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Inspiration For Our First Farmhouse Halloween Front Porch (And More) + What Exterior Decor/Ideas We Love

Y’all, we’ve entered the Henderson Halloween era (or so I thought…keep reading). This should be no surprise to anyone considering my arguably inappropriate love of Christmas. We’ve never decorated the outside of the house for Halloween mostly because our neighborhood in LA wasn’t a huge trick or trick area and the kids were too little to want to be scared. Well, now they are almost 8 and 10 and I’m getting a lot of pressure/excitement from them (this front door doesn’t really count, fyi, i phoned it in with what I had during lockdown). Message received and mission attempted. I got so excited – ready to do another fun project for work with my kids.

But we weren’t on the same page. They wanted bloody arms, bloody zombies, double-headed terrifying monsters with no legs that shoot out of the earth when you walk by and scream at you. I should have KNOWN what would happen – that if I went that direction they would realize that they are too scared for it to be at their house. So after going super scary on my mood board and getting so excited, I’ve paired it back to just spooky and a little bit creepy and praying that they are on board (I’m showing them things as they arrive and so far so good.)

It will be less farmhouse chic and more spooky with a vintage/creepy farm-y/harvest bent.

We are starting from zero here – we have nothing for the outside and in order to become a Halloween house by October we have to invest and come up with some solid ideas (and buy before all the good stuff sells out). We are also only doing a small portion of the property (you could easily create a Halloween amusement park here every year – creepy barn, creepy tree-lined driveway, but we are taking it slow). So I treated this like a design project – creating a mood board, assessing look and feel, and then choosing products that would work for that. I also want to be clear that I’ll have help executing this – it’s going to be a lot of work and I don’t want other moms to feel the pressure of going big. If I didn’t have Gretchen I’d likely phone it in. So hopefully this gives some fun ideas and inspiration, but without any pressure.

Front Porch Inspiration – Farm-Style

We likely won’t get trick-or-treaters where we are (so set back from the street), but our neighborhood goes off and I still want to decorate the front porch for Dustin (our UPS guy who is so lovely) and of course, any guests that we invite over (and mostly for the kids).

For this, I’m thinking big spider webs (I’ve loved these from Target for years), a skeleton or two, big spiders, pumpkins, and a ton of black spray-painted branches foraged from the wood. I also bought some hanging light-up bats that are big and high-impact. Per usual, I’m not sure what will go where until I start playing.

Creepy Old House + Covered Walkway

The covered walkway is where the kids walk home from every day and it’s what you’ll see the most (far more than the front porch). So this felt like a great opportunity to cover it in spooky cloth or webs, hang ghosts or witches, or maybe zip-tie more black branches to each post. Not sure yet but there is an opportunity there for sure.

The older house on the property (from 1850 – likely a legit haunted house) is RIPE for some boarded-up windows and a cemetery in front of it. We are trying to figure out if A. we really need to do this (it’s so much work) and B. how to do fake boarded-up windows in a way that doesn’t ruin the facade of the house and get disgusting in the rain. But these inspirations are sooooo fun:

I also really wanted to do a cemetery somewhere and found great inspirational images for them. This could be in front of the old farmhouse or even better (but less noticeable) would be the orchard in the roundabout of our driveway. I think if I went all out it would be awesome, but not sure it will have enough impact to be worth the effort.

Spooky Farm Halloween Decor I Love

So I shopped and got some staples that I know I’ve always used and loved (spiders, webs, creepy cloth) and then added even a few animatronics which feels like a stretch for me. (I love the headless Victorian dress so much). Here’s what I’m either thinking of buying or have on its way.

