ReClaim Halloween

My earliest memory is of my neighbor popping out of his front door in a full pumpkin costume when I was trick-or-treating with my parents. I don’t know if there’s a causal link here, but Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. And, sort of relatedly, my favorite color is orange (which, if we believe this study, is one of the rarest favorite colors). I’ve always looked forward to having a house with a yard that I could decorate like crazy every October.

Recently, however, outdoor Halloween decorations have seemingly been co-opted by the plastic industry. Everywhere you go you see lit up plastic jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, cats, witches, you name it.

Look familiar?

Ghosts and jack-o-lanterns and the like are supposed to be scary, or at least contribute to a spooky ambiance. But the only thing that scares me about these decorations is the huge toll plastic has on the environment and our health. So what if you don’t want to use plastic?


Now we’re talking. Doesn’t that look so much spookier and realistic? That could be a yard in Transylvania. And it’s all made of reclaimed wood and some paint and fake cobwebs.

Have you been working on a vacant lot all summer and want to have one last hurrah before you pack it in for the winter? We’ve got you covered. Here are five easy reclaimed decoration ideas for your vacant lot Halloween party!


  1. Carved Pumpkins

This one seems obvious, but nothing says Halloween like a jack-o-lantern. Head to a local pumpkin patch and pick up some of the orange gourds. Then get some neighbors together, turn on some spooky music or “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and get carving. You can use soy or beeswax candles with all-cotton wicks for eco-friendly lighting, or use a battery-operated flameless candle if safety is a concern. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Below are a few jack-o-lanterns carved by the GTECH team this year and last year for inspiration.

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  1. Wooden Pallet Ghosts

If you have some extra wood lying around, this is a fun way to add some spooky visitors to your lot. Nail some boards together and cut them into a rounded shape. Paint white and add some small wooden eyes painted black. You can then add one last board or two on the bottom to prop your ghost up. You can also do something similar to make a large wooden pumpkin.palletghosts


  1. Coffin and Vampire

This one might take some sawing skills, but the effect will be worth it. Get some more of that old wood and fashion it into an ancient-looking coffin. Then grab last year’s vampire costume from the attic and stuff it with newspaper and prop it up in the coffin. Leave the lid ajar and backlight it with some red-tinted flameless candles.


  1. Jack-O-Lantern Scarecrow

Do you collect large sticks? Do you have an old ratty blanket? If so, then you should have no problem making this jack-o-lantern scarecrow. Impale a pumpkin on a stick and wrap the blanket around a perpendicular stick, and voila! See if you can find some knotty sticks for hands.scarecrow


  1. Glowing G Jars

Want to line a pathway with eerie light? Head over to our online store and get yourself a few “g” jars, then buy some nontoxic glow sticks. Cut the ends off the glow sticks and empty the contents into the jars and shake them up to coat the sides. Add some water to keep the glow going longer!jar

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