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We Are Taking The Spooky Outside...

Backyard Halloween Decorations (with a cute dragon and a celebrity black cat)

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This is Charlie, on September 27th, screaming ‘It’s HALLOWEEN!!!’ with the manic excitement of a, well, an-almost 4 year old who knows that halloween means costumes and candy. Or in our case a month of costumes and candy. A lot of parent’s careers cause confusion in their kids. Think of the mom who is a CIA spy and can’t tell her kids where she is or when she’ll be back. It’s like that. I hadn’t planned on styling too much in the backyard, nor shooting it but I got super into it. This is the first house that is in a neighborhood with potential trick or treaters, and they will show up because I didn’t string a 25 foot spider web and 2 ft spider for nothing (sorry, no pics since it would show the whole house). Plus we have a castle!!! It must be haunted!!!

Inside we went for this spooky but friendly haunted house vibe so we brought it out here, too.

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What we did outside wasn’t particularly epic but it is really, really festive and fun. First we threw over the spooky (cheese)cloth which is great for hedges, gates, anywhere outside (although I can’t vouch for places where it rains a lot).

The spider web made it’s way back there too and it’s the perfect scale for your castle (or in between trees, on the exterior of your house, etc.)

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Out here I didn’t mind putting some orange and I loved that these pumpkins light up at night. With the nights coming so much earlier it really does feel super festive with the lights, even when we play right before dinner.

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I don’t have a GREAT photo of the ghost lights (sorry, we were running out of time as believe it or not I try to shoot when my kids are not there and they had just gotten home so I made Sara wrap it up) but the lights are SO CUTE. They go around the whole path and light it in a fun/festive way that says halloween without being scary.

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Then we brought in the inflatable 8.5′ pumpkin installation – AKA the easiest big impact halloween decor ever.

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I realize that Charlie looks like an 80’s psychotic boy villain in that photo, but he was actually literally daydreaming about halloween and his eyes were caught in a zone. I try to limit his action on the blog these days, but it was hard to keep him inside whilst we were shooting and he is just so cute and excited. And then there is bearcat who is like ‘YOU CAN’T KEEP ME SHELTERED, THIS IS MY BIG MONTH!!!’

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That’s Charlie, her agent, whispering ‘Look. I booked you a 8pm haunted house at the daycare, and a 9pm on Rowena to just roam, scare some folks, etc … be back by 10:30 before mom finds out you are out…’

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All in all it just took a few elements to make it feel haunted and spooky. We tried the styrofoam graves that you stick in with metal spears and you can imagine how that went. First Charlie pulled one out and pretended it was a double sword. Then when we put it back in, he said he wanted to use it as a shield with a ‘But mama, I promise it’s a shield not a sword!!’ and then one last try and he ran straight into it and killed it – PUN intended. So I would say those gravestones aren’t for smaller kids. We are going to put them in the front yard for halloween night since we can’t return them.

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Anyway. The backyard didn’t take much time/energy/money and it really does feel special. Plus everything can be kept for next year so if I were a normal person I wouldn’t have to think about it again 🙂 What you can’t see is that we wrapped all the trees with white lights (we tried orange at first on one tree and then realized that if we did white we wouldn’t have to change it ’til spring – if ever).  We love it and it will be great for when we have our pumpkin carving contest and spooky movie night (which consists of Charlie Brown Halloween, I’m no masochist).

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We kept our front stoop really simple with a web, some pumpkins and a welcome mat. When we carve pumpkins (hopefully this weekend after I get back) I might put them here as I do want some real pumpkins around.

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Boo. I have really good intentions of having a party for the kids, either the weekend before or the night of and hopefully we’ll take some pics for you. But if you are interested in any of these ideas, here you go (and yes, they are all from Target … listen I REALLY like Target).

