Welcome trick or treaters and guests with a frighteningly fun & welcoming entry. Here's how Halloween front porch decorations get reused to create a new look each year. We're sure you'll find lots of ideas!
Hold on to your witch’s hat because Halloween is coming your way! And how better to welcome all the goblins on the eve of October 31st than to have a spooked up yet frighteningly fun and welcoming entry. Over the past 17 years, I’ve been decorating the same Victorian house in the San Francisco Bay Area for Halloween. Here’s how Halloween front porch decorations get reused to create a new (and slightly different) look each year.
These characters, props, and decor have been collected and used for many years now. Ghosts, ghouls, witches, zombies, black cats, skeletons, maids, butlers – you name it; it’s all here. They came from whole display houses, retail catalogs, K-Mart, Sears and Orchard Supply Hardware. You don’t have to break the bank to have welcoming front porch display.
Step 2: The Front Door
Everything is put together on this front porch to create a slightly different look than the year before. Everyone agrees neighbors included, that the current display is the best and biggest one yet. “Is this new?” “I’ve never seen that before”, they say. What they don’t know is that it’s the same stuff in a different spot with different embellishments.
The whole lot is carefully stored away so it can be reused for years. Be sure everything is completely dry before you pack it away because you don’t want any mold or decay issues to arise. You’ve made an investment and you want them to look just as good next Halloween. This is reuse and recycle to the max!
I usually change up the character that’s going to be welcoming visitors at the front door. Below you’ll see the mad scientist with a chain around his neck and a spider on his lab coat for a hint of creep. That year I did a black-themed garland around the door and around the windows.
Another year I used the butler next to the door with a skull and a snake on his tray. The garland was purple and black with lots of glitter! If you compare the two images you’ll see how I used the same skull garland both years but the way I displayed it, combined with the other elements, made for a very different look.
Here’s a look at the front door garland yet another year but with no skulls. Lots of bats and spiders this time!
I also used this scary zombie (whose head comes off!) one year and I surrounded him with ghosts.
All the large standing props get moved to different spots on the front porch each Halloween. The witch stays right by the front door because it’s the most protected. She’s lightweight and constructed of delicate materials. This doesn’t prevent me from changing things up. Here, you’ll see pictures of three different years – see if you can spot the differences.
If you compare all the images you can also see how the collection of props keeps growing throughout the years. You can tell that the ladder, was one of the earlier years because the decor is quite bare compared to the other ones.
Step 7: Two Different Ways to Use the Same Character
The mad scientist wasn’t always used by the front door like you’ve seen above. Many times he stood at the top of the stairs. One of the years he was placed to the left with black cats, a gargoyle and a pumpkin surrounding him. I also added a small raven on his lab coat.
Another Halloween, the scientist was holding a thick chain and stood on the other side of the porch surrounded by mums and spiders.
Tip: Add different accents to the same characters year after year because this’ll give them a bit of a different look. Spiders, chains, rats, black cats, snakes, skulls, and anything you can add to their costume make great options.
The butler has been offering his guests lots of different treats throughout the years from snakes to skulls. One time, you can see how I decorated him using red as a theme with a hydrangea and a carnation. Spiders and a snake were added in for a touch of darkness.
On another year, I used those glittery skulls you’ve seen before and added some fuzzy spiders. Wouldn’t you want to come in?!
Step 9: The Ghosts and Ghouls
Throughout the years, we’ve collected quite a bit of ghosts and ghouls, in all styles and sizes.
This year I decided to decorate this part of the porch with white ghouls only. The railing was draped with white spooky cloth with strings of purple lights.
Another year, I mixed in black ghouls and decorated the railing in a skeleton bat theme.
Kids and adults go crazy for these decorations. Every year there are SO many photos taken each and every Halloween. I know that this job is a bit over the top, in a delightfully creepy way, and I hope this inspires you to do a little decorating of your own.