Outdoor Halloween decor ideas: 15 spooky yet stylish ways to dress up your plot

These outdoor Halloween decor ideas will inspire your backyard makeover in time for the holiday season – including lighting, accessories, and stunning pumpkin displays

outdoor halloween decor ideas: pumpkins and candles in set-up from nobunto
(Image credit: nobunto)

Looking for outdoor Halloween decor ideas? We've got plenty of ways to put the spook into your space this fall.

While we all love a good old-fashioned jack-o'-lantern, there are lots of other eye-catching pumpkin displays that are well worth a try. But of course, that's not the only way to channel the holiday season in your backyard. From twinkling lights and gothic accessories that are more chic than scream-worthy, why not get a little more creative with your decor this year? 

Whether you're throwing an alfresco Halloween bash or want to greet trick-or-treaters with the best-dressed plot on the block, we've rounded up some of our favorite looks that are bound to impress. Plus, they're super fun to create.

15 outdoor Halloween decor ideas that everyone will love

With a bit of creativity, it's easy to give your garden design ideas a Halloween twist. Our edit of looks will definitely get you inspired.

1. Decorate your gates with mini jack-o'-lanterns

pumpkins decorating gate for halloween

Welcome guests with Halloween cheer

(Image credit: Yukiko Yamamoto/EyeEm/Getty Images)

If you have a gate at the front of your plot, giving it a Halloween makeover is a must for greeting guests. 

Look for pumpkin decorations that you can hang or tie to the railings with thin wire, or perhaps a seasonal wreath or battery-operated outdoor string lights. Alternatively, for something a little more understated, try weaving a deep red, black, or orange ribbon around the posts.

And, if you have traditional metal spikes along the top of your gate, as seen here, fix a line of mini 'Munchkin' pumpkins (available at many grocery stores this time of year) right along the top for a fun look. Drawing on faces with a marker pen is super easy but will up the appeal further.

2. Create a cozy glow around your front door

pumpkin lanterns and lanterns from dobbies on doorstep

We love this glowing set-up from Dobbies

(Image credit: Dobbies)

Learning how to carve a pumpkin is tons of fun. But, not everybody has the time. For a low-maintenance option, look for ceramic versions, then fill with LED candles for a beautiful (and low-risk) display.

Cluster more than one around your front door or outdoor seating zone alongside a mix of real pumpkins and squash in various colors and shapes. A couple of large, statement lanterns, like these striking gold designs, will give the scene additional style points.

And the best part? Jack-o'-lanterns like these can be used again and again, so that's next year's Halloween porch decor sorted, too.

3. Host an outdoor dinner party in your own gothic grotto

halloween outdoor dining set-up with gothic accessories and lighting

Create an opulent outdoor scene for a Halloween dinner party

(Image credit: Gabriel Trujillo/Alamy Stock Photo)

'There's no need to sacrifice style for festivity at Halloween,' says Rebecca Stanton, stylist at Dobbies. And, what better setting for an elegant-yet-spooky soirée than a gorgeously gothic grotto? 

A gazebo or pergola provides the ideal canvas to string up faux cobwebs or ivy and warm, glowy pendant lanterns. Then, have fun dressing the table to impress. Think deep, jewel-toned linens, vintage-style candlesticks, and urns filled with blood-red roses. Glimmering pearls, creepy crawlies, and skulls (all pretend, of course) make playful additions for dotting around the scene. Opulence is key for this outdoor dining idea.

'Pops of autumnal-inspired foliage and miniature pumpkin-adorned sprays and garlands can also be used to bring a hint of Halloween to dinner party tablescapes and vase arrangements in a suitably chic way,' adds the Dobbies team.

4. Give your container garden a seasonal edge

pumpkin display next to container garden

A simple yet effective approach

(Image credit: Jannis Werner/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Don't forget to bring container gardening ideas into the equation when it comes to your decorating plans. 

A simple way to give your planters the Halloween makeover is to surround them with pumpkins great and small in various colors. We're particular fans of the 'Crown Prince' variety with its unusual shade of blue that will lift any display.

If you haven't done so already, now is also a good time for a seasonal shake-up when it comes to your planting, as your summer blooms have likely faded. Asters, amber-hued violas, deep-toned heucheras and ornamental cabbages are all good picks.

You can make a quick and easy display with existing planted pots, suggests interior and garden stylist Selina Lake. 'Push the stems and stalks of fresh flowers, foliage, berries and even twigs and branches into the soil to give it a full, colorful look for a party.'

5. Cozy up your seating space with autumnal accessories

autumn styled garden by selina lake

Keep it chic with complementary shades and autumnal flowers and foliage, like in this scene styled by Selina Lake

(Image credit: Photography and styling by Selina Lake)

If you love our outdoor living space ideas, then a look like this is a lovely option for a sophisticated Halloween gathering.

