Every year for Halloween most of our yard turns into a giant New Orleans/"Voodoo" themed cemetery. There's tombstones, ghosts, skeletons, hanging lights and one of the pinnacles of the setup, a spooky halloween fence encircling the yard!
These are built in sections that are each about four feet long. Each piece easily sticks into the ground to stay up on it's own and they're super easy to build, setup, take down, and move around.
The DIY halloween fence is made from simple, cheap Pine (wood) from the big box store, some twine, and a bit of brown wood stain or glue. For extra decorations you can add stretchy halloween spider web to it. It's really easy and fun!
- 1" x 2" Pine Furring Strips
- 0.25" x 2" Pine Lattice Strips (Optional)
- Brown Twine
- Wood Glue (Outdoor Glue Preferable)
- Brown/Red Wood Stain or Paint
- Stretchy Halloween "Creepy Spider Web" (Optional)
- Hammer & Nails (or Brad Nailer, etc.)
- Measuring Tape
- Hot Glue Gun (Optional)
Step 1: The Wooden Frame!
These 1" x 2" pine furring strips are usually eight feet long when you buy them, which means two of them will give us enough for one section of fence. We start by cutting two pieces in half, giving us (4) pieces that are roughly four feet long each.
On each and every cut and measurement we do on this project, we do it roughly and we're not afraid to have them be a little different. A little bit of randomness and variance in size gives it a more "Halloween" feel and it actually comes out better this way. Save the perfect measurements for another project!
On two of the pieces, we want to cut an angle at one end (the bottom) so it will be easy to hammer into the ground. These are the vertical sides of the fence. The other two pieces are horizontal and do not need the pointed end. You can cut these with any tool (handsaw, bandsaw, etc.). Just make sure it has a point at the end.
Step 2: The Wooden Slats!
For the fence slats in the middle of the fence, you can either use more of these furring strips, or in our case we used a slightly thinner piece of 0.25" x 2" pine that is typically meant for lattice fences. You can buy them individually at the big box store near the other fence materials and they are usually used to repair broken parts of the lattice on fences. These are ideal for this - light, cheap, and easy to work with.
These came in six foot lengths in our case, so we cut them in half down to roughly three feet. We wanted no less than (4) slats per fence section so we bought enough pieces to make sure we had enough.
Step 3: The Color!
To go along with the rest of our Halloween theme, we wanted these to be a brownish, reddish color so we used some old wood stain. We always use these Halloween projects as an opportunity to use up old paints, stains, and other shop materials that otherwise end up on a shelf forever. For this step, you can use stain, paint, anything like that to give it some color.
We laid out all of the pieces on some cardboard (this gets messy) and applied a coat of brown stain to all of the wood. After letting it dry, we used a rag and randomly applied spots and streaks of a red stain to give it a bit of variance in look. This secondary color is optional but it helps to give it a look of being aged and gives it that little extra bit of detail.
If you're using stain, ensure it's dry enough to continue before moving onto the next step.
Step 4: Assemble It!
Now that it's ready to assemble, we lay it all out on a bench or on the floor, and arrange the pieces with the two pointed ends being towards the bottom and the two horizontal pieces going across them. In our case, we have roughly 12" on the top above the top piece and about 8" below the bottom piece. This isn't important but it gives it enough room to hammer into the ground enough so it stays up. Once we roughly lay these out, we give them a little bit of angle so it's not perfectly straight across. Each section of fence you build should be a little different when you get to this part.
We then use a little bit of glue, outdoor waterproof glue if you can, to glue the pieces together and then use a brad nailer to put 2-3 nails in each corner. If you don't have a brad nailer you can of course use a hammer and nails or a screw works great as well. Don't rely on glue only. Outdoor weather is tough on glue, even the waterproof kind. It's not likely to stay together for very long if you use only glue.
For the slats, we arrange them randomly as shown and give each one a little bit of angle. We then glue and nail them the same way. We also make sure the nails aren't poking through the back. If necessary, we nail them in at an angle to avoid them poking out the back.
Lastly, we add some detail! Using some simple brown twine, we tie it to each corner and wrap it around a bunch of times to make it look like they're tied together. Hot glue (optional) helps to secure the twine down. We do this on each corner and make sure to hide any nails or screws with the twine.
We then bring it outside and hammer it into the ground. Once several pieces of fence are together, we use some halloween stretchy spider web material and drape it/stretch it across a few sections of fence. This helps multiple sections all feel uniform and gives it that extra bit of detail to bring it home.
Step 5: The Results!
We came up with this design about four years ago and we try to build at least a few more "sections" of fence every year. By now it wraps around most of our yard and it really does make the whole "cemetery" setup WAY better!
This is one of those projects that takes simple and cheap materials, simple tools, a little creativity, and turns them into something amazing that will last for years and years. There's nothing holding you back...go make something great!
Have a great Halloween!!
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DanW151 made it!