Every other year or so we spend a few dollars on that fake spiderweb stuff and go crazy on the porch for the neighborhood trick-or-treaters. And since we skipped last year, this year was a definite go. We snagged ours for a few bucks at Target and got to work using other stuff we already had (some dead branches, a few white faux pumpkins from last year, and a some planters) along with some black spray paint and a few push lights from True Value plus three fresh white pumpkins that we had some fun with. The result? A moderately creepy porch. Mission accomplished.
The branches were actually John’s fabulous find. I sent him back into the woods behind our house to clip a few leafless twigs but pretty much all of our trees still have leaves on them, so when he stumbled upon a few old bush carcasses that we’d tossed in a pile (that were so dead when we wanted to remove them that we couldn’t even craigslist them for free) he instantly recognized their potential. Who knew dead bushes can actually be a positive on a certain spooky holiday? Then we grabbed some black spray paint courtesy of True Value and their amazingly generous gift card (read all about their awesomeness here) and lightly sprayed all the branches so they took on a deeper ebony hue. We even stuck a raven from Michael’s in one of them for good measure.
I love how John potted some of them and just leaned the larger ones on either side of the bench for a nice dead-ville vibe. And the two push lights were also John’s little stroke of genius. They were only a few bucks at True Value and when placed behind our branches at night they cast a goulish little uplit effect into the spindly branches…
… creating exaggerated shadows on the porch ceiling and tons of eerie atmosphere.
Then we just stretched some spiderwebbing stuff around the porch posts (the secret is to pull it thin so it looks less fluffy and more webby) and actually had more than half a bag leftover (so we might just do it again next year instead of waiting our usual 2 year span).
Three fresh white pumpkins were the last things on our list, so we selected a nice little assortment and decided to stick with our black and white theme from inside (after all, spiderwebs + black branches = a black & white theme going on already) so why not add a bit more to the porch in the form of painted pumpkins? We already had some black acrylic paint (Liquitex Basics in Mars Black if you’re wondering- the key is to use something that cures and works in all weather if they’ll be sitting outside) so we did a bit of brainstorming and landed on a bug theme in honor of all things creepy crawly and Burger’s absolute favorite pastime (for him, bug hunting in the backyard ranks up there with eating treats). And we actually got three pumpkins this year (as opposed to two, like we did last year) because we thought Burger deserved one for himself.
And as much as this chihuahua stencil from BHG cracked us up, we knew he would like a tribute to his backyard bug hunting expeditions even more than a pumpkin carved in his likeness. We even came up with a way to do a gross little centipede monogram of sorts with both of our first initials formed by the leggy little critters, and settled on cockroaches for the second one with Burger’s favorite- a grasshopper cricket looking thing- for the third pumkin. It only took about twenty minutes to sketch them onto the pumpkins with pen and then fill them in with our black acrylic paint (using a black sharpie for the super fine details on the cockroach pumpkin). Then we sped everything up to create this fast little time-lapse recap of the process (see it here on YouTube).
Fear not those who can’t watch videos at work, it’s pretty much just us sketching and painting in fast motion with a little bit of Burger in between. And here’s the end result…
We really liked our departure from carving (although we thoroughly enjoyed that last year) because we’re thinking our pumpkins will last a while since they’re un-cut (plus the clean-up was blissfully easy). There was one downside though: no pumpkin seeds. Sadness. Oh well, maybe we can cheat and buy some at the grocery store. So that’s our spookified porch all ready for the 31st. Now all we have to do is share some photos of Burger’s delectable costume. Yup there’s a clue in there. Stay tuned for that…
Oh and what about your Halloween curb appeal? Anyone else planning to bring home some pumpkins or stretch some spiderwebs? What treats are you planning to serve up? We try to give out the good stuff (peanut butter cups and snickers) because we remember how fun it was to hit up those houses as kids. Do tell.
Love your moderately creeping porch …. especially the raven and the bugs on the pumpkins…. eeeek.
Briel K. says
Ooh. I love the creepy ceiling shadows. Cute pumpkins too!
You can still eat the pumpkin seeds after Halloween. They should easily last that long in the cool porch storage. You might even be able to eat the flesh if the paint doesn’t seep through the rind.
Ooh that’s a good point Heidi! Yesssssss.
Mary @ StyleFyles says
You two did a great job! It’s enough that it’s spooky and seasonal, but not so over the top that it feels tacky. Also, really smart move with the lighting, the shadows totally lend to the atmosphere and will be perfect when those little trick or treaters come around! Thanks for posting these tips….will def. be employing some of these for our Halloween party this year!
