Quick-and-Easy Halloween Front Porch Update

A colony of creepy paper bats, faux ravens and urns filled with inexpensive natural elements will give your front porch an easy Halloween makeover.

Not-Too-Scary Entryway

Black card stock bats, tree branches from the yard, pumpkins and craft store ravens are used to create this simple but high-impact Halloween entryway. This is an inexpensive project that can involve the entire family.

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No Watering Required

Unlike mums or other live seasonal flowers, these arrangements flanking the front door will require no maintenance. Start with two plastic or fiberglass urns painted with a black satin spray paint made specifically for outdoor plastics. Fill urns with gravel and fill dirt. Gather branches that are two to three feet in length and have an interesting shape. Insert three to five branches in each urn, top with natural raffia or hay, then tuck mini orange and white pumpkins or gourds between the branches.

Faux Ravens

Artificial birds in all varieties can be found at craft stores in the fall. Purchase a few in varying sizes to perch on branches and pumpkin stems. Look for birds with wire ties on their feet to make it easier to secure them to a branch.

Homemade Bats

Cut out about 50 simple bat shapes in varying sizes. A stencil or electronic cutter can speed up this task. 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. Add a piece of sticky tack, tape or glue dots to the back of each bat.

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Press Into Place

Stick bats to the door itself and both sides flanking it so it appears the house is caught in a bat swarm. For greater effect, make sure bats are all flying in the same direction.

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Bats for All Weather

These paper bats are best used under the cover of a porch and only used for a few days around Halloween. If more durable bats are needed, try laminating the paper or cutting ones out of plastic plates spray-painted black.

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Create Depth

Once the wall and door is covered in bats, stick a few on the branches or hang some from the ceiling with fishing line to add to the illusion that a colony of bats is swarming the porch. This simple trick will bring dimension to the arrangement.

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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.

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