Studio 5 Party, Holiday & Ideas Contributor Alisa Bangerter has 5 easy ways to spook up your home decor this Halloween!
Use small pieces of dry ice in water to create a tiny bit of misty fog. Place water in a container (not shallow) and drop in a tiny piece of dry ice. Place container behind a couch, under a bed, under a table or hutch, in a trunk, in a shower, etc. (Do this right before company or your family will be home because it will not last a long time. Also make sure the fog will not damage any furniture or other items near it.) Another fun option with dry ice is to place colored water in deep jars or bottles and to drop in a piece of dry ice. Add spooky jar potion labels and drop in a glow stick for added effect. Create a display of these items. Another creative way to use dry ice in a centerpiece is to place it in a vase with water and add a bundle of dry twigs. To use dry ice on a serving table, simply place in a bowl with water and set a platter or serving bowl on top so the fog mists out underneath. Note: Make sure to be cautious with dry ice. Never handle without gloves and never store in your freezer.
Add some spooky touches to the photos in your home. There are several easy ways to do this. If you can use a photo editing program, simply scan your original photo and make a few simple additions before printing it out and replacing back in the frame. Do some fun photo edits like adding a pumpkin on a lap, a crow on a shoulder or a skeleton or ghost in the background. Adding a few fangs on a person or a witch hat can be fun as well. Other ways to do this is to use rubber stamps to stamp on a photo or on a clear transparency that can be placed over the photo and easily removed at the end of the holiday. Make sure to add a tiny bit of fake spider webbing across any frames.
Create spooky looking candles that have layers of dripped wax covering them. Start with any size of pillar type candle (I like to use plain utility candles 1″- 3″ in width – but most any kind will do). I will light and burn new candles down a bit before I do the dripping. To make the drips, take another candle of the same color and light it. Taper candles work well for this. As the candle burns and wax is melted, tip the burning candle and let the wax drip down the sides of the pillar candle. Do this so there are many layers of dripped wax. Dripped wax on candelabras or candlesticks also add to the effect. To make a candle look like it is bleeding, do the wax drips with a red candle – very effective on a white pillar candle.
Purchase lengths of cheesecloth or any other loosely woven type fabric. Muslin will also work well. Rip the cloth and cut random holes. Distress the fabric by tea-dying it, soaking in diluted acrylic paint, rubbing with dye or walnut ink, or by using fabric dye. The goal is to make it look old, dirty and ragged. Use this cloth to drape over the top of curtain rods to create old looking drapes or valences (use alone or over your actual drapes), as tablecloths, table scarves, etc. Hang plastic spiders from loose threads if any hang down.
Chalkboard rocks are a cute idea inspired from Pottery Barn. Simply paint medium-sized round smooth rocks with black chalkboard paint. After the rocks dry, use white chalk to write Halloween type words on them. Place the rocks around your home as spooky accents or use to fill jars.
*Cemetery photo backdrop used in segment: Pottery Barn