Staked Ghosts with Lights (Set of 3) | Halloween Bats with Flashing Eyes (Set of 3) | Crows (Set of 4)

10 White Giant Spiderweb | 36′ Black Jumbo Spooky Fabric

50″ Plush Spider | 8.5 Ft. Wide Gigantic Spider

Light-Up Ghostly Dress | Scary Animatronic Sitting Scarecrow | Standing Ghost Girl (similar to the one I bought)

FYI I’m going to return that girl – she came and she’s pretty darn awesome, but the kids (AFTER APPROVING IT) said “NO WAY”. But the headless dress is awesome. The scarecrow hasn’t arrived yet so we’ll see (I think we actually got a different one that had no face – just burlap)

Mossy Bat Tombstone | Halloween Tombstones (Set of 5) | Welcome Stay Awhile Gravestone

5pc Skeleton Groundbreaker Set | Severed Plastic Skeleton Hands | Matte Black Skull Sculpture

Pre-lit Twiggy Trees (I got one of each size) | Twig Broomstick

Dewdrop Halloween Fairy String Lights Garland | Halloween String Lights.

I fear/know that it’s going to be a lot of work, but like decorating for Christmas, I’m hoping it’s worth it (now I’m sure de-halloweening can be extreme). We’ll see what we end up executing and if any of you have tips about doing this in the PNW (i.e. with rain) let me know. I’m VERY excited – having these touch-points throughout the year and reasons to celebrate (especially while the kiddos are old enough to help but young enough to still want to help :))

*Opening Image by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: My Spooky (And Super Simple) Kid-Approved Halloween Decor

**Farmhouse Photos by Kalitin Green

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7 months ago

As a serious Halloween lover, this is so exciting and I can’t wait to see when it’s all put together! Last year my house got first place in my historic neighborhood for halloween decor. We DIY’d all the props! I will say I really love this haunted harvest plan you have! So classic & creepy!

7 months ago
Reply to  Val

Val, I want to see a picture!!

7 months ago

I love this post!!

7 months ago

My husband is a huge Halloween fan and has done the outside of our house for years. No gore, just spooky like a classic picture you’d draw. He just bought a real black iron fence last year to fence in the entire front yard – to give you an idea of his level of commitment. One of the parts of his decorating that I didn’t expect is that our family LOVES October. The weekend he starts getting stuff out, I make chili and cinnamon rolls and the kids go crazy. And it extends for the entire month. After dinner they all go outside together and the kids have a blast riding bikes etc while he works on the decorations. He’s done this enough years now that we’ve got kids in high school and junior high and they still love every second of it. It’s actually one of my favorite things all year now, all because my husband is kind of crazy (in the best way).

7 months ago
Reply to  Heidi

Love this so much, Heidi! How fun for everybody.

7 months ago
Reply to  Heidi

I love the idea of doing chili and cinnamon rolls as a tradition while decorating. That sounds so lovely and I will definitely be borrowing this idea. Tell your fanatical husband I said thanks for the inspiration!

7 months ago

I am a long time reader and I stopped reading for a bit but man, the energy in these posts lately is so, so good!!! A huge thank you for your inspiration! Keep it up!

7 months ago

Was Standing Ghost Girl too scary irl? I was scared just looking at her online, I’d freak out if I got up in the middle of the night and she was standing there waiting to kill me. HAPPY HALLOWSCREAM LOL!

7 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

😂😂😂 ME TOO!!! She looks absolutely terrifying.

Cris S.
7 months ago

I appreciate the pulling back from the really gory stuff. My daughter too is torn between wanting to be really scared – and not! The lovely woman at the Brooklyn Limestone blog goes all out with a different Halloween theme every year. There are a whole list of ideas that range from cute to creepy here: and on her homepage.

Mary C
7 months ago
Reply to  Cris S.

I love her decorations too! Look forward to her Halloween posts every year. The Navage Patch blog has tons of great Halloween diy’s too.

Cici Haus
7 months ago

I am so excited! We’re finally re-starting our annual Halloween party this year. One thing to note – I was recently told that big fake spiderwebs can harm owls, birds and other wildlife. I haven’t done the research myself (we have too many leaves/real spiders to use fake webs) but you should and maybe include anything you learned in the follow-up post.

