Welcome trick-or-treaters in hair-raising style by turning your front porch into a bat cave with just our template, thick black paper, and painters' tape.
Thick black paper
Painters' tape or removable hooks
1. Print our half-bat template; then fold a piece of thick black paper down the middle, place the template on the fold, and trace. Cut out, and unfold. Use a bone folder to crease wings (and fold opposite the direction of body fold).
2. Poke holes in the bat for monofilament: in the tail for an upside-down bat, in the wings and head for one that's right side up. Hang from ceiling with painters' tape or removable hooks.
Tombstone Decorations for Your Lawn
Set out a few tombstones in your yard and let them work the graveyard shift on Halloween. These are made by trimming gray paper bags. They bear an eerie resemblance to real gravestones when lit with mini lights
Gray paper bags, 12 by 15 inches
Craft paint, in black
Cardboard, cut to fit bottom of bag
Garden stakes, 4 inches
LED tea lights
1. Print the tombstone and epitaph templates.
2. Place template on top of a bag, and trace around the top edge. Cut along that line to create stone shape. Tape epitaph template to cutting mat, and use craft knife to cut out letters to make a stencil.
3. Place epitaph stencil on the bag you just cut. Using sponge, dab with craft paint to transfer letters. Let dry. Open bag, and insert cardboard piece to reinforce the bottom. Place in desired spot, and drive garden stakes through the bottom of the bag into the ground. Add lights, about 3 per bag.
Creating your own googly-eyed monsters has never been easier. Just don't get too close -- these guys look hungry.
Zombie Mouths template
Small pumpkin (For a petrifying pale complexion, look for a white pumpkin)
Thumbtack or pin
1. For the eyes, hold saw at an angle and cut 2 cone-shaped holes into the pumpkin. The diameter of the holes should be slightly smaller than the eyeballs' diameter.
2. Print mouth template. Lay template on pumpkin, and poke tack through, all along outline, to transfer design. Cut along that outline with saw, and remove excess flesh.
3. Wedge eyeballs into holes.
Wriggling Snake Wreath
Hang this jet-black wreath wriggling on the front door to make your guests' entrances memorably creepy, just in time for Halloween.
Black acrylic paint
Vinyl snakes, orientaltrading.com
Floral wire, 20-gauge, save-on-crafts.com
Black water-based spray paint, in Shock Black by Montana Gold, dickblick.com
18-inch grapevine wreath, save-on-crafts.com
1. Paint grapevine wreath using water-based spray paint; let dry.
2. Paint vinyl snakes in assorted shapes and sizes using acrylic paint; let dry.
3. Attach snakes to wreath: For flat snakes, twist floral wire around in two places, thread wire into wreath, and secure at back. Coiled snakes can simply be wrapped around wreath.
Gourds in the Graveyard
You can carve just one frightful tombstone or enough gruesome grave-marker pumpkins to haunt an entire cemetery. The more, the scarier.
Pumpkins, pulp removed and flesh scraped to 3/4 inch
Gourds in the graveyard templates
Clear or masking tape
Awl or T-pin
Large-bulb outdoor string lights
1. For each pumpkin, choose a grave-marker template, and use a photocopier to enlarge it to fit (or draw your own design).
2. Tape template to pumpkin, and transfer image by punching holes along design with awl.
3. Use wood gouge to carve away large background areas, and use lino cutter to carve finer details.
4. Wrap string lights around jars, then place inside pumpkin. Scrape out more flesh behind designs, if needed, to let light shine through.
These multilegged creatures rise up from the damp earth and moss to skitter across cold stones.
Linoleum cutter set
Strand of 25 miniature outdoor lights
1. Size template to fit squash. Print, and trim excess paper around template.
2. Cut a hole at the base of squash, large enough to fit glass jar, with keyhole saw.
3. Clean the inside of pumpkin with fleshing tool, removing seeds, pulp, and fibers.
4. Affix template to squash with masking tape. Using awl, transfer design to squash by poking holes around blackened areas. Remove template.
5. With linoleum cutter fitted with a No. 2 blade, carve spider, exposing flesh without cutting all the way through. For finer details, switch to a No. 1 blade; for larger sections, use a No. 3 blade.
Don't be shy: Show off your top-notch collection of bodiless heads by placing them atop pedestals. You can put the display next to a stair railing or adjacent to a walkway outdoors -- in fact, anywhere you think a leering head would be a nice decorative touch.
More from Martha Stewart Living:
15 Kitchen Shortcuts That Will Change the Way You Cook
Instant Organization: Get It Together in 15 Minutes or Less
47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen
Martha Stewart's Favorite Outdoor Halloween Decoration Ideas (52 of Them!)
These easy DIY decorations will be a hit at any party.