Monday, October 23, 2017

Make It! - Halloween Decor

The second adjective for these Halloween decorations, is simple.  As you can see from the steps below, these decorations can be collectively pulled together in the matter of an hour.  So, for those of you who are scratching your head over the fact that it’s already the third week of October (uh, me!), there is still time to get your Halloween game together!

Black Cheesecloth Bats

Materials – Black cheesecloth, scissors, hairspray, clip art of bat, cardstock, printer

Steps –  
1)  Print an image of your chosen bat (I used this picture) in as many sizes as you plan to use (I used two sizes).  Cut out the silhouette of the bat, then cut in half to create your stencil.
2)  Lay two pieces of cheesecloth on top of each other, to make it double layer.  Estimate the amount of cloth that you will need by placing your stencil both horizontally and vertically across the fabric by the amount of bats you plan to cut.   To stabilize the cloth (and free yourself of any unnecessary cursing ;-), place your pre-cut and double layered piece of cloth on top of a paper bag/box and spray liberally with hairspray.  Let it air-dry for 5ish minutes.
3) Once dried, cut strips of fabric according to the width of your stencil, and then cut those strips into individual pieces according to the height of your stencil.  Cutting from a simple piece, rather than from a bigger square, will make this much easier.
4)  Place the stencil over the fabric, and cut.  Don’t worry if you aren’t cutting perfectly, it won’t be noticeable sine this fabric is so loose/Imperfect.
5) Hang, pin, tape, etc. into place wherever you need a little Halloween spirit.

*You can apply this method to a number of different holiday shapes.  Think white ghosts, grey skulls, black spiders, etc.  Another fun way to display them would be to string them together, and then hang them from your mantle/door frame or across a mirror/picture frame.

Dressing up your skeleton

Materials – Skeleton, black paper, black cheesecloth, pencil, 2 circular objects, scissors, twine/ribbon, twigs

Steps –
1)  Trace a round object (larger than what you think you’d need) on black paper, and cut it out.  Cut a 1/3-piece section from the circle, and fold the piece of paper so that the two cut sides meet.  Secure with a piece of tape.  This will make the standing portion of the hat.
2)  Trace a round object (estimated by placing said round object over the skeleton’s head) on black paper, and cut it out. Cut the center of the circle out, so that it sits on top of the skeleton’s head.  This will make the brim portion of the hat.
3)  Place the standing portion on top of the brim portion, and tape together.
4)  Cut out a piece of cheesecloth using the same method as step one.  Place it over the standing portion of the hat, and tape it in place.
5)  Break twigs so that there is one long piece, and multiple small pieces (alternatively, you can use dead grass – there’s a lot of that in Seattle! - instead of small twigs pieces.)  Gather the small pieces (dead grass) at the end of the long piece of twig, and wrap twine around until it is securely fastened.

*If you have the time, you could have some fun with dressing your skeleton.  Think tiny paint palette + mini mustache + beret for a skele-Picasso,  a mini chefs hat + tiny baked goods for a skele-chef, or a mini cape + these itty cards for a skele-magician

Painted Pumpkins

Honestly, this is too straight forward for direction, so I’ll just point out one tip - which is to have a wet paper towel nearby, as it may take you (as it did me) a couple attempts to start the web.

If you're looking for some affordable terrarium options, here's where I got mine.

I hope this gets you in the Halloween spirit!  I'm sure a little pumpkin beer and Thriller would only do further good ;-).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Minimalist Approach to Halloween Decor

In my adult years, Halloween has fallen into the 'soft' celebration category. There have been no decorations, costumes, and rarely a carved pumpkin; but rather, a bag of candy, a (reluctant, and usually regretful) scary movie, a pot of chili, and pumpkin beer.  Not to say that’s a bad way to celebrate, as it actually fits our likes and lifestyle well, but there is something about fully living out a holiday that is so redeeming.  So, with a child to dress and a rejuvenated interest to decorate, I’ve fully re-boarded the Halloween train.  Here’s how I went about decorating our home…

Meet skele-witch.  She was a real BA woman back in her witching days, but now graces our living room with a ‘soft’ level of spook.  She is dependable in giving Kian high-fives, and only occasionally roles her eyes upon my third round of ‘if you’re happy and you know it’.

Bare branches from our backyard birch tree, coupled with spindly eucalyptus, give a slight air of untamed spook.

Cobweb - I mean, what’s Halloween decor without a little faux-cob. 

A bare and crooked birch branch + black gauze bats. 
You may or may not have noticed that not a spider can be found amongst this holiday decor.  I am a true wimp when it comes to spiders (I feel like I’m in good company, right?).  There was no need to play with fire - or more-so random and sudden yelps - by adding them to the decor.  So when thinking of options to spook-up this already hung branch, bats seemed a given.

Holiday terrarium - I love pumpkins, and will take any opportunity to layer them throughout our home come this time of year (although, admittedly, they have been known to sit out until January…).  So, when I came across this clearance terrarium, it seemed the perfect vessel to switch up how I displayed at least one of those pumpkins.  Painted with a cobweb, it leans more into ‘Halloween’ than simply ‘fall’.

As for the rest of ‘said’ pumpkins, they lay scatted around the house, like so…

I know that I have years ahead of paper pumpkins, hand print spiders, and the likes (which, honestly, I’m looking forward to!) so for now, I’m enjoying this minimalist take on Halloween.  If you’re interested in seeing any of the steps on how I put this decor together, swing by tomorrow!