Well, Halloween ‘11 is over and it’s time to start moving on to the next holiday but before that happens, I wanted to share with you our first Halloween as home owners! We’ve only ever lived in apartments and basement suites so there’s never been a point to decorating but it’s always been something that I wished I could partake in so this year I was pleased as punch that I could finally scratch my spooky decor-itch.
Budgets are always fairly tight around here but it’s amazing what sort of deals you can find if you look at the right places and times. My greatest tip to share is go out to the stores on Oct. 30th and you’re more than likely to find all the ghoulish decorations at least 50% off in a last ditch effort to clean house. Also, never under-estimate the value of a dollar store. It’s amazing how neat some of the stuff can be from those stores and you would never know where it came from. My feline friend shown above was purchased from such a store. We also strung some ghost shaped lights at the bottom to illuminate the scene.
This shot is a little blurry due to shivering hands and leaning backwards on a railing but you get the idea. Some classic ‘Beware’ tape and a skull door knocker were dawned on our front door. That knocker is deafeningly loud, it’s basically an instant headache; luckily only one trick-or-treater even bothered to use it rather than just knocking. Is it just me or does there seem to be a huge decline in the number of kids trick-or-treating nowadays compared to the nineties? I remember the streets filled with other kids when I was a youngster but we only got about 20 kids/teens total. Don’t kids like candy anymore?!
Our front basket got filled with some green webbing and baby pumpkins to give it a miniature haunted pumpkin patch look.
Once the strand of pumpkin lights going up the railing were lit this is how the haunted basket looked. Baby pumpkins are so dang cute!
The strand of pumpkin lights really helped with the lighting because were trying to keep it dark enough to feel spooky but light enough to avoid lawsuits from injured kids parents. In the background here you can see our row of milk jug "jack-o-lanterns." I read about this little DIY project and it seemed like such a good alternative to buying a delicious pumpkin then having to toss it out afterward. Anytime I have to throw away food it makes me think of the old, “people are starving in Africa!” line you got when you didn’t eat your broccoli. Plus, it felt really earth friendly and better yet…FREE! My favorite. Keep reading for instructions on how I made these super simple DIY milk jug pumpkins.
This pumpkin however, is not made from a milk carton but he is still fake. It’s made of some sort of fiber glass material and with a few batteries it performs a multi-colored light show in the front and back (the back being bats flying around). He’s one of my fave decorations because I adopted him from my mom’s house so it feels like a nice symbol of when I was a youngster at Halloween.
Lastly, I picked up this sticky “Beware” blood looking decal the day before Halloween on sale for $1. It worked like a breeze and I could even store it in a freezer bag to make an appearance next year.
Milk Jug Pumpkin DIY:Making these guys are so easy peasy. We started saving all our milk jugs since around the end of July (if anyone’s interested, we used 7 jugs of milk between mid-July to Oct. but that’s only one milk drinker since my soy milk comes in smaller cartons). Make sure you give them a thorough rinse and store them somewhere dry. First thing I did was draw on whatever spook-tacular face came to mind with a sharpie. I wound up with a vampire, some jack-o-lanterns, a bat, a cat etc. Get creative and draw whatever you would otherwise carve. The one seen above is an incomplete tester jug I snapped a quick pic of for this tutorial.
Next, cut a small hole in the front of the jug where the label is. The smaller the better so more light stays inside the jug and can’t escape through the hole. As for lighting, you can go a couple different ways: we used those flame-less tea lights that are battery powered ($1.25 for two at the dollar store) or you could also use a string of battery powered Christmas lights if that’s something you already own.
When you’re finished just line your jugs up and flick on the lights. I got a lot of moms saying, “What a neat idea!” and a few older kids saying they, “liked my jugs”…. I prefer to think they’re talking about the milk cartons and nothing else.
Inside our house got the Halloween treatment too. Here’s a few quick pics of some of the decor:
I hope you all had a really fun and safe Halloween!
(Photo credit property of Reckless Bliss)