For Halloween, try decorating your front door to greet arriving guests and trick-or-treaters. Let bats hover in the air along with ghostly apparitions; line the walkway with luminaria bags to provide a spooky glow. Stack bales of hay around the door and sit baskets of cookies and candy on them along with a bubbling cauldron of witch’s brew. With a scary setup such as this, you don’t need expensive Halloween decorations to spruce up (sorry, spook up) your front entryway in the spirit of the holiday.
To make bats, simply bend wire coat hangers into bat-wing shapes, slip an old pair of black stockings over the wire and hang the bats from the trees. Ghosts can easily be made by soaking pieces of cotton cheesecloth in a mixture of water and laundry starch (equal parts of each liquid), drying them and draping each piece over a balloon (to form the head). Tie with string around the “neck,” draw on a scary face and adjust the remaining cloth so that it appears to be blowing in the wind. The starch will make the cloth stiff enough that it should hold its shape. For luminarias, fill paper bags (buy yellow or orange ones at party-supply stores or use regular brown lunch bags) with a few inches of sand, and insert a votive candle into the sand in each bag. Place the bags along your front walkway and up the steps to the door; light the candles just before guests arrive. Complete the effect with a large cast-iron cauldron filled with dry ice* and hot water for a steaming, magical cauldron of witch’s brew.
For another magical effect, fill a large glass container with water. Add a few drops of red and yellow food to create an orange tint. Float tiny tea-light votive candles in the water and illuminate them just before guests arrive. Another idea that is festive and fun is to take glass canning jars (the pint jars work well) and insert a votive candle in the center of the jar. Next, add candy corn around the perimeter of the candle to make a small wall until the candy corn is approximately half-way up the sides of the candles. Light the candles and you have an easy Halloween decoration to guide trick-or-treaters to your door. (Just don’t forget to include some unused candy corn candies for the ghouls and goblins to munch on.)
*You can find dry-ice from local suppliers in your area (check your local telephone directory). When handling dry ice, always wear thick gloves to prevent burns and never allow children to handle dry ice.