Have a Haunted Good Time on the Homefront This Halloween

(ARA) - Halloween is a holiday kids look forward to every year. Children of all ages dress up as their favorite ghost or goblin and go trick or treating to receive candy and other ghostly treasures. Start the season by turning your home into a spooky, shadowy haunted house sure to give Halloween revelers a frightfully fun scare this season.

According to a survey done by the National Retail Federation (NRF), 46 percent of Americans plan to go all out on Halloween decorations for their homes or yards this year. Among the themes they'll bring to life, haunted houses, pumpkin patches, ghoulish graveyards and the like.

"We all remember -- as we were growing up -- going to that one house on the block that was fully decorated for Halloween and wishing it was ours. Now it can be," says Laura Byrne, Director of Marketing at Michaels Arts and Crafts stores, one of the nation’s leading providers of Halloween decorations and accessories for the home.

If decorating for the holiday is something new for you, don’t get overwhelmed. There are many simple, easy projects you can do to turn your home into a delightful Halloween scene. A good place to start is by turning your front yard into a pumpkin patch complete with jack-o’-lanterns and scarecrows.

“Creating a Halloween scene is great fun and it only takes a lot of effort during the inaugural year,” says Byrne. Instead of using real pumpkins that are messy and eventually end up rotting, you can pick up some carvable foam pumpkins at Michaels and start decorating. “They come in a variety of sizes, big, small, short and tall, and are made of a material that can easily be carved to create a jack-o’-lantern or other ghoulish shape,” Byrne adds. Since they are made of composite material, they are reusable year after year, just keep in mind you can’t light them with candles because they are flammable. Instead, put a glow stick or flashlight inside, or simply shine a spotlight on them to light them up.

Once you have your pumpkins ready, set them up in front of the house on blankets or hay bales, and for some added color, throw a scarecrow or two into the mix. String up Halloween lights, not just near the pumpkins, but on the eves of your roof. Keep it simple, with white and orange icicle lights similar to those you’d hang on a Christmas tree. You can expand on the theme by hanging lights in the shape of glowing witch hats, eerie eyes, skulls or footprints. Michaels has a large selection of lights, big and small, and most can be used indoors or out.

Another popular outdoor project is to transform your home into a haunted house. You can create one that won’t scare trick-or-treaters away by hanging a flickering chandelier in the entryway or putting a flaming caldron by the front door. Set up motion activated rocks that say, “Beware”, “Stay Away” and “Go Back,” along the path leading to your home and hang haunted wind chimes from the trees near the house, the list goes on. “You can find just about any fun accessory you can think of at Michaels,” says Byrne.

Once you have decorated outside, give some thought to what you’re going to do inside. A good project for kids is to paint a pre-cut wooden pumpkin with orange craft paint, and glue on embellishments, such as glitter, dried leaves, mistletoe or berries. They may also enjoy creating a jack-o’-lantern, black cat, spider or bat by gluing together pre-cut pieces of foam. Finished, these can be hung up in the window or placed on a fireplace mantle for all to see.

And if you’re into collectables, Michaels is a good place to find The Spooky Town collection from Lemax. Choose from a variety of houses, figurines and accessories to create a ghostly village of your own that your children will love. Give your room a creepy glow with the “Isle of Doom Lighthouse.” This rotating lighthouse beacon glows with purple light as the creepy lighthouse keeper emerges from the open door. As a misty vapor rises out of the Skull Cave, the cannon barrel flashes with fire, while creaking sounds produce a sinister effect. When combined with “Witch’s Joyride,” this display becomes a Halloween classic as Witch Wanda circles over the moonlit graveyard. “Spooky Trees” and “Tombstones” can be used to accent the village streets as the angry monster rattles back and forth in his cage. Add dimension with the earth-toned “Spooky Landscaping platform” to create the look of towering cliffs and enhance your Halloween setting. The pieces are plentiful in stores now, but if you want to pick one up, you better act fast. In a matter of just a few short weeks, like the ghosts and goblins on Halloween night, they will soon disappear.

For more information about the Halloween crafts and accessories you can find at Michaels, log on to www.michaels.com.


-Courtesy of ARA Content


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