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Spooky Decor Surprises Guests

  • October 3, 2011 6:44 pm

Don’t you love it when it takes someone awhile to spy a new piece you have added to your home? You wait for them to notice, hoping they do, and you are pleased that it caught their eye unexpectedly, and delighted them. That element of surprise is what I was aiming for this Halloween.

I have read several magazine spreads that encourage you to think outside the box and place objects in spots normally not reserved for props. For instance, one article I read suggested placing a life-size skeleton in the bathtub or behind a shower curtain. I can just image someone jumping at the sight of a bony bather!

Some objects “planted” throughout the house included dangling sequin spiders, a “haunted” book that produces sound effects when opened, several small ornaments, and two life-sized pieces — a witch holding a gray rat by his tail and a grim reaper clutching his lighted lantern.

spiders on mirror

Spiders dangle off a mirror

 

haunted book

This Hocus Pocus book and witch make a charming pair

The spiders and book fit perfectly on a dresser. I placed the spiders over the mirror and left them draped over the edge. The book was placed casually on the dresser top. I added just this one tome with Hocus Pocus written on its spine to ensure that it stood out, rather than shelving it alongside other volumes where it might get lost in the shadows of a bookcase.

Miniature and gem-size ornaments adorn a metal haunted house backdrop and gnarled black tree. I liked the idea of placing all the smaller ornaments together to create unity.

I found some outstanding candle holders this year. One is three hanging pumpkins for tea lights. I placed this alongside a figurine of a raven sitting on top of a pumpkin.

A skull and bony hand tart burner added a gruesome glow to a table covered with a red tablecloth and adorned with a dandy owl with pinstriped breast and a purple top hat.

The two life-sized props, a witch and grim reaper, might have been made to hang or stand watch at the front door, but I decided to invite them into the living (or should I say dead) room. The reaper sits in a blue chair, and the witch is placed on top of a black stove. This placement creates a unique perspective for guests, as the reaper figure is level with them in a chair, and she is looming over the whole room, looking down on visitors.

Overall, I think this decorating scheme will please the eye and create more than a few lingering glances from anyone who absorbs their surroundings.

I’d love to hear your decorating ideas. Leave comments below to share your own tips or tricks.

witch with rat

This witch sees all from her lofty perspective

Halloween ornaments

Miniature ornaments are at home on smaller displays

grim reaper

Grim guest

raven light

Pumpkins lights showcase a lone raven

skull tart warmer

A coffin lights this dark corner

 

 

 

 

O Halloween Tree

  • September 26, 2011 9:39 pm
Halloween Tree

Suckers and spiders hang out on this Halloween tree

Trees aren’t just for Christmas. I’ve noticed more decorative trees with non-traditional colors like baby blue, red, orange, pink and black. One black Colorado spruce tree captured my attention a couple of years ago. It was a great find for under $100 at 7 1/2 feet tall.

This tree was among many other Christmas trees on display in the gardening section at Walmart, but I had other plans besides Christmas decorating. I thought it would be perfect to display my Halloween ornaments. A large velvety spider with posable legs sits atop the branches in place of a star, and standing in for packages and a tree skirt, a silver steampunk spider with dangling keys guards the tree at the bottom branches, alongside cobwebs and a giant sparkly candy corn.

I love the way all the ornaments I’ve collected throughout the years complement one another. Special ornaments are the Christopher Radko, December Diamonds and a handmade ornament from one of my favorite Halloween artists, Ron Byrum.

Pier 1 Imports carried a wonderful collection of Halloween goodies this year, especially the candy-themed pieces. I bought all three of the lollipop designs they offered to put on the tree. One is black and white swirls, another is orange and white, and another is a jack-o-lantern face. After all, what is Halloween without candy, right?

