Thursday, October 2, 2008


It's finally autumn here in the Pacific Northwest. More specific it feels like Indian Summer. The leaves are changing color, it's getting darker earlier and we've had some pretty warm days.

I started decorating my house last night for Halloween. In the past I have just gone with a fall theme that would get me through Thanksgiving and thrown in some spooky stuff during the month of October. This year I am getting in to the spookiness of the season. Maybe it's due to that film I worked on two summers ago (you can see the trailer here) although that was gorier than I want my house to look. I've seen enough Karo syrup to last a lifetime!

I have been inspired by images from Grandin Road, this Martha Stewart party idea and this book. It's kind of a dusty not taken care of look I am going for. Not too gory but creepy and since I don't often dust - it's perfect! I don't have a lot of money this year but I think if I shop thrift stores I can get a lot of the stuff I want and build the rest over time.

If I lived in a house I would make the front yard a big graveyard and position a couple foggers for the perfect ambiance. We have a backyard and it's tempting to do something like that back there. But, since no one will see it it's pretty pointless. One day.....

The front porch would be leaf blown and covered in cobwebs. A creeky rocking chair, some lit pumpkins and thunder and lightning effects complete the picture.

All the entry needs is a place to park your broom and hang your cloak and witches hat. Carefull you don't peek, you may find a few skeletons in the closet.

A bunch of sheet covered furniture is all the living room needs for an inviting sit down. Gauze or cheesecloth for ratty window coverings and flickering candles to set the mood.

More ratted gauze or cheese cloth hung in the archway between my kitchen and dining room leaving a little to the imagination for the buffet table and bar. I love the warped candelabra in the photo below and hope to find one like it. It really doesn't take much in this room to add to the ambiance. The lilies are a nice touch but I might replace with black roses.

A centerpiece for the buffet table or even the bar. Red wine is one of the perfect beverages to serve!

No bar would be complete without mixers like rat poison, zombie virus and snake oil.

I have a bookshelf in my hallway that I would love to turn in to a specimen collection full of glass cloches (love them) of creepy items like a brain (cauliflower), eyeballs (pearl onions), intestines (colored pasta or rice) and maybe a little eye of newt (peas).

I like this skull and bones idea but don't think I will make mine glittery. I have a smaller cheese cloche with a marble base (bought at a yard sale for $4) and thought it might be good filled with lady fingers or shrunken heads.

I think putting things you love in to everyday or holiday settings are a great idea. I really want to find an old wooden bird cage. How funny would it be to put a skeleton of a bird in it? I have some old suitcases stacked in a corner of my dining room. I plan to put the leg of a pair of pants hanging out of it with a shoe and stuffed sock.

I have a shelf over my garden window that holds travel related tchochkies year round. I was inspired by this photo to decorate the shelf. Masses of books, some rats and a skull thrown in for good measure. I read about a cool way to transfer photos to make images look like ghosts. As soon as I try that out I will report back.

I love my pets but everyone needs a black cat - or two.

This skeleton is about one of the only things I can't reproduce easily. I will save my pennies so I can order him. I wonder what he's reading?

A little something to keep me company in the library.

Even the bathroom can get in to the act with a pill container full of bugs, rusty shaving implements or rotten dentures in a soaking glass.

I have seen these great holographic framed photos at party stores. My favorite is a couple on their wedding day circa late 1800's. When you shift your view ever so slightly they turn in to skeletons. Perfect for over the mantle. I want a large collection of black candles all shapes and sizes for the top of the mantle.

Some Halloween trivia

Jack o’ lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain (pronounced Sawen) holiday.

The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.

Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the Roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees others believe the Celts are responsible.

The movie Halloween was made in only 21 days in 1978 on a very limited budget.

My favorite Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus followed closely by Practical Magic, The Craft and I've Been Waiting For You

What's your favorite holiday movie?


Clean ClutterFree Simple said...

Wow! I wanna trick or treat at your house! :-)

paisley penguin said...

Most of these ideas are still that. Got to have cash or luck out at the thrift store for some of this. Many of these thins I will aspire to over the course of a few seasons.