Monday, October 28, 2013

Fun and Inexpensive Halloween Decorating

Every year we host a Halloween party at our house.  I have done a little decorating for it in the past, but this year I found some great buys at good prices that really upped the decorating factor, and I love it. I started with the table where all the food would be laid out. I have had this piece of fabric since I was in college and used it as a swag curtain in my dorm room, yeah, classy, I know. Since it's so long I thought it would be kind of fun to drape it down over the table from above. It feels creepier to me that way, I don't know why, but I like it.

Next I worked on the decorations for the table itself. I bought some candlesticks at a garage sale for twenty-five cents several years ago and painted them black. You can read the tutorial for that here. I also grabbed a green vase that a found at another garage sale a while back that is all bumpy and looked a little creepy and Halloween-esqe to me.

Next I quickly threw together this little mummy lantern that Katie Bower explains how to make here. I  cheated a little and just used some white streamers that I had on hand instead of actual fabric, and black construction paper for the eyes and mouth, but I still think it turned out fine, and took less than 5 minutes to make with no money spent since I already had the vase, construction paper and streamer. Oh, and I just taped the construction paper and streamer right onto the vase, just making sure that any tape that you can see (which is very minimal) was in the back.

After looking at the table so far, I decided it needed some height, so I headed out to the back yard to get a few sticks to throw in the green vase, but while I was looking I came upon something much better in the slightly overgrown section of the yard along the fence. I have no idea what this plant is called, but I loved playing with them as a kid. It has purple berries on it that you can squish and will dye your skin purple, I don't think my mom was ever that happy about it when I came in with purple hands and sometimes a purple face, but I guess even then I was a sucker for using what you've got to make something fun. Anyway, I thought that the way the berry branches hung down (almost all of the berries had dried up and fallen off at this point, so they won't be staining anything in my house) and the reddish purple color of the stem was perfect for Halloween, so I cut off a long stem and put a little water in my vase and BAM! awesome centerpiece. I know it doesn't look that exciting in this picture, but it will by the time we are done.

I found some fun paper cut-outs at the dollar store that came in packs of fifteen. There were bat, spider and owl packages (as well as some rats that I didn't get because that didn't sound like my cup o' tea) and each package had two to three different shaped animals in it. I can't tell you how much impact these added to the whole house. I came home with one package each of spiders, bats, and owls, so 45 paper cut-outs in total. I was able to spread them around the whole house, and I love it. I added them to the windows in all of the common rooms as well as in the bathroom and on a couple of things outdoors as well. I think my favorite placement has to be on the inside of the lamp shade though. Here is what it looks like when the lamp is off.

Then when you turn it on...

I had a the same kind of thing going with a spider on the tv, but some of our friends were a little disconcerted by it while we were watching the World Series, so it sadly got moved elsewhere. Here are a few more shots of some of the places the cut-outs made it around the house. 

I also saw some 99 cent spiderwebs while at Party City one day that could supposedly spread to as much as 40 square feet, so I bought three of them to give them a try. I have to admit, they had a little bit of a learning curve to them, but after a little working with them we got it down. Jake put a couple out over the front porch and added a couple of the paper spiders to them. 

I especially like the one that hangs down right over the door. Some other things in the house got spookified with spiderwebs too, like the edges of the tv and this original black and white print that we have by a talented artist friend of ours that already looks a little spooky, so when we added spiderwebs and hung it crooked it was just perfect. 

We also added spider webs over the sink and on the food table in the kitchen. 

I rounded out the food table with a couple of tapers in the candlesticks and a small candle in the mummy vase, as well as another black and white print by our friend that looks a little creepy, and of course, a bowl of candy, it is a Halloween party after all. I really love how the table turned out, and I even printed out these labels for the food too once there everyone showed up and the table was loaded down with all kinds of treats. I feel like the table has so much more impact in person than you can pick up in the pictures, but here are a few detail shots that I love of it.

In all it was a lot of fun doing all the decorating, and it only ran me $7 total for the cut-outs, spiderwebs and taper candles since I had everything else I needed on hand. Even though the party was on Saturday we will be leaving everything up until Halloween since it's so fun and I don't want to pull it down yet, besides, we will be having people over to the house every day leading up to Halloween, and then trick-or-treaters that day, so why take it down when there are more people to enjoy it with still? 

Any other cheap decorating going on this weekend? If you have any other great ideas, please share, we love getting more inspiration!

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