Loved the video guys and its soundtrack — and of course the guest appearances from Burger…
I just left a little note on your facebook status, but I also wanted to say that I love the branches! The backlighting is perfect!
Did you paint the pumpkins white? The “ghost” pumpkins I’ve been seeing at the store are kind of dirty looking or with little bumpy warts (yuck), not so smooth and clean looking. Maybe it’s just a bad selection???
We did paint two of the faux pumpkins you see on either side of the bench (the third little one hails from Michael’s and came that color). Good eye! Here’s an old post with all the details.
Love! The shadows from the branches look awesome!
I love how the centipede’s are your initials! Creepy cool!
Our Chihuahua Yoda loves camel crickets too…he always seems to find them in the house though.
KOS! (Keep On S'myelin!) says
Thanks for the ideas! I may just have to try decorating my porch with spider webs. So, it just stays in place by wrapping the web around the porch posts? You don’t need anything else to hold it up?
I’m not doing much outdoor decorating but I am planning on reusing my Wedding Dress and making it into a Princess Costume like I did last year…check it out…
We did have to get a little creative to keep the webs up (we had a few cracks in the posts that we could dig the webbing into and a few splinters or old nails here and there that we could use to wrap things around. You can also tie the webbing to itself (a method we also occasionally used) so while it won’t stick to itself completely, a little knot will hold most things in place (along with whatever cracks, pins, nails, etc that you can find). Hope it helps!
heather s. says
Looks good – love the lights behind/under the branches. It would look a little spookier without the water bottle and glass. :)
Jessie (Vegan-minded) says
Cool idea of painting bugs on pumpkins instead of carving. I love the backlit branches and the scarecrow too :)
I do a full cemetery in my front flower beds with headstones, skeletons, gargoyles and spiderwebs over the bushes. The roses that grow there add to the cemetery vibe. I also have some huge, creepy grim reapers that hang from the ceiling of my porch to watch over both sides.
I love the eerie factor created from the push lights behind the branches- genius! The timelapse video is fun too- thanks for that. Whoever Brad Sucks is has some good tunes that seem to go with all of your videos, no matter the subject content!
Cute porch, love how it’s not *too* Halloween-y, but just enough fun while staying neat and classy!
Wish I could turn you two loose on several areas of Brian’s house. Now that I’m moving in it becomes my territory and there’s so much to be done- I need your creative minds from furniture arranging to decor… oh boy… you could have a field day.
Great job guys! I love the backlighting and spooky shadows!
Emilie et Guillaume says
Those are some wonderful Halloween decorations.
We love you blog. We’re a young French couple, we started a blog a few day ago. You are a huge source of inspiration.
“and actually had more than half a bag leftover (so we might just do it again next year instead of waiting our usual 2 year span).”
Do you mean you have some left over from this year so you’ll use it next year instead of waiting 2 years and then buying more? Why not reuse it in general? It’s still perfectly good after using for a year, so there’s no need to buy more once you have enough to decorate your porch.
We just meant that two years ago we didn’t have any leftover, so when it came to buying more the following year we got lazy. This year since we still have over half a bag left we’ll be much more likely to break it back out for next Halloween instead of slacking off when it comes to picking more up. You know we’re crazy about using things we already have! Hope it helps.
I’m loving the shadow effect from the branches on the porch!
I must say though, it took me a while to figure out what Sherry was doing in the video… Now I see that you were just getting more paint for your brush, but at first it looked like you were hitting John!
Love the decorations, especially the branches lighting up the ceiling.
This is not complete, however, without scary halloween music coming from inside the house. As a child there was always that one house that had no decorations, but it thrilled and scared me at the same time just because they had scary music playing.
OOOOOoooooh great tip about the music! We’ll have to find something that will drown out Burger’s barking. Of course that might just scare the little kids too…
Jenny @ Making the Most of Money says
I love it! It’s sufficiently creepy (with those awesome bug pumpkins) without being cheesy. I absolutely love the branches – what a brilliant way to make it look old and dead! I may just have to borrow that idea for our door!
Your decorations look great! Okay so the lady at the pumpkin patch was very serious with me and said “You know you can’t eat white pumpkins”, “Okay” I say, “Really, not even the seeds!”,” Oh okay.” I reply. I mean she was very stern, I was afraid of her. So I don’t know if it’s true but it looks like you can’t eat the seeds of a white pumpkin :(
Uh oh, last year we did (check out those pumpkins here– they were definitely white). And I must admit the seeds were delicious (tasted the same as orange pumpkin seeds). Maybe because we cooked them to a crisp so anything bad was baked away? It’s certainly worth researching in case anyone else has that planned. Thanks so much for the tip!
