I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or money so I was looking for ways to make a big impact, without spending a lot of time and effort.
My favorite outdoor decoration are the “boarded up” windows. I used cardboard boxes, cut them up into long, narrow pieces (sometimes taping two pieces together on the backside to make the right size). Then, using scissors, I cut the edges to look like scrap pieces of wood. And finally I took brown spray paint and loosely painted the cardboard here and there and outlined knots and grooves to accentuate the paint with a brown permanent marker.
To hang them I used double-sided outdoor tape, which has held up remarkably well. We have had several storms and the boards have stayed in place without a problem.
I also used wooden dowels and added some styrofoam tombstones to the yard with plastic hands coming up out of the ground.
To top it all off I tied cornstalks to the columns of our front porch, lanterns I got from Pier 1 (they look like the ones from Pottery Barn, but are much less expensive), and some gourds and funkins. The funkins, I carved and shaved with our initial and haunted house designs.
I think the end result looks great and is sure to draw a lot of trick-or-treaters on Halloween.