For added color, I placed some black, purple, orange and green glittery twigs among the branches and a garland of silver and black bats around the tree’s center.

owl tree

Feathered friends fill the branches on this autumn tree

owl tree

Owl Tree

I collect owls, so there are several sprinkled throughout the branches. I saw an owl-themed tree at Casa de Granda, a home interiors store in Rogers, Ark. White and gray owls were interspersed with pumpkins, rust-colored twigs and foilage. I’m always interested in seeing Halloween trees, so feel free to leave a comment about your own or any trees you may have spied that created a great Halloween impression.

corpse bride

This Hallmark Corpse Bride ornament plays a song from the movie

halloween tree

A Ron Byrum ornament features a haunted house

 

halloween spider

A creepy spider spreads his legs at the tree top

halloween tree

A corner is lit with the tree's soft glow

 

Halloween Clean

  • September 20, 2011 10:22 pm
anti bacterial bat

This bat fends off germs

 

Black Candy Apple. Spider Cider. Wicked Spiced Pumpkin. With names like these (and luscious scents) it’s easy to get in the Halloween cleaning spirit. Bath & Body Works offers a spine-tingling selection of Halloween goodies to stock your bath and purse with body lotion and antibacterial PocketBac products.

A bat holder conveniently tucks away the travel-sized PoctBac and supplies a loop to add to a purse or keychain — perfect for scaring away germs on the go. My favorite scent is Chocolate Chew, with a glow-in-the dark ghost on the bottle. It reminds me of a candy bowl filled with chocolate treats.

My top pick for the body lotion is the Wicked Spiced Pumpkin. I love all pumpkin aromas, but this one really tingles the nostrils with a spicy cinnamon kick.

Slatkin & Co. candleholders and new Halloween scents included a Frankenstein, pumpkin, skull and cat. Each holder is small enough to add a soft glow to a side table or nightstand. I love the cat and its purple interior. I paired this up with the purple Frosted Cupcake scent, and the spicy Pumpkin Patch in the pumpkin head.

Even the soaps performed spooktacular duties this year. One coffin shaped hand soap (when pumped) lit up with an eerie green glow. Spiderweb “costumes,” or sleeves to fit over the soaps, are an elegant choice to showcase existing Halloween-themed soaps like Marshmallow (with a black and silver spider motif) or to dress up autumn fragrances like Caramel Apple.

These aromatic treats are sure to keep me going through the Halloween season. In fact, I stocked up to keep me in the spirit all year long!

pumpkin spice lotion

A skull and cat flank Wicked Spiced Pumpkin body lotion

Halloween candles

Spiced pumpkin scents fill the air

soap costume

This Caramel Apple soap wears a Halloween spiderweb costume

 

Halloween 2011 Preview

  • August 1, 2011 5:32 pm

 

Witch candle

A witch holds a melting black candle

It’s never too early to start shopping for Halloween, and today marks the unveiling of Grandin Road’s Halloween Haven. The site offers to-die for merchandise that is gorgeous, functional and highly creative. The most fun of all is watching their video featuring several products from the new catalog.

This mini movie unfolds with witches cackling above a bubbling cauldron. One crone shreds a page from last year’s Halloween Haven catalog and tosses it into the brew, effectively beginning the horror scenes that showcase 2011 products. A mysterious woman in white awakens to find herself saying “help me, I can’t get out.”

She walks as if in a trance past zombies with flashing eyes and figures emerging from underneath tombstones. Next, talking busts greet her on either side of a castle entrance. “Welcome to our humble haunt.”

The witches help transition this scene into another by casting pumpkin seeds into the pot, which conjures an image of a laughing halloween pumpkin. His jagged smile stretches and contorts with each chuckle. For the next scare, a witch scoops up a black furry spider and throws him into the mix.

This action affects the mysterious woman in white by the appearance of crawling spiders over her shroud and hissing cockroaches. She is greeted by a writhing wreath made of snakes before arriving as a guest at an all-white skeleton wedding. Skeletal hands poke out of walls and a couple long past their prime join bones at the alter.

A few splashes of a viscous red liquid whisks this “victim” into another role as a vampiress mingling with other vampires. A beating heart dumped by the witches creates the next scene as the woman touches her chest only to find a scar and a mad scientist surrounding her. She is dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein and is trapped until she is once again transported to a mirror where she spies her face alternating between her own the very crones who have been whisking her along on these adventures.

