There’s always that one house on Halloween that gets more attention than the others in the neighborhood.
I’m not talking about giving away full-sized chocolate candy bars — I’m talking about decorations.
You can go the ‘pumpkins on the porch’ route if you want, but why not pumpkin-spice it up a little? The new trend of digital decorations is getting more and more affordable if you don’t mind doing just a little DIY work.
What are digital decorations?
Most often digital decorations consist of animated videos being projected onto doorways, garage doors, and windows. They’re easy to set up and pretty affordable. If you’re on TikTok you’ll find lots of examples by searching #halloween or #digitaldecorations.
How do you do it?
1. First, you’ll need a digital projector. You can find them for under $60 online, but the better projectors can run upwards of $400. The expensive projectors are a great investment if you’d like to show movies on a big screen outdoors. Otherwise, cheap projectors will work fine for digital decorations. Just make sure the projector can play video from a USB flash drive or SD card, or cast the video from a phone or tablet.
2. Next, you’ll need to find your scary or Halloween-themed video. You can find free digital videos on YouTube that will work fine, though some will be interrupted by commercials. I found a good selection of digital files on ATMOSfx.com. They range in price from $9 to about $60, depending on whether you purchase one file or a package. The themed videos, which vary from mild to terrifying, are played on a loop with audio included. Atmos has a huge selection of videos for Halloween and other holidays as well, making it a cinch to decorate for Christmas too.
3. Once you have the video and the projector you’ll need to figure out where you want the video to appear. Horizontal videos play well on garage doors and through large windows. Vertical videos look best in narrow windows and doorways.
The file I purchased has the vertical format to play inside the storm door on my entryway. To give it something for the video to play on, I purchased a cheap $1 shower curtain liner and tacked it up inside the doorway. I then took the projector and turned it on its side so the video filled the doorway. I put the video file on a flash drive, though my projector also has a slot for an SD card.
When I turned on the projector and pressed play, the terrifying video looked so realistic that friends told me it was too scary for trick-or-treaters.
The next file I purchased was one that featured dancing cartoon monsters. I tried it on an upstairs bedroom window and on the garage door. It looks fantastic and is sure to draw the attention of people as they walk or drive through our neighborhood.
Altogether, the Halloween digital decoration cost around $80. $70 for the projector, $9 for the file, and $1 for the shower curtain liner. Granted, it is only for one window or garage door, but by DIY’ing it myself, I feel like it was an inexpensive way to dress up our house for Halloween.