Friday, October 8, 2010

Halloween Ideas

As the years have crept on, I find myself feeling more and more strongly in the holiday spirit.  To me, the holiday season starts with Halloween and ends with New Year's.  And revives a little for Valentine's Day, but not so much.  As an aside, I once worked with someone who didn't approve of Halloween because the holiday celebrated evil spirits, which are the opposite of the Lord. Okay then. I'm not one to debate.

Anyway, so before I started living with Kevin, I did a thing here and there to "deck out" my place for Halloween. Which primarily consisted of making a sign (using the back of a folder flap) with a black Sharpie and glitter stickers purchased at the nearby party store, and taping it up to my front door. I have to admit, it was kind of cute. I think I saved it somewhere as a memento celebrating Halloween by myself, but I can't find it.  Now that I mention it, I think I saved the sign because I was emotionally attached.  I had actually made something with my bare hands, and it demonstrated that I was "settling in"--decorating, of all things.  In some small way I felt that it marked the independent life that I had carved out for myself.  The rather childish Halloween sign kind of represented some measure of adulthood--like I was beyond the point of just scraping by and moving from place to place.  I had a "home" to decorate, by golly. With an 8.5 x 11 sign.

Then Kevin moved in, and my decorating urge sped up (of course take that with a grain of salt, because moving really fast for me is probably napping for you).  I think it's because I have someone at home with whom to celebrate.  Of course I could decorate the place for me and just me, but holidays are nice when they are shared, right? It's like eating a meal--of course you can go out to a restaurant by yourself and have a lovely experience, but it's also wonderful when you get to share it, you know?  Not all the time, and not for all people, but those are my thoughts.

I keep tangenting.

So I've been slowly but surely picking up Halloween decor here and there.  I'm never going to be the type to go completely balls-out, because I just don't have that much energy, desire to spend that much money on Halloween decor, and most importantly, anywhere to store the decorations when the holiday is over.  The last bit is a key consideration.

Over the past few weeks, I've looked at a lot of stuff. A lotta lotta stuff.  But I can't buy everything I want (cruel, cruel world).  In making strategic decisions, I've had to let some things go.  They're totally cool, though, so I want to share them in case anyone else out there needs some Halloween decorating ideas.  I'll follow up with a post later on about the things I did purchase, but for now...

rubyrockwell on Etsy, $15

Ah mah gah these cupcake picks are so freakin' cute.  I am still on the fence on this one. Do I *need* it? Um, something is pulling at my heart and saying yes. But I will resist for now (edit: by the time I posted this, I've been convo-ing with the seller for a custom order). While I decided not to purchase them for the moment, that didn't stop me from delving into the world of Halloween cupcake decorating ideas. 

 AGDesigns2009, $9 for set of 12 

Teeheehee these are cute too.  Or perhaps you want something directly on the cupcake that will be edible, like a confectioner's sugar pattern!

But it's not only the top of the cupcake that can be decorated, right? Why yes, how about a cupcake liner? 

Amazon, $13 for12 liners

So fun.  Although maybe you'd like to forego the whole DIY aspect and just order some ready made Halloween sweets. In which case...

Oooh my gosh I just wanna pick em up and squeeze em before I pop em in my mouth and chomp em and their little faces.

Naturally, Halloween decor is not all about the food (what? what??).  I've been putting knickknacks here and there, but wanted something with more oomph, to really make the apartment seem more "Halloween-y" without buying large 3D figures (because of aforesaid storage issues).  So for a while, I was totally into the idea of vinyl wall decals...

 wordybirdstudios on Etsy, $19.95

FirstStepPhoto on Etsy, $20

...until I read about the "easy" removal process, which requires a heat source, squeegee or razor, and alcohol.  I didn't trust myself to do this safely without damaging my walls, although I'm sure plenty of people have had success.  Plus I have flat painted walls, which are apparently the worst for vinyl decals. Sadly I had to let this go. It would have looked REALLY REALLY cool. Minimal work/cost for maximum impact.  Le sigh. 

Let's move onto the tabletop, shall we? Perhaps a spooky table runner to set the mood?

HearthSong, $24.98

I like the bright orange and rhinestones.  I should point out, and you may have just noticed this, but I don't mind a bit (or hunk) of cheese and kitsch when it comes to Halloween decorating.  I kind of embrace it.

