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How to turn your playhouse into a house of horror

27 October 2016

Want to transform your playhouse into a house of horror? We’ll show you how, in five easy steps.

These spooky Halloween decoration ideas will help keep the kids amused while they set them up, and will leave the hairs on the back of their neck standing.

Here’s how you can convert your playhouse on a small budget, and with an afternoon of creativity.

1. Paint the playhouse

painted halloween playhouse
Something wicked this way comes

Decide on a theme for your playhouse makeover. Will you create a haunted churchyard, witch’s lair, house of horror or even a mad scientist’s laboratory?

Paint the playhouse to give the theme a direction. Paint just the playhouse features for a subtle effect, or the entire building for maximum impact. Greens and purples together help to create a creepy ambience.

We painted the veranda, window frames, door logo, fascia boards and the diamond finial at the top of the apex on our Honeysuckle playhouse black for a dark, eerie entrance.

2. Create DIY gravestones

halloween playhouse gravestones
What monsters are resting beneath the house of horror?

Upcycle old or broken paving slabs to create distressed gravestones for an unsettling scene. Or, create your own gravestones using old cereal boxes. Draw around a large bowl to create a curved edge, and cut away the excess. Paint the box grey and allow to dry.

Place weights such as sand or rice inside the cereal box to stop the gravestones from falling when outside.

Paint creepy words on your headstones to build the atmosphere. Ours say “R.I.P” and “Danger” to build a Halloween-ey atmosphere.

3. Carve or paint pumpkins

halloween playhouse pumpkins
Painted pumpkins welcoming ghoulish guests

Get the kids involved by painting and carving pumpkins. Use washable markers to sketch faces and patterns onto the pumpkins.

If you are unhappy with your design, wash off and start again. When you’re ready, finalise with permanent marker or carve out. Light carved pumpkins with tea lights, or use battery powered candles to light up the playhouse at night.

Use as many pumpkins as you like. Scatter around the garden, stack around the entrance or create a “path of doom” leading to the playhouse.

4. Dress the playhouse

halloween playhouse wicked witch's house
Home of the wicked witch 

Use a selection of halloween decorations to dress the playhouse.

Create spooky shadows and reflections, by hanging fairy lights inside the playhouse and putting decorations in the windows.

Attach Halloween-coloured paper chains in black and orange across the front of the playhouse, and drape curtains over the door for a spooky entrance. For added effect, decorate the curtain with plastic creepy crawlies.

We used plastic spider webbing to decorate the outside of the shed and to give it a creepy haunted look. Netted curtains over the door gives the playhouse a run-down feel.

Crow stencils on the playhouse roof add an eerie atmosphere, and broomsticks clearly mean that witches have stopped off in the area.

5. Decorate the surrounding area

decorations around halloween playhouse
It looks a bit wicked around here

Decorate the surrounding area with any spare decorations.Use solar lights or fairy lights to light the way for monsters to find their way in the dark.

Make the most of bushes and trees by hanging bats or creepy decorations. Place Halloween ornaments along paths or fencing to set the scene. Here's our finished Halloween playhouse:

moonlight halloween playhouse
Ready for Halloween

We love to see our buildings decorated. If you’ve transformed your playhouse or garden building into a house of horror, we’d love to see how you have customised it! Share your photos and stories over on our Facebook page.

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