Divine Dinner Party

Halloween Yard Decoration Tips: Graveyards, Yard Props, and More

Boo! These Halloween yard decoration tips and ideas will help you get the attention of anybody passing by... whether hosting a big haunted house or just looking to spook some trick o' treaters. Including how to make a Halloween graveyard, how to pick (or make yourself) freaky Halloween yard props, and how to set it all up to look its very spookiest, you'll find it here.

I've also got a ton more resources for celebrating Halloween, including a whole section on planning a Halloween party and 65 awesome Halloween party recipes. And if you're looking for more tips and resources for Halloween yard decorations or party decorations, check out my page on buying or making body parts for a Halloween party.

Or go to the bottom of the page to get inspiration from great Halloween decoration ideas submitted by our visitors!


Making a Halloween Graveyard
Buying or Making Fake Tombstones

Halloween Tomstones for a GraveyardA Halloween graveyard is one of my favorite Halloween yard decoration ideas. There are lots of ways to do this, from an elegant and subtle Southern cemetery to a twisted and Hellish zombie playground. Have fun with it!

No matter how you decide to make graveyard for Halloween, you'll need to have tombstones. If you're short on time but still want to have a cool-looking yard cemetery, you can just buy the gravestones and cemetery materials online. They sell everything from realistic looking gravestones to skulls to zombies crawling from the dead, to cemetery signs. Have fun with it.

But if you're the creative type and want to save money by making fake Halloween tombstones or other Halloween yard decorations at home, it's really not too hard. Even if you don't feel like spending weeks creating tombstones, you can even make just a few extra (letting the kids help can be fun) to supplement your purchased Halloween yard decorations.

Complete 31 Piece Graveyard Kit

Complete 31 Piece Graveyard Kit

$34.99

If you don't make your own fake Halloween tombstones, this kit is great! Comes with tombstones, discarded bones, skulls, a fence, and everything you need for a spooky Halloween graveyard decoration.

Skull with Jaw Ripped Off

Skull with Jaw Ripped Off

$12.99

This creepy blood-spattered skull looks very cool and a bit gory when placed on the ground next to a Halloween decoration tombstone.

Freaky Light Up Tombstone Decoration

Freaky Light Up Tombstone Decoration

$12.99

I love this simple Halloween decoration gravestone. The way it's strangely bent like something from a nightmare. Or Hell. Or a Tim Burton movie. The little red window at the top also lights up from the inside (operates with batteries).

Arched Cemetery Gate Way

Arched Cemetery Gate Way

$39.99

I love the sense of quiet decay this cemetery archway will give a Halloween graveyard decoration. Come with the simple archway and sign, along with cobwebs. Quietly creepy.

Collapsible Skull Graveyard Fence, 48"

Collapsible Skull Graveyard Fence, 48"

$24.99

This lightweight plastic graveyard fence looks really real! It expands and contracts to fit your space, and is covered in creepy spiderwebs. With lawn stakes for installation.

Evil Graveyard Raven with Light Up Eyes

Evil Graveyard Raven with Light Up Eyes

$12.99

Place this creepy glowing-eyed bird on a gravestone, in a tree, or anywhere in your yard to complete your graveyard scene. Has posable wings and legs.

"Aged" Graveyard Fence

"Aged" Graveyard Fence

$12.99

You'll find lots of versions of the Halloween graveyard fence online, but I like this old-looking, understated version best. It looks the most realistic and elegantly creepy.

Creepy Changing Lenticular  Photo Tombstone

Creepy Changing Lenticular Photo Tombstone

$3.99

An inexpensive way to freak out guests and trick o' treaters! The seemingly-normal photo on this tombstone turns VERY scary when you pass by.

Eerie Acres Cemetery Lawn Sign

Eerie Acres Cemetery Lawn Sign

$24.99

A really neat creepy outdoor lawn cemetery sign.

While I prefer homemade, I think these signs are relatively sturdy and nice-looking, especially compared to most.

