Cover Your Front Door in a Spooky Swarm of Bats for Halloween

Learn how we transformed a plain front porch into a haunted Halloween haven by covering it in a colony of creepy paper bats.

September 10, 2020

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styled by Jill Tennant Designs

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Christopher Dibble

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styling by Jill Tennant Anderson

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia, Styled by Jill Tennant Designs

Inky Infestation

Black card stock bats, purple bulletin-board paper, card stock and some basic craft supplies are all you need to conjure up this whimsical night sky scene on your front door this Halloween. Flanked by black lanterns, black-and-white pumpkins and potted fall plants, this high-impact entryway is sure to spook. Get started by downloading our printable bat template for free.

SEE MORE: Our 100 Favorite Halloween Decorating Ideas

Step 1: Print & Cut Template

Download our free, printable bat template, then cut out the two bats. To create depth, increase the size percentage in your printer settings and print a second, slightly larger set of bats. Cut the larger bats out for a total of four, traceable bat templates. Tip: If you want smaller bats, decrease print size before printing.

SEE MORE: 100+ Printable (and Free!) Halloween Templates

Step 2: Trace Templates Onto Cardstock

With a white colored pencil, trace bat templates onto thick, inky black cardstock, then cut them out.

Step 3: Cut Out Bats

We cut out about 50 bats in varying sizes. Gently score the inside edge of each wing where it meets the bat's body, then fold wings at score line so they appear to flap.

Step 4: Map Out Your Cityscape

On a large piece of thin black poster board, use a yardstick to draw out basic house shapes. Vary the building heights, roof lines and chimney positions for a realistic-looking skyline.

Step 5: Cut Out Skyline + Windows

Carefully cut out the skyline, leaving a thick black band along the bottom of the poster connecting the buildings. Draw and cut out small window shapes in each building, then tape yellow construction paper over the cutouts. Turn the finished poster over to reveal a jet-black cityscape accented with "glowing" windows. Tip: You may have to tape two posters side by side to fill the width of your door.

Step 6: Make the Moon

Lay a paper plate face-down on a piece of gold glitter cardstock and trace with a permanent marker. Carefully cut out the circle so that no marker ink remains.

Step 7: Assemble

Cover the door in a large ream of purple bulletin-board paper, securing it to the backside of the door with painter's tape. (Don't forget to cut a hole for the door handle.) Add sticky tack, tape or glue dots to the back of each bat, the finished skyline and glitter moon. Attach skyline to the bottom of the door, just above the weatherstrip, and place the moon in the top right corner. Arrange and attach bats of various sizes flying in the same direction, from bottom left to top right. Readjust bats as necessary until you've achieved the perfect look. Tip: Periodically view the door through your phone camera to help spot empty areas or places that need adjustment.

Creepy Colony

Stick bats to the door itself, sidelights and transom window so it appears the house is caught in a bat swarm. For greater effect, make sure bats are all flying in the same direction. Tip: These paper bats are best used under the cover of a porch. If more durable bats are needed, try laminating the paper or cutting ones out of plastic plates spray-painted black.

Decorate for Fall

Flank the finished door with stylish black lanterns, faux white pumpkins and long-lasting faux mums. Keep the color scheme neutral to allow the door decor to really pop.

Use What You Have

Round out your porch design by shopping your house to create rustic vignettes. We propped a piece of black metal fence against the porch wall, then piled black, gray and off-white faux pumpkins around an old wooden crate for a shabby yet spooky display.

Don't Forget Function

When sticking the bats on a door, make sure to keep them clear of the hinges. Open and close the door a few times to ensure the bats aren't going to get caught or interfere with the function of the door. When Halloween is over, pull bats off door and wall and remove sticky tack. Store bats flat to use next year. Tip: This arrangement would also look great inside, perhaps flying up a stairwell or above a Halloween-themed buffet.

SEE MORE: 73 Front Porch Decorating Ideas for Halloween

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