...because home doesn't happen overnight.

ghost lights 1

Other than displaying carved pumpkins, I haven’t really decorated for Halloween in years. (I’m more of a seasonal decorator than a holiday decorator.) This year the kids were hounding me more than usual and I’ve been on a recent “life’s too short” kick so I finally came around and spooked up this place. It’s nothing over the top but I think I have a chance at Mom of the Year 2014. (You know I’m kidding, right?)

ghost lights 2

I spent $6 (coupon included) on two yards of tulle and black poster board at JoAnn’s to create ghost lights over the kitchen island. I rolled out the two yards of tulle and left it doubled over (for a layered effect) then cut it into three equal sections, one for each pendant. I cut a hole in the top of each section, slipped the tulle over the pendants then secured it with string. I trimmed the tulle to my desired length then “fringed” the ends by cutting ~2″ wide strips on the bottom half of each ghost. I freehanded three ghost faces and cut them out of the black poster board then secured them to the tulle with double-sided tape.

ghost lights 3

They turned out pretty creepy. I think the key is to use a really thin and airy tulle (not the stiff, scratchy stuff) and to scrunch the ends. (Where are all my ’97 high school grads at? We hella good at scrunching.) The moaning ghost faces portray way more emotion and despair than two black eye holes. The cat is real. Yeah, you’re going to need to rescue a kitten to pull off this look in its entirety.

spider web

I attempted to make a spider web out of jute string that I already had on hand. It turned out okay?? There’s a good reason why I’m not a spider. Apparently, webs take patience and a certain amount of skill. I immediately felt horrible about all the real webs I’ve swiped.

First, I hung three lengths of jute in an asterisk formation. I tied the ends to anything I could find: antlers, cords on the side of the cabinet, a doorstopper, etc. I rigged it so that we can still open the cabinet and door. Starting from the outer most part of the web and working my way in, I knotted off sections of jute in a hexagonal pattern. I taped a paper spider to my creation to better designate it as a “spider web.” I don’t know. It reads more like an unfinished, ginormous dreamcatcher to me.

All the spiders are crying, “You call that a web?! You disgust me.” In my defense, I don’t extrude silk from my nether regions.

halloween living room

I couldn’t boo the kitchen and not the living room.

bats

I bought two sets of removable 3D bats and filled the area above the TV with them. (A ladder was involved.) I love these bats! Don’t let the reviews fool you. A few people were disappointed that the bats aren’t larger but I actually prefer this size. The bats are plastic and you bend them to get the 3D effect. They also come with removable stickers. I’m not sure how the adhesive will hold up after one season but I can always break out my trusty putty tabs if necessary. These bats are definitely going to be a mainstay of our Halloween décor.

halloween mantel 1

I grouped pumpkins and squash on the mantel on either side of the TV wall. They were a steal at Trader Joe’s and were left over from a Thanksgiving tablescape shoot. (It goes live mid-November.) That’s where the eucalyptus branch came from, too. I laced the mantel with these copper string lights. They are the best! The delicate LEDs put off a warm white glow and the copper wire can be easily manipulated. Unlike traditional string lights, they’re barely noticeable when not lit. I can see myself using these throughout the holiday season.

halloween mantel 2

I sprinkled in a few paper maché skulls. I bought them for pennies at Michael’s several years ago during one of their post-Halloween sales and they’ve been stashed in the attic ever since. I’m very proud of myself for remembering to bust them out this year. FINALLY.

spiders

Likewise, I scored these window decals during a post-Halloween sale a while back when we were living in our previous house. They were originally two large window-sized poster decals but the size and shape were all wrong for our current home’s windows so I cut the spiders out from the background. I wasn’t sure how well the spiders alone would stick to the window. I used a damp rag to wet the window first to help with adhesion. So far, so good. I may end up laminating the spiders after this season to protect them. (You could easily DIY something similar with a little black craft paper or poster board. I was just trying to use what I had on hand.)