Creepy Groundbreaker Skeleton with Light-Up Eyes

Creepy Groundbreaker Skeleton with Light-Up Eyes

$39.99

This ground-breaker skeleton for a graveyard has 7 body parts, evil light-up eyes, and stakes for planting him firmly in the ground.

Though it seems like he doesn't want to stay there...

Out Of Ground Torso

Out Of Ground Torso

$69.99

This life-sized half-zombie is such a cool addition to a Halloween decoration graveyard. His yes light up red and his arms are movable. Great addition to a graveyard scene.

Rotting Full-Sized Coffin with RIP

Rotting Full-Sized Coffin with RIP

$79.99

This fake coffin is almost life-size, and looks like it's been rotting in the ground for a couple of decades.

A very cool addition to a graveyard scene-- a little pricey, though, so only for those who want to go all-out.


Tombstone Materials

In general, homemade Halloween gravestones are made from either plywood, cardboard, or styrofoam. My favorite material to use? Styrofoam.

Why use styrofoam. I like styrofoam for tombstones and other Halloween yard decorations because it makes great 3D shapes, is ultra easy to work with, doesn't weigh a thing, and it's already got a pebbly texture that makes it the perfect medium for making Halloween tombstones. For the best result, look for sheets of styrofoam more than two inches thick. Styrofoam insulation works well, too.

The only thing to keep in mind when building Halloween tombstones from styrofoam is that this material can be a little fragile. So be careful when working with it not to break pieces off. While you can paint over it (and it actually doesn't give a bad effect to the overall look), it can be annoying to have to paint over broken white spots.

Cutting Tombstone Shapes

You can definitely have a good time playing with shapes for your Halloween yard decoration tombstones. The traditional tombstone shape is, of course, a rectangle with rounded corners at the top. But you can also do a Celtic cross, a strange and twisted gravestone, whatever you like. My suggestion? Start with simple shapes and work your way up from there, if you like.

If making your Halloween graveyard from plywood, you'll need a jigsaw. For styrofoam, you can just use a big utility knife-- another reason I like working with this material. Be sure to draw your shape onto your material before starting to cut. To get subtler shapes with a stryofoam tombstone, simply use a coarse grade of sandpaper and sand away.

Decorating Halloween Tombstones

At your local home improvement store, you'll see that they sell tons of different shades and textures of stone-like paint (the stone-textured paint works best). Play around and find what works best for your own Halloween yard decorations. The traditional is, of course, dark grey.

Now comes the fun part: time to add the epitaph. If you look online, you'll find tons of ideas for creepy or funny Halloween epitaphs. I like the ones at corsinet, or you could just Google it. Either paint your epitaph on free-hand, or use stencils to get professional-looking letting. Also add any other designs you want: creepy faces, skulls, curly-q's, whatever. The only limit is your creativity (and maybe your artistic ability).

Examples of Funny Halloween Tombstone Epitaphs

  • I. B. Ded
  • Frank N. Stein
  • Will U. Joinme
  • I. L. Beback
  • Otta B. Alive
  • Fester N. Rott
  • Ima Rotten

Tombstone Decoration Tip: When working with styrofoam, it's best to press any shapes (lettering, designs, etc.) into the styrofoam itself before painting it. This will give all lettering and designs a very real 3D look-- which is exactly what you want. A blunt-ended object works best for this.

Setting Up your Halloween Graveyard

Installing your Tombstones

You'll want to come up with a tombstone arrangement so that your Halloween yard decoration looks realistic. I like to make mine a bit haphazard so it looks unkempt. When you know how you're going to arrange them, install a couple of large plant stakes in the bottom of your styrofoam tombstones. This will keep them firmly rooted in the ground.

Creating Ambiance

Even a great graveyard for Halloween needs a little ambiance to look its best. Forget to mow your lawn a few weeks before Halloween. Hang cobwebs from the trees, along with fake spiders of all sizes. Add a creepy fake crow or two and some bloody skulls. Even add a ground-breaking zombie to make it look extra freaky. Things light lighting, glued-on bits of Spanish moss, etc., can make the different between an ultra-scary cemetery and a so-so graveyard.

