I saw a recipe the other day on how to make “Candy Corn Fudge”! Like, I need another excuse to eat candy corn! I love seeing bags of candy corn on the candy aisles this time of year. More so are the Halloween displays, which is doubly exciting! Second only to Christmas, Halloween is the most decorated holiday of the year, especially for all of us here, at A Vintage Address! There are so many ways to decorate for Halloween! It can be cute, country, vintage, glitzy, or a combination… the list could go on for days!
When it comes to Halloween we tend to lean towards Mysterious and Spooky. Marylee, my dearest friend and CEO here, at A Vintage Address said it best, “Halloween at my house can be Spooky, eerie, ghostly, disquieting, ominous, foreboding, unearthly, mysterious, creepy, but NEVER, EVER GORY and always… pretty!” That’s not to say we can’t have a coffin or two and even beautiful vampires, or a haunted cemetery. Bones are great and a well-dressed skeleton, literally lives within us all! We just don’t do hatchets, blood, guts and severed limbs, except for a well-placed, non-bloody head, once in a while. We know some folks love gory and that’s alright with us, because even hard-core gore lovers can appreciate an ornate, elegant, creepy-cool look!
So how do we pull it all off? Well… it’s easier than you might think! Start with finding a look or two you love. Decide whether you are going to go with a theme and once decided the key is to FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS on your HOCUS POCUS! (Sorry! I couldn’t resist!)
First things first, you have to know what you have! You don’t have to write it all down, but it’s good to group like objects and see them together. Pumpkins to the left, Black Cats to the right. Sorting allows you to get a mental picture of what you own and see if it matches up, with how you want to decorate, color & theme wise. It’s also a great time to get rid of items you don’t love. When I decorate for Halloween, the look I try to achieve, lends itself more towards, stylishly dark, and sophisticated spooky! I always check all the magazine pictures and Pins from Pinterest, of Halloween ideas I love for details. Then I make a list of what I think looks cool and figure out how to achieve a similar look! Say your theme is Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. You would want to collect items that will act as props for the scene you want to create. Do you want Frankenstein’s monster? How about bubbling, lab equipment? What about dials and wires etc.? Once your list is together, you start on a hunt to find what you already have, that will work in your scene. You will be amazed what you can find in your house that could be helpful for that scene! Remember, to try and look at objects upside down, and sideways, to change your perspective and use of household items! Once you have gathered what you have you can mark it off your list. After that, it’s a shopping trip to some garage sales and a thrift store or two.
There are some standard items that always come in handy to haunt a home. Spray paint, Spray insulating foam, wire, spider webbing, jars of every shape and size, black fabric and spooky lighting. I have found colored gels that fit over lights to be especially helpful for setting moods! I also have a few folding banquet tables in different lengths, to use for parties and scenes, if I need them! If you’ve started worrying about costs at this point, let me just say, that this is a collection you build over time and can be re-purposed year after year! You can also train yourself to look for items all year long.
Below are a few tips to help you create the look you want.
No Halloween decor would be complete without spiders and webs. The trick to those bags of webbing is to keep pulling at it, until you think it is so thin, it will surely rip apart. Once the webbing is nearly invisible, add spiders in the most obvious positions on the web.
Create wonderful, ambient lighting, by grouping candles of varying heights together. Keep the candles all the same color in the grouping. You can change the type and height of the candle holder, but I would keep the color of the holders all the same, as well. This is where thrift shop candle holders and spray paint can work wonders, together! Think Black candle holders with white or red candles! Using candelabras can add that extra bit of haunted grandeur, as well.
Mark pathways and stairwells by using lanterns to give an incredibly eerie effect. Tiki torches are another wonderful tool for outdoor lighting.
Add surprise elements in unlikely places, like a skeleton hand on a tissue box in the bathroom!
Dress your skeleton! This is a great way to add to your theme. You can also spray paint them silver or gold!
Add black drapes to framed photos and mirrors.
Groupings are always effective! old bottles, vases with dead or dried flowers, skulls, black cats…the possibilities are endless.
Anything under a glass dome can appear to be a specimen or creepy keepsake. Dried flowers, small skulls, a bat, a skeleton hand holding a red rose, are just a few suggestions.
Add dimension to your scenes by stacking or elevating objects in a display.
Work the room, bottom to top! Remember there is a lot of space above your head, for haunting! A few flying bats may be just what the Wicked Witch or Mad Scientist ordered!
So, come and darken our doorstep and haunt our halls! Enter at your own risk! Watch your step, dodge the ghosts, duck the spider webs and beware of the candy dish! We will be telling ghost stories, reading palms, playing games, and enjoying Spooktacular foods and enticing witches brew.