How to Make Your Own Scary Halloween Decoration

by Lane Cummings, Demand Media

    Halloween decorations need not look boring or typical. Black paper or black rubber bats, cotton spider webs and pumpkins with glowing eyes are all staples of many households and stores during the festive Halloween season, but they need not be your only options. There's no reason you can't make your own decorations that are even scarier than what you can buy in the store. However, this doesn't mean you have to spend a lot or be a professional crafter. Sometimes the best decorations are the simplest.

    Step 1

    Purchase a large black iron cauldron. You might be able to find one in plastic, but you must check to make sure it's watertight and won't leak. If you can't find anything like this, use a large pot from your kitchen.

    Step 2

    Purchase a large block of dry ice that is big enough to fit snugly inside your cauldron. Put on a pair of thick work gloves and slide the dry ice into the cauldron. You can break dry ice into pieces if you have a slab that's too large.

    Step 3

    Pour warm water into the cauldron to cover the dry ice. This will create a lot of instant steam, making a smoke effect. This is the most dramatic choice if you have guests arriving for a Halloween party or kids coming up to your door trick-or-treating.

    Step 4

    Pour cold water over the dry ice as the night goes on, once the immediate cloud of smoke from the warm water evaporates. Cover the block inside completely with cold water. This will create a thinner amount of smoke that lasts longer.

    Tips & Warnings

    • For a creepy effect, add rubber hands and feet to the inside of the cauldron. This way if any curious guests peek inside, they'll get a nice fright. You can even add some fake blood to the inside of the cauldron as well.
    • Keep pitchers of the cold and warm water handy near the cauldron for when you want to manipulate the smoke.
    • Do not handle dry ice with your bare hands as it will cause frostbite.

    About the Author

    Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images