Decorating Your Graveyard

Some more tips on decorating a Halloween graveyard are:
  • Buy or make bones, skulls, or zombies to use around gravestones.
  • Collect dead leaves in the weeks before Halloween and sprinkle them naturally around the graves.
  • Add creepy dead (or black silk) flowers to some of the graves.
  • Let the grass grow long around your gravestones in the weeks before Halloween.
  • Place Jack o' Lanterns near gravestones and other Halloween yard decorations.
  • Buy a Halloween yard sign.
  • Add props, such as creepy lanterns or scary owls, cats, snakes, spiders, and ravens.
  • Put up a Halloween graveyard fence to mark the path (also keeps your cemetery from being trampled).
  • Mound earth in front of your graves to make them look freshly-dug. And maybe a shovel?



Haunting Your Yard
with Halloween Yard Props

You don't need to build a Halloween graveyard to have a creepy Halloween yard decoration. With a few simple-to-make props (or a few cheap store-bought ones) you can create plenty of spookiness without a lot of effort. Below are a few of my favorite simple projects for making Halloween yard props.

More interested in buying props? Look a little further down the page for ideas on which ones to choose.

Also check out this page on making Halloween body parts decorations. In addition to simple severed arms and legs, you'll also learn how to make a full-body rotting skeleton for a Halloween yard prop.

Homemade Tree Ghosts

Making ghosts to hang from trees for Halloween is really fun and really easy. In fact, it's so much of both of those things that you may make more ghostly Halloween yard decorations than you actually need.

To make a ghost, all you need is a small white garbage bag and a ball of some kind. What do you do? Simple place the ball in the top of the trash bag, secure the bag underneath the ball with a twist tie or rubber band, and draw a face on with a black permanent marker. Then hang them everywhere. This is a great Halloween craft for kids!

Tip: You can also use newspaper or styrofoam globes to stuff the head of your ghosts. Newspaper makes this an ultra cheap (and green!) Halloween project.

Build Your Own Halloween Mummy

Making Halloween Decorations Homemade Outdoor MummyMaking a mummy for a Halloween yard decoration requires a teeny bit of carpentry, but it's actually pretty easy. All you need to do this project is two thin lengths of wood, some old and disposable used clothes, some old newspapers, and a bunch of white bandages. Easy as could be.

1. To make your mummy, make the shape of a "T" with two boards that are about two inches thick each. The taller board should be the height you'd like your mummy to be at the shoulder, and the shorter board should be the width of his shoulders. Place this frame in the ground or on a stand.

2. Attach your old clothes (pants and a shirt) to the frame. You may need to staple the pants in place. Stuff with newspapers to give it shape, and tape the shirts and pants together securely (don't worry-- the duct tape won't show, so feel free to use it wherever you need to).

3. For a head for your mummy Halloween yard decoration, either use a styrofoam head on a spike, a plastic skull, whatever you like. It'll be covered with bandages (unless you want to leave a scary face showing, as pictured), so only the shape is important. Be sure to attach it securely with more tape.

4. Cover your Halloween yard mummy all over with white bandages (or long, torn lengths of white fabric).

5. Decorate as desired. You can use spray paint to make it look ancient, or add fake blood, or give it a weapon... whatever you like! If you can find plastic scarab beetles, they make a very cool addition when glued on and around your mummy.


Specialty Halloween Yard Props

Most large Halloween yard props are a little on the pricey side, and are generally good only if you've got plenty of storage space. They don't break down into very small parts, and so are hard to store for many people. However, if you're really dedicated to Halloween and have a bit extra to spend on your Halloween yard decorations, you might want to invest in a few large Halloween prop decorations.

