1. Picnic in perpetuity
Cater a picnic for the graveyard shift. Dolled up for their outing in hats, scarf and tie, our perpetual picnickers are propped up with rebar stakes pushed into the ground. Spread a blanket, and top it with a woven basket, faux fruit, and a thermos. Weight the thermos with pebbles inside, and use ground stakes to hold the blanket in place. if you want this sociable group to hang around, use weather-resistant props.
2. Climb time
These guys don’t need to worry about broken bones as they caper from porch to rooftop. Easy to pose and secure with nearly invisible fishing line, the plastic skeletons can withstand the weather and hang out for the entire season. How you hang or pose your figures will depend on what types of skeletons you have. Be prepared to improvise!
3. Past her prime
Some hostesses love handing out treats so much that they can’t give it up — even after they’ve passed on. This skeleton on a stand makes a spirited first impression at the front door. Her posable arms provide the brace for a sweet-laden tray hot-glued to her hands. Dressed in a skirt, apron, and pearls, she's ready to greet guests.
4. Bad to the bone
Caught climbing trees and burrowing in the leaf pile, these scampering skeletons prove you’re never too old for pranks. A variety of skeleton types are available online — some pose, some stand, some bend. Choose the type that meets your needs. These bad boys are basic plastic articulated figures secured in place with lashings of fishing line to wreak merry mayhem.
5. In fine form
Create the petrified poses of croquet-playing skeletons by using fishing line to tie them to a long stake pushed into the ground. Tie the croquet mallet to the skeleton with fishing line. Kicked back with a cool glass of lemonade, the jointed old duffer watching from the lawn chair is simply propped in place.
6. Rest your bones
It looks as if these chaps may have been waiting too long for their dates to arrive! Dressed in simple finery with top hats, silky bow ties, and red carnations in their erstwhile buttonholes, the eerie ensemble of skeletal swains has more impact than a single figure would. It’s a snap to prop up our ethereal escorts with lengths of rebar pushed through their rib cages and into the ground.
7. Bedtime stories
These skeletons love to cosy up with a haunting tale like Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” To create a scare- worthy book collection, cover cardboard forms with book-cover images found online.
8. Music mayhem
This punk rock music is so loud it might wake the dead! Sporting wild wigs and instruments bought for a song online, “The Fracture” is determined to get Halloween off to a rockin’ good start.
9. Bathing beauties
Rub-a-dub-dub in a skeleton-size tub. Who doesn’t enjoy a good soak? Galvanized tubs serve as bathtubs, while Christmas tree garland and glass ball ornaments form the bubbles. A bubble machine placed behind the tub adds a final flourish: real bubbles!
10. Artist at work
Every artist needs a good muse. This bony model inspired a Picasso-esque painting that celebrates the skeletal form with bold lines, dark colors, and grimacing teeth.
11. Electric power
A lot of voltage is required to mix up Mrs. Skeleton’s gooey worm batter, so Mr. Skeleton is happy to help out. After all, he has no need to be afraid of the electric chair—he’s already a goner! Looks like their dog Fang hopes to get a treat, too!
12. E.T. Bone Home
Celebrate the classic ’80s movie E.T. with this fun vignette. The skeletons and bike are hung with monofilament, while painted cardboard cut-outs form the trees and moon.
13. Braving the rapids
Mr. and Mrs. Skeleton are in for the ride of their afterlife when they take on these rapids created with a blue drop cloth and waves of spray-foam insulation.
14. X-Ray Vision
Uh-oh! The X-ray technician is in for a surprise when he tries to scan this patient. To create this scene, manipulate an image from online to make an X-ray that shows the skeleton fully clothed. Painted PVC piping holds up the foam-core board and wooden frame. Glass jars wrapped with images of “cotton candy balls” and “Popsicle sticks” complete this crazy doctor’s office.
15. Decorating disaster
16. Camp woe-be-gone
No camping trip is complete without a warm fire for toasting marshmallows. Red and yellow crepe-paper streamers attached to a box fan form the flickering flames.
17. Grave riser
Clawing its way toward freedom, this skeleton is not yet fully departed. Tuck skeleton parts under a large flat stone propped up on bricks. Fill in any gaps with leaves and sticks to blend the terrifying tableau into the landscape.
18. Final resting place
This old soul has been waiting a frightfully long time for room service. Create a comfortable spot for neighbourhood spirits to rest using secondhand furniture and accessories arranged to look like a bare-bones hotel room.
19. Gruesome twosome
Caught in the act! Escaping skeletons are sure to spark goose bumps for passersby— and scare a few trick-or-treaters, too. Pose this bony pair as if they’re scrambling over a wall, then sit back and watch the fun. The stakes that secure this bony pair are hidden behind the wall.
Tips for decorating with skeletons
Get ready to get creative! Here’s how to compose scary scenes that will be the talk of the neighbourhood.
1. Buy the right guy
A variety of skeleton types are available online, so choose one that fits your decorating needs. Plastic skeletons bend more easily, but anatomical model skeletons are more lifelike.
2. Strike a pose
There are many ways to keep your skeletons in line. Try fishing line, garden stakes or rebar stuck in the ground, or zip ties.
3. Change it up
Strike playful poses and alter them to keep neighbours guessing. One day your skeleton is playing croquet, the next day he’s raking leaves.
4. Complete the scene
Extend the theme in other fun ways. Dangle miniature glow-in-the-dark skeletons from tree branches, or prop fake bones in a dirt-filled wagon.
Where to buy in Australia
A large Halloween posable skeleton measuring 106cm is available for $29.95.
2. Costume Box
Here you can buy a life-size 1.6m plastic skeleton which can be hung up or propped sitting down.
A posable skeleton is available at Riot for $22.99.
After a not-so furry friend prop for your skeleton? Pick up an animal skeleton at Target for $10.
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