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