Design a Halloween Fence Display That's Wicked Cool

wolfrage/flickrBeware … haunted house ahead! As a dedicated DIYer, you are no doubt already getting into the spirit of the spooky season by decorating your home in a Halloween theme inside and out. But don't forget your fence. It's the very first thing that trick-or-treaters will encounter as they come to you for candy. Give your property a dose of cadaverous curb appeal with these 7 insanely inspiring Halloween fence display ideas. (KEEP IT GREEN: Most of the decorations described here can be stored and reused for years to come.)

  1. Figures -- The fastest, easiest way to decorate is by simply hanging iconic Halloween figures from your fence rails. Bats, rats, ghosts, Frankensteins, scary clowns, or skeletons swaying in the chilly autumn breeze will create instant atmosphere for October 31. Make them pop by applying luminous craft paint -- if you dare -- and attach them to your fencing with sturdy finishing line, which is well-nigh invisible under the night sky.

  2. Fence Post Decorations -- Your fence posts can take pride of place in your Halloween decorating scream scheme when you top them with mini pumpkins. White ones in place of the more conventional orange make a nice … er, nasty … change of pace. Grislier still are funeral urns or skulls made out of plastic. Glue them temporarily in place or stick them on a spike. WARNING: Impaling pumpkins gives an appropriately awful effect, but you will have a monstrous mess to clean up the morning after.

  3. Lights -- String your fence with rows of fairy lights emblazoned with jack-o-lanterns or black cats on an orange background -- tres Halloween. Or substitute eerie black light to show off your fluorescent decorations. Artfully placed candles and lanterns will exaggerate the spooky effect even more, but stick to fire-safe battery-operated or LED versions of these lights for your fence ornaments; your goal is to make Halloween frightening in a good way.

  4. Wreaths -- Normally a homey symbol of hospitality, horrid Halloween wreaths strung up on your fencing say "Welcome to my nightmare" instead. Craft them out of wire, spiky twigs, or dead flowers and then adorn with any or all of the following grab bag of goodies: rubber spiders, ravens, witches' hats, oversized googly eyes, papier-mache bones, faux fangs, and shrunken heads -- the petrifying possibilities are almost endless.

  5. Cover Ups -- A traditional picket or wrought iron fence is ideal for a Halloween theme; however, you can cover up modern chain link or vinyl fencing for a dash of ghoulishly good looks. Just drape with worn-out white sheets that have been savagely slashed and perhaps spattered with an abundance of fake blood. Another alarming alternative is swathes of cheesecloth shredded to look like spooky spider webs. Blood red or musty gray will make a nice contrast to a light-colored fence, but ghastly white tends to show up best in the dark.

  6. Chains -- Add the finishing touch to your fence coverup with inexpensive but very effective plastic chains (purchasable by the yard), in shivery shades of black, metallic, or rust -- coordinating handcuffs or leg shackles are optional.

  7. Signs -- Signs with meaningful messages are very trendy throughout the home right now, so why should your Halloween fence be left out? Create signposts that point the way to the cemetery or haunted house, and warn potential guests to beware and enter at their own risk. Our personal favorite sign sayings are "Keep calm and scary on," "Happy Halloween," or a straightforward "Boo!"

Laura Firszt writes for

Updated June 28, 2018.

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