I was on a raven/crow hunt this weekend with NO luck :-( I ended up with a Condor/Vulture thing — Oh well ;-( But I did find a creepy looking rat. My daughter and I had a blast decorating our spooktacular front porch with haystacks, gravestone markers, pumpkins and spiderwebs.
LOVE the light behind the branches idea and the painted pumpkins! Very creative.
Great job! Now I have some cool new ideas for my front stoop! Love the raven and the “creepy” shadows : )
I LOVE the way your pumpkins turned out! I like the idea of painting creepy crawlers on them instead of your typical jack-o-lantern faces. Also, very clever with the “j” and “s” centipedes…
Fresh pumpkin tip: Spray them with 2 coats of matte clear spray paint. Sprayed mine for this year. This is supposed to keep animals from eating pumpkins and seals against bacteria that will eventually decompose pumpkins.
Love it! Thanks Allison!
Hey you guys are still alive so I say go for it!!! Maybe the pumpkins I have are a new poison white pumpkin? Just kidding!
I love the pumpkins! So fresh, but traditional. You guys are rocking the Halloween decor– I can’t wait to see the christmas stuff (stores are already stocking ornaments and such!)
Wahoo Christmas! We’re so excited we can’t even tell you. We’ll definitely be sharing those ideas soon!
April in CT says
I am absolutely loving your Halloween decorations inside and out! I shared the video with my hubs and he said that song would be a good one to run to, so TY for choosing that one. Always good to get new song inspiration!
I’m also excited to see what you have up your sleeve for Christmas!
This is a post full of win as far as I’m concerned – it involves home decor, a cute couple activity, Burger, photos, text and video. Score!
I love having the videos there because even though I cant watch them at work, I can read about it then have something to look forward to for when I’m at home and not being super sneaky at my desk. Thanks guys!
Everything looks great!! We use to go all out for Halloween but haven’t decorated much the last two years. This year we put out our blowup pumpkin in the yard and I have this little pumpkin stand that makes the pumpkin look like he has a body and my fall wreath. My daughter is scared of all the spooky stuff this year (at 2) so we are holding off till she is interested in that side of Halloween. I’m much more into the fall decor myself (pumpkins,haybales,cornstalks,etc). I think I like that more because I can put it up in Oct and leave it through Thanksgiving.
im so scuuured!
Um, I give out the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups too. Because I looooove them. And I too want to be known as a house that’s got the good stuff on Halloween.
denise @ little ant design says
Your porch came out amazing – love the pumpkins and the branches. It all looks great. I have lots of Halloween decor ideas over at my blog stop by and visit if you have a minute or two.
SO glad I found your blog – I’m loving it.
Very spooookey! Love the pumpkins (and Burger’s cute shirt!)
Your video is fab – great music!
LOVE your stylishly spooky porch. Me = inspired!
Stephaine @ Geezees says
Looks good, love the pumpkins!
i’m a sucker for that spider web stuff!
here are some more halloween idears:
p.s. what’s burger dressing up as?
That’s the big question. You’ll have to wait and see. Pics to come soon…
Those are the BEST pumpkins I have ever seen!!! Love Them!!
Halloween is my favorite time of the year! Ever since I stumbled upon your blog I’ve been inspired to become more crafty. I received a magazine in the mail with projects inside and decided I’d give it a shot. This afternoon I made a candy corn covered wreath! It’s super cute and so easy. It took me about 2 hours and I love the end result. I just wanted to share :) thank you for the inspiration!
Here’s a picture:
So cute! Thanks so much for sharing the link. Love it!
I had no idea that you used the centipedes to spell J & S! Was that intentional?? LOVE IT!!
Haha- yes. We did little bug monograms.
I just love this song! how do you guys find such great non-main-stream tunes?
We’re always sure to use music that is allowed for common use (you can get into trouble using songs that are rights protected) so there’s a great site called creativecommons.org full of music that many amazing musicians have allowed others to use in videos like this (with a credit at the end back to them of course). Hope it helps!
Is it horrible that we re-use our spider web stuff every year? like i can’t spend the $1 for new webbing? lol. I actually mostly use it inside for the playroom so it doesn’t get wet, but stil…
Haha! I love it. Use whatcha got, girl!
Thanks for the great Halloween ideas, will be doing the light behind the branches thing and sharing.