Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Our Halloween Decor

With everything going on this past month, I decided to take it easy with fall and Halloween decorations this year.  I still wanted it to be festive, but I just wasn't going to get out of hand and put pressure on myself to make tons of stuff.  Thank goodness last year I was a crafting machine and so this year I reused a lot of things I made last year.  Nobody really cares around here but me anyway, so what does it really matter?!  Well, the way I figure, since I spend a lot of time at home (since it's still pretty tough to get out with all three kids), I want to be able to look at pretty decorations and enjoy them.  So I make them, put them up, and I do enjoy them.  So it's all just to please myself.  Don't judge. :)
So here's the mantel; the majority of the Halloween decor.  I made everything last year, with the exception of the chalkboard.

I printed all the Halloween chevron art from various blogs last year (pretty sure the original links are still on my Happy Halloween pinterest board, if you're interested).  And the chalkboard was so super easy to make!  I bought the giant ikea frame from Goodwill about a year ago, and Grayson's newborn portrait hung in it over her crib.  But I took that picture down when we combined the girls rooms, and had this huge frame to use somewhere else.  Since the backing on ikea frames is a very smooth, almost particle board-like, I thought that it would make a great chalkboard.  So I painted it (with about three coats) with my trusty black chalkboard paint, let it dry for a few days, and conditioned it (just rub it all over with a stick of chalk on it's side and wipe it off with a dry rag) and voila, chalkboard!  The best part is that since I painted the backing and not the glass, if I get tired of it being a chalkboard, I can still use it as a frame!  But I plan on using it for Thanksgiving and Christmas on the mantel, and I think I can transform it for each holiday!

The pumpkins in the hurricanes and on the candlesticks are sparkly glitter pumpkins that I got from the Dollar Store last year.  And I made the candy corn art by just wrapping two styrophome cones with orange, yellow and white yarn, and hot gluing it in place.  Easy!  And yes, the pictures of Brantley and Grayson on the mantel are out of date, and will be replaced with pics of all three kids once we have our holiday portrait taken next month!

The trick or treat bunting was another pinterest find, but the original source has been lost. :(  I printed it off, backed it with scrapbook paper, and strung it up with jute twine.

The L pumpkin was just a plain plaster pumpkin that I purchased from Hobby Lobby last year, and I free-handed an L on it with black craft paint.

I went a little printable-happy last year, and here are two more that made the collection.  I think they're cute ways to easily (and cheaply!) add to the Halloween spirit without spending much money (Dollar Store frames and free prints!), and without getting out of hand with the decorating.  They blend in with the rest of the decor.

I LOVE this wreath that I made last year, but it made a HUGE mess!  I used a straw wreath form, 2 packages of peat moss (found in the floral department at Hobby Lobby), more of my handy Dollar Store pumpkins, a strip of burlap and hot glue.  You unwrap the peat moss and realize that it's going to be a messy project.  It has SO much dirt attached to it, and as you break apart the moss sections to mold and fit onto the wreath form, all that dirt comes loose, breaks off and gets everywhere.  You just hot glue it onto the form as best you can (and I left the back bare since you can't see it, and only applied the moss about 3/4 the way around the form).  Once that's complete and dry, you kind of place the pumpkins on as you like them, and glue them in place.  The pumpkins aren't heavy, but you need a TON of glue for this part, to keep them in place and together.  And then you have to kind of hold them in place until they dry.  Once the moss and pumkins are in place and dry, you wrap your strip of burlap (or burlap ribbon!) around it, tie a pretty bow, and hang it on a wreath hanger on your door.  I love how it looks and it held up well.  I am lucky to have a lot of great storage space in our basement, and I put big long nails into some of the studs down there to hang my out of season wreaths so they don't get crushed in boxes!  Anyway, it's an easy wreath, and just have a broom handy, or put out newspaper before you start for easy cleanup!
As for the front door, I killed the pretty mums we bought last year (I can barely keep water in Monkey's water bowl, much less remember to water flowers), so we just opted for a few carved pumpkins at the front door this year.  Maybe I'll get crazy in the next couple of days and add some flair, but I'm thinking it's going to stay like this!  Simple and clean, right?!
Anyway, that's about it this year!  The girls and I will be working on some cute and easy crafts this week since Brantley's out of school for fall break, and that will top off our Halloween decorating this year!
How are you decorating this year??
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