Saturday, August 14, 2010

Out on a Limb for Halloween

Every year people spend a lot of cash on Halloween Decorations. Unfortunately, a lot of the Halloween stuff is just cardboard, paper and plastic sold at 1000 times the production cost. Some of it is good, but no matter, there's little "boo per buck" because the items are typically small. If you want some real Halloween Power in your decorations, one of the best things is free!

We shared this tip many Halloweens ago in our “X-treme Haunted House Makeover” DVD (see It’s so powerful, we want to share it again, especially because it is one of the most overlooked decorations you can do…for FREE! And…you might just find it in your own backyard!

Categories: Decoration. Cool. Bigger is better. Cheaper is better.
Skill level: Super Easy.
Time needed: 30 minutes – 1 hour.

"Out on a Limb this Halloween!
"Trees are NOT just for Christmas!"
Find some dead tree branches! For indoor centerpieces or “trim”, gather up a lot of twigs and small branches. I live in Los Angles (very urban…not a rural country road), and I see branches and limbs on the ground every single day on the streets and sidewalks. These are yours for the taking, and they will give you the biggest bang for “no bucks!” For outdoor decorations, the size of the branches are merely limited to what you can carry or haul away. I head out in my car and carry a battery operated saw so that I can trim down massive limbs to fit into the back of my car.

The awesome thing about dead tree branches is that they are typically “made to order” perfect for Halloween. Obviously, look for the more “spooky” ones with some density and a lot of “branching” because this may come in extra handy if you want to add spider webbing.

Use rope and/or bungie cords to fasten the branches to pillars, posts, mailboxes, entry ways…wherever you can find a sturdy place to support the weight. Use some extra awareness regarding your Halloween visitors: Make sure there are no (sharp) branches pointing out at eye-level (both adults’ and kids’ eye level.) Make sure there’s no way a heavy branch can easily be pulled down by a child or slip off of its mount. Safety with huge “props” is a paramount concern.

The bigger the branches and the more branches that you use outside, the more decrepit and awesome your haunted castle will be. Aside from “filling in the vacant holes” in between your store-bought or home-made props, it adds to the ambiance. I say “no home haunting is complete without ‘em!”

Another great thing to do is to add decorations to the branches! (‘sounds familiar! But don’t pull out any Christmas ornaments!) The best thing is to add the readily available Halloween spider webbing to the branches. You can do this on small interior centerpieces or the massive exterior haunted trees. The webbing is extremely easy to work with on tree branches because you can easily spin, pull, and threat strands from branch to branch. A quick “side bar” on webbing: If ever there was a Halloween Decorations decorating “offense” that people should be ticketed for, it’s blobby webbing on bushes and walls. What the heck? Webbing is just that: WEBBING. NOT BLOBBING! A spider web should have taught strands and look like…uh…webs! --not clumps of cotton! The trick is to work the bag-o-webs down to little clumps and then pull them long and far into strands from branch to branch. Put a little time and art into this. Would you throw a pile of garland onto a Christmas tree? (Don’t answer that…I have a feeling the same offenders might do just that!)

If you are using any of the black-light tricks and the tree limbs will be near the lights, you might consider spray painting the limbs with fluorescent paint. You can either coat ‘em, or lightly dapple them.

One last totally free “trick” that’s overlooked is leaves! If you are “lucky enough” to have them already on the lawn…leave them there over Halloween. If, like me here in Los Angeles, you don’t have any on the lawn, just go looking for a pile somewhere. Again, even though we live in a warm climate here, there are many, many trees that lose their leaves. I take a garbage bag, hunt some down, and bring them home to sprinkle on the lawn. It’s especially great to put them around tombstones and such. There’s nothing more “half decorated” than a bunch of “scary tombstones” on top of a well manicured lawn. For Halloween…messier is better!

Without a doubt, these “nature’s freebies” are the best, easiest, cheapest, biggest tricks to add to your Halloween Decoration displays.

For other crowd-stopping Halloween how-to tips on decorations and effects, please visit!

To see some really awesome and hard-to-find Halloween multi-media products (DVDs, CDs, downloads) please visit!

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