The Greatest Haunted House You Could Ever DIY

Is there any better holiday than Halloween to indulge your wildest imagination? Your home decor gets free license to be outrageously creepy and campy all at the same time. To deliver the most haunted and hair-raising experience at your house this Halloween, take a gander at these divinely fun DIY decorating ideas—they're sure to spook.

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  1. Cemetery Gate


    Creep out the creepers crawling to your house this Halloween. Painted PVC pipe makes a crooked fence, and with a little carving and a paint job, plywood and insulating foam are transformed into stone pillars.

  2. DIY Feel Boxes


    Ghoulish touch-and-feel games keep fear within arm’s reach. Cover and decorate tissue boxes with felt, craft paper, and other adornments before putting items inside that feel particularly icky or squishy—enough to make friends and family squeamish. Store them at the end of the season, and add a new member to the troop each year.

  3. Magic Mirror


    If you’re technologically inclined, you can create an epic experience at your festivities with an interactive magic mirror. Collect the parts and tinker them together yourself with these Instructables, or buy a kit for the DIY Magic Mirror, complete with software. Priced at $139, this animated mirror is definitely an investment, but it will be the talk of the neighborhood for years.

  4. Potion Bottles


    Intrigue guests with the extensive collection of potions on display in your kitchen. Simply fill interesting bottles with some unusual and colorful household ingredients as shown on JFP Blog. Then get creative with your labeling and leave your mystical makings out to spook passersby.

  5. Spooky Silhouettes


    Trick out your yard or windows with spooky silhouettes like the two shown here, constructed by Built By Kids using a few simple and inexpensive materials. Trace a pattern onto 1/4-inch plywood, cut it out with a jigsaw, then screw it to a stake. Paint the entire piece black, and these shadows will be ready to haunt your home and garden!

  6. Floating Candles


    Create these floating candles, seen on the blog Eating Bender, using only recycled toilet paper rolls, painted-on "wax," and a little magic. Then attach an LED votive to the top and hang the "candles" from the ceiling with fishing line. They'll appear more and more enchanting as darkness falls.

  7. Batty Chandelier


    Dress up your foyer with a DIY chandelier fit for Count Dracula's lair. The bat mobile from My Paper Crane suspends critters cut out of black cardstock from multiple dark embroidery hoops. Hang them at random to create a cluster effect that mimics a swarm.

  8. Specimen Jars


    These sinister specimen jars are so easy to make, even the smallest children in your haunted house can get involved. Just fill jars with water and a few drops of food coloring, stir well, and drop in plastic bugs and other creepy crawlies to be your "specimens" for the evening, as Dave Lowe Design did.

  9. Chicken-Wire Ghost


    Why should the ghouls come out only at night? Craft a ghost that haunts the daylight, like this one from Shabulous Creations. This diaphanous specter was molded from chicken wire, using a dress form or mannequin to help create the shape of the body. Standing on its own, the finished product looks simply ethereal.

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