She becomes one of these witches who cackle as they morph into printed versions of themselves on the 2011 Halloween Haven/Grandin Road cover.

I was impressed with this video, and although it was designed to sell products, the shots were so elegant, such as the actress’s face reflected in the cauldron or in a red wine glass, you feel as if you are along with her on the journey through Grandin Road’s vision for Halloween.

Here are my top picks from the various categories:

  • Animated and Lifesize Figures: Venetian Victoria Halloween Figure, Martha Stewart Dr. Shivers Mad Scientist, Lifesize hanging Faceless Specter Halloween figure, Martha Stewart Hectate the Witch
  • Lighted Decor: Morphing Halloween Pumpkin, Morphing Halloween Skull, Velma and Evander Interactive Talking Halloween Busts, Zombie with Light and Sound, Martha Stewart Come Closer if You Dare Bag Set
  • Collectibles: Katherine’s Collection Mummy of Isis doll
  • Hanging Props: Hanging Halloween Witch, Hanging Halloween Cocoon Man
  • Wall and Window Accents: Animated Halloween Haunted Magic Mirror, Set of two wall-mount Skeleton Hands, Spiderweb Cascade Halloween Valance
  • Tabletop and Entertaining: Martha Stewart Glass Eyeball Serving Tray, Martha Stewart Chip and Dip Tombstone, Vwine Vampire Halloween Snack Dish, Set of four Halloween goblets, 54-inch square checked Halloween tablecloth, Martha Stewart Coffin Candleholder, Martha Stewart Halloween Chemistry Drinkware
  • Costumes and Accessories: Bite Me Rat Halloween Handbag, Wicked Women’s Shoes
  • Autumn Harvest: Midnight Twilight Swag, Garland, Urn Filler and Lucas Urn


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Pumpkins, scarecrows and apple decor are typical of what you might find at Cracker Barrel Country Store, but surprisingly, I have started paying attention to their Halloween stock in the last couple of years. The restaurant chain has continued with its Masquerade Party theme. Items like black and purple glittering cauldrons, bats and green witch hands with pink glittery “polish” adorn several new pieces. I bought the Witch’s Hand Blow Out Candle. It is elegant yet playful, with globs of the faux black candle melting down into her green palm and spilling out between her fingers.

The hand doesn’t look too ugly or bony/witchy, which makes it more realistic. I love these types of candle. They flicker, no mess and do not require any more effort than a AA battery. If you have collected several of these items, or purchased some of the next accessories, you will have a decent witchy wardrobe.

I combine all my Cracker Barrel pieces and make a sort of witch’s wardrobe in the corner of a bedroom. For example, the elbow-length gloves with lacy black and orange and stuffed witch hands at the end make for an elegant arch over a full-length mirror. A glittery black and purple hat sits on the mirror top, and witch boots sit on the floor at the bottom. It looks like her clothes are waiting for her to get dressed for the night and fly out the front door on her broomstick!

Different versions of these items can still be found this year.

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For tons of great Halloween and Harvest deocrating ideas, check out Pottery Barn. Vintage, elegant, retro and rustic can all be found here. Among my favorites are the Cheese Board and Mouse Knives Set, Spooky Burlap Table Runner and a set of four Curiosity Appetizer Plates. These plates depict an owl, mouse, skull and raven with elegant cursive words like Nevermore on the raven and see me run on the mouse.

If you just want to put a few items out, then vase fillers will add a minimal spooky infusion into your fall mix. I like the Glitter Spider and Mini Skull Vase Fillers.

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Looking for something no one else has? How about a Halloween circus? I was amused by these Vergie Lightfoot characters. My favorites are the Halloween Zebra (black, white and orange go well together), Black Cat Ringmaster and Circus Mice. City Flowers of Bellevue, Wash., offers a variety of top brands and exclusive finds. I certainly can’t afford it, but I was still amazed to see the detail that went into a 9-foot Halloween candy corn tree. This would certainly make a statement! I guess I will have to make my own.

