Bob and Cortney Novogratz are a design duo—and parents to seven children—who recently bought a 1920s-era castle in the Hollywood Hills. Check back regularly on PEOPLE.com as they blog about the rewards, risks, messes, and successes of the project, giving their expert tips and tricks for home renovation. You can follow them on Twitter at @TheNovogratz or on Facebook.
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. It’s a time to let loose and be your younger self, dress up, and hang out with family. It’s also an excuse for to throw a huge party and invite your friends and neighbors — and there’s nothing we love more than throwing a party.
Through the years, we’ve come up with ideas for Halloween decorations that are creepy rather than kitschy, and that involve the kids in the process. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. Say something with your pumpkins rather than just carving out faces. We chose to spell out “family,” but anything goes. It’s an easy way to customize your home’s decor.
2. Hang skeletons on your house in a way that makes it look like they’re climbing your house. Nothing’s as off-putting as skeletons burglarizing a home.
3. Make skeletons guests at your party: Stage them on chairs, your sofa, or even your bed.
4. Smear fake blood on the mirrors in your house. For our last Halloween party, we got mirror decals from Shutterfly and clustered them in our foyer hallway. Five and Holleder, our 10 year old boys, couldn’t get enough of the fake blood.
5. If you’re hosting a party, create a custom table runner with creepy photos. Shutterfly is great for this too. If you’re skilled with Photoshop, you can alter your family and friend’s faces have zombie eyes and gruesome injuries.
6. Think haunted, spooky mansion. Anything old and ornate, like antique trays and silverware, will look great draped in spider webs. Pull out your grandma’s candelabras and melt red crayons on the candles for a table that’s festive but beautiful.
7. Buy a few masks for your foyer for any guests who didn’t dress up. They’re an easy way to add color and they make a great centerpiece.
8. Gather fallen branches from your yard and put them in a tall vase for an inexpensive, sculptural touch that contributes to the deadly vibe.
9. You can never go wrong with fake spider webs. Tangle them in your chandelier to make your house look neglected and haunted.
10. Print out old, creepy photos from Pinterest and put them in the front of your pictures frames. Your guests won’t be expecting them!
Remember that it’s your house, so anything goes. Don’t be afraid to decorate outside of the box — you can incorporate your favorite colors into your Halloween decor instead of just using the traditional orange and black. We love painting pumpkins metallics to mix things up.
Anytime we decorate for the holidays, we like draw inspiration from our kids. Kids are so creative; you’ll be amazed by the things they come up with. One of our best Halloween decorations, fake roaches climbing the kitchen cabinets, was Breaker’s idea. To us, getting the kids excited and involved in the decorating process is the most important part of any holiday — that’s where memories are created.