Let trick-or-treaters know that they are welcome to your home this year by sprucing up your house with Halloween decor. Since most houses in Philadelphia do not have a full front yard, you will most likely need to keep your decorations to a minimum. Although you cannot go all out and line a walkway with multiple jack-o’-lanterns or suspend a witch on a broomstick from a tree, there are still ways to make your home look festive for the holiday. Pick one area of the house, and focus on that when decorating.

Pumpkins and Gourds

A few strategically placed pumpkins and gourds might be all the Halloween decor your home needs. You can carve the pumpkins or leave them whole so that they last through fall. If you carve the pumpkins, for safety reasons, use an LED tea light instead of a real candle, especially if you are going to put the pumpkin out on the front stoop.

Use a pile of three differently sized pumpkins to make a Halloween-themed version of a topiary. Cut the stems off the two largest pumpkins. Set the largest pumpkin on top of a planter, and then place the next-largest pumpkin on top of it. Place the smallest pumpkin on the very top to finish it off. You can leave the pumpkins as they are or spray paint them a metallic color or black. Set the topiary outside, just next to your front door.

A few places inside the city sell fresh pumpkins and gourds in the fall. You can most likely pick up a few at your local supermarket. Gardening centers such as Urban Jungle in South Philadelphia and Greensgrow Farms in Fishtown also sell a selection of gourds and pumpkins.

Window Decor

If you live in a row house, the front window might be the main attraction when it comes to Halloween decor. Some people go all out when decorating their front windows for the holiday. A simple way to get in the spirit of things is to hang a string of orange or purple lights around the edge of the window.

You can also use the window as the backdrop for a Halloween scene. For example, create a spider web that stretches across the window. A simple way to make a web is to stretch pieces of yarn across the width and height of the window, forming a plus sign superimposed on an “X.” Tie another piece of yarn around the vertical piece in the plus sign, then weave it around the other pieces, as if you were weaving a web. You can also stretch polyester stuffing or cheesecloth across the window to create a web-like effect.

Table Decor

There is always the subtle route when decorating for Halloween. If you do not want to put pumpkins outside and do not have a big front window, use your kitchen or dining table as the focal point for your decor. Set a large bowl in the middle of the table, and fill it with gourds of varying shapes and sizes for a simple centerpiece. If you can get your hands on a small bale of hay from a craft store or gardening center, use that as the base of your centerpiece. Pile the gourds around the hay in an attractive manner. You can also push the stems of silk flowers into the bale itself. Another option is to skip the bale of hay and place LED tea lights around the pile of gourds.

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