7 months ago
Reply to  Cici Haus

Yes, not good for birds. It’s not just the tangle hazard, if any of it breaks loose and blows away, and then is used in a nest in the spring, it’s another tangle hazard for small baby birds. The fibers are designed to not break. Fake webs made out of basketball net type rope is fine.

We switched to just hanging the spider and web inside the window and backlighting. Still looks cool from the street.

7 months ago

I love all of this! Ordering those crows for sure!

And, Emily, I know this wasn’t the point of the post, but can you share the outfit details (jeans, etc)? It’s the perfect Halloween look!

7 months ago
Reply to  ally

That post is a couple of years old: the My Only Sunshine sweater from Free People and the Dre Low-Rise Distressed Slim Boyfriend Jeans from rag & bone (and Vans but you already knew that).

7 months ago

This will be amazing! Just be careful to keep the spider webs in places where birds, owls, bats won’t get trapped in them and die! They can actually be really deadly to wildlife. I’m sure that a dead bird in your spider web is the very last bit of scary you want!

7 months ago

I’m so excited about this direction for your Halloween decor!! Can’t wait to see what you guys put together. Thanks for the inspiration.

Heather A
7 months ago

When I would go a little bonkers during the kiddie holidays (Easter, Halloween, Valentines Day) and find myself wondering what the heck I got myself into, my mantra was always, ‘it’s just for a few years, it’s just for a few years.’ And it is. I mean, I know plenty of adults who lean way into this every year but I was really doing it for my kids – and with my kids! Now that they are grown, do I miss it? A little. But mostly I am happy that I went all in for the few years it matters and can now just carve a jack-o-lantern and make sure I have plenty-o-candy and call it a night. 😉

7 months ago
Reply to  Heather A

Grateful to be doing round two of decorating- for my grandchildren! Don’t have quite the same energy level as I did fifteen years ago, but more patient, slow and steady!

7 months ago

True Confession: I love candy corn. There, I said it.

7 months ago

Loved the inspiration, nice work!

7 months ago

I love this post so much! Do you know what would also be great? A post on storing and organizing holiday decor. If you love holiday decorating (beyond Christmas) it really tends to accumulate…

6 months ago
Reply to  Erin

I agree! My garage is a mess and despite googling and searching, I have never really found a great solution! I know Emily and the team can definitely come up with a great and economical plan!

Lynn W
7 months ago

I love all the ideas!!! We got a bunch of the furry spiders to add to the front of our house this year with a big web!!!

Julia Brooks
7 months ago

Just for watch some Wicked Makers on YouTube. They take some of the store bought animatronics and turn them up up to 11. It’s so fun to watch.

7 months ago

With Portland’s rainy season that kicks into gear unusually 2nd half of October…I’d worry about having those black spray-painted branches outside and exposed to the ‘elements’ in your front porch entry and attached to the posts along your walkway. They’d look awesome, but…is there waterproof paint that could be used? Otherwise it would be a shame to ruin your gorgeous white exterior paint. (I know…I’m being monsterously ghoulish by even bringing up this frightful idea! 😉 Just a consideration!

7 months ago


7 months ago

Oh so cute! Your kids are at the PERFECT age for this. My son was obsessed with Halloween at that age and we always went all out. He’s in college now and I just donated all my cute Halloween decor since no one is here to enjoy it anymore.

6 months ago

When I was a kid we lived in a neighborhood that went OFF on Halloween, like what you see in the movies. My dad made some simple shaped gravestones out of plywood and attached them to a stake. My brother and I painted them and we used them for years (tbh I wish I still had them!). Another staple was a stuff scarecrow with the light up jack-o-lantern head. We got overalls, a plaid shirt and some old boots. Stuffed the body with crumpled news paper and put one of those faux jack-o-lanterns that light up as the head. Simple but makes a huge impact (and easy to store). The best decorations are the ones you make 🙂