Yes, we just barely decorated our mantle for Halloween. But I don’t like the idea of decorating for Halloween just to take it down to decorate for a birthday, and we have two October babies.
My girls are 4, 3, and 1, and the 4 year old is a complete chicken. She watched Lord of the Rings as a 2 year old and didn’t bat an eye at the orcs, but now can’t watch Mickey’s House of Villains without getting scared. However, she does like Halloween and expressed a desire to make “spooky” decorations. So I wanted to do a little something that would be playful and spooky, but not scary.
The mantle we put together is the perfect balance. The base of it is neutral Fall decorations, which can stick around through Thanksgiving. I love that all I have to do after Halloween in a week is remove the spooky aspects, to be left with a warm Fall mantle that will easily transition into Thanksgiving without much effort. There’s a garland of faux fall leaves and pine cones which my mother-in-law gave to us a couple of years ago that lays the length of the fireplace mantle. Then I sprinkled in a handful of faux flowers in yellow, orange, and red that I got at the Dollar Store to add pops of color. I also mixed in some Dollar Store pumpkins and squash and a fancy glass pumpkin. For ambiance, I placed two electric candles on the ends of the mantle.
To up the spooky factor, I strategically placed some faux spider web and plastic spiders.
Our clock happens to have an antique feel to it, which instantly feels creepy when spider webs and spiders are added.
Next, we pinned our spooky ghosts. The girls had a lot of fun making these. All you need are white paper plates, white tissue paper, and black construction paper. Cut circles for eyes and ovals for mouths and let the kids glue them on; no need for it to be placed perfectly, they are ghosts after all. If the face is a little askew, it just makes it look creepier. Cut the tissue paper length wise in a wavy pattern and glue three to the back of each plate to make it look like they are floating.
My 4 year turned into a little interior designer, telling me, “Mom, turn the ghost a little so it looks like it’s swaying. No, a little more. Here, I’m going to get a chair so I can show you.” It was pretty adorable.
We also hung ghosts from the pull string of our ceiling fan, the light fixture above our dining table, and below the wall mounted TV in their playroom too. Grin grinning ghosts come out to socialiiiiize!
Along with our candy corn ‘Happy Fall’ banner, we also made a pumpkin banner. To make the pumpkin banner, we cut squares out of black construction paper. Then I cut a potato in half, and carved out a jack o’ lantern face into the flat inside of each half. The potatoes then served as stamps: I had the kids dip the potatoes in orange paint and then press them onto the black squares, leaving pumpkins. Or, orange blobs from using too much paint. Once they were dry, we punched a hole in both ends of each square and strung them on twine.
The final touch was the googly eyes, which we adhered to the wall using party tape that I found at Hobby Lobby. I wish that I had different size googly eyes to add a bit of dimension, but these little guys do the trick.
Look out–the walls are watching you….
What does the collage have to do with Halloween, you ask? Absolutely nothing. But our youngest’s birthday was the 20th and we still have her birthday collage out, per our family tradition. If I had the time/cared enough, I would have put together a simple ‘BOO!’ printable and put it in there. Maybe next year.
For the finishing touch, we added three little pumpkins on the floor next to the fireplace, one for each of our Fall babies. This year, we grew our own, which is an adventure for another post.
I hope you all like what we did. We kept it pretty simple, but I’m rather pleased with the results, and the kids had a blast putting it together.
Happy Halloween, everyone!