Emily Henderson Target Halloween 2017 Spooky Black And White Kid Friendly Outdoors Get The Look Final

1. Lit Halloween Sisal Pumpkins | 2. Jar Lights with Spiders | 3. Giant Spider Web | 4. Bat Doormat | 5. White Pumpkin | 6. T-Rex Skeleton Costume | 7. Orange Jack-O-Lantern Large | 8. Cheesecloth | 9. Spider Web | 10. Giant Spider | 11. Flamingo Costume | 12. Inflatable Pumpkin Patch | 13. Dragon Costume | 14. Orange Jack-O-Lantern Small | 15. Bat ‘Happy Halloween’ Wall Hanging | 16. Ghost Pathway Lights

Have a great weekend, folks. I’ll be squeezing my kids before 3 back to back exciting trips (New York, Mexico, New York).

*Photos by Sara Tramp for EHD

**Hopefully all you Northern California folk are staying safe. I’m up in San Francisco today and it sure is smoky. Crossing my fingers that those fires can get controlled/stopped before more houses/lives are lost. 

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  1. I search this type information to many blog but I don’t find this topic but you’re blog Very Well define this subject!
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  2. Emily, just want to say that I love your style and I really appreciate the free content you put out there.

    However, with all due respect, your blog is really starting to feel like one big Target ad which is a huge turn off for me. I don’t live in the US so don’t have access to Target, but frankly I don’t find posts which feature 99% their stuff interesting/inspiring as it tends to look like what it is ……cheap.

    I’m missing seeing “real” projects with a range of high/low sourced furniture/decor on them.

    I hope you take this as it’s intended, and I do realise that this blog is essentially your career so you have to do what makes money, not what makes me happy 😉

    Happy Friday and I am looking forward to seeing the posts on the flip house!

    1. I would respectfully like to disagree. I absolutely ADORE all the home design posts, especially the big reveals of significant projects, but occasionally I like her holiday decor posts as well, as they help inspire some of us who don’t regularly have big $$ for major renos / redos. Plus the simple variation in posts keeps things interesting.

      But I suppose we all have things we like and don’t on here. I’m not into the fashion posts, you’re not into the Target posts 🙂

    2. Hey Gina, I appreciate the feedback. The project 62 and halloween posts were more back to back than usual (this post was just an extra I did because I thought it was cute enough), but for those of us in the states Target is a real resource for affordable pieces and i like to give ideas with what to do with those pieces. The reveal of our house gave so many real projects and yes there are many new ones coming. They just take time to execute. appreciate your comment xx

      1. I also love the Target posts and am looking forward to seeing your round-up of holiday/Christmas decor when we get closer to December!

        1. Love the Target posts!! So approachable and affordable for “normal” folks. Love all the high end inspiration, but the Target posts are real life helpful!!

      2. OK, maybe I just have an anti Target bias because it’s not something I can see in real life so it’s not useful or inspiring…for little English me! Glad it is for your US readers. Thanks for being gracious enough to reply to my somewhat negative (although I hope constructive) comment, I do love 99% of what you do and love the insights into your “real life” use of your house from these blog posts 🙂

    3. Omg I totally disagree. I think it’s funny how much people expect from a blog that literally costs them nothing and gives them so much content. Every single weekday we get a solid post with beautiful photos and a lot of thought and personality put into it. If that means sometimes it’s not a huge project reveal or I hear a plug for a brand once in a while, so what? If maybe once a week the post isn’t particularly relevant to me (and Target is very relevant to the majority of Americans) I still enjoy it and consider that an amazing track record. No matter what it’s still fun to read each day and this blog is so far and away higher quality than any other that I’ve found.

  3. Loved this and the interior post. I find your Target posts helpful for seasonal decor (and some of their great furniture) as I’m definitely not in the Pottery Barn elevated Halloween $100+ skull punch bowl crowd quite yet with a toddler running around. Halloween is cheesy and fun and should honestly be for children’s benefit for awhile – and that’s exactly what this is! We’ll be putting up our Halloween blow ups in our yard this weekend and this spooky cheese cloth definitely has me interested in some easy but nice looking festive decor!

