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Discussion Starter #1
I just moved into a new house and was already starting to worry about my decorations. At my old house, the place was much smaller so the decorations seemed to pretty much fill the area. Now we pretty much doubled in size so i'm worried it will look empty but i don't have a ton of money to spend, suggestions?

Also, very important: we have now been informed by several neighbors that halloween is a BIG deal in this neighborhood. They said that we will get a minimum of 500 TOT's and sometimes as many as 1000. The other houses supposedly put up lots of intense decorations. Any suggestions for how to make what i have count? I know i won't be able to have as many decorations as the neighbors (being our first year in the new house and on a limited budget for now). So i want to make sure that at least what we do have is good. What's a good way to go? Spread it out so there are at least some decorations everywhere? Or keep it in concentrated areas? Many simple decorations or a few elaborate ones?

Hope you guys can help, thanks!
 

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My advice is to do whatever feels comfortable to you and not worry about trying to outdo anyone else; I know that I certainly wouldn't get any enjoyment out of stressing over how to one-up the rest of the neighborhood, and I'd assume the same holds true for you, as well. Just do your best and I'm sure you'll do a great job;)
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Be glad you moved into a neighborhood where Halloween is popular. You'll be in good company. I agree, put out what you have, make a congruent, attractive display, and the TOT's will love it. You'll no doubt get some great ideas from the neighbors. Another thing to keep in mind is that while someone "said" everyone decorates to the extreme, this might mean pumpkins and sheet ghosts. I think most of us are pretty extreme and my guess is that your decorations will be among the best. I wish my neighborhood would get into it more.
 

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That is awesome you found a neighborhood that is big on halloween. Lots of stuff you can do on the cheap. If you can get ahold of pallets you can build coffins or cross grave stones. Dummies can be made rather cheap as well. Roughly $3 for PVC, $4 for the styrofoam head and hopefully you have a mask and some clothes floating around.

I am sort of in the same boat this year as I decided to expand to a walk through going into the back yard. Worried that I wont have enough stuff so I am pumping out cheap fillers.
 

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Reaper
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Maybe a concentrated area so it doesn't look too thinned out. If you're running out of funds you could always make more homemade props. Although if you get 500-1000 tots you might wanna save the funds for candy!!
Don't worry about the neighbors! Like jdubbya said their idea of all out may not be the same as the all out idea around here. But either way i'm sure your display will be great! Just remember Halloween is your passion, not competition with the neighbors!
 

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I suggest having a "block meeting" with the neighbors...invite them all over (soon) for a BBQ or something and discuss Halloween...

maybe it's possible that they will "share the wealth" of their stuff if you need more or even be able to work together to create a whole neighborhood haunt.

don't worry if you can't contribute tons of decor...maybe you can create posters or flyers to distibute around the town, or you offer to supply some extra candy in exchange for some stuff for your yard.

this could be a really cool way of bringing your neighbors together and be a fun way of getting a housewarming!

keep us posted and share lots of photos, no matter what you do!
 

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Bubbles has a great idea as well as moocheex55. There are several props that you can make for nothing or little to nothing and the suggestion of getting together with the neighbors is a very good idea. Remember, it's supposed to be fun. Enjoy it and don't sweat the small stuff.
 

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Well I have no suggestions any different...however, I agree with everyone that you're super fortunate to have moved into a home with neighbors that love Halloween as much as you do! Yea for you!!! If I move, that's gonna be on my "required" list.
 

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As stated in previous posts, be thankful you moved into a neighborhood that enjoys Halloween. You can use that to your advantage. You don't have to sit there on the night of Halloween waiting and wondering if the people are going to come, you now know they will. Moocheex55 had a great idea in throwing a BBQ for the haunters in your area. You could use this opportunity to see what plans others in the neighborhood have for this coming Halloween. Then you could take your decorations in a different direction. Thus, everyone having something different and something interesting for your visitors.
 

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I'm one of those who get's 500 or more Tot's and I start buying 2 big bags of candy every payday on aug 1st, that way it doesn't hurt so bad, as far as decor, if you're handy and resourseful big props don't have to cost a lot, I'm building a hearse that so far I have less than 40 dollars in.
I'm unfortunatly the only one on my street who does more than put out a pumpkin or an inflateable, I've actually heard from a neighbor that I'm drawing in to many tot's and they can't afford all the candy...pffft!
 

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Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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Everyone who has posted before me has great suggestions!!

Talk to your neighbors -- find out what they do, what they have, etc.

Build stuff you WANT to have. Don't build junk just to fill space if it's not something you really want.

Start buying candy now!! Just like Litemareb4xmas suggests.
 

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Pirate of the Puget Sound
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A lot of great ideas!

As TK421 mentioned, first feel out your neighbors to find out what kind of halloween displays they have. Is the cutesy displays? Gore? Animatronics? Homemade props or store-bought props? See if they will share any pictures from previous years.

