Outdoor Halloween decorating and apartment living

30 Oct

Needless to say, it’s a bummer when you’re browsing the aisles of all the cool outdoor holiday decorations, and you’re currently living in a small apartment. Those inflatable lawn decorations – out. Giant tombstones – where would those go? Lights – no roof to hang them. So, what’s an apartment dweller supposed to do?

A few days ago, my mom mentioned that she wanted to decorate her apartment for Halloween, but didn’t have any outdoor decorations. She asked if I could bring some with me that day, so I decided to just surprise her and decorate her front door for her. I’m here to tell you – it can be done! Here’s proof:

MomsDoor2013 - Copy

The wreath. I used is simply a small, plain wreath wrapped with orange and black organza ribbon, featuring a feathered crow, and a styrofoam sign. You probably don’t even need a wreath hanger to display a wreath on your front door – just tie a ribbon to the wreath, and through a door knocker if you have one. Most people don’t use them, anyway! (Just be safe and don’t block the peep hole.)

HuntingtonMeadows Use what’s around your apartment. Bushes and plants can be covered in lights, cobwebs, and spiders. You can sprinkle fallen leaves in the cobwebs for a less scary look. Luckily, there are some logs and large rocks already outside her door that made for great props, along with a fallen branch that still had some autumn leaves hanging on. I stood up the branch to create a “tree,” and started spreading the cobwebs! Spider webs can make a big impact, especially when paired with a black light.

Buy and make decorations that are reusable, and small and/or flat, so that they’re easy to store. It doesn’t take bins full of decorations to make your home festive! I added bird and mice silhouettes, a large plastic crow, some plastic “wrought iron” skull fencing, and a few strategically placed mini skeletons. Silhouettes are simple and effective. They take up no space, and you can decorate all the doors and windows in your apartment without breaking the bank. Add spooky colored lights around the inside of the window frames for extra ambiance. Try using lights all in one color for a cohesive look.

The staircase. At our place, we live on the second floor, so I took advantage of it:

005I added purple lights to our banister, and placed a cauldron on an urn with orange lights wrapped around the base, which I filled with moss, to look like fire. I added a broken limb to stir the brew with, and a sparkling black cat to reflect the lights at night. Then I switched the bulb in our porch light – a quick and inexpensive mood changer.

The house (may have) eyes. I also took advantage of our above garage apartment! From the driveway, the windows create the illusion of a face, so I ran with it and created a purple monster to match the purple lighting. I used black poster board to cut out eye and teeth silhouettes, which I taped to the window, then covered in purple plastic tablecloth.

012 Get a little unconventional. Instead of a traditional wreath like my mom’s, I was inspired by the shape of the small window on our front door and used a wooden frame I found at Michaels. I painted it to match a plaque I’d already begun painting; the plaque was the perfect size to fit inside the frame and hang from an existing nail in the door. Now, I realize that not everyone has a wooden door, or a window on their door, but the frame idea still works well on more standard apartment doors. It’s pretty cute to frame your door number.

001Last but not least, switch out your door mat! I bought a cheap black utility mat and painted a simple spiderweb pattern on it with white acrylic paint. It cost me about $4 to make, but you can also find inexpensive themed mats at dollar stores and hobby stores. If your front door is located in a windy corridor, though, it’s worth investing a few more bucks on a heavier mat that won’t blow away.


Happy apartment Halloween decorating!

Gentle hugs,



One Response to “Outdoor Halloween decorating and apartment living”

  1. Ginger October 31, 2013 at 2:15 am #

    Great job! I especially love the monster face that you created!

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