by Melissa Jaramillo
Decorating for the holidays may seem daunting. It doesn't have to be! You can transform your home easily by giving your windows a Halloween makeover.
Whether your preferred style is ghostly, ghastly, and all-around spooky -- or a more whimsical fall-fest -- we have you covered.
You'll find tapping your creative streak in this one area can set the tone for your entire home and spark a bit of envy from the neighbors. Get a jump-start with a few of our suggestions below.
Don't let your Halloween decorating stop at the front yard. Bring it right up onto and into the house! Creepy crawlies and Halloween designs can dress up those windows and invite trick-or-treat kiddos in for goodies.
If you ask five people how to create a spooky spider web for your window and you're apt to get five different directions, like I did. Here are three web designs to get you started.
1. Coffee filter spider webs: Filters work well for scissor craft because they're round, thin, but not flimsy. Even kids can cut through multiple layers. Being somewhat transparent, they're great for window decoration. Just fold a few times and cut toward the center, leaving narrow webs. Glue to the window and add a few black construction paper spiders.
2. Yarn webs: Cut four pieces of yarn the same length. Clear a large working space on the floor or table. Overlap the first two pieces in an X shape. Place the other two pieces between to form 8 sections. Tie securely in the center. Now begin to spin the web, with a "string" about every two inches. Glue or tie into place. When dry, attach to the window.
3. Fabric paint webs: Cut a piece of wax paper and tape to your window. Draw the web where you'd like it to be. Gently remove the wax paper and place on a flat surface. Using fabric or puff paint, thickly cover the lines. Allow it to dry several hours and then peel off the wax paper. Allow the web to cling to your window. Attach creepy crawly critters if you'd like.
If the web in the window has lost its appeal, you can try a sophisticated and more geeky alternative to dress your window up. Vellum silhouettes won't block the light and they're a fast, easy and inexpensive way to add Halloween atmosphere to your home.
✓ Find a copyright-free image -- from a moon, stars and tree to a spooky bat and skeleton to a black crow
✓ Copy or print it onto a sheet of vellum, adjusting the size to fit your window
✓ Cut out the image and tape it into place
✓ Arrange your silhouettes in diagonals or randomly in your window
Carve pumpkins and place them in a row on the window ledge. Light with a glow stick or an LED light. If you have budding artists with plenty of time on their hands, pass out printed pictures of pumpkins, markers and scissors. Once they've created a nice assortment of jack-o-lanterns, attach to a string and drape across your windows.
Window clings are like stickers for glass. They take very little effort and look fantastic! Best of all, they can be easily peeled off after the holiday. Just go to your local craft or party store and find some cute or spooky Halloween window clings.
If you and the kids are feeling creative, clings are also great projects to make on your own. You'll need:
✓ Parchment paper
✓ Puff paint in orange, yellow, green, purple, white and black
✓ Halloween templates
✓ Paper clips or stapler
Print or draw your template. Secure it behind a piece of parchment paper with paper clips or staples. Outline and fill in your critter with puff paint. Add faces or embellishments. Now for the hard part -- let it dry four to six hours or overnight. Carefully lift one corner and peel off of the parchment paper. Press onto any window or mirror.
What's on your windows for Halloween?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.