And now for some nighttime pictures because that’s always fun…

ghost lights 4

spiders 2

spiders 3

Ah, the ol’ spider in the lampshade trick. It’s a classic. There’s also a little spider in one of the windows on the front door that I failed to photograph. Have I mentioned Steve is terrified of spiders?

Anyway, I threw all this together one day last week while the boys were at school. It was fun to see their reactions when they came home. They were so surprised! Everett’s favorites are the ghost lights. Layne likes the bats and skulls. I like the fact that I can reuse almost everything.

What are some of the ways you decorate for Halloween? I need to up my game for next year.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

48 Comments

28.October.2014

I adore you but I seriously had to skip over so much of this post b/c I am THAT scared of spiders! Ew. ;) This year I did some of those bats but the larger size and dangled them under our front porch along with the classic cob webs (sans spiders, haha.) And then I made ghosts for our big tree by hanging cut up old sheets over white paper lanterns and then gluing on some black felt eyes and mouth. And lastly, I’m a fellow 97 grad, yay!

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28.October.2014

“In my defense, I don’t extrude silk from my nether regions.” You totally made my day!!

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replied on October 28th, 2014

Agree. Totally hilarious. Your house looks so cozy.

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replied on October 28th, 2014

Haha. Glad to provide laughs.

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28.October.2014

I really like those spooky ghost lights – seems like such a simple project but with a big impact! Especially when lit up. We just posted our toddler’s glitter-glue pumpkin project – fun, simple, and kid-friendly. I love Halloween! Thanks for sharing your decorations. :)

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28.October.2014

I love that you did this to surprise your kids… My mom used to take a day off before Halloween (and again before Christmas) to get all the decorations up so we could get the “full effect” of the magically decorated house. Still a memory that sticks with me!

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28.October.2014

I love it! If it wasn’t Halloween in like 4 days I’d totally run out and do this for my kids. Hopefully next year I’ll get my butt in gear sooner.

Also I LOVE that lamp in your living room with the spider on it. Where did you get it? I remember you spray painted the bottom gold? Is that a correct memory?

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replied on October 28th, 2014

Hit up the after Halloween sales this year!

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replied on October 28th, 2014

The tripod floor lamp is from Target. I spray painted the base gold (Design Master’s Gold Medal). Hope that helps!

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28.October.2014

I love your style! The ghosts are definitely my favorite. You actually have me inspired to start decorating for Halloween! Thanks for all you share.

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28.October.2014

Please don’t feel you need to “up your game” for next year. Perfect as is!! I loved it!

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28.October.2014

I’ve been checking all the time since your Instagram post! Could you please tell us the gold/cooper like paint that was used for the pumpkin from IG? Love it!!

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replied on October 28th, 2014

Sure! It’s Design Master’s 24KT Pure Gold. I found it at JoAnn’s. This was my first time using it. It has more of a copper finish which I love for fall.

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I love your decor! Those bats are fabulous – I will have to look into those for next year.

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OMG!!! I seriously wouldn’t be able to step foot in your front door with all those spiders everywhere (shudder)!!! Way to rock the spooky!! I think your mission was definitely accomplished. And I LOVE those bats. :)

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28.October.2014

Girl, I couldn’t walk in your house with those spiders!!! No thank you! I actually used this pattern from Martha Stewart last year to cut out bats (three different sizes) out of card stock to put over my fireplace too! I used them again this year – so fun! http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/2012/good-things-bat-wings-msl1012.pdf

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28.October.2014

Why is Cheetah crying? Was she stranded up there for a long time?

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28.October.2014

Oh man. Can Halloween decorations be tasteful and even elegant? Yes. Yes they can. Well done!!!

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Class of ’97 checking in! The ghosts are awesome and very creative. Those giant spiders though..they freak me the heck out!!!

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28.October.2014

We decorated with the same 3d bats and spiders. I also hot glued magnets on some spiders as we have several metal surfaces. Those ghosts, however, we have nothing like that. What an incredibly simple and unique idea!

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replied on October 28th, 2014

Magnetic decorations on the fridge – what a great idea!!

