Backyard Halloween

It's getting to be that magical season and the weather in the evenings is quite pleasant. Consider taking your spooky haunting fun to your own yard.

Consider setting up a blanket fort or tent with pillows and sleeping outdoors. Do a little star gazing first. 

How about putting up a sheet and projecting a movie? You can even project one on your garage door and entice neighbors to drop by and stop and watch a family-friendly horror story like "Hocus Pocus" or "The Haunting." 

Firepits are a fantastic way to huddle and tell scary stories, make smores and enjoy the outdoors. There are some very inventive concepts out there so think outside the box.

Even consider some fireproof skull logs to set inside the fire for a cool effect - 

If you are raking up leaves, consider putting them to cool use!

Compost/mulch - layer the leaves under plants to protect roots for winter, to degrade and feed the soil, and retain moisture. This is how the forest survives so beautifully. 

Add them as a "brown" element to your compost with other browns like bark, newspaper, and coffee grounds, egg shells, and add the "green" items like fruit and veggie peels and bits, grass clippings. Keep covered and moist. Turn every few days. I like to use a cardboard box with holes in it for aeration and just turn the box now and then. It actually becomes part of the compost.

Decor - Don't hesitate to iron pretty leaves between wax paper sheets and dangle by strings in front of frosty windows, decoupage onto mason jars with a candle inside, shellac to make a hardened version to decorate a napkin ring or a purse charm.

Limbs - If you cut back dead tree limbs or pull up old bushes, don't forget to use the twisted roots. Let them dry out and make some scary twisted scarecrows or fence decor to appear as if you have a yard filled with dead plants. Add some fake crows!

Consider taking thrift store white sheets and tattering the edges, dipping into tan fabric dye or strong tea in a kitchen sink and hanging along the edges of the patio on rods. You can open and close off the patio for more atmosphere at night or let the wind flutter them. You can even project a movie inside the patio onto one of the closed curtains.

Take your Halloween out back and see what brews - 

I enjoyed projecting a doll movie against a shed with real dolls in front of the screen so they showed up in the film.... "Street of Crocodiles" short film by Brothers Quay)