Halloween is supposed to be a little dark and spooky, and while we don't want to go overboard and scare the little children, it's fun to offer a modest sense of dark drama.
Here are some fun Halloween decorating ideas that have a high impact at a low cost. Sometimes the old-fashioned way is the best way.
Construction paper bats
Bats are so easy to make out of black construction paper. They can be suspended from trees limbs and left to flutter in the breeze, or they can decorate the walls or windows.
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If rain is in the forecast or you want to reuse your bat cut-outs year-to-year, heavy-duty black plastic contractors' bags or weed barrier plastic will do the trick. Just remember, the more you make, the spookier the result!
Many of the most effective Halloween decorations have an old-world or old-timey feel to them. One of my favorites is window silhouettes that feature crazy creatures or witches and hags in silhouette against a white or glowing backdrop. This is a fun family project for all ages and can be reused year after year.
Old fashioned harvest
A classic autumnal motif focuses on the harvest and bounty of the earth. Bales of hay, piles of pumpkins, mums and scarecrows adorn homes throughout the fall. I love the idea of decorations doing double duty and not just working for a single day.
A great tip for ghostly displays: use cheesecloth instead of old sheets to make ghosts. Cheesecloth is inexpensive but light and will waft in the breeze for an extra spooky effect.
* Linda Merrill is a Networx -- www.networx.com -- writer. Read more articles like this on Networx.com.