Also featured are some new Midnight Sonata in G items from Katherine’s Collection. I love the new Steampunk spiders and skeleton figures and the Melancholia Bat Girl holding a box with a skull head. So unique! Several Patience Brewster and Glitterville items are also listed.

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I don’t see anything on the shelves in Walmart or Target, yet, I think it will be shortly after Labor Day, but you can still shop at their Web sites. In fact, most of the items I liked were only available online and not in stores. From Walmart, I liked the new 6-foot tall Reaper Carriage with Horse and Halloween Ground Fogger Machine.

At Target, standouts were the Jack-o-Lantern Luminary Collection, Illusive Concepts Floating Ghost and Realistic Hissing Cat.

I’ll keep looking for more Halloween treasures. Be sure to leave a comment about your favorite haunts or a great new item you’ve seen for this year.

 

Gothic Elegance

  • June 27, 2011 2:12 pm

 

Gothic elegance was the 2009 Halloween theme. I’ve tried to add some sparkle and shine with glittery black tree branches, a witch corner, a special display for a corpse bride and a Halloween village. It took me about a week to put all this stuff back, but it’s so much fun to arrange in different ways each year. I was happy to discover a new witch bust, one of my best finds, from upscale retailer Horchow. I got her on sale and couldn’t be happier with the vibrant colors and black glittery accents that add to her menacing allure. 

Here’s a few highlights below:

corpse bride doll

A lonely ghost carries her lantern in search for the living

 

This is a Katherine’s Collection doll from the Shiver Me Timbers collection. The title is Lady of Balete, but I think of her as a modifed Corpse Bride. This one is unique. Her left hand had two fingers broken off of them when I ordered it, so I hot-glued them together in the hopes it would look like some wax from her candle dripped onto her hand. 

Also, I wasn’t satisfied with the lips, which I thought looked a little snarly, so I tried to match the color and paint them a little more thicker. This is one of my favorite dolls. She embodies a lost spirit, but doesn’t really look too perturbed, just relaxed in a dreamy state between this world and another…

These two dolls complete each other’s web. Both are from Katherine’s Collection. Mr. Snidely sports a dapper top hat and spider staff, while Griselda shows off her colorful attire with a hairdo reminiscent of the Bride of Frankenstein. Both watch over a bag of baby spiders waiting to crawl out all over the living room floor. 

spider dolls

Mr. Snidely and Griselda watch over some baby spiders crawling out of their bag

 

A black owl was a perfect door greeter. The Welcome royal Halloween banner featuring a skull wearing a crown was another spooktacular purchase from Target, as well as the werewolf bust at the bottom with flashing red eyes. Both were from the retailer’s Halloween Heraldry collection, an affordable take on gothic glamour. 

royal Halloween ban

A black owl greets visitors at the door

 

This is one of the buffet tables I use for the Department 56 Snow Village Halloween collection. This is my city scene, the commercial district, complete with a motel, movie theater, wax museum, brew pub and costume shop. Lugging the village out and unpacking all the styrofoam boxes consumes the most of my time, but it’s worth it to see the village come alive each year in new designs and districts. 

town of Halloween

The village is busy on Halloween night

 

pumpkin candolier

A pumpkin candolier lends a glow to festive ornaments

 

It’s a shame the Radko’s Shiny Brite line does not include Halloween items anymore. These pieces offer a nostalgic, retro-look to any scene. I was lucky to find this candolier on eBay. It provides a soft orange glow to any dark corner. 

candy dish, nutcracker

All the spooks find a spot on the bookshelf

 

A bookcase offers a landing spot for some decorative pieces without a theme. The candlestick is a part of a Masquerade collection by, surprise: Cracker Barrel. The franchise has offered some unique pieces like this that fit into a sort of elegant party theme each season. This candlestick is fun to use. All you have to do is pick it up and drop it to turn it on and off. 

