Mirage Landscaping of Calgary is a full-service commercial and residential landscaping design, construction and maintenance firm. We always enjoy it when we see our clients, and others, creative about Halloween.
What has been fun to see about the increase in outdoor Halloween decorations around Calgary over the years is that there seems to be more of a D-Y-I aesthetic at work for the unofficial holiday. Halloween decorating means great looking displays can be made for precious little money.
And if the trend holds, this year’s Halloween should boast relatively good weather for Calgary, which translates into a prime opportunity to repurpose organic and inorganic materials for both spooky and harvest themed decorations that naturally work together.
Low Budget Themes
As Halloween is inarguably fall’s most fun holiday, harvest-time themes can be created for daytime displays that lend themselves to becoming the backdrop for the witching hour as Halloween approaches. From baled straw that you can later use a ground cover in your plant beds, to dried corn stalks that you can eventually compost or mulch, to bagging your fallen leaves and creating ghosts, or even a massive ground spider with connected white or dark rubbish bags, your imagination is the only limit when it comes using natural plant materials as the backdrop of your outdoor Halloween decor.
Both pumpkins and new crop apples come into their lowest prices of the year, and both make for fantastic Halloween decor. Most people overlook just how many pumpkins the size of your fist you can buy on a per pound basis. The smallest pumpkins are not commercially viable as carvers, and many are not uniformly orange, so you may be able to drive hard bargains for them locally.
If you don’t have the time to carve hordes of pumpkins into an eerie neighborhood display, a marking pen is a great solution. You can certainly draw scores of whimsical or spooky faces in very little time. Done this way, these pumpkins stay intact and won’t rot before Halloween. Then, if you are ambitious, the week of Halloween, you could carve out eyes on several of these pumpkins, without opening them up and scraping them out, simply drive a large drill bit into the pumpkin horizontally behind the eyes, break a chemical light, and insert to make the eyes glow. Then you can place these glowing eyed pumpkins about your walk, or hang them in the lower branches of your trees using wire or fishing line.
As for the apples, they are a fun and versatile prop that naturally fit into a fall harvest theme with Halloween potential. Apple skins on firmer varieties of apples, such as Granny Smiths, can be waxed to keep them from rotting when using them outdoors as part of a harvest display. Then, the week of Halloween, you can peel and core those apples, carve large facial features into them, soak them in salted lemon juice for thirty seconds each, and then set them aside somewhere warm to dry. In a few days, you will have “shrunken heads” that you can hang about your place, put into a bowl of punch, or mount upon sticks.
The Miracle of Cardboard
From making cheeky tombstones, to window silhouettes, to provide some shape to a scarecrow, cardboard is the wonder material of Halloween. With a can of black spray paint you can create all sorts of creepy shapes you can either backlight against a window, or front light to project large and creepy shadows upon the exterior walls. Cardboard and your Christmas mini-lights are also a good team for making your bushes appear to have eyes. Just paint a cardboard box black, run an extension cord to it, and then pile a strand of lights into it. From the inside, use an awl to punch matching “eye holes” at varying levels and then pair up two of the red ones, two of the blue, etc., and then shove the pairs through at differing depths to create perspective.
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