But perhaps you would prefer something more subtle, still in the cutesy vein...

Or, for something a little more grown-up but still spooky...

demetriaco on Etsy, $26 for..2? I think?

I love these, except that they're $13 each and we don't have a lot of storage space for fragile items.  Things get "stored" in our apartment by unceremoniously shoving them into boxes, corners and drawers. 

Now here come the knickknacks. Etsy has a ton of jack o lanterns made from gourds, many of which can be used as candy bowls.

 pinchmeboutique on Etsy, $30

What, not scary enough? Okay maybe you'll like this one better...

 KaoriKreations on Etsy, $33
Heehee so ferocious.

I kind of have a thing for skulls and gothy-looking cartoon characters.  But not totally realistic skulls covered in decaying bodily goo--I'm talking more artistic representations of skulls, I guess.  Probably stems from loving the art in Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Coraline, and being fascinated by, although not knowing that much about, Dia de los Muertos.
Currently I'm loving on this little lady... 

 ArtByLupeFlores on Etsy, $60

But alas, we are not meant to be together. I'll just write her letters or something.  It's a piece by Lupe Flores, whose shop I have visited *multiple* times since I first discovered it.  She has just the right combo of creepy, playful, beautiful, and haunting.  I adore her Day of the Dead skulls, like the one below.  It's gorgeous.

ArtbyLupeFlores on Etsy, $39.99

Having taken off on my skull kick, particularly a Day of the Dead kick, I found a few more items.

lizmiera on Etsy, $15

Or how about these? Aren't they adorable?

 thebeehivery on Etsy, $25

Now, I know I just said that I don't go for the realistic looking skulls, but after all this dabbling with skull purchases, I couldn't help but ponder this one as a possible addition to our decor...

SofiLayn on Etsy, $16

Kevin negged the idea, saying it was a bit too real for comfort.  I tend to agree, although I remain fascinated by its glossiness and frozen grin. 

You might think that considering my love for Halloween, that I'm one of those people who spend weeks thinking up of and crafting the perfect costume.  Sadly, that is where I fall far short. I don't like dressing up in costume.  I think I'd enjoy it more if I were willing/capable to make my own costumes, but I'm so not.

Still, to give a little nod to Halloween in my personal attire, perhaps a pair of Jack Skellingtons?

Carneen on Etsy, $7.99

Speaking of Jack, did I mention that I'm now looking ahead to Christmas and kinda want this overpriced ornament?

Amazon, $37.99 (no thank you)

Or just his skull? It's really his skull that's so lovely.
Amazon, $21 (still not worth it)

Sigh--all full of the Halloween spirit now.  Can't wait to show you the pugs' costumes when the time comes. 


  1. I hate scary stuff so I'd go for the painted skull before that real looking one. Creepy-ness. Haha.

    I love those cupcake picks! Wonder if I could make something like that...hmm...

  2. wow this is great stuff! Can't wait to see what you got. for halloween, i consider an orange bag of kit kats good decoration

  3. Oh man, now I really want those Jack Skellington earrings! We don't decorate because I'm too lazy to put out stuff and then have to take it down. Only Christmas breaks through into 'big enough holiday' to haul out decorations :)

  4. yaaay! halloween! i like decorating my place, but i agree - it's the storage space that kills the whole thing. but i've found throwing halloween parties every year helps justify the purchases. hahahah.

    btw - you should totally do the meat hand. it is *so* gross.

  5. I am so drawn to those cupcake decorations. I think I must buy them. thanks for all the research! it's like having a personal halloween shopper!

  6. Oh, wow Mina you found so many awesome things. Are you going to carve a pumpkin too? I really love those cupcake decorations. They're adorable.

  7. I also used to have a coworker who thought that Halloween celebrated demons, and was a sin to celebrate... This right after I told her that it was my favorite holiday, so she probably didn't think much of me. I LOVE all these, but I too feel like spending more than a few bucks on Halloween decor is a waste. By the time I put it up I pretty much have to take it down, our house is a total mess and the dogs eat EVERYTHING in sight, and since my mom had the same Halloween decoration stolen twice I am totally paranoid that all my decor will be pilfered. :(

  8. OMG I want those sugar stencils! I want. I need them!!