Next is a Jim Shore Headless Horseman, alongside a candy dish guarded by a raven and another candlestick from Hallmark. This one flickers and glows and is battery operated. I especially like the face featured in the candle flame.

mantel scarf, fireplace

Fireplace fiends gather to celebrate All Hallows Eve

 

A butler and the evil mistress of the mansion flank some colorful comrades decked out in beads and feathers. 

ghostly boat ride

Tattered ghosts wail at sea

 

I didn’t think this picture would ever be completed. It started out as a cross stitch pattern called Skeleton Crew. I had never been a cross stitch fan and was dismayed to find out it was 17-count (super-tiny) holes cloth to stitch these in. Well, I tried and after one hour, it felt like I was going cross-eyed. So for months I put the pattern out of sight and thought about throwing it away. A trip to Hobby Lobby and a walk down the acrylic paints aisle gave me an idea. I bought a canvas and some paints, in addition to these distressed frame that looked like it had been battered at sea. 

Next, I placed the cross stitch pattern over the canvas and traced it with a pencil. I then painted the outlines and added a few embellishments. In the original, there is no moon, bats, or hill with a spooky tree on it. I’m glad this image is preserved now, because I believe it would have taken me 15 years to complete the original way.

scarecrow doll

Autumnal friends gather for the season

 

I used these items to hide some cords. They make a fun group. The scarecrow is from a shop in Branson, Mo., called Mulberry Mills Gifts & Floral, which carries a lot of works by local artists.

dinner table, Halloween theme

Bone Appetit

 

The table is ready for a Halloween feast. For the spiderweb effect I looped some webbing around my kitchen table lights and spread them out to the ends of the table. 

A pork tenderloin mummy wrapped in phyllo dough rests is ready to escape his sauerkraut bed. This was easy to make. 

warped picture

A queen turns into a medusa monster

 

Yet another masterful offering from Target. This picture is one of the best of its kind I’ve seen. The queen’s image changing into a maniacal cat/medusa figure that scared more than a few visitors to my house. 

This clear skeleton server looks like the real thing as its used to scoop up some thick Witch’s Brew.

spooky punch, skull hand

A skeleton hands out some Witch's Brew

 

green witch

Mean and Green

 

One of the more serious witches I’ve encountered. This Horchow witch I was talking about above was a wonderful addition to my collection and didn’t break the bank, since it was on sale the week before Halloween. 

I really like this witch’s expression. She grimaces as she grips her broom handle, ready to fly. 

purple witch on broom

Up, up and away

 

witch, grim reaper, vampire, Jim Shore

Harbingers of Halloween, a witchy weathervane joins the grim reaper and a vampire.

 

Jim Shore has produced some excellent Halloween pieces. I remember thinking that this Witch Weathervane was a departure from his more family-friendly, Disney characters. Definitely a figure you won’t forget.

skeleton

A dapper skeleton dances to his own beat

 

I tried to place these skeletons together in their own scene. The cloth figure is by Joe Spencer, and the Boney Bunch skeletons are from Yankee Candle Co. 

Some of these were about $14. I was amazed to learn about three weeks after I bought them that they were sold out in 2008 and were going for more than $100 on eBay. Glad I got mine when they first came out in August.

witch, purple

Dressed to thrill

 

The witch with the purple hat is from December Diamonds. I have long admired this company known for its mermaids and mermen ornaments. I thought this was a well-crafted piece with colors that pop and little details like her coffin purse. 

witch on broom

This witch is a vision in purple

 

This owl witch and Lenox Moonlight Enchantress completes my witchy-themed corner. Lenox used to make some outstanding Halloween figurines, but lately, they mainly produce Disney pieces. Nothing wrong with that, but these more traditional Halloween collectibles are my favorite. Just give me a witch who is unknown, not a character in a movie or cartoon, but one that looks like she could be someone you know, or at least a real Halloween haunt.

welcome mat, haunted

A Haunted welcome

 

Lowe’s really surpised me this year with their Halloween decor. The company doesn’t usually have Halloween props, but they did this year. This welcome mat is from the store. It’s the perfect balance of creepy and elegant.

witch, butler, dracula

Team Halloween

 

Dracula, a gruesome butler and haggard witch await trick-or-treaters. I made the small wreath in the background out of black feathers and beaded branches.

