaters come by, so it’s always a good idea to dress up your window so that everyone knows you’re open for business. Buy some pre-made cut-outs or make some with your kids, or if you want to up your game, project a vintage monster movie onto a white sheet hung in the window.

Yard of Terror

Outdoor decorating can extend beyond your pumpkin. Large scale outdoor props are always fun, or you can strategically place sheets or cotton batting in trees or on bushes to look like ghosts or spider webs. Add in some lights as well to showcase your display and illuminate the way for little ghouls coming up your walkway. Be aware of the scare factor of your outdoor decorations — you don’t want to send tiny trick or treaters home with grown-up sized nightmares.

Sophisticated Spookiness

Maybe you don’t want to go either the gruesome or the kid-friendly route — you can also have some Halloween fun at a sophisticated dinner party or grown-up soiree. Use ornamental gourds as centre pieces, serve soup out of hollowed-out pumpkins, or add rhinestone skull baubles to your napkin rings.

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