Halloween is just a little more than a week away, so it’s time to bust open your boxes and bins where you store your ghosts and goblins and let them loose for their special night of the year.
In case you don’t have a stockpile of Halloween decorations already, here are some fun ideas to get you started. Our favourites are those that are environmentally conscious and eco-friendly, meaning they can be either recycled, composted, or used over and over.
Safety first (always)
Thank goodness the days of placing a lit candle in a jack-o’-lantern next to children in flammable costumes boug are over, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t safety considerations to still think about. We at Mirage are always thinking about safety and responsibility, and, of course, liability. Don’t forget that if someone is injured on your property, you can be held responsible for reparations for their pain and suffering.
Keep tripping hazards top of mind. Ensure that there are not any electrical or extension cords exposed for people to get tangled up in and that all decorations are securely anchored in case of wind. Pay very close attention to the weather forecast when choosing your outdoor Halloween décor as well. You don’t want to spend a lot of money and put in time and effort only to watch your scary scene crumble from the cold.
If you simply can’t safety-proof your entire Halloween yard, take care to also clearly mark where you do not want your guests to go. If you would prefer visitors use your walkway and not your driveway, block it off with a decorative display, like a graveyard full of cardboard tombstones (marked with spooky names and funny epitaphs) or a creepy old fence with “Do Not Enter!” signs strung up everywhere. Providing the foundation for the graveyard or fence (or both) could be the last job your flower planters perform for the season. Simply anchor your decorations into the soil and wrap them with black paper.
Disposable, compostable and reusable Halloween choices
An old-fashioned haunted pumpkin patch is both a charming and creepy Halloween addition to your yard. Purchase a number of pumpkins in different shapes, sizes, and colours to arrange artfully on your front porch or lawn. You have the choice to carve or paint your pumpkins (or both), and there are plenty of great suggestions online to help get your creative juices flowing. Try to carve out a toothy monster and then have seeds and pumpkin guts come out of its mouth to simulate pumpkin vomit. Or carve one letter (and one exclamation point) into four pumpkins to spell out the word “Boo!” Be sure to use flameless candles (battery-operated) to give them their unearthly glow.
Once you’re done with your pumpkins, those that have not been painted can simply go into your City of Calgary composting bin. Those that have been painted must be discarded in black bins, which is why painting pumpkins is not necessarily the most eco-friendly choice. Some even recommend driving your discarded pumpkins out to the woods and leaving them as food for deer and other wildlife (again, they can’t be painted).
Pumpkin patches can be accentuated with hay, which can be scattered around to provide a bed for your bevy. Purchasing a hay bale for Halloween is a great idea, as it can be used for several different crafts. Hay bales are often carried by home improvement stores — just be sure to call ahead.
Use the hay to stuff some old clothes to make a classic scarecrow and give them a pumpkin for a head. They can be spooky or friendly, depending on the theme you have chosen for your decorations. And the best thing is that the hay can be composted afterward or kept for future crafts. Just be sure to store it in a fire- and pest-resistant container.
You can also use hay to stuff the heads of ghosts made from white sheets or cheesecloth. Make them in a variety of sizes to hang from branches or the eaves of your house.
We love the look of massive fake spiderwebs, but are not that fond of the materials they are usually made of. A more eco-friendly solution is to use natural twine to create a web using porch posts or tree branches as your frame.
Popular and easy Halloween decorations that just happen to coincide with your fall clean-up are garbage bags designed as pumpkins and ghosts. Stuff them full of the leaves you have raked up and you have a fast and easy spooky spectacle. Then you can just empty the bags into your composting bin to be used again, or purchase ones that are compostable.
Mirage Landscaping is here for you year-round
As a full-service property maintenance company operating year-round, we offer commercial and residential snow-removal services in the winter and landscape maintenance, landscape construction, and landscape design services in the summer. We do the heavy lifting for you, so you don’t have to. Check out our portfolio for examples of our work, and contact us for more information on how we can work together to increase both your property value and your enjoyment of your property.