Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Creepy, Classy Halloween Decor for $15

Some candlesticks, rats, ravens and spiderwebs spook up the mantle
I have a pet peeve. Ok, I have LOTS of pet peeves.  But one of them is tacky holiday decor.  You probably know this since I did a whole article last year on How to Un-Tacky Your Christmas Decor.  Well...here is Part II: How to Un-Tacky your Halloween Decor.

Let me start by saying I'm not perfect.  I've had my share of flickering strobe lights, sagging spider webs, and stuffed witches. But practice helps, and every year I seem to get a little less tacky.  Here is what I've learned about holiday decorating over the years:

Five Lessons Learned About Decorating for the Holidays:
  1.  Start with the pros. Pottery Barn has designers and I do not.  So...browse, find, copy, repeat.  I love their holiday issues because they have such subtle and beautiful ways they decorate.  The sled propped outside the entry door, the stack of Christmas music on the piano, and the black candlesticks above the mantle.  Which brings me to point No. 2...
  2. Less is more.  The more decorations you have, the more confusing the message.  Your home goes from holiday decor to fun house with just one too many decorations.  So, to avoid this, pick one or two "themes" (for example, ghosts, witches, or skeletons for Halloween and either snow, woodsy pines, or Santa for Christmas) and stick with that. Once your theme is decided, chuck the stuff that doesn't fit with your theme.  This gives you a clean, unified look.
  3. Put up, and put away.  Since you are putting more decor into your home, that means some decor must go away.  I seasonally trade out the contents of my bookshelves and replace it with holiday decor so that I don't get that messy, overdecorated feeling.  Otherwise, I begin to feel claustrophobic in my own home.
  4. What doesn't match, can. I have this ceramic pumpkin that I absolutely love.  But every year I put it up and I can never find anywhere for it to go because the orange clashes so bad with my home.  Then it dawned on me: why don't I just paint it to match!  Problem solved!
  5. Pick your own color palette.  One thing I've realized by looking at home decor magazine is: they throw tradition out the window.  They work with the style and colors of the home, and fit the holiday decor to that.  No more orange and black for Halloween, and red and green for Christmas.  Now anything goes.  So my Halloween colors are black and white, and my Christmas colors are ivory, brown, and crimson.
Well, I am really proud of this year's decorations.  Not only do I think they are cohesive with the house and win in the "spooky" department, but I made almost all of them myself.  What I didn't make, I picked up at the Dollar Tree for $1 each.  So my total decor budget came in around $15.

A pumpkin and some snakes from the Dollar Tree painted black and white to match.

I saw the vampire pumpkin on Pinterest and I couldn't resist. Pumpkin and teeth both Dollar Tree finds.

The Dollar Tree skeleton on the bike makes me laugh daily. The ghost gourds are from our garden.

The black horn candelabra is a staple in my decor.  Looking at the skull I tried to think what to do with it. My son placed it there and I thought, "Yah, that works!"

The pumpkin I couldn't part with...formally orange, I painted it white to match.

Every fall, I fill my antique pilgrim bowl with harvest decor.  The only thing I did for Halloween is add the black crow to the stem of the pumpkin.  I think the difference is always in the details.

Add $1 worth of spiderwebs and BAM! Instant spooky hurricanes!

One more $1 to add a little spook to the wine rack.  Too bad I couldn't fill the rack with Halloween-inspired wines.  Maybe someday...

The creepy black and white piano...and the inspiration for my black and white theme.

I uploaded these head-less black and white photos from the Pottery barn website and put them into some old frames painted black.  Some of them broke while in storage but then I thought, "That's kinda creepy...I'm keeping them!"

A creepy entrance inspired by Pinterest.  I found the snakes in the kid's aisle at the Dollar Tree and painted them black.

A goodwill find--the lantern--with a touch of Edger Allen Poe.  Hence, the Raven.

The Entrance

No comments:

Post a Comment