NOTE: I was originally going to break Halloween into several posts, but I got behind on my picture editing (oops!). Considering Halloween is, well, tomorrow, I almost decided to forgo doing any Halloween posts, since odds are y’all have already finished your decorating. However, I decided “better late than never” – after all, Halloween will be back next year! So instead of a bunch of smaller posts – here is one big fat Halloween mega-post for your enjoyment. It’s pretty long – you have been warned. As always, feel free to comment and ask questions, and Happy Halloween!
I don’t know what it’s like where y’all live, but in my neck of the woods there’s a crispness is in the air and the leaves are changing. Fall is HERE and I couldn’t be happier to see it arrive. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am a cold-weather girl. Fall is my favorite season, followed closely by winter. Sweaters and boots, comfort foods like soup and chili, pumpkin-spice everything – I tell you, it’s enough to make a girl grin from ear to ear.
Well, this girl is grinning extra wide because the changing of the seasons also means bringing out new decor, and with Halloween being tomorrow (crazy, right?), the front door wreath, mantle, and dining room have undergone a spooky transformation. As always, I was working my hardest to stick to a teeny tiny budget. Luckily, both my creativity and Pin-spiration are free. So sit back, grab a cup of cider, and take a tour through Halloween decor, circa1932-style.
All told, I spent under fifty dollars on everything. I have limited funds to decorate for holidays, and Christmas always gets the lion’s share since it’s my favorite, haha. As far as theme/vibe, I’m not really into blood and guts when it comes to Halloween decor, so you won’t find a lot of that here. Also missing are blatant references to demons, ghouls, and such – I try to keep things family-friendly in case friends with kiddos drop by.
Instead, I prefer to go with what I call “gothic chic” (with an admittedly healthy dose of Harry Potter). This has a few advantages. Mainly, I can find decor elements that work and yet still fall outside the traditional realm of Halloween decorations. Because of this, I can not only use things I already own, but I can also feel confident knowing that many of the items I do buy can be reused at other times of the year. I know that some people have inexhaustible storage space where they can keep shelves and shelves of things for one particular holiday or event (I’m lookin’ at you Mom!), but in my case storage is limited, and an item that multi-tasks is always welcome.
For the most part, I limited my color scheme to black and white with some metallic accents. There’s the occasional pop of red or purple in there for a little fun, but it’s few and far between. I’ve had it up for a few weeks now, and I have to say I couldn’t be happier – even the Doctor (who fails to share my zest for seasonal decorations despite my best efforts to convince him otherwise) made a point to tell me that he liked what I had done. Win-win!
Ready? Here we go!
As for the front porch, I kept this pretty minimal this year – a few pumpkins on the steps and this wreath to greet you when you come in.
To create the wreath, I just wrapped a grapevine wreath form with black feather boas I got at the Dollar Tree. I tucked the ends into the grapevine to secure them, so there’s not even any hot glue to mess with for this step. I wired on a black crow, also from Dollar Tree, and plopped a miniature witch hat I got at Joann Fabrics on her head to add some flair. A confession: to get the hat to stay, I pinned it in place with applique pins. I just stuck it through the hat and into the crow’s styrofoam head – poor birdie! Finally, I finished it off with black glitter ribbon and some fake flowers hot glued into place (from – you guessed it – Dollar Tree). All in all, it cost me less than ten bucks for the supplies, and took about ten minutes to make. If I were going to do it again, I’d probably spray the flowers black, but I’m pretty happy with it despite the purple.
Once you get inside the house (welcome!), the first thing you see is my entry. I kept this very
cheap minimal as well. I swapped out my owl vase for a mercury glass skull I got at Big Lots for eight bucks. I also swapped the silver bowl that is usually on the buffet to hold our keys and phones for a white ceramic pumpkin. It’s supposed to be a cookie jar I think, and I got it at Target for $7.99. I love how neutral it is, and after Halloween is over I can use it in my fall decor. I have plans for that ‘lil bugger, but you’ll have to wait and come back to see what they are!
Moving into the dining room, the focus is all on the table. See?
Here’s a closer look:
Here’s the skinny on the tablescape. I started with a white twin bedsheet (I think it was $5.00 at Walmart?) as the base. Over that, I added a lacy black tablecloth that I got at a thrift store for around $6.00. If you are looking for something similar, I saw some in Big Lots this year – they even came with an orange tablecloth as well (bonus!).
The central tree/branches came from Walmart. I got them many moons ago as part of an art project I did when I was in college (on second thought, better make that many MANY moons ago). Originally they were all white, but I sprayed some of them black with spray paint to add some contrast. Most of the year, they reside on my mantle in a vase, but for Halloween they made the perfect framework to perch some more dollar tree crows on (they are just wired on – no glue).
To get the branches to stay in place, I filled a smaller vase with uncooked rice (small pebbles, kitty litter, or beans would work too), and
shoved carefully buried the branches in the rice until I was happy with the placement. The rice weighs the “tree” down, and gives the branches stability. Then I just put the smaller vase in my larger hurricane vase and filled in-between them with faux spider webbing to hide the interior vase and the rice. Tip: the more you stretch the webbing out, the more realistic it looks.
To finish it off, I added some gold mercury glass candle holders that I got at Target and Homegoods earlier this year, as well as a mixture of clear candlesticks and metal candlesticks from the thrift store. A black glass pumpkin from Homegoods’ after Halloween markdowns last year and a chalkboard skull from Joann Fabrics ($5.00!) round out the centerpiece.
Since the only items I bought were the skull, the napkins, the crows, the spider webbing, and the tablecloth, I spent a grand total of $20 bucks for the tablescape. Pretty snazzy, huh?
We’re almost done – all that’s left is the bar, and the mantle in the living room.
For the bar, I knew I wanted to make a spellbook and potion ingredients as a nod to one of my favorite series – Harry Potter. Here’s what I came up with:
The spellbook is just an old book from the thrift store that I glued some new pages into. I created them on my computer, printed them out, and then aged them with tea and distress ink. To up the spook factor even more, I added a skeletal magnifying glass that I got at Homegoods several years ago. I saw them there this year as well, so you should still be able to find them. They come in the gold I bought as well as an aged silver color I believe. The potion bottles were another DIY – I cobbled together a bunch of ideas I saw on Pinterest to create them. I think I went a bit overboard with this particular project, but it was so much fun coming up with the labels and ingredients, I couldn’t stop myself!
Last but not least is the mantle in the living room. Here’s an overview shot (please ignore the unfinished built-ins):
And a few close-ups for your viewing pleasure:
As you can see, I added a crepe paper wreath over the mirror. Go here to learn how to make your own. I also hung up a Halloween banner I found at the Dollar Tree, and popped a spooky printable from A Night Owl into the frame where our wedding photo usually sits. Finally, I added some more potion bottles and some creepy “crystal balls” (inspired by the fabulous Flamingo Toes) atop thrifted candlesticks.
So there you have it – the our little cottage all decked out for All Hallow’s Eve. Make sure to come back tomorrow for the potion bottle tutorial, and feel free to ask questions or leave comments – it makes my day to hear from y’all!
Till next time,