I lined up my cardstock and smoothly sliced through it at the 3” mark, narrowly avoiding the bottom of the stencil letters my Cricut had already cut for me. Three more times, I repeated my process. Then, I lined them all up.


Last year, when we had our fence replaced (along with about a quarter of the city who had the chance, thanks to covid, to reflect on what needed some TLC in their homes) I just couldn’t part with those boards. There was so much usable wood! I dragged them over to the shed and leaned them up against an outside wall, all the while dreaming up Catholic front door signs and rustic Nativity sets. 

As Halloween approached, and our neighbors’ yards got creepier and creepier, I really wanted to add back the beauty of this centuries-old Catholic celebration of life by decorating our yard with joyful reminders of what the day is meant to be – a chance to pray for and ask the intercession of all those who have gone before us. And this year, there are so many.

First, I added new mulch (a dream come true, for me, actually) with the help of my Kindergartener who was home from school with a cold and plenty of energy. On our trip to Home Depot for the mulch, we scored a free pumpkin from the Halloween display they dismantled. I grabbed two more from the grocery store later in the week to keep it company by our sidewalk.

Then, I thought of the fence slats. I stared at my pile of pumpkins and mentally ran through the steps in my mind:

My First Idea

  • Buy or make wooden stakes.
  • Fish out a fence slat (you could buy one if you don’t have one sitting around).
  • Make stencils on the Cricut.
  • Grab white acrylic paint or white latex house paint.
  • Line up the stencils on the slat to determine a good length and saw off any extra (I used a circular saw).
  • Attach the stakes to the back of the slat. 
  • Use painters tape to secure the stencils in place. 
  • Paint with even, light strokes across the paper stencil. Or let your 7 year old help for that authentic/rustic look.
  • Gently remove the stencil.
  • Hammer the stakes into the ground in front of the pumpkins. (Or just lean it and skip the stakes altogether)

Make another thing with fence slats

  • Cut two slats between 3’ and 5’, depending on what’s available.
  • Make two more cuts of 7.25” each on another slat.
  • Use the second two to secure the first two together. (Or just set them next to each other and pretend you did the thing you set out to do.)
  • Cut Cricut stencil: PRAY
  • Align and paint the letters using the same method above leaving space at the bottom for . . . 

Something that we can change out seasonally for that last thing?!!

  • Oooh! Make a Cricut stencil: for us; for hope, for peace, for joy, for love, for others, for your enemies, and rejoice!
  • Attach a little hook to the bottom of the sign or just a screw.
  • Follow the cut, align, and paint steps above.
  • Use floral wire or an old hanger to make a handle that hangs on the hook.
  • Scratch that! Just lean it up against it!
  • Ok, just PRAY for now, and wait on the other stuff.

But, I could make another cute sign to let that “we’re Catholic” message really hit home. How about this

Oo, oo! Letters on the garage door.

  • Cut out letters on the Cricut: Happy All Hollows Eve!
  • Cut and attach business card magnet pieces in various spots.
  • Place them on the garage doors, avoiding the seams, and test the opener.

Oh! A wreath! 

We need a wreath. Good thing we made that a few years back. 

Hold On

  • Ok, ok. PRAY FOR THE DEAD, PRAY, and all you HOLY men & women PRAY FOR US. I think that does it. 
  • Oh! But the Saint pumpkins!
  • Gasp! Make signs for all my friends!
  • Maybe I should just post the ideas instead.


Happy All Saints and All Souls, everyone! Hope your yard, your mind, your kids, and your heart are full of joy this weekend as we reflect on the gift of others. 

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