    PS if I had an adults only party I would totally be getting these for our outdoor fire pit. I can’t even watch scary movies, but for some reason I think these are SO cool! http://geekologie.com/2017/03/now-youre-talking-fireproof-human-skulls.php

  4. Thank God for Target and Emily! I really appreciate how laid back and approachable many of the projects and posts are. It is so nice to know that chic and chill can co-exist. PS – I totally decked out our house on Design Mom for Halloween and it was 100% Target! https://www.designmom.com/multi-generational-living-with-kids-sonja-ibsen-allen/

  5. I can’t get over those sweet costumes! I can’t wait to start decorating this weekend:)

  6. I didn’t noticed Charlie’s face while scrolling down but went back after reading your text and busted out laughing at his ‘villain’ face! You seriously crack me up. Thank you for always making your posts entertaining.

  7. The cheesecloth = genius. It looks so much easier than those spider webs. I love the big impact of the inflatable pumpkins. As a mom of three I need something that’s quick and easy for decorations. As always thank you for all the creative ideas so I don’t have to spend precious time coming up with them myself.

  8. I wish you would do the Target holiday posts sooner (I love them!). My target is pretty much cleared out already and I hate grabbing these things online as its so hard to gauge real size, etc. and I’ve had a free things break in the mail. Tell Target to stock more than a few of each item!

    A small criticism – I love 99% of your decorations, but inflatables?! They’re awful!

  9. Thank you for mentioning the fires. It is a truly horrific time for the North Bay and the stories of people who have lost EVERYTHING are heartbreaking. I know a lovely woman who retired to a small house just north of the town of Sonoma about ten years ago. She woke up to the smoke and flames, no warning from police or first responders or text messages like other people got, and with just a few minutes to grab belongings and get in her car, instead she woke up her neighbors. Her house, her memories, her vintage Mustang, etc. are gone, she has no clothes of her own, but she is so gracious and thankful to be alive and that her neighbors are too. I can’t help if you and your partnerships would be interested in helping a few people rebuild? And decorate for content? Just a thought.
    P.S. I love your content, don’t let the Target haters or any others get you down! You’re definitely doing your job because I know go out of my way to drive to a Target.

    1. I really love this idea! So many people around the country are in bad shape post fires or hurricanes. Because the fires are ongoing in CA, I’d really love to see some of the people affected by it to get help in that way.

  10. Regarding the fires: please let us know that OrMOMdo and OrDADdo are fine and that their residence is out of danger.

  11. I have the same happy Halloween bat on our front door too. Love it!

  12. Charlie couldn’t look more excited, lol! So cute and love the fun decorations. And the costumes for both kids are so stinkin adorable.

  13. Thank you for foing holiday posts. I got another $57 worth at target.com on the way!

  14. Hi Emily,
    Thanks for the post mentioning the fires. I’m in Marin and it’s really smokey. But what is so beautiful is how my entire community is banding together to help. There are tons of volunteers and donations and it warms my heart. I am so glad that you have continued to post your wonderful blog because it gives me a break. While I have been waiting for your page to load this week I have been chanting, “please be pretty pillows, please be pretty pillows.” You thankfully have posted wonderful eye candy for me all week while kindly acknowledging the struggle. Maybe you could eventually do a “shelter makeover” when things stabilize.

  15. I really enjoy decorating for fall. I’m from the midwest where the chill in the air hits in September and I like to transition to cozy decor and clothes. Just a little request but would you consider doing a fall decor post earlier/at the same time as a Halloween post? I dont do halloween but fall, oh yeah! By the time Halloween is over, I’m already done decorating for this season. I think I am missing real pumpkins and natural elements in this post, but I do love the shelves and how the “quiet” spines could also nod towards autumn.

  16. Random question where did you get your pants?

  17. Love Target, and love this post! How cute is the castle playhouse in your garden? Would love to know if you designed it…

    Charlie is absolutely adorable and looks like he’s having so much fun helping you prepare for Halloween 🙂

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  19. Way too cute!!!

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