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Tag: How-To

10 Cheap Quick Halloween Decorating Ideas!

10 Cheap Quick Halloween Decorating Ideas!

halloweenporchCheap and Quick Halloween Decor Ideas

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday for decorating, as it allows for my weirdness to be expressed. Although there are lots of phenomenal and complicated DIY Halloween decor ideas out there on the ‘net, most folks need quick and easy ideas that anyone with limited time and money could create. I’ve put in alternative ideas, too. Check out the links, as many of the sites have the “how to’s” for the projects, but even without the instructions, most are easy enough to figure out. Now get decorating!

2Go BATTY!
Involves: cutting out a colony of bats and sticking them to your wall.
Why I like it: super duper simple to pull off, and has visual impact!
Cost: minimal (paper, scissors, tape).
Where I found it: http://www.madeeveryday.com/2010/10/bats.html/

bwporchClassic Black and White
Involves: painting pumpkins black or white, collecting branches, buying fake crows at your local dollar store.
Why I like it: clean and simple, almost elegant in its simplicity. Reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”.
Cost: depends on how pricey pumpkins are in your area. Cheaper alternative:  spray some old plant pots black or white and stand the sticks up in them. Sticks are free. Birds are $1 each. Where I found it: http://www.createcraftlove.com/raven-inspired-halloween-porch/

eyeflowersI’ve Got My Eye On YOU!
Involves: Hot gluing eyeballs into fake flowers. Spray paint some faux foliage and a cheap vase black, and you’ve got a creepy centerpiece that looks back at you.
Why I like it: EASY, and a great effect!
Cost: minimal, as you should be able to get the eyes and foliage from a bargain store or dollar store. A can of black spray paint is a few bucks. A cheap vase (or for a cheaper alternative, wrap a big can with tea-stained cheesecloth for a neat effect). I would definitely fill a vase with more than shown in the photo for more impact. Cheap tip: watch at your thrift stores for old arrangements full of big flowers (you can usually get a good group to disassemble for a couple bucks). Where I found it: http://www.hercampus.com/school/ku/diy-halloween-decorations

headjarHead in a Jar
Involves: putting a mask into a jar of water (for extra creepy factor, put greenish yellow food coloring in the water IF you aren’t worried about ruining the mask).
Why I like it: a great effect with almost NO effort.
Cost: most box stores have a basic “old man” mask that is fairly inexpensive. Your local thrift store should have a few jars (the impact would be even better if there were a small “collection” of these together). Budget version: use mason jars and junk store rubber critters from the toy section. Where I found it: http://howdoesshe.com/halloween-decoration-ideas/

skellybarrowDo a Little Gardening
Involves: throwing some leaves (or dirt) into a wheelbarrow along with some skeleton bones.
Why I like it: this is almost as simple as head in a jar. Move your wheelbarrow to the front yard, throw some leaves into it, and add a skeleton in disarray. Done.
Cost: if you don’t have a wheelbarrow, just pile up some leaves on the ground for the skelly. You can get “bag of bones” or skeletons from Big Lots or other bargain stores, so this is less than $20, usually less than $10 if you find the bones at the right place. Where I found it (AND the next Spider Colony tip): http://decorationlove.com/simple-outdoor-halloween-decorations/

spidersacsSpider Colony
Involves: a ball or water balloon in light colored stockings, attach a bunch of plastic spiders. If you use a water balloon, keep this an OUTDOOR decoration.
Why I like it: ICK. Spiders. In groups. *shivers*
Cost: under $10. A pair of cream-colored tights or nylons is less than $5, and you can get a whole bag of spiders from the dollar store, craft store, or other bargain store from $1 – $4, depending on how many spiders you want in your colony. Where I found it: (see previous link).

spiderdoilySpiders Who Crochet Pretty Webs
Involves: inserting crocheted doilies in a spray painted embroidery hoop, and adding a few plastic spiders, and a wrapped “food source” in the middle of the web.
Why I like it: not everyone likes scary, and this can be gussied up to “pretty”. If you’re more into “creepy cute”, then this is a perfect idea for you!
Cost: reasonable, considering how pretty this looks! Older doilies can be found in thrift stores and new ones are in craft stores, yard sales, and bargain stores. I’ve found embroidery hoops at thrift shops (much cheaper than buying new). Spiders can be found at dollar stores or craft stores. You don’t have to spray paint the hoop – you could darken it with stain for a more Victorian look, and you could add a couple of tiny sparkly buttons or pins around the edges, too. Where I found it: http://www.sadieseasongoods.com/creepy-crawly-crochet-spider-web-doilies

waterballoonsEerie Outdoor Atmosphere
Involves: stockings, glow sticks, water balloons.
Why I like it: atmosphere! Can you imagine walking into a yard full of these? Not only for Halloween, this would be a great idea for almost any summer party.
Cost: stockings, glowsticks, balloons, and more stockings. Big Lots usually has some pretty cheap, or stock up on clearance stockings when you see them during the year. Glowsticks and balloons are at the dollar store. Cost will depend on how many of these you want to put together, but I think that the more you hang, the more magical the effect! Where I found it: on pinterest, with no attribution, but looks like dailydump posted it.

