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With Halloween coming up this month, why not really go all out this year with your home decorating? We're talking more than pumpkins on the front porch and some skeletons looking out the window. Have you ever considered making your own haunted house at home?
We've rounded up six DIY haunted house ideas that you can recreate this spooky season in your homes, yards, garages and even basements!
1. Use a pop-up tent in your yard
This family hit up the dollar store for all of the good cheap Halloween decorations and used a pop-up tent to create a little haunted house in their front yard! Watch their tutorial above to see how it all came together.
- black tarp to create the walls
- duct tape to secure the tarp
- spooky Halloween decorations to put all over the walls
2. Created a garage haunted house
Walking through the completed version of this Halloween craft, you'd probably have no idea that it actually is manageable to accomplish. Really the hardest part is adding all of the decorations, and that's actually the most fun isn't it?
- black polyvinyl to cover all of the walls
- a staple gun to secure the polyvinyl in place
- adjustable fabric frames to create "maze walls" through the garage (these will also get more polyvinyl to create wall panels)
- cobblestone flat paper to create a walkway (optional)
The best part about this DIY is you get to create your preferred ambiance. Do you want it to be a scary Halloween experience for adults and older kids in your neighborhood? Perfect, get the scariest props you can find! The more special effects you add like strobe lights, fog machines and scary music will all make it feel more professional!
3. Transform your basement into a spooky experience
Basements are already dark and creepy so why not take advantage of that and make it a little haunted house? This guy is clearly the king of haunted basements since it's something he does every year. He must throw one heck of a Halloween party. Though his DIY is pretty complicated, you can really approach this in the same way as the garage project in order to put up your faux walls.
- tons of black vinyl sheeting for the ceiling/walls/faux walls
- tons of Halloween haunted house props to fill the space
- adjustable fabric frames to create "maze walls"
You can go crazy with this since its within your own home. Go gory, cover your ceilings in spider webs... the sky is the limit!
4. Make a creepy backyard maze
One thing to keep in mind if you want to build something in your yard is the weather. If you live somewhere that actually gets fall weather (sorry, Texas) then make sure to prepare ahead for the wind. This tutorial used wooden posts to hold up the walls of his maze, which were made of masonite hardboard in order to make them more sturdy. You can make this mazy scary or if you want to be more kid-friendly, you can cover it in friendly ghosts and non-gory decor.
- tall wooden posts to connect the walls throughout the maze (probably around 6 feet high)
- post hole digger (to make it easier to put the posts around your yard, they'll go down about 2 feet deep)
- masonite hardboard
- all the fun Halloween decor to cover the walls
- insulated sheathing for the roof
This is definitely an undertaking, but if you're up for it you could have the best home haunt on your block!
5. Turn your front yard into a haunted graveyard full of ghosts
The only thing better than a scary haunted house is a scary haunted graveyard. In addition to the usual Halloween decor like tons of tombstones, skeletons, bones, etc, consider adding some chicken wire ghosts to your yard to really make it look like it's being haunted by spirits. The above tutorial walks you through how simple it is to mold the chicken wire into human form to look like a floating apparition.
- pliers to bend the wire in place
- tombstones and additional front yard decor
- optional: fog machine and spooky music (honestly, these maybe shouldn't be optional because they'll really bring it home!)
6. Make your entryway full of floating candles
Okay, so maybe you aren't as crafty others and really don't have the energy to make an entire haunted house on your property. Understandable. At the very least you could take a page out of Harry Potter and add these seriously cool floating candles to your entryway. If you choose to safely welcome trick or treaters this year they will be visible from your front porch and will give them a little touch of magic this year.
- paper towel rolls (though you could add toilet paper rolls to create different size candles)
- scissors to cut the paper towel rolls to look more like burning candles on the top
- hot glue gun to create the illusion of dripping wax down the candles
- cardboard box to make bottoms for the "candles"
- white paint and paintbrushes (you could probably also just use spray paint)
- black plastic tablecloth to paint like the night sky
- fishing string to hang the candles from the ceiling and tacks to secure them
Honestly, the finished result looks amazing! This decorating idea is also a perfect option if you aren't particularly fond of "creepy Halloween," but still want to get into the spirit of the holiday.
This article was originally published in October of 2020.