Halloween Decorating 2014

Halloween Decorating 2014

Decorating for the holidays is something I’ve never taken too seriously. I like to get into the spirit of it, of course, and I’ll put a few things up around the apartment and on the door to celebrate. Chrismukkah is probably the most elaborate I’ve ever gotten, with a tree and some light strings and some figurines dressing up the shelves. After the spontaneous Halloween blowout I had this year, however, this is likely to change once December hits.

It started simply enough. I put together a few fall festive items: a leafy table runner, some fall-scented and colored candles, a big leafy wreath on the door, pumpkin ceramics for the shelves, and fresh fall-colored flower bouquets. But something happened one week before Halloween. I started seeing the houses with all the cobwebs and the gravestones and the skeletons and, quite frankly, I snapped. I had to do something spooky in our apartment. Down came warm fall festive and little by little I creeped the place out. Here’s what we accomplished before All Hallow’s Eve hit.

The Haunted Hall

We kept this pretty simple and straight-forward. Outside we hung a handmade wreath. Inside, our walls are painted in a two-tone purple stripe, so we decided to take it in a Tim Burton direction. We added some purple lights around the huge mirror, hung a simple, store-bought plastic lantern, swapped out a lovely green entrance-way throw rug with small black rugs, and blocked off the super brightness of our kitchen overheads with backlit Halloween curtains.

Handmade, I took a standard craft store circle of twigs and spray painted them matte black. Then I wove a battery-pack string of tiny orange lights through. Using woven black and sheer purple ribbon, I secured the battery pack to the backand gained a nice wrap around the wreath, curly them together at the top. Then I got some glittery black plastic flowers and spaced them throughout. Finally I used a little of the cotton spider webbing we’d used inside to hang a plastic spider in the center.
Handmade sign for Nightmare Before Christmas’ Halloween Town, starring a styrofoam Jack Skellington head with black foam eyes and nose, felt border, yarn mouth with black staples. The plaque is a light wood painted with speckled gray paint with a heavy black cardstock center, bordered with decorative tape. Black wire forms the handle in the shape from the movie mountain. Spider letters I found in the Silhouette library and dressed up with a background and Taran added hand “boned” silver lines.
Bat Curtains create a great divide between rooms.
Purple lights on a mirror cast spooky reflections.
Spider themed battery lantern. Cheap buy at Rite Aid.

The Bloody Bathroom

For the bathroom, we went simple, store-bought gory. Next year we’ll probably take this a little further with a little more creativity, but the effect turned out just fine this year… especially from inside the the tub.

Two bloody shower curtains, a bloody footprint rug, and a ton of blood splatter clings (3 gels and a ton of flat).

The Spooky Parlor

The real work went into transforming our living room. The funny thing I learned about our apartment is that many of the everyday items that make it seem cozy are the same things that make it seem super-creepy in a Halloween context.

The ambiance begins with some tips from the master, Martha Stewart. I followed her instructions for “moth eaten” curtains, taking some off-white sheets and spraying them with black tea, then cutting them up. We used cheap bathroom curtain hooks to add them to the rod. Then with the leftover sheets, we covered our furniture (also a MS tip). The chaise looked particularly creepy, and next year I’m hellbent on turning it into a coffin.


Our Wall of Maps (actually aged, vintage-looking maps of pop culture fictional locales) turned creepy by a lot of subtle skewing, lots of thinly stretched web and a bunch of spiders, including one big sucker.


Candles are commonplace in our apartment, but…

We always use this 5-tealight candle holder. Replace the family photos surrounding it with creepy clowns, doll heads and vintage strangers and the mood goes a little cold.
A simple black candelabra is a must in a spooky parlor. These special tapers are white with bloody drips. We also added a black lace table runner and placemats, a candy corn jar and we let a fall flower bouquet wilt.
Tombstone tealight holders from Rite Aid. Nuff said.


Speaking of family photos

Found the picture at a flea market. Got the ornate wooden frame at Michaels and just spray painted it black. Easy peasy.
Our Hogwarts frame made the perfect home for the twins from The Shining. Meanwhile Taran found the head in a jar concept and was psyched to try it. It’s a special printout that’s laminated, then submerged in a jar full of water tinted with food coloring.


And the effect of these simple tricks can be equally… (wait for it)… jarring

Another Martha Stewart project. Orange pin cushion flowers submerged in water tinted with green food coloring and backlit by a tea light candle for effect.
A floating plastic rat and squishy eyeballs piled into an old olive jar with water tinted with red food coloring.
Can’t remember the flower (maybe a polygonum?) but I cut it up and submerged it in an orange-tinted water, then backlit it with a tea light.

More jars

A bunch of tiny jars filled with different colored water. Next year we’d like to vary this up with some bigger sizes and more creepy stuff inside. Also a great mirror shot of the candy corn lights and our everyday vintage media, which again takes on a creepier tone in this context.

Some simple adjustments:

Our console table typically has everything pictured except for the picture, the tablecloth with the draped veil, and the paper, which reads “All work and no play makes Robin a dull girl.”

And here are a few more odds and ends:

This Sea Holly seemed way too cool to dunk in water, so we put it on display.
That fake flower in the crystal vase is always there. It just turns totally creepy when you stick a skull head in front of it.
Amber glass scales, candle and shelves are part of our everyday decor. Add a few plastic rats and…

All this accomplished in one week! With a whole year to plan for next Halloween and 3 rooms as yet unexplored, the possibilities are (dare I say?) frightening!


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2 responses to “Halloween Decorating 2014


Please! I have been looking for bat curtains that aren't cheesy, and nice JUST like these. But I can't find them ANYWHERE. Please, do you recall where you found these? Thank you so much!


Alexas, Sorry for the late reply. I swear I have searched my email thoroughly to see if I can figure out where the receipt is from. I can't find it anywhere. So my best guess is that I think I picked these up in person somewhere, which would mean it was probably Target or Bed Bath and Beyond. If I do find them again, I'll definitely let you know.

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