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Spooktacular: The whole family can help make ghostly yard ornaments

Lawn ghosts are a quick and easy way to kick your yard into shape for Halloween. Jessica Karley Rerick / Forum News Service 1 / 3
Spray the pumpkin pail with cooking spray and fill with Quickrete powder. Jessica Karley Rerick / Forum News Service 2 / 3
Decorate your pumpkin any way you like and fill with flowers or fall foliage. Jessica Karley Rerick / Forum News Service 3 / 3

Halloween is almost here, and I was feeling a little guilty because I haven't put up a single decoration in the house.

There are two reasons for my lack of holiday spirit: One, I didn't want to spend a lot of money. Two, my baby is due anyday now, and I just didn't have the energy to climb around hanging cobwebs and strategically planting spiders.

But I couldn't resist when I came across a few easy ideas the whole family could help create to decorate at least the outside of our house.

The first option might be one of my favorite fall ideas to date. Concrete jack-o'-lantern planters are a great way to display fall foliage or even act as a Halloween candy dish — if you dare leave it on the step and trust the honors system.

Here is the list of what you'll need:

• A dropcloth to catch any spills or messes.

• Plastic pumpkin pail: Any color. This will become the mold for your planter.

• A utility knife strong enough to cut your plastic pumpkin pail in half.

• A small container that can fit inside your pumpkin pail. This will create your planting area.

• Cooking spray to help make sure the concrete releases from the mold.

• Quickrete. I used a brand I found at a home store, and it doesn't require any mixing. Simply pour water over the powder, and it will do the work for you.

My next project was making lawn ghosts. They weren't as fancy as some of the inflatables the kids were ogling in the stores, but we had more fun making these. To make our ghosts, we needed the following:

• 6-foot plastic tomato stakes, cut in half. One piece for each ghost.

• Round florist foam balls or foam mannequin heads. One per ghost.

• White gauze fabric: 1.75 yards per ghost.

• White tulle fabric: 1 yard per ghost.

• Black paint, if you want your ghosts to have a face.

• Ribbon: Black, white, brown or any other color you would like on display.

To make the ghosts, place the tomato stakes into the ground. We then topped them with the foam heads and draped the gauze fabric over the top. We wrapped the tulle fabric around the bottom of the head, where the foam met the tomato stakes. To secure the gauze and tulle, we tied each one with a ribbon. At this point, you could paint the ghost's eyes and mouth, but we decided to leave ours plain since we went with the shape of a head already.