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28.October.2014

Love the ghosts!!!

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28.October.2014

I LOVE what you did with your decorations. Over the years I have gotten more into Halloween, and now I enjoy decorating and dressing up. I definitely lean toward a more natural and low-key look (no blow-up lawn ornaments or blinking candy corn lights here). I love to use little white pumpkins and black marker to write “Boo” or draw spiders. I also found some really creepy, old timey trick photos on Pinterest that I printed and framed in dollar store frames. Check them out on my Halloween Pinterest page if you are interested. http://www.pinterest.com/trishaleigh29/
Happy Halloween

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28.October.2014

Those bats are awesome! I have some construction paper ones I cut out (using a Martha Stewart template) years ago…and now I’m wondering, where the heck did I put them? Maybe I’ll find them by next year – ha!

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28.October.2014

Seriously, the first Halloween decorations I’ve ever liked…ever!

You even know how to style spooky! :) Impressed.

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28.October.2014

Wow! Great ideas! Love the hanging ghosts and really like the bats along the wall. Great post!

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29.October.2014

LOVE your decorations. Great ideas ;)
Hugs, Jamie

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I loove the bats and the ghosts. Im not a Halloween decoration kinda gal, but these are awesome. I think if I were to, Id probably do some sorta Halloween garland for the mantle and MAYBE spooky candles. Unfortunately I have the only 7 year old son in the world who HATES Halloween.

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29.October.2014

Oh my! I’d have to say you nailed it pretty good! And…those spider decals in the living room window?!? Most scariest ever!!! lol! I shuddered a bit.

Good job and will have to keep an eye out for the November issue!!
You’ve done a great job Dana with your home and your family. :)

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29.October.2014

I take a lot of my dining room items and used them to create a haunted mansion feel. Silver trays (unpolished, because what ghost cleans up?) hold a collection of plastic spiders. Glass flower vases are filled with plastic bugs. And a wreath made from hot gluing a cheap black feather boa to a foam wreath round hangs on the mirror above the fireplace.

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[…] good are so hard to find.  But I was inspired yesterday by Dana’s Halloween post over on House*Tweaking–she made it look so easy!  So C and I headed over to World Market after school to see what […]

29.October.2014

Looks Great! love all the decor! I will have to get some of those lights too!! the ghost lights are perfect! How fun!!

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29.October.2014

You need to do this every year!!!!!! Seriously. So creative, I love it!!!

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29.October.2014

Where are the b+w chevron poofs from?! I’ve been looking for some!

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replied on October 30th, 2014

West Elm! I’ve seen similar ones at Target and HomeGoods for less.

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Yep, definitely mother of the year. Those ghost lights in the kitchen are the best!!!

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30.October.2014

I love your lights! What a creative idea! Do they get hot – do you worry about the heat with the tulle?

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replied on October 30th, 2014

They don’t get hot! They’re on a dimmer switch and I keep them turned down low for ambiance.

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30.October.2014

Only you could make Halloween decorations look classy!!
LOVE the look! My sad Halloween decorations look like the
kids decorated. Oh, wait they did!

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30.October.2014

Would you mind telling me where that awesome black and white pillow on your leather couch is from?

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replied on October 30th, 2014

CB2!

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[…] I love Dana’s idea for Halloween kitchen globe lights!  I am so doing this next […]

31.October.2014

[…] cute ghost lights I found on House Tweaking are the perfect last-minute addition to your Halloween decorations! In […]

[…] 3.  The Makerista shared her love of thrifting for serving dishes and flatware for entertaining. 4.  Halloween may be over but I still love looking at what Dana did this week in her house at House*Tweaking.  […]

04.November.2014

I LOVE the ghost pendants. They look awesome during the day and even cooler at night!

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02.December.2014

Dana, I am in love with the sofa. Where did you purchase it from?

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replied on December 2nd, 2014

Find all the living room sources here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/07/02/the-living-room/

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17.March.2015

These decorations are spooky and elegant, love it!

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