The Secret For The Best Halloween
Over the years my love for Halloween has grown exponentially. Halloween started harmlessly at first around 2005 when I realized October (all of it) was my favorite holiday of the year. For this DIY project we're going to explore making a fence to help transform your yard from "gorgeous yard of the month" to "OMG heinously scary yard of the month!" And we mean that in the best of ways. 🎃 Boo, Yah
The main feature of our Halloween display hasn't been the 20-foot tall spider web, like some might think - it's been the graveyard. And the best way to make your gruesome Hallo-statement is by defining your graveyard via the most essential item aside from the tombstones - the fence! For many years we had been using a wooden picket fence that we painted black and it worked just great. Until we realized the proportion was a wee bit off. We needed the fence to be more true-to-life scary, which meant we needed it to go from a few inches to 4-feet tall. This is Texas, y'all! #GoBig
No happy fence pickets here! Go for fencing that is gothic (creepy) in nature. Think dark-colored pickets with pointed tips.
You can stain or paint your fence but you likely won't want it to look Martha Stewart perfect. Think Texas Chainsaw Massacre high-fives Freddy Krueger. Old. Patina. Imperfect. I've included some pics below that showcase how - even with one color and coat of paint - you can turn a "nice fence" into "Um, OMG YES!" I realized the sloppier I painted, the better the results. I stopped just shy of flinging or hand-stamping red paint on the boards to mimic blood stains. Hey, 2020 graveyard improvement idea!
Several Pieces | 42" tall fence pickets (about 7 pickets for every 5' in fence length) ½ - 1 Gallon | Dark Grey (or black) Paint
To Mount | Woven Vinyl Hanger Strap (the length of the fence times 2 as shown)
2 Per Picket | ½" Two-Hole Metal Straps (to stand pickets upright in yard) 2 Per Picket | #8 x 1/2 inch Flat Head Phillips Head Wood Screws A Fully Loaded Staple Gun (to adhere the hanger strap to the pickets) A Few | 36" Tall Steel Rebar Or Garden Stakes Extra Things To Have Handy | A Craft Table, Scissors, Saw, Mallet/Hammer Optional | Skulls Or Spanish Moss To Accentuate The Creepy Fence
A Camera | To Capture The Awesome Unveiling
What To Do:
1. Score Your Materials The "hardest" part of this project is gathering all the needed essentials. The biggest step here is to determine how long your fence will be and then do a little math to calculate your needed supplies. Our fence wound up being about 40-feet in length, roughly separated into two sections about 20-feet in length.
2. Paint Your Pickets. As can be seen from the above picture there is a suggested (correct) and not suggested (incorrect) way to paint your fence pickets. You could paint them all nice and perfect but that would only result in a happy fence and who want's that when it's Halloween? Think creepy and heinous! So the more imperfect you are, the better! We left lots of patina and spice and not that much nice (as shown).
3. Secure Your Fence.
We chose a fence shape that was not perfectly square; we went with a rounded, irregular outer border. You don't need to be perfect when hanging your pickets but I'd suggest avoiding a tragedy like the one above. This picture was taken the morning after we woke up to find that the Santa Ana winds of Central Texas had blown our fence over in not a good way.
So, here came the reinforcements! Picket reinforcements, to be precise. To each picket we secured two metal straps - one near the top and one near the bottom of each picket. You can then insert a piece of rebar or a garden stake through the strap and tap the support with a mallet to secure the fence upright. Imperfection is welcomed here as a perfectly poised picket fence is #NotCreepy. Here's a video of the finished project. Music, strobe lights, and fog helped us win yard of the month once again. Let's hope we can repeat the ghoulish magic for 2020!
Our Halloween graveyard fence was the perfect creep factor that made our Halloween complete. Please enjoy this post and email me with any questions about this project. Happy haunting! 💀💀💀
Joe Paul Reider
Home Style Austin Founder
Keller Williams Realty
Check out some of the other Halloween-inspired ideas here at the Home Style Austin blog or on our hand-curated Halloween Pinterest Board! #handmade #diy #doityourself #halloween #crafts #graveyard #fence