My house has a black mold on it — perfect for Halloween. I didn’t have to produce that effect on purpose!

October roses, fall

Sun rays create a haunting ambiance

 

The landscaping usually looks unassuming, but I thought this picture of soft sunlight stretching its rays out over the roses, ghost and pumpkin cast an eerie light on the scene.

Jack-O-Lantern glow

Glowing Jack

 

I placed this jack-o-lantern decoration on either side of my garage over lights to give it an other-worldly glow when trick-or-treaters walked up the drive. 

gravestones

Grave stones line the walk

 

I place tombstones I’ve collected over the years in the landscaping. Usually I trim back the weeds and dead hostas, but I was hoping the unkept appearance would make it look more like a real haunted house. 

pumpkin

Orange Glow

 

I bought one tree at Lowe’s this year and added some orange and purple lights to my dwarf alpine spruce tree. 

costume, wig

Checking out the moon

 

The flash wasn’t on in this photo to show the orange glow cast by the trees and pumpkin. That’s me checking out the scene. 

I am usually a blonde for Halloween, since I have naturally dark hair. It’s a fun change, and that’s what the holiday is all about, to step out of your comfort zone and become someone else.

Dreadful Decor

  • June 27, 2011 2:07 pm



Gravely the butler awaits trick-or-treaters
Gravely the butler awaits trick-or-treaters

 
I’ve collected Department 56 Snow Village Halloween for 11 years, and I have watched the town grow each year. Nearly every item you could think of spotting in a real town — from stoplights to construction cones — has been developed by artists. The villages became a monster of sorts and start to take over the whole house. I don’t have room to display in now all together, so I’ve set up tables in other rooms, including the kitchen, to allow for more space in spreading out different sections of the village.

Some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way have enhanced my decorating experience. Some are purchased from Department 56, and others are fashioned from found objects or floral leftovers from craft stores. We’ll take a tour of this year’s village at Village Scapes. Enjoy your visit!

 

Haunting The Home

One of my biggest challenges is grouping odds and ends I’ve found throughout more than 14 years of collecting. So I try to envision areas of the home where each piece would most naturally fit. For example, I have my collection of wine bottle candle holders and kitchen witches in the kitchen, and spooky black feathered owls with red eyes sitting on top of the topiaries by the front door.

Color schemes are another consideration. I found a regal looking owl with purple glitter around its eyes, and propped him a small chair. For added color, I arranged a purple bead garland around a candle and tucked the ends under the chair.

I find these spangled wreaths at a Lilli’s, a home and garden decor shop in Eureka Springs, AR. They add a sparkle to any scene. I used one an orange garland around a lamp and let the ends hang down to form colorful tendrils. This was the perfect complement to an Evangeline Ghastly doll, who was dressed all in black. I placed her and her horrific cat under a lamp.

Evangeline Ghastly
Evangeline Ghastly and her Halloween cat are ready to haunt the house

 

black owl
A regal looking owl sits in his chair

 

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Purple is the color for 2010. I’ve seen it at most major retailers, including Yankee Candle Co. The all-purple display in the store caught my attention, along with a large black crow in a purple bird cage and wine bottle tea light holders that look like they are lit from black lights when a candle burns.

I found the perfect welcome mat with purple lettering at Pier1 Imports. I love the bat shape instead of the traditional square.

bat mat
Bat Mat

 

Sleepy Hollow Winery
A bottle from Sleepy Hollow Winery keeps a grim reaper company in the kitchen

 

purple cage
A crow sticks his beak out of a purple cage

 

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I don’t have many vintage or retro Halloween pieces, although I’m starting to collect those. I think this crescent moon with a cat and pumpkin dangling down the side is a wonderful addition. It is designed by Halloween artist Scott Smith/Rucus Studio for Bethany Lowe. The piece looks at home alongside a black fluffle bird and mean green witch bust.

