Tuesday, September 4, 2012

10 Halloween things …

OK. I admit it. There’s something about Halloween that brings out the little kid in me.

I trace it back to that one Halloween years ago, when our sweet neighbors made up a little haunted tour for all of us Trick or Treaters. I must have been eight or nine years old, but I still remember the thrill of waiting in line at the door. And when it was finally my turn, I remember the blindfold. The scary story. And the sound of my own screaming when my little hand was thrust into a bowl of squishy eyeballs (peeled grapes). Ah, it was sheer magic and fear all mixed up and I never forgot that feeling. I loved it.

 I’ve been throwing Halloween parties for years, and I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to come up with Spooktacular decorations.


In today’s post, I’ll share a few of my favorite Halloween finds from thrift stores and fabric stores. My only advice is that you start looking early for the best prices; in fact, true Halloween aficionados begin their hunt for inspiration and unique finds over summer.

I’ve been getting visitors coming to my blog since May, to check out my Halloween Invitations from last year.

The following ten items are fairly easy to find.

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1. Plastic Pumpkins

The other day I was in a local Goodwill Store and saw an aisle of these orange plastic pumpkins being sold for 49 cents each. I buy these and spray them black, (with silver or gold eyes) and hang Spanish moss from them. This is my entry before I added spider webs and my painted castle panels to the scene. Those are orange paper lanterns, and a few hands hanging alongside the black pumpkins.



Here you see black pumpkins hanging alone, without the moss. Try adding glow sticks or miniature flashlights inside if the lights are low. It’s a great look.


2. Cheap dolls-

Every year I like to do something different with my chandelier. Last year I used old dolls and heads that I spray painted white for my ghost themed chandelier. It was wonderfully creepy, especially with low lights, and my adult guests loved it. You can see the chandelier tutorial here.


3. Skeleton heads

I hate paying full price for skeleton parts. Scour the second-hand stores and dollar stores to buy these en masse because these look best when they’re grouped together. You could spray them silver for an elegant Halloween tablescape…

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…or leave them white and pile them with white pumpkins and gourds (sprayed white) in a heap of Spanish moss for a spookier centerpiece.


4. Styrofoam heads

These get pricey the closer you get to Halloween so if you stumble on a few at a great price buy them. These heads can be covered with a wig and mask for a simple look, or you can go scary by covering it completely in Spanish moss, or wrapped in cheese cloth like this. Click here to see Martha Stewart’s directions for this head-waiter tray. 



5. Unique Bottles

Thrift stores are the perfect place find vintage bottles and jars. You can download Halloween clip art, soak them in coffee, dry and glue them to the front of your bottles. Fill these with colored water, stick a scary mask inside, or fake snakes and bugs, and name your potion. Click HERE to see more directions on Halloween apothecary bottles. 


6. old books

Old books can be in every vignette you create. They add so much atmosphere for a haunted house…

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…but look what I did with an old book that had crumbling pages. This is my Edgar Allen Poe wreath. It’s so easy to make, you can click here to see the tutorial.


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7. masks and old clothes


via: BHG, curioussofa.blogspot


8 cheesecloth (fabric store)

You can spray your cheesecloth lightly with black or leave it white. But here’s a tip when decorating with it. Pull and punch tiny holes in the fabric and keep stretching until you get your desired look. It’s so fun.



9. black tulle (fabric store)

I love black tulle with white lights, it’s a prettier Halloween look. On this porch, strips of tulle are tied to the light cord along with orange paper lanterns. But you could go crazy draping this material everywhere with lights. Doesn’t it look festive?


Last year I wrapped black tulle around my staircase over black garland. I attached some orange artificial leaves and white lights as a last touch. Here’s a photo taken in broad daylight. But It looked so pretty during the party.


10. fake flowers

I used to save my real flowers for my Halloween parties; I’d leave them in vases until they dried completely and they had that perfect sepia color which I love. But thrift stores have tons of artificial flowers that work just fine. You can leave them untouched, or spray them lightly with black paint and put these next to your tombstones, on mantels or tucked around your party food. Don’t forget to pile on bugs and spider webs for a final touch.

Well, I hope this post helps get you in the mood for a little Halloween planning. And if you’re new to thrift store shopping you might also want to check out 10 Things you should always get at Thrift Stores. Because you never know what great deal might be lurking in the store…

…waiting just for You…!




by the way, I’m linking up at:






Tammy @ A Walk in the Countryside said...

Ok, This is absolutely AMAZING! Family members asked me to host a Halloween Party almost every year but I say no because I really don't have any Halloween decor, just Fall and didn't want to go to the expense of buying more. But NOW, I may have to seriously consider it. Thank you for sharing all this great inspiration! I'm going to pin quite a few of these! I'm your newest follower!

Dixie n Dottie said...

Wow! Great decorations! Especially the first one! Would love if you'd join our Countdown to Fall link party! Hope to see you there! Have a great day! :)

Ladies Holiday said...

That is awesomely spooky! I love the apothecary-style bottles
One thing I've found helpful iso shopping the after season sales- a few days after the holiday things are so marked down, but then it can be hard to remember from year to year what you've purchased!

the cape on the corner said...

oh my gosh, i love that this wasn't just halloween inspiration pics. as much as i love those, i cracked up when reading "i hate paying full price for skeleton parts." what great ideas, and that poe still my haunted little heart!

Anonymous said...

These are some great decorating ideas. Something to get my imagination going for this Halloween.

Yael from Home Garden Diggers

Anita at Cedar Hill said...

All of these decorations are so putting me into the mood for Fall, come on cool weather!! Okay, really anything below 90 degrees would be awesome.

Unknown said...

i made one of those styrofoam heads a few years back- its my favorite decoration. super easy too. ok, ok, maybe im embracing fall a bit more-i do like decorating for halloween. :)

Tammy @ A Walk in the Countryside said...

Hi Leslie! I wanted to thank you again for sharing all your amazing Halloween picks! I have a post going today showing one of your photos and linking up to your site. Blessings, Tammy

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Oh my goodness, what creative ideas! I want to come to your house for Halloween!

fromgentogen said...

Creepy...which is a really good creepy...
Blessings, Becky

Jen Lossing, Artistic Abode Designs said...

These are all such awesome ideas. I love your doll chandelier and the Poe Wreath. So creative and original! I am due to have a baby on October 5th, so I put out generic decorations for fall (no holiday in particular) that will last me for the next 3 months. I see posts like this and I get all giddy inside and want to do more. Maybe next year. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

Christina at I Gotta Create! said...

Leslie, I love your ideas and I also feel that child-like excitement about this holiday. Thanks for sharing such great ideas!

<3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
Wildly Original linky party is open.

Janis@All Things Beautiful said...

What a fun post!!! Love all of your ideas! you are amazingly creative!! So glad I found you at Farmhouse Porch!!

Good Time Charlie said...

What a fun post!! Love your ideas. Definitely going to check out your Poe Wreath! Visiting from Elizabeth and Company. -K

Unknown said...

Nice and fab post for halloween. Decorating our house for Halloween is one of the best times of the year for me. I love those spooky and creepy Halloween decorations displayed around the walls, outdoors, windows and seeing those neigbors gets freak out with them... This year, I'm looking for some more exciting decorating ideas for halloween and I think your idea will surely help.


Unknown said...

Oh my god! That dolls look amazing.
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