'When I'm styling gardens and outdoor spaces for Halloween and autumn gatherings I always like to combine the colors of the season with an abundance of flowers and foliage,' says interior and garden stylist Selina Lake. 'Squashes and pumpkins dotted in between plant pots planted with vibrant pink heathers and vases filled with dried bracken will easily set the scene. 

'It's a good idea to add some lighting ideas – solar-powered strings of festoons add to the party feel,' she says. 'And, candles in lanterns will bring a little magic to the space.'

Selina continues: 'I like to give my outdoor lounge area a cozy, inviting feel so I add an array of cushions and throws to our rattan sofa set and teak wood armchair. Equally, dining chairs and benches will feel more cozy when you add seat mattresses and extra cushions.'

And when it comes to color? 'To keep the styling coherent, keep accessories in colors which blend with the seasonal tones: rusts, mustard yellows, terracottas and deep pinks,' Selina says.

6. Opt for understated accessories

Dowsing and Reynolds raven lamp

The Daphne waiting raven from Dowsing and Reynolds adds an elegantly eerie touch

(Image credit: Dowsing and Reynolds)

If going all out when it comes to outdoor Halloween decor ideas isn't your style, don't worry. There are plenty of sophisticated ways to bring just a touch of the theme to your exterior.

Take this intriguing LED light, for instance. Crafted in the shape of a pensive raven, it will add an eerie yet elegant feature to your patio or deck and will definitely be a talking point amongst guests. 

To go a small-yet-effective step further, switch out any colorful cushions for deep black or gold alternatives, pop a couple of white 'ghost' pumpkins on your outdoor coffee table and pour yourself a witches' brew. And voila, a laid-back, spooky setting to celebrate in style.

Looking for more outdoor lighting ideas? You'll find plenty in our guide.

7. Create autumnal arrangements on occasional tables

halloween decor outdoors from nobunto

A spooky set-up from nobunto

(Image credit: nobunto)

A small occasional or coffee table provides an ideal base for a spectacular scene. And, you can get as creative as you like with the arrangement.

Whether carved or not, pumpkins make great focal points. Surround with colorful autumnal leaves for an eye-catching display. We love these cute pumpkin-themed candles too – although remember to pop them on a plate to protect your furniture from melted wax (and for safety reasons).

If you're after more garden decor ideas for your next outdoor party, whatever time of year, our guide will come in useful.

8. Add cut-out bats to branches

halloween front door display from wayfair

Make an autumnal first impression, like in this scene from Wayfair

(Image credit: Wayfair)

If you have small trees in your plot, whether in the ground or in pots, adding Halloween decor to their branches is an easy yet effective look. Alternatively, you can make a temporary display by arranging branches in a large vase.

One easy DIY craft is making cut-out bats from black paper or cardboard. Then, simply use glue or tape and string to attach them to your display. Faux cobwebs are also a good addition.

Some large, gothic-style lanterns, an autumnal wreath on the door and pumpkins aplenty will make the perfect finishing touches to your Halloween-themed front garden ideas.

9. Embrace fall with your tablescape

autumnal outdoor dining scene with Celina Digby tablecloth

This rose-patterned tablecloth from Celina Digby makes a lovely addition to this alternative Halloween scene

(Image credit: Celina Digby)

If scary isn't your style, but you still want to celebrate the Halloween holiday, how about curating a beautiful set-up like this?

An array of small pumpkins and vases of dried flowers and seedpods bring plenty of harvest-time charm. Meanwhile, a floral patterned tablecloth will add an extra layer of visual interest. String festoons overhead and position a fire pit nearby to keep everyone cozy and you'll be all set for a fabulous Halloween tea party.

You can learn how to dry flowers for your own stunning bouquet in our guide.

10. Turn your garden into a spooky graveyard

graveyard decorations in garden for halloween

Turn up the fear factor with a haunted lawn

(Image credit: Vstock LLC/VStock/Getty Images)

Okay, a look like this is hardly subtle. But, it's bound to bring delight to true horror fans and big kids alike. And at the end of the day, when else can you turn your home into a creepy haunted house?

You can pick up foam tombstones with stakes for sticking into the ground for a very affordable price online. Or, try building your own with cardboard and paint. Add some faux cobwebs and spiders and your front lawn will instantly give trick-or-treaters the chills!

Finish the scene with twinkling string lights woven around structures and don't forget a jack-o'-lantern or two by the front door.

11. Dress up steps with natural decor

halloween porch decor with dried corn wheat and hay and pumpkins

Keep things laid-back with dried corn, wheat, and hay

(Image credit: Hilda DeSanctis/Alamy Stock Photo)

Try taking a more natural approach when it comes to decorating your yard.

