It’s that time of year again! If you love decorating your lawn for Halloween, read on. We have tons of ideas for you on setting up a truly terrifying Halloween graveyard on your lawn. We’ll show you what supplies you’ll need, dish out some creative ideas for inspiration, and tell you where you can find affordable props.
The Supplies You’ll Need
The supplies you’ll need for a Halloween graveyard display will vary based on what you decide to do. However, there are a few things you’ll definitely need, no matter how different or out-of-the-box your graveyard appears. Here are a few materials to stock up on immediately:
- Fishing line: Most designs require a ton of fishing line. As a result, make sure to buy this important supply in bulk to save big bucks.
- Signs: Create signs to place in front of the display.
- Props: Fake flowers, fog machines, chains, false rats, coffins, skeletons, and plastic spiders also help make a spooky atmosphere.
- Headstone materials: Wood or Styrofoam are perfect for making your own headstones.
- Paint: You’ll probably need paint for writing and/or textural effects.
Where to Buy Affordable Halloween Supplies
For the basic supplies, such as fishing line, wire cutters, scissors, and extension cords, you can find affordable materials at Walmart or Target. Additionally, your local hardware store will have things like foundation stakes or wooden plant stakes. They’ll also have hammers, extension cords and equipment for your lighting needs.
Prop wise, dollar stores are excellent places to check out. They often have cheap props and decorations for any holiday, and usually go all out for Halloween. While some options from this store may not last for more than one holiday, they’re very affordable.
Walmart or Amazon will also carry props, but Halloween stores often offer amazing deals. They’ll also have a huge selection of high-quality props you can use for years. Many of these stores will pop up for the season and offer huge clearance discounts when they’re about to close down. Shopping the deals during the off-season can help you save some serious cash, and the day after Halloween is a great day to buy discounted props for next year.
You may also be able to find the same deals in online Halloween stores. On Halloween Costumes.com, you can find a wide variety of life-size skeleton props, fences, ghosts, and zombie hands. They even offer cemetery kits starting at $17. Light in the Box and Wholesale Party Supplies are both websites with spooky great deals on Halloween decorations as well.
Before You Begin, Consider What Your Graveyard Will Look Like
The first thing you’ll need to think about before you can build your own Halloween graveyard is what you want the display to look like. Consider about the amount of space you have to offer, and what props you may already own. Furthermore, decide whether if the design you want is easy for you to construct on your own.
Don’t forget to take the weather in your area into consideration. Late October can become quite cold or rainy in certain locations. As a result, the type of materials you can use will have to accommodate the weather. Likewise, if you want to display your graveyard year after year, consider durable props that are easy to put up, take down, and store.
A Few Halloween Graveyard Ideas for Your Lawn
With so many different ideas and creative ways you can create a Halloween graveyard arrangement, the best thing you can do is think outside the box. Use your imagination and consider bringing part of your personality into the display. Do you prefer creepy and scary scenery, or would you rather include a few laughs? Here are a few awesome ideas to get you started:
Some gardeners enjoy making fun and creepy scarecrows to watch over the garden. Figures like this can sit near your garden to give your yard a fun Halloween feel during the season.
Others will combine their humor with a bit of popular culture, like this Snow White and the Seven Dwarves cemetery. These designs often go above and beyond standard cultural expectations. Best of all, homemade options allow you to personalize the props the way you need.
Or they re-create their favorite Halloween flicks, such as this creative Hocus Pocus arrangement. That is perhaps one of the most popular Halloween films, but you could create scenes from other favorite spooky flicks as well.
Floating figures always appear creepy, and they’re super easy to make yourself. One of the most important aspects of making a spooky ghost design with clothing is to slit and tatter the material. This will help your ghosts appear more dishevelled, and the cloth will flutter in the wind nicely.
You can also save some time by keeping it simple. Create basic headstones comprised of crosses with names on it. All you need is a few pieces of wood you may already have around the house, and the perfect lighting technique for a spooky night scene.
DIY Halloween Graveyard Headstones
Headstones are ridiculously easy to make yourself. Best of all, they allow you to be super-creative too. Try making headstones in various shapes and sizes for a real-life cemetery feel. Additionally, you can use a variety of different materials you may already have around the house. This may save you a bit of money for your Halloween props. Headstones are often made from plastic, Styrofoam, cardboard, or wood, with plaster for fine details.
Explore the following step-by-step instructions based on the material you choose:
- Cardboard: DIY tombstone instructions from Mom Dot.
- Wood: Working with wood may mean you’ll need a hand saw or wood file. That said, these DIY wood tombstones instructions from Lowes are easy for beginners to follow.
- Mortar Mix: Make your headstone look seriously real with these instructions from American Pioneer and Cemetery Research Project.
- Foam: Easy foam headstones from HGTV.
- Plastic: Most plastic headstones are found in stores.
Remember the Details!
Don’t forget to add on funny or spooky details, such as names, dates, or epitaphs. This is the part where you can get really creative and flex your brain muscles. Search around for ideas on the internet or make up names and dates on your own. Letter stencils from your local craft store can help you make them appear more like the words are carved into stone and keep your lines straight.
When making the style or letters for your headstone’s face, don’t be afraid to allow your creativity to wander. Try adding in designs and embellishments like you commonly see on headstones.
When posting the headstones in your yard, make sure they’re placed at an angle to make them appear older and spookier. This makes it look like the graveyard has been in your yard for hundreds of years, and you can use plant or foundation stakes to hold them to the ground whether you have real or artificial grass. The wind can’t pull them away, and you can easily install and remove the stakes.
You can also achieve the same result without forming a hole in your lawn. Just attach a pipe clamp onto the bottom of each headstone. Large nails may also work offer stability.
Once you have the headstone in place, add in spooky props to create the Halloween ambiance. For example, pile a little bit of dirt in front of the headstones. Alternatively, dig up a small portion of your lawn to make it look like a zombie dug its way out. Try scattering around pieces of plastic bone from a skeleton around the area for a more eerie appearance on a dark October night.
Lighting is the vital difference between creating the perfect spooky graveyard scene and simply placing props around your yard. You may want to map out the electrical components before you get started, as you’re highly likely to need to plug in multiple props.
An extension cord may come in handy to connect the display together, and exterior timers can help you save on power costs and the time it takes to plug them in each night. Consider solar paneled string lights as well, which will automatically kick on when it gets dark so you don’t have to do a thing.
You can use string lights in green, blue, or orange, or use vintage lanterns to make the scene appear like you’re in a real cemetery. That way, people can read the writing on your headstone. You can also add in false candles on a timer for an easier aesthetic.
Depending on how in-depth you want to go with your spooky Halloween graveyard, adding in props like fake spider webs or a fog machine can take it up a notch. Most fog machines can set you back around $60 and you can find them at any party supply store. Alternatively, you can create your own fog chiller for under $20.