Opportunity Knocks: Treat Yourself
To A Tricked-Out Door
Armies of zombies, skeleton parties, and graveyards full of all of the sights and sounds of the un-dead: each year the spectacle becomes more and more extreme, as homeowners across America adorn their yards and homes with full casts of spooky specters, ghoulish goblins and the wickedest of witches. And while it can be a lot of fun to completely transform your space into a Halloween Haven, it can also take a lot of time (and money!) to make that happen. Not to mention that many of our candy-loving kiddos find these homes too scary to visit on the big night! The good news is that you don't have to spend a lot of time or money creating big-impact, kid-friendly Halloween decor. With just a few easy-to-find supplies, my free printables, and some creativity, you can take advantage of the most visited aspect of your home this Halloween: your front door!
Know Your Door
What color is your door? Is it already a ghostly white, pumpkin orange or cat black? If so, its Halloween "personality" can be obvious. But if not, you may need to think outside of the box: a door of any color can be transformed into a kooky monster, or you can change the color of your door by using a disposable tablecloth. Perhaps your door has its own character: windows on top, unique sidelights, or interesting millwork don't have to be obstacles to your design. Incorporate those elements as eyes, horns, scars, or other freaky features! You also need to think about whether or not your door is fully exposed to the elements, or if a front porch or architectural element provides protection from weather. If your door takes a constant beating from wind and rain, you may need to opt for weather-proof supplies, such as craft foam and plastic plates, or use a laminator to protect your paper pieces.
Grabbing Your Gear
Your front door is a great decorating opportunity, as it can easily be transformed into virtually any creepy character you choose. While the possibilities are endless, here are some of the supplies you'll need:
- Sheets of craft foam
- Gaffer's tape or damage-free adhesive strips
- Electrical tape
- Duct tape (only if using a plastic tablecloth - do not apply directly to a finished door surface!)
- Wireless outdoor string lights (100-light or two 50-light strands)
- Weatherproof gloves
- Rubber bands
- Disposable plastic tablecloth (optional)
- Additional craft supplies (optional)
- Rotary cutter and cutting mat (or scissors)
- Permanent markers
- 1/4" hole punch
- Printer (optional)
- Laminator and laminating sheets (optional)
Crafting Your Creature
1. If you need to change the color of your door, cover it with an inexpensive disposable tablecloth. Simply trim it to fit the face of your door plus an extra 1/2" at the top, and use electrical tape to attach it to the top edge of the door. As it drapes down the front, cut a hole for the doorknob. Use gaffer's tape or adhesive strips to attach the bottom, and strategically place some adhesive strips to the face of the door to secure it on the sides and around the knob.
2. Create the eyes, nose and mouth from craft foam. While you can get really creative and make your own, it might be easier to download my free printable patterns. With these printables you can make a Jolly Jack-o-lantern, Creepy Cat, Groaning Ghost or Mischievous Monster, and personalize your design by picking your own colors. Print them at actual size on standard letter size paper; to make bigger features, print them on larger paper at a higher percentage, or simply use them as a guide for cutting larger pieces.
3. Time to light him up! This part can take some planning - the easy way is to use my supplied printables and 100-light weatherproof light strings, as I've already done the math for you. Once you've got a plan, mark and punch holes around the perimeter of each facial feature. Then, insert each light into a hole, making sure to start at a point that allows for the entire face to be outlined with one continuous string. On the printables, just start at point 1, and follow the arrows! Apply electrical tape to the back of each feature to hold the lights in place, and allow the battery pack to hang off of the side of the mouth.
TIP! If you're feeling ambitious and want to go for your own design, you will need to create sizes and shapes that can be illuminated with a continuous string of lights. Plan how many lights it will take and what the proper spacing would be to surround each feature, as well as keep the features close enough together that the light string will reach.
4. Using gaffer's tape, attach the face to the front of the door, and wrap the end of the light string around the doorknob, allowing some slack for the battery pack to hang off.
5. If you want him to grab extra attention, give him a hand (...or two...or more)! Simply stuff the weatherproof gloves with crumpled newspaper or empty plastic shopping bags, and stick the battery pack inside one of them. Using a rubber band, attach the first glove to the doorknob. Make sure the "on/off" button is positioned such that when you squeeze the hand, you can switch on the lights. Then, attach the other glove(s) wherever else you want your creature to have hands, using gaffer's tape, adhesive strips, hooks, or rubber bands.
6. Embellish! This is your opportunity to really get creative. Use additional paper, fur, or electrical tape to add stems, whiskers, ears, tails, horns, warts...or accessorize with freaky fashions, such as hats, jewelry and more. Even the kids can participate, making it more fun for you, as well as creating an end result that will be more fun for your Halloween visitors.
Enjoy Your Creature Feature!
Voila - you're done! And while your light-up character will certainly make a statement on its own, it's also fun to give your door a little more personality and environment with pumpkins, cornstalks and seasonal novelty decor. Either way, costume-clad visitors of all ages are sure to enjoy being greeted by your clever creature this Halloween!
Rebecca has a passion for helping all things express their innate beauty, often in unique and unexpected ways. As the Director of Advertising for The Lakeside Collection, she guides an incredibly talented team to demonstrate that "the best things in life don't have to cost a fortune", while away from work she creates a beautiful home and beautiful life with her fantastic husband and two truly amazing daughters.