Amazing DIY Halloween decorations take planning and passion

For the month of October Listing Toward Forty is Listing Toward Halloween, featuring a variety of Halloween posts including many by guest authors. This post is by Jen Hajer.

I take Halloween very seriously. I often start planning in June, start shopping in August, I have project building in September and finally set up in October.

One of my favorite things to do is to build decorations, or props, as we in the know like to call them. My display is a combination of store bought decorations mixed in with items I’ve made. I believe this creates a complete scene that is sure to make you stop and look.

One decoration that is much cheaper to make than buy is tombstones. Every year I make made a few for my expanding display. They are a labor of love. I even have a yearly tombstone epitaph contest that people can enter. If chosen, I turn their words into a tombstone that gets displayed in my yard.

I also make many of the standing figures found in my yard. I make them life sized to add reality. I find human like masks and add eyes. I use a skeleton of pvc pipes to keep them up and finish them off with fabric or costumes. These can be used every year in different ways around the yard depending on the theme.

You can also find larger items that I’ve made like my mausoleum. I’m rebuilding it this year due to a wind storm. That’s one downside of making items, weather. I have to make sure that they are rain, wind, and even snow proof!

I use all these items to set a scene. Creating an overall look is my goal. I take into consideration not only the figures in a display, but I also think about any accessories that it might need to complete the look. This may include making books or eyeballs, or possibly taking apart skeletons so I can just use the heads.

If you think this all sounds scary, you should see my garage. Speaking of which, there’s some doll faces I need to tend to.

Jen Hajer is a Chicago suburban mom who is currently obsessed with finding 3 ft dolls. Don’t worry, she only wants them for Halloween. When not using her hot glue gun, you can find her at and on twitter @TheNextMartha. She also has 10 Halloween boards on Pinterest. Really.

See some of Jen’s favorite Halloween displays in the gallery below.


All Halloween posts from this series can be found here. Be notified of future posts in this series by subscribing

You can also find me on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

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