Friday, October 7, 2011

My Haunted Mansion

Let me start off by saying that I am a Halloween rookie!  I grew up in a house that didn't decorate for Halloween, didn't give out candy, and certainly didn't trick or treat.  
Sad, right?

I have tried to catch the spirit through the years, but I always seem to gravitate to "Fall" decorations and cutesy type decor. 
Last year, the boys made it abundantly clear that our house was not SCARY enough.

So I had to make this:

Into something cool like this:

Halloween Express


I spied this photo in the Halloween Express catalog and felt like it was the look I wanted.  Not terrifying.  Not cheesy.  Not childish.  It reminded me of my favorite Disney ride, the Haunted Mansion.

 I was inspired.  I had the mantle, but not the cool garland or cool candelabras.

A challenge.   I am always up for a challenge!


 Supplies:  Two strands of Christmas garland. Black spray paint.

This one had ornaments and berries.  That didn't stop me!

I'm not going to lie.  

The two strands literally gobbled up a can and a half of spray paint!  Every time I turned it over, I'd find a sparkly or red spot!


Some old wooden candlesticks from my SECRET STASH.

If you don't have any hanging around, just go to the Goodwill.  I just treat my Secret Stash as my very own Goodwill!

I loved the dripping wax.  Just painted right over it!

I also had these nickel ones from my "Everything must be silver/nickel" stage of my decorating life.


Don't worry..they weren't real. See the label!  And don't ever pay full price at Hobby Lobby...there is ALWAYS a sale.  Just try to wait them out!

Gloves will save you some heartache! 
It is a bear to get it out of your fingertips!!


I wanted to cover up my portrait without removing it (too heavy to take down myself).  
I found this photo online.

Wish I could credit, but can't find it again to link!!!

I decided to make my own.

Matboard (32 x40 inches), Acrylic paint in white and gray, Brushes, Chalk pencil, Cardboard.

You don't have to use cardboard, but I really needed something the about the size of my mat board and something thick enough I could trace around.

I sketched it out and then cut the cardboard.  I just wasn't confident enough to draw it out with the chalk.  I cut the cardboard and then traced my final image on the mat board.


I started filling in the whole area with the white paint.  I tried to keep it very wispy for a bit of a ghostly effect.


I then placed drops of gray in various spots.
 And the shadows in these pictures...I have a baby...I've gotta do this whenever I can get a chance!!!
But isn't it a bit spooky?

To get the crater look that the photo had, 
I swirled the gray around and then added a bit of white and swirled it until I got the effect I was looking for.  I am NO artist, so I promise you, I was winging it!
I tried putty with no luck.
Instead, I poked a hole at the top two corners.  Run some twine through the holes.
There was no equation to the length of twine...again, I just winged it and it worked out for me on the second try! (the twine is wrapped all the way to the back of the frame.)

Hang it up on the edge of your frame. 

 Add some books.  I had some paperbacks already wrapped in different shades of off-white/white/beige papers from a previous decoration in my house.  Scary portrait dude (in the far left corner) was  dollar store find when I was on a scrapbook retreat.  It is a hologram of a guy, we named "Bob", that turns into a skeleton.  He was only 2 bucks. 

I already had existing dark/black candlesticks, so I mixed them all up with the newly painted ones.  I found all the off white and white candles from my candle drawer.

I grabbed some dead branches with dried up leaves and sprayed more black spray paint. (This is Butter's favorite)

A quick run for the glow-in-the dark rat and skull from Target....and the ceramic crow on clearance at Hobby Lobby.

And a few white pumpkins (carve-able) from Hobby Lobby.

The boys FREAKED out when they came home.  I was happy because it is was relatively inexpensive to put together, cool enough for me to live with and just scary enough for them!   PHEW!

I also found a fog machine for the boys so they can scare people Halloween night....but that is the extent to the outdoor scariness that I will contribute to!

I am still not quite ready to be THE Haunted House of the neighborhood!


  1. That looks AWESOME!!! I love Halloween. So so much! It's my 2nd favorite Holiday after Christmas. LOL my husband and I were married on Halloween. I may try and do some of your ideas I love the black candles and stuff <3

  2. Aaron just showed me this, LOVE IT! I am a Halloween fanatic and so is my mom. She came down last weekend to help me get our house all decorated. We spray painted huge dead branches to me a giant wall montage. You are so talented, and I love how you take the time to post each step. In case you want some more ideas go here to see our place:

  3. You, my dear, are just UNbelievably cool!!! I LOVE this!! BRAVO!!

  4. Thanks all! It means a lot to have everyone tell me I was on the right path!

  5. I like your display a LOT more than the catalog one.

  6. I have just found your blog after seeing the spider web quilt on modabakeshop (beautiful!). I am from Argentina. Halloween is not in our traditions so I can relate to you, but I have a thirteen year old daughter who thanks to internet and a whole bunch of international friends make her "need" to have halloween stuff at our home. She just came down from her room when I called her to come see your deco and she declared (and asked me to tell you) that you are "the coolest mom" someone could have!!!!!, I am not jeaulous....YOU ARE REALLY COOL!!!!!!!!! I love what you did!!!!


I cannot wait to hear what you have to say! Seriously! It makes my day!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...