If you're looking to get extra spooky this season, consider building a DIY Halloween maze. You may not think you have space, but you'll be surprised what can be done in a standard two-car garage, a basement, or on a back porch if weather allows. You can make a maze full of creepy monsters and jump scares, or something cute and candy-filled; all you need is a plan and the right materials.
Consider Safety First
It's important to make sure your backyard maze is safe, first and foremost. This includes being aware of fire risks and checking to make sure the materials of your maze all meet fire safety standards.
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You can coat flammable materials like cardboard with a fire-retardant spray, for example. Call your local fire department if you have questions or need advice on local fire codes. They can help suggest materials and can flame test materials you're considering using.
Planning Your DIY Halloween Maze
The first thing to consider is where you'll put your maze. Luckily, there are a lot of options. If you'd like it to be open for trick-or-treaters, you'll probably want to use your garage or front lawn; even a pop-up tent can work for a spooky, intimate space. If you're making a maze for a private party, your basement or another large space will do.
Once you know what space you'll be using, you'll want to sketch out a plan that's mostly to scale on graph paper so that you know what materials you'll need. You can cover the walls with nearly anything: cardboard, tarps or black garbage bags, as long as you make sure they're sufficiently fire resistant.
You may want to use a frame of some sort to build additional maze walls; for example, fabric frames or wooden pallets will provide enough structure to support all the spooky decorations you could ever want. And if you're planning a more complex maze, you may want to include a straightforward emergency exit for children who might get lost or become too scared to continue.
How To Add Spooky Flair
As you're looking at your planned maze, it's time to start thinking about what kind of scares you want to add. Are you going for a generally ominous feeling, or will you want items that suddenly react when people come into close range? This can give you good Halloween maze ideas.
Think about lighting inside your maze; do you want low and intermittent lighting, or flashing strobe lights that reveal your background in spooky glances? There are a million ways to set up your maze so that it reaches the level of scary you're looking for.
For an overall spooky feeling, look for items like fake spiderwebs, rubber creatures like rats and snakes, and figures you can hang like ghosts or candles. Depending on the maze you've built, you may want to hide things behind sheets or tucked away into corners. If you're looking to up the fear factor, look for Halloween gadgets that have motion sensors and will make sudden sounds or movements when people get near. There are a number of tricks you can incorporate that will make the dark corners of your maze feel scarier than ever.