wireghostGhostly Figures
Involves: chicken wire and glow in the dark paint.
Why I like it: lovely, ethereal, and very customize-able. And it looks cool during the day, too!
Cost: chicken wire (or poultry wire) can be found at hardware stores for under $20, but perhaps cheaper at a farm store. Glow in the dark spray paint can be had for under $10, but I’m not seeing great reviews. Alternative: perhaps paint them white and shine a light at the figure, or add some Christmas lights at the base. Where I found it (there’s an explanation of how they did it): http://www.wackyarchives.com/offbeat/easy-do-it-yourself-ghost.html

yardghostsYard Full of Small Ghosts
Involves: styro balls, fabric, rebar.
Why I like it: this sets a scene and tells a story with minimal effort.
Cost: this is probably the most costly on our list. Buy some old sheets at the thrift store, about $3 each. You should be able to get four ghost squares out of a large sheet, depending on how tall you want your ghosts to be. Styro balls are a bit pricey, but you can use them from year to year. Look for a multi pack to save money. Rebar is pretty cheap at your various hardware store. Where I saw it (and they have other cute ideas, too): http://www.listotic.com/16-awesome-homemade-halloween-decorations/9/

And there you have it – my top ten picks for Quick, Cheap, Easy Halloween Decorating Ideas! I hope they inspire you to create a bit of magic for your yard and home this year! I’m sure you’re wondering what have I’ve done for Halloween. Well, since I am in the midst of prepping for a show, my Halloweenization of our abode has been minimal this year, but I still included our skelly on the rusty bike in front of the house and managed to put together a new door wreath with snakes, black spray paint, cheap purple glitter flowers, spiders, and a little sign. It’s actually rather pretty! What do YOU think?
A few years ago, I found an amazing, 56″ framed farm print at a thrift store, and I “upcycled” it for Halloween, adding zombies, vultures, a UFO, and various other creepy things. I was so excited to get started, I never took a full “before” photo, but there are sectional “before and after” shots below. It literally takes up almost the entire width of our fireplace mantel, it is so huge.

  dhalloweenwreath d14zombiepainting d3a d2a d1a

And here are a few of the Autumn and Halloween-themed gifts I’ve added to my etsy shop and a very large pumpkin and scarecrow bowl that was a commission for one of my collectors. Cathy always challenges me with fun ideas!
dautumnleavetray dfalltree dotd10kitten6b dotd11dove2b
dpumpkinbowl1 dscarecrowbowl

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Until next time, keep creating!
Eclectic Dawn

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The Bowl Painting Process

The Bowl Painting Process

hammerhead, dragonfly, turtle bowls
Hammerhead, dragonfly, turtle bowls
Monkeypod art
EDA’s latest monkeypod art!

Since we’ve got the camper done, and I came home from our trip with a HUGE pile of monkeypod to paint, it’s been “nose to the grindstone” in the studio! Pics of the latest pieces are sprinkled thru the post. It’s an involved process to complete a single bowl, so I usually work on them in groups, doing each step to a group to save time. Every piece needs to go through all the steps, so even the small bowls take hours to complete. That means a $25 – 35 piece is quite a bargain for the amount of time spent on them. First up: hamsa hand, monstera leaf w/spiders, face palm alien, and a henna design bowl.

I thought you might be interested to learn more about process, and it really shows you that there is SO much more to art than just “painting”. It is the gathering of materials and preparation of those materials that is 90% of the process of creating the art.

  1. Flamingo bowls, stingrays, turtle bowls
    Flamingo, stingray, turtle bowls

    Hunting and purchasing the bowls, which takes gas, time, money, emails, and sometimes shipping fees. I have a couple of people out of the area (one out of state) who hunt for these monkeypod pieces “in the wild” for me (since our area NEVER has them), and when they’ve gathered a dozen or so, then those folks send me a box full at once.

  2. Scraping off price tags and sanding each bowl, degreasing them in case of oiling, scrubbing them with a powdered cleanser.
  3. Coming up with the designs is a curious step: I usually grab a handful of bowls which seem interesting to me and let them sit on my desk for a few days. Eventually, I get a flash of inspiration by turn and rotating a bowl this way and that until I “see” something (or a client asks for a specific idea), and that gets me rolling. I then paint backgrounds on those that need it, and then I start to draw a few guidelines. I do not get very detailed with my drawings, as I tend to let the artwork develop itself as I am painting.
  4. Painting: I only draw basic guidelines as I prefer the painting process to be meditative. As I’m working, I can “see” what else needs to be added, whether it is another color, or a bit of line work, or dots. After airbrushing highly-detailed work on motorcycles, this type of painting is relaxing and freeing! It’s like floating in water to me.

    Glamper Sign
    Glamper Sign w/Vintage Camper
  5. Clean up: before clear coating, I make sure any guidelines are removed, I clean up any funky line work, and sand any “oops” paint off the edges. I then use a tack rag to clean the bowls.
  6. I name and number the bowls, writing the info on the back of each piece.
  7. Clear coat: first I spray the back of the piece, then set it on my “nail board” backside down (board looks like a bed of nails, and allows me to do both sides of the bowls in one spraying session), and then clear the front.
  8. Use fine sandpaper on the piece if it needs it.
  9. Inventory the piece (measuring, noting shape, colors, subject, size, price, name)
  10. Take photos, edit the photos.
  11. Upload photos to my etsy shop, add descriptions, share on social media.
  12. Sell it, ship it, do bookkeeping (inventory, taxes, etc).
  13. Order more materials if needed.
  14. Repeat! I try to have one batch in the paint process and one in the clear coat stage.

The bowls are art (not food safe), but they can be used as trinket trays, jewelry trays, key holders, office supply holders, wall art, a pop of color on an end table…and they make great housewarming gifts, bellydancer gifts, unique wedding gifts (and YES, we can PERSONALIZE them), or a birthday gift for the person who has everything!

monstera, red lotus, snake labyrinth, alien art
monstera, red lotus, snake labyrinth, aliens

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I hope you enjoyed hearing about the process to create these colorful pieces, and of course, seeing the newest pieces that I’ve added to my etsy shop (link will open in a new window). If there’s anything special YOU’D like to see painted on one of the bowls, leave a comment! We’d love to hear from you!

With GRATITUDE ATTITUDE,
Eclectic Dawn

 

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