With and moon
A jolly moon offsets a grim witch

 

A black bowl I use for potpourri made the perfect spot for a painted gourd with mouth carved into a bat shape. A little bit of moss added underneath provided an accent to the bright orange. Several household items make the perfect props for your Halloween pieces. You could use cake stands, serving trays and apothecary jars to display collectibles.

Even a grapevine floral design came in handy. I had four kitchen witch ornaments, but I didn’t want to display then on an ornament tree or have them hanging in the way, so I fastened them to the filler in this grapevine cone. I think they look like they belong flying among the twisting green vine. In fact, the girls look so good, I plan to keep them up all year.

kitchen witch
Four kitchen witches fly on a fork, spoon, whisk and spatula, casting their cooking spells

 

These food-themed dolls from Katherine’s Collection add a whimsical touch to the kitchen. One is placed on the fruit stand — next to other bad apples — and the corn is one the veggie bin, and lastly, the pumpkin carver sits atop a pumpkin.

gourd scene
A haunted village scene is painted on this gourd

 

apple man
Rotten to the core

 

pumpkin man
The pumpkin carver

 

corn man
The corn stalker

 

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I believe in decorating every room in the house for Halloween. This prevents my whole living room looking like a store, as one blunt visitor put it. Spiders aren’t usually a welcome sight in the bathroom, but this one from Bath & Body Works is adorable with her orange bow and black body. Best of all, the spider loofah can help you stay clean in spooky style.

spider loofah
Spider girl joins me for a bath

 

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The store went all out for Halloween this year. The Harry Slatkin candles were scrumptious smelling. My favorite was Creamy Pumpkin, which sold out at the local store in the first two weeks it was out. Slatkin has also designed a haunted house candle holder that is bewitching when the candles glow, as the interior is painted orange.

 

 

boo mansion
These haunted house windows present a warm orange glow

 

Even the dish towels were creepy. I hung them over the kitchen cabinets to showcase their creative names: Ice Scream Cone, Scarrots and Terrormisu.

kitchen towel terror
Towel terrors

 

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A large mirror in the corner of a bedroom gave me the idea to create a witch’s dressing area, with two arms and a boot attached to the mirror frame. This is the only Halloween decor in the bedroom, but it’s simple enough to not overwhelm the space and lend a playful touch to the holiday.

witch boot
The witch’s boot is ready for her to slip on for an evening of fun

 

witch hands
Lacy orange sleeves complete the witch’s outfit

 

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Smaller pieces tend to get lost among large busts, dolls or pumpkins, so I placed them on bookshelves and try to think of some creative ways to display them. It’s really fun to place them in seemingly ordinary spots in the house. The effect is a little more startling when a ghost or skull head pops up in a fern, curio cabinet or window.

rats and nutcrackers
Black rats scuttle along a bookcase shelf

 

It’

Halloween nutcrackers are not as prevalent as their Christmas counterparts, but they are equally charming. The Frankenstein on the left is from Target, and the one on the right is a Jim Shore design. I scattered some black velvety rats and gray sisal rats along the sign for a creepy effect.

Skeleton key and witch ornaments hang from a DVD case, which allows them to command more attention than lost on a tree of ornaments.

A small ghost could have been lost in the crowd, but he stands out as a surprise. He is tied to a pull cord on window blinds.

skeleton key
Skeleton key and witch hang out together

 

Ghost cord
A tiny ghost dresses up a blind cord

 

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Spiders, spiders everywhere! I knew something special had to be done with two large spider dolls that were displayed separately last Halloween. I had found a great bench from the previous year at a store closing sale, and I thought this would be perfect for the couple to sit in front of the fireplace.

An ordinary spider web that retails for $2 formed a backdrop. Plastic spiders were placed in the web to resemble a steady stream of them crawling from the “power couple.” I opened another bag of fuzzy spiders to create a total spider homecoming.

 

 

spider couple
A spider couple is surrounded by Halloween friends

 

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A home wouldn’t be complete without Dracula stopping by for a visit. This year the count settled into a corner and folding a wing around his red wine.

dracula red wine
Dracula takes a drink

 

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