Then, plan out your display to make the most of your decorations and, most importantly, make your display UNIQUE and ONE OF A KIND in your neighborhood but still keeping within the limits of neighboring displays! (You don't want a display filled with body parts if your neighbors just have cute inflatables and sheet ghosts.)
 

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wow

Great suggestions before me...wow!

My thoughts, this year stock up on Candy. It stinks when you run out of candy and that many TOTs will eat up the candy. I say spend your money on that...then wait for the 75% off sales and buy decorations for next year when they are really, really cheap. Walgreen's has awesome clearance sales.

It's great that you live in a neighborhood where Halloween is so well-loved. Wish it was in min.
 

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I agree with what everyone else has said. Talk to your neighbors. Maybe the ones next door can spill their haunts over into your yard if needed.

How big is your yard? Do you have pictures of your haunt from the previous place or the props you already have? If the members here see what you already have, they are good at making suggestions as how best it could be utilized.

In a graveyard you could spread the stones further apart. Make unmarked graves using leaves over plastic bags and plain graves with just crosses. If you have any pets, and they have the toys that shake, you can hide them in the leaves and make them move.

If you just moved and still have them, save boxes and packing materials to make paper mache grave stones, skulls, pumpkins and rocks. There are alot of tutorials and prop threads on this forum and how to make them if you need ideas. I go to Lowes and Home Depot every time I am passing by and check the mistake paint for outdoor latex paint. You can get a gallon for around $5. I found quite a few cans in the tan and black colors lately. I even found an orangish color I am planning to use on my papermache pumpkins. (If I ever get them done)

Watch the weekly store ads closely for sales and coupons for the candy. Sometimes you can get coupons off the manufacturer's site as well. I was surprise but many of the kids in my area actually want me to give out dumdums, those tiny suckers. They are inexpensive compared to some other candies.
 

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Don't sweat the neighbors, i'm sure they've been amassing their displays for years and will understand that yours will need some time. They will probably be excited that the new neighbor shares their love of halloween.

I'm thinking of things you can do to expand your scene on a budget-

Are you or someone you know handy with tools? It's simple to build something like a gallows pole, just a few pieces of wood and some rope. Buy a $5 mask and stuff some of your old clothes and you have a dummy. Put a floodlight or strobe directly underneath it and you've got a scene for under $25, even less if you have the wood, dummy, or light already.

If you have a smoke machine, you can "fill" an empty space between scenes by letting out a huge cloud of smoke and then shining a strobe or colored floodlight into it. Plus kids love walking through big clouds of fog. A good trick is to shine the light directly at oncomers, then while they're blinded have a guy jump out at them from right behind the light.

Your best bet will be free- get some volunteers to come help out with scares. If you have family, friends, kids, coworkers, etc enlist them. When i go to a haunted house or home haunt, live actors always work the best for me, i care less about animatronics or elaborate props.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks so much for all the responses! Just to clarify...i don't want to outdo the neighbors, i just don't want our yard to look pathetic next to theirs. I really enjoyed the suggestion about making it a neighborhood haunt. it seems to be a close-knit neighborhood so maybe i can get that organized for next year.

I never even thought about checking for paint at home depot/lowes (it is so cheap when the color is screwed up and they are usually awful colors :) ).

I am fairly good with building props and anything i can't do, my bf can help with, we have all the tools we need. Anyone know who has the best tutorials for building coffins and dummies and such? I have seen plenty of tutorials on styrofoam tombstones but anyone with tutorials for making props with cardboard or pallets? I can search the forum later but i didn't know if maybe you guys had a specific person's tutorial's in mind.

Thanks again! I will definitely take pics this year :)
 

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Keeping up with the Jone's

I'm so envious of all of you, I don't even get 1 trick or treater! I still decorate (for myself) and carve all my pumpkins though. I still buy candy too in hopes someone will show up.
I agree with what everyone is saying, don't get stressed out just. Decorate for "YOU" and your family of course.
 

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More doesn't always mean better. I've seen large yards filled with expensive standing store-bought props, and the whole thing looked like a crappy yard sale. You can wow them with lighting and sound. Many houses think they go overboard by putting up 1 strobe light and the same tired haunted house sound track that is available at fine retailers and is heard at every other house.

Use different color floods like red, blue, green, and yellow to light your house and different yard props.

Spend $15 and get a decent soundtrack from PoisonProps or other quality company. Have different sound tracks for different parts of your haunt. I'll have 4 different soundtracks going in my haunt this year...1 in the front graveyard, and 3 in the backyard walk/run through.
 

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Sounds like you moved into a dream neighborhood. Most have their neighbors trying to ban them! Make friends with one of the neighbors and ask if anyone has pictures or videos from last year. That would give you a good idea of whether they do Martha Stewart Halloween (pumpkins and cute scarecrows, etc) or Halloween Forum style Halloween!

P.S. I don't do cute!
 

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I suggest you get with the folks next door and co-ordinate so their decorations blend with yours so you don't feel left out
 
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