For the past few weeks, I’ve been pulling decorations out of the attic and trying to find time to put everything up before the big night. One of the first things to go up were the window decorations. Nothing particularly spooky about these, I just think they look cool. Black and orange are the traditional colors of Halloween, and I like having the entryway in these colors.
The side windows are images from, believe it or not, Martha Stewart. They were originally for paper lanterns, but I resized them for the windows. Click on these links for the images: Table Lanterns & Hanging Lanterns.
The top windows are cutout paper spider webs backed by orange tissue paper. I don’t have the original pattern anymore, but Google “snowflake spiderweb” and would will find many instructions for practically the same thing.
The next decorations to go up were the pumpkins in the window on the landing.
I try to carve a new foam pumpkin every year, and display them in the top window above the front door. I used to just stack them up, and keep them in the window with fishing line strung back and forth. But that fragile balance was just too much of a pain. So I built a shelf. If you have a similar window at your house, you might try the same thing.
Each foam pumpkin is lit with a small 4-watt bulb. I use a clip-in cord, used for lighting those ceramic holiday houses. It looks like this:
They sell these at craft stores. Print the picture before you go there to buy one. The employees will have no idea what you’re talking about. Trust me.
After several days of empty Halloween shelves, Target finally started stocking Halloween merchandise. I wanted to take pictures of everything. But the employees were falling over me as I got down onthe floor to get close-ups of the Cat Skeleton. So I decided to split these pictures into 2 parts. I’ll post more after the shelves are fully stocked (and I’m not tripping Target employees). So here we go….
As you can see in the picture above, there are still a few items missing. But the important stuff is out… Skeletons!
And more skeletons…
Lots of skeletons!
Cat Skeletons (Some would say that this is the best use for a cat. Not I, but some would)
This Resin Griffin was a good deal for $25. (The white stuff is just bits of foam packing material.)
Took a quick jaunt to our local Targetstore to see if any of the Halloween merchandise was up (it wasn’t). So I meandered next door to browse through Dollar Tree. Last time I was there, they only had a few items, but they are fully stocked now. Here’s a grave full of pictures for you:
I’d like to point out this item, because it’s not clear what it is. This is sort of like a ‘bobble head’ skull, but the spring is too strong for the head to ‘bobble’ much. But you could paint it gold or silver and it would make a great trophy for a Halloween party costume contest!
Check out the rest of the pictures below (click on any picture for a larger version)
As I was picking up supplies for another Halloween project (updates soon to come!), I spied this collection of Halloween decorations at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Dallas.
The largest decoration was this hanging caged skeleton. It had a motion sensor that would set it screaming and shaking when you walked past. To be honest, the shaking wasn’t all that noticeable – I think it needs a larger motor for the size. It appeared to be about 5-6 feet tall. Check out the short video clip below.
There were a few other animated decorations, some of which were were not set up or not yet plugged in.
This illuminated skull had a interesting lighting effect. The video below doesn’t do it justice.
There was a good selection of inflatables this year. I was especially impressed by the Dragon and Archway Haunted House
We’ve been lucky to have very little vandalism of our Halloween yard over the years. I’ve seen signs in other yards that are pretty severe (Did you know that in Texas, you are allowed to shoot intruders in defense of property?)
I found some neat faux book boxes at a Michaels Arts and Crafts store, while looking for Halloween items. I immediately knew I had to try out Dave Lowe’e Creepy Book treatment on one. I like the end result on the test run:
I started with a small book box to test out the idea.
I used a diluted mixture of Mod Modge, brushed on top of a crumpled paper towel, to give the ‘leather’ effect. You really have to soak it. Crumpling the paper towel beforehand will help create creases. Take care to avoid bubbles. Even after it dries they will look more like bubbles than wrinkled leather. I trimmed and wrapped the edges around the edge of the cover. THis was a bit messy, since I didn’t know exactly the dimensions of the crumpled paper towel before it was applied to the book. I ended up with a very messy pair of scissors as I cut the cluey paper towel But I don’t know what other way I could do it, since the paper won’t lay completely flat until the Mod Podge is applied.
After it was dry (about a day), I broke out some acrylic paints for the final step. I decided on some burnt umber for the outside and black for the inside. The ‘bark brown’ make be used later to dry brushing highlights.
This is the end result. The odd partial leather effect on the inside cover is a result of me changing my mind halfway through the process. I originally intended to apply the paper towel on the inside as well, but changed my mind. I’ve decided that this was more of a trial run instead of a final product.
Here’s a closeup of the ‘leather’ effect. It could probably benefit from a wash of diluted black paint for shadows, and a dry-brush of lighter brown to bring out the highlights. But I’m happy with it so far.
So check out your local crafts store. These books are spring and summer items, and should be heavily discounted.