Pricing for large Halloween yard props varies hugely. Some are almost full-sized and as cheap as $15 while others are more sturdy, detailed, and expensive. Still others will be animated, intricate, and value in the thousands of dollars (really!). You won't find any of that last variety here, as these sorts of props are generally used professionally in haunted houses and the like. You'd have to be really dedicated to Halloween to buy one for your own home!

Horrible Hanging Skeleton Torso

Horrible Hanging Skeleton Torso

$59.99

I love the "cursed" look of this hanging skeleton Halloween yard prop. He has a heart that beats a dull, strange red. Very cool, and can be re-used year after year.

3 Piece Zombie Ground Breaker for Graveyard

3 Piece Zombie Ground Breaker for Graveyard

$59.99

This three-party zombie looks like he's climbing tortuously up out of the ground. Gruesome! Definitely a way to kick your graveyard spookiness factor up a notch.

Realistic Zombie Rising Up

Realistic Zombie Rising Up

$69.99

While more expensive than some of the Halloween yard decorations on this page, this zombie looks so realistic! His arms are pose-able and he totals about 4 feet long. His eyes also light up.

A creepy yard zombie that will scare kids year after year.

Inexpensive Full-Sized Zombie Prop

Inexpensive Full-Sized Zombie Prop

$13.99

I like this prop because at about 13 bucks, it's really cheap. But at almost full size, it's also really spooky!

Decorate with fake blood or gore to make this hanging Halloween prop look even freakier.

Zombie Grave Digger Graveyard Prop

Zombie Grave Digger Graveyard Prop

$34.99

This zombie has been around digging graves for years... and years... and years. A great-looking addition to a graveyard scene.

Huge Hanging Reaper Light Up Eyes

Huge Hanging Reaper Light Up Eyes

$54.99

This full-sized hanging grim reaper Halloween yard prop is really freaky! Hang him near the house or from a tree. Looks especially scary in the dark.

One you'll want to use year after year.

Lifesize Hanging Color Changing Skeleton Ghost

Lifesize Hanging Color Changing Skeleton Ghost

$29.99

Lifesize Hanging Skeleton Ghost measures over 5' high and has posable arms. Made of Styrofoam, Iron Wire, Cotton, Plastic and Polyester. For indoor or covered porch use only. Has posable arms and string on top for easy placement. WARNING: Choking Hazard. Small Parts. Not for children under 3 years. Keep away from flame and direct heat.

Skeleton Crawling from the Grave

Skeleton Crawling from the Grave

$39.99

It's amazing how something so simple can be such a cool Halloween yard decoration. Place these disembodied arms, legs, and skull in the grass.

Also lights up.

You a Demented Decorator, Too?
Show off Your Freaky Halloween Decorations!

Have an awesome ability to create a spooky Halloween scene? Here's the place to show off your Halloween decorations --body parts, graveyards, homemade zombies, bloody living rooms-- and let other visitors vote on their creepiness factor.

Or browse around to see what other people have done to freak out their guests on Halloween and get a few demented ideas of your own...

About Your Halloween Decoration

Other Visitors' Demented Decorations

Click below to see the creepy contributions from other visitors to this page...

Homemade Halloween Gravestone Decoration 
Made my own Halloween decorations! This was actually a part of a stereo system that someone had tossed out. I decided to turn it into a tall headstone, …

My Mad Scientist Halloween Theme and Decorations 
I did a mad scientist theme a few years back for a Halloween party. Everyone dressed as a scientist or a subject/victim. It was awesome. Some people …

Click here to write your own.




Go from Halloween Yard Decoration and Graveyards to Halloween Party Central.

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Halloween Decorating

Getting ready to do some Halloween yard decoration and want more tips? Check out:

Outdoor Halloween Decor

and...

Halloween Body Parts

for more great ideas for planning a Halloween party.

Decorative Spider Halloween Decoration

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Easter's on its Way


The date for Easter falls on April 20th this year!

Take a look at Easter Dinner and Party Planning for recipes, edd dye tips, assembling Easter baskets, and more!

And plan to make this adorable...

It's so cute, it may be the best thing you do this Easter.

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