Dried corn stalks, wreaths made of wheat, and small bales of hay will give any outdoor scene a gorgeous, autumnal vibe. You can also 'embrace the season with golden brown leaves, conkers or pine cones foraged from a trip to the woods and scatter them around your entrance for that extra touch,' suggests the team at Lights4fun.

With Halloween outside decoration ideas like these, vibrant pumpkins are a must-have. Why not learn how to grow pumpkins – that way you can show off your own homegrown crop for the holidays?

12. Express yourself with words

pumpkins with wording outside a pink front door for halloween

These vinyl stickers are from Not on the High Street

(Image credit: Not on the High Street)

Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best. These pumpkins are instantly turned into a style statement with a few Halloween-inspired words. 

If you're thinking your handwriting isn't quite up to the challenge, opt for vinyl stickers like these ones shown above. You peel them off and stick them onto your pumpkin for an on-trend, contemporary look within a matter of seconds. 

Of course, if you're blessed with a steady hand, write on your own message with a black permanent marker for a similar look at a fraction of the cost. Either way, it'll pep up your front porch ideas this season.

13. Go for gold with shiny metallic paint

painted pumpkins in pink white and gold glitter on porch steps

Prettify your pumpkins with a lick of paint

(Image credit: Emily McCormick/Alamy Stock Photo)

Shiny metallic pumpkins are all over Instagram at the moment. And, when they look as good as this set-up, it's no wonder it's a trend that keeps on growing. 

All you need is metallic spray paint or craft paint and a brush. Although, for extra sparkle, glitter never goes amiss. Apply a thick coat for complete coverage, leave to dry, and you're done!

Keep them all the same, or mix and match with different colors and patterns, as seen here. Then, position them up steps or along your garden path for a gorgeous fall look.

14. Try a twist on tradition with a light-up lantern

halloween pumpkin outdoor lantern from lights4fun

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

This fun yet stylish Halloween lantern is a playful twist on the classic and will cast a gentle orange glow around its surroundings. This particular design even has a built-in timer, meaning you can avoid the fuss of turning it on and off over the holiday season.

Place it at the top of your garden steps, up on a wall, or beside your door for a spooktacular impact. Surround with a couple of outdoor-suitable LED candles for an even more magical view.

15. Show off your blooms in a pumpkin vase 

flowers in pumpkin vase for Halloween

Create an easy fall-inspired look

(Image credit: Victoriya Popova/Alamy Stock Photo)

How clever is this idea? And it's super simple to recreate. All you need to do is dig out your pumpkin, ensuring it remains watertight. Pour in some water and position your finest autumnal bouquet for a pretty Halloween display with a difference. 

Whether you go for one larger pumpkin vase for a statement piece, or several smaller ones for that extra cute factor, this is a look we'll be copying for sure.

What colors should you use for your outdoor Halloween decor ideas?

'Halloween is the prime time to showcase darker colored accessories while still keeping it sophisticated,' says Dobbies. 'Bold black items from candle holders to vases can give a gothic feel, but by contrasting with glitzy golds, the look can be balanced and give a glamorous luxe look.'

Autumnal colors, especially shades of orange, are another staple for your garden color scheme at this time of year. Rebecca Stanton, stylist at Dobbies, says, 'warm orange hues accompanied by pops of black and accents of gold give subtle hints of Halloween without being too garish, creating the perfect, Instagrammable glow for the season.'

pottery pumpkin lanterns with moss and festoons

Black and orange are the quintessential Halloween colors

(Image credit: Natasha Breen/Moment/Getty Images)

How do you decorate your garden for Halloween on a budget?

You definitely don't have to spend a fortune on your outdoor Halloween decor ideas to make an impressive impact. There are tons of budget-friendly options, plenty of which you can make at home. 

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Avoid the specialist shops where costs can stack up. Instead, check out secondhand stores for vintage-looking dinnerware, candle holders, and other accessories which could work with your theme. Don't forget to look around your home, too, you might have some treasures hiding away in the loft or garage.
  • Colored paper or card is super affordable and can be used to create all kinds of fun decorations. Cut out bats, pumpkins, or ghosts and stick them in windows or on your front or back door, or use thread to suspend them from your pergola.
  • Ribbons are another budget-friendly craft material and can add a gothic touch to any outdoor scene. Tie a few around the back of chairs or containers, or add black bows to tree branches.
  • And, how could you not include a pumpkin or two? You can pick them up for cheap at your grocery store. Leave as is for an understated look, or get carving to add extra character. A tea light is then all you need to create a quintessentially Halloween scene.

We've got lots of cheap garden ideas for the rest of the year, too – our guide is well worth a look if you want to make a saving.

Holly Crossley
Holly Crossley

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day!