Each year, on October 1st., we begin our first annual Halloween tradition. Just as the sun is setting, we hang a Halloween wreath on the front door, place a Halloween printed door mat on the front porch and raise a Halloween flag from our eighteen foot tall flag pole, all to mark the beginning of the Halloween season. We’ve been doing it for so long, it seems second nature and to not do it would be a crime against Halloween. Every few years we’ll make a new wreath for the front door and for some reason they just keep getting bigger and more elaborate.
We start gearing up for Autumn in September and we love the preparations, going through our cargo container of Halloween stuff, yes a large cargo container which holds all of our Halloween things and way in the back is Christmas. Starting with the first bon fires of Autumn, we know our favorite time of year is here once again.
A spooky, elegant or funny wreath hanging on your front door during the haunting season is a wonderful way to say to the world, “Welcome to our Haunted Home” on Halloween night. Remember, they are not just for the front door, they can be used on interior doors and even hung on walls as Halloween decorations. We hang one on every door, inside and out including the garage. We even hang a couple over the fire place since we have a large empty area that is just ready to hold any of our seasonal wreaths at any time of year. I like to make my own wreaths since I love doing crafts. It gives me the perfect opportunity to out do myself each year. I make Autumnal wreaths as well that can be hung at the first sign of chilly weather here.
Pre-made, store bought wreaths usually cost anywhere between ten and fifty dollars depending on how elaborate they are and can usually be bought at most craft and department stores during the month of October or year round online. Some craft stores will sell display models that have been made by the staff so if you aren’t handy with a glue gun, it can look like you are!
Making your own wreath from scratch as a craft project is a lot of fun that the entire family can enjoy doing together. Your wreath can be spooky or have a harvest theme to it. The cool thing about a home made wreath is that it will be a one-of-a-kind piece of art. You might consider making three or four of each since, if you are like me, you end up sending them to family or giving them to friends only to find that you didn’t leave one for yourself! For Halloween Wreath making tips, visit the Halloween Crafts section at Halloween Online.
Holiday Door Mat
A festive Halloween style door mat is a great greeting to receive your guests at the door and let them know that you are getting in the spooky spirit of the season. Many have such fine designs that they are really spooky works of art and you may not want to dirty them by using them at the door, you can always hang them on a wall. We have collected so many over the years that we will use a large empty wall in our dining room and hang them side by side, they almost cover the wall. It looks like a huge mural of Halloween art! We usually put down a Autumn themed mat at the front door in September, when the season changes to Fall and use it until October 1st. We then put out a Halloween themed mat on the porch and the Autumn one goes just inside the door to leave shoes and boots on.
These are available in a variety of patterns and designs during the month of October in many department and craft stores or can be bought online year round. Just make sure that it lays flat, so that your visitors don’t trip over it. Make sure you store your door mats flat or they may be hard to get flat again. We have a box that we picked up at a craft store that Halloween mats had actually come in to the store. We just asked and they gave use one so now after we make sure that any used outside are clean for the next year, we stack them up in the box and place a layer of tissue paper between each mat.
Decorative Door Trim
Whether you do it for the kids that trick or treat at your home on Halloween night or you are looking forward to the enjoyment on the faces of your Halloween party guests, do it right! The entrance to your haunted home sets the mood for what lays beyond. Door trim and, especially, facades can look really impressive and a give you a way to show what flair fort Halloween decorating you have!
We usually use the “The Haunted Forest Door Facade” every year for our front door (pictured right). This one is made up of creepy trees, vines and is adorned with lots of sinister looking Jack O’ Lanterns, but there are many different styles of door trim to choose from or you can even make your own if you are imaginative and craft savvy.
This type is made from either foam latex or a more solid foam, comes in about five parts, the side columns and the topper. They also make a great entrance for your home haunt if you put one on. It will set the perfect mood. If we are having a party, we’ll sometimes use them on some of the interior doorways as well.
Our master bedroom is done in a Halloween theme all year long. We have a large wrought iron Cemetery gate arch as our bed head broad, a dozen multi sized pressed dot plastic pumpkins, the kind that light glows through so well, are arranged on top of the entertainment center and a suit of armor with a skull inside the helmet all grace the room year round. We like to put up on our door frame there a similar one made by the same company (Rubies) called “The Skull Door Facade” that is made from skulls and bones.
An easy way to make a door trim yourself would be to measure the sides and top of the door and buy as many plastic pumpkins that have a light in them as you can stack. You would need to use a sturdy PVC pipe to hold each side, drill top and bottom on the pumpkins, you may have to take the bottom off, which would remove the light. Use a long string of white lights and make sure that you have enough room to run it through the pumpkins from top to bottom. We’ll get working on one soon and have some pictures for you so you can have a better idea of what we mean.
Let your Freak Flag fly!! Or in this case, your Halloween flag fly. Because of its high visibility, a Halloween flag is a great way to let everyone in the neighborhood and passer-bys know well in advance that you will be expecting them to visit your house on Halloween night for trick or treating.
You can find all kinds of wonderful Autumn and Halloween themed flags during the season. One of our favorites is pictured to the right, it is simple and to the point, but many designs others are available. This particular one is a large three by five foot flag, which includes two metal grommets for attaching it to the flag line. The great thing, Amazon has it for about $6.00 each so we buy multiple flags because e leave ours up all year long. We have a lot of heavy wind in our area and one good wind storm can tear a flag down to nothing.
In order to make them last longer, we have started using a sewing machine and going over and over all the side seams with mono-filament thread. It’s a clear, plastic thread and by doing this the flag won’t fray apart in the wind as easily. This is a good idea to do to any flag that you fly if you live in a windy area. We also do it to our American flag which we fly along with the Jack-O-Lantern most of the year.
Since flag poles tend to be pretty expensive, we made our own pole from two ten foot sections of thin-walled galvanized pipe connected together with a coupler. Two feet of the pipe was buried and cemented in the ground, making it very stable. This gave us an eighteen foot tall flag pole. We used large metal eyelets for the line guides. In order to change or repair flags, we separate it at the middle connection so we can do what ever we have to do like change the light on the top (see paragraph below).
Lastly, we added a solar powered lawn light mounted on the top of our flag pole. This year we are going to place a small plastic pumpkin pail over the light, so that it will glow at night as a Jack O’ Lantern beacon. It should look pretty cool! We picked up a pack of eight lights on sale at Home Depot so we would have spares when one quit working. They’re fairly bright and we live in a sunny area so the solar panel on top really gets high all day long, which allows for an all night glow.