Our DIY Halloween Graveyard (+ My Favorite Halloween Decoration To Make Your Spooky Yard Come Aliiivve)

Earlier in the week I showed you my front porch wearing its Halloween costume. Today, I have the side yard (where the kids actually walk by or under every day), and is far more visible and “seen” than the front porch. So consider this more “front yard” decor that could be in front of the porch if you are decorating for trick-or-treaters. Our house is situated on the property in a way where you basically drive past the front porch immediately and park over here – so the kitchen is our main entrance and the kids never go in and out of the front. And how we walk into the neighborhood is through the back fence so if we get trick-o-treaters they’d definitely see this first. I was really torn between doing the front porch (classic) or this covered walkway (more unusual, but more used), and I obviously decided to do both 🙂 And while it seems like this would take so much time, it was actually far less than I planned for. After I had everything ordered (weeks in advance) I actually was able to do most of it with Birdie on the Saturday before we shot the following Wednesday (Christmas takes so much more time for whatever reason). I had booked two assistants on Monday/Tuesday to help dial it in, but we didn’t even need Tuesday because we were done. The point is, most of this decorating came together really fast and easy so if you feel up for it, steal some of these ideas. There is still no pressure to go this big (remember we still have to de-decorate before “Christmas” starts, November 3rd…But if you enjoy decorating like I do, then you might be surprised what some command strips and cheesecloths/lights can do to transform your yard. P.S. This is what it looks like near dusk…

The Graveyard – During The Day

I’ll show you it during the day first, so you can really see the details (then at night where it really comes alive – SEE WHAT I DID THERE). Okay, so the fence – I did a lot of pinning on graveyards and my favorites had a perimeter fence (mostly iron and ornate). But ours needed to be at least 50 feet which is a lot of plastic or metal (and pretty expensive). But I felt it was an important element. Since I’m likely committed to doing this year after year I felt ok about investing in this. So I went to Lowes and bought three options to test out and this simple white picket was the unanimous winner. Originally I was going to paint it black, but y’all it looked so good white! They are in 3′ lengths, and go easily into the ground with two points on each end (I used a mallet) and seem easy enough to store (admittedly we don’t have a huge storage issue here).

Picket Fence | Light Up Chains | Small Spider

Then we put glow-in-the-dark spider webs on it (which do NOT work so don’t bother) and these light-up orange chains which are admittedly a little tacky but at night they are SO FUN.

Filler Gravestone Pack | Animated Gravestone | Etsy Gravestone | Splurgey Gravestone | Crows

I collected gravestones from all over the internet – some cheap “fillers” from Target (pack of four), but to make it look really good, I did invest in some larger more odd shapes (like the cross which is sadly now unavailable, or the really thick ones that look totally real). Etsy had a great selection and I splurged on this one from Grandin Road. P.S. That stone fountain was left on the property and is PERFECTION with that crow on it.

Skeleton Parts | Grim Reaper

Of course, we added some graveyard elements – skeleton parts and a grim reaper to really make the message clear.

Snake Skeleton | Rigg R Mortise Gravestone

The covered walkway just felt like somewhere that had to be decorated. It’s such an experience walking under it during the day even without Halloween, so I knew that just adding a few elements would make it incredible at night. We hung spooky cloth (cut with scissors to look creepier) and hung these orange string lights inside. We painted more foraged sticks for the entrance and added a few crows and spiders.

Spooky Cloth | Orange String Lights | Spider | XL Spider

One of my favorite elements is the BEWARE sign that we DIY’d with leftover wood in one of the garages (and paint and screws). 10/10 recommend. It looks so authentic and is such a fun focal point.

The Graveyard Glow At Night

Orange Sconce Light Bulbs

Y’all – it is VIBEY. With all the lights on (orange sconce bulbs, chain links, string lights, and solar orange spotlights) it’s just really fun.

I placed the solar lights to add depth and light up the gravestones and without them you wouldn’t really be able to see what is going on. These change colors so after Halloween we’ll try them in the yard and see if Oregon can handle solar in the winter (mixed reviews … I won’t put them in direct shade but those clouds can be mighty powerful).

Orange Solar Spotlights

FYI, don’t get the creepy cloth with the faux holes in it – they don’t fool anyone. I had already opened them so I used them, but they are too perfect and there are just too many of them.

All in all, we accomplished a real nighttime vibe that is pretty darn fun. Again, I think I’m just having so much fun with this new house – it’s like a first for everything here this year. Sure, we had Christmas here last year but our living wasn’t even close to done, so using this house as a canvas/excuse to style out all my holiday fantasies is making me really really happy and grateful. Are we going to have a party? I don’t think so (our weekends are slammed right now with multiple birthdays and random trips), but I sure am going to invite a few friends over to hang out the next month and make them stare at my graveyard. 🙂

*Styled by Emily Henderson (me!)
**Photos by Kaitlin Green