Category: Interior

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!

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:

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:

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:

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:

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):

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:

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):

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):

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

Simple Tricks to Choose Room Colors!

Simple Tricks to Choose Room Colors!

No More Color Combo Confusion!

If the terms “analogous,” “triadic,” “split-comp,” and “tetradic” give you a headache, don’t worry! You don’t need to understand a color wheel or color theory to create beautiful and interesting color combinations for your home. We hope to take the mystery OUT and put some fun IN to choosing color combos. More in just a moment…

Due to my husband’s very serious health issues, some things are on the back burner while he is in hospital and recuperating (an aortobifemoral bypass is a very serious operation with a long recovery). Thank you so much for your patience and understanding during this time! I also want to thank everyone for your purchases from my etsy shop, which will help us pay the stack of medical bills. We appreciate any good thoughts you send our way!

Photo Notes: the example photos below are being used under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Photographers are credited, and you can find them on flickr by searching for their names. Go show them some love on flickr! I have added color combos next to, or under, each photo to get you thinking. If you are one of the photographers and wish for your photo to be removed, please contact me or comment, and I will be happy to comply with any changes you request!

1. The “60/30/10” Rule – A Game of Percentages

wonderlane2982196181_65eae8efb5_zThink in terms of three colors to a room. You don’t want all three colors vying for equal attention, so we’ll break their amounts into percentages. 60% of the room (walls and floors, the largest areas) will be your dominant color, standing out and making a statement about you. Next, since 30% of a room is your furnishings, and you don’t want them to compete with the dominant color, pick a more muted, neutral, or softer color for those items (or a color similar to the 60% color). Finally, use that 10% allotment to make the room sing by bringing in bits of the brightest color in accessories (pillows, vases, art, colorful bowls, and other trinkets). So, 60% dominant color, 30% softer, 10% vivid. (Photo by Wonderlane)

2. The “Tropical Fish Know How to Dress” Rule

laszloilyes5271677375_e6bcd78c43_zSomeone once told me that to find unusual and unique color combos, look at tropical fish. We never look at them and say, “eeek, those colors!” No, we look at how GLORIOUS those combos are! Use the brightest, most vivid color sparingly (your 10%), and perhaps a muted version of your 60% color choice as your mid-tone. (Photo by Laszlo Ilyes)


3. The “Orchids Are The Oscar Gowns of the Floral World” Rule

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who dislikes orchids. The colors are so varied, from muted brick tones to brilliant flashes of yellow to vivid purples against stark white. Do a Google image search for orchids, and you will be able to spot your favorites right away. Remember, the brightest pops of color are saved for your accessories, but feel free to be bold with your 60% color choice to show off your personality! (Photo by MShehan, Robin Miller, Julieanh)

mshehan5979479443_eaaf0149c5_z robinmiller5587491356_60485495d5_z julieanh20629215238_fd0895de72_z

4. The “There’s No Place I’d Rather Be” Rule

What is your dream destination? A wave-kissed beach? A rocky desert? A lush forest? Find your absolutely favorite photos of your favorite place, and look for color inspiration there! Trust me, you will be very happy with color choices taken from your favorite places. It’s a subconscious way to let yourself live in your “happy place,” even if you can’t get there as often as you’d like. (Photos by Sarah McDevitt, Nicola, Tony Hisgett)

sarahmcdevitt3485333080_01da9aca28_z nicola6704346543_6764c9abcd_z tonyhisgett396642397_5f7ecc4f19_z

5. The “Lebowski” Rule, aka: “The Rug Really Tied the Room Together”

carpetbeggers12952753054_bccd7aee5b_zA basic tenet, but something that people sometimes forget when choosing room colors. Take a color cue from the largest pattern in the room, and it WILL tie the room together. Have a beautiful oriental rug? Pic a color within the design to paint your walls (or as your 30% color). You don’t want to be too “matchy-matchy,” so I generally stay away from the main rug color, but pulling a less-used color from within the pattern to share with the room. (Photo by Carpetbeggers)

6. The “Neighbors Are Nice” Rule

muha...1103442787_34687a2887_oYes, you do need to look at a color wheel for this one. If you want a relaxing, soothing room, choose “neighbors” on the color wheel as your two main colors. Blue and sea green. Orange and yellow. Vermillion and orange. Pale yellow and lime. With colors so close to each other, make sure that you keep one a bit more muted so the room isn’t an overwhelming tone blast. (Photo by Muha…)


7. The “This Is Me” Rule

evelyngiggles2846939243_254ed61de1_zkevindooley2243837257_7b6bfa1cf0_oLook in your closet. What is the predominant color of your clothes? You chose them for not only the fit, but for the COLOR. And you look GOOD in that color, so why not “wear” it in a room? Look at your possessions, too. Have a basket of treasured seashells? Then perhaps off whites, light grays, pinks, and sand are some colors to think about. What about your cobalt glass collection? Yellow and blue is a classic combo! Have you gathered old tins? What colors on the labels attract your eye? USE those colors! It is a comforting feeling to be surrounded by colors you love. (Photos by Evelyn Giggles, Kevin Dooley)

8. The “I’m So Sophisticated” Neutral Rule

boa-franc5622094800_957c3b9d7a_zNothing says sophistication like neutrals of gray, pewter, black, and white. Keep your 60% and 30% in these tones, and then just add pops of a favorite bright color. Can you imagine a vivid lipstick red pillow on that couch? Or bright lime serving bowls, or  bright pendant lights? You get the idea. Metal accessories will also reflect those bits of color, adding texture and rhythm to the room. (Photo by Boa-franc)


9. The “Traditional, With a Twist” Rule

ethan6122721341_676ce2e739_zkylegarrity8549143829_5345c2d2b2_zTraditional color combos that will never go out of style: black and white, blue and yellow, blue and white. But for an updated look, change up one of the classics. Instead of navy and bold yellow, try deep cobalt with a pale lemon yellow. You’ll get a classic feel with a fresh attitude. (Photos by Ethan, Kyle Garrity)


As a painter, I like some crazy color combos, but when decorating my home, these are some of the guidelines and techniques that I use when choosing colors. I hope that the techniques will help you rethink your white walls. Express your personality! Even if you don’t plan on painting soon, please try out a few of the exercises to build your color-choosing confidence, and let me know about your experience down in the comments! I have a scrapbook of color combos that I refer to when painting my home or my art, and it’s really fun to look back at the photos I’ve collected!

I hope you’ll become more aware about the color around you, and that you are excited about using more meaningful color in your life. Color can change energy, soothe or energize. Color creates a mood, and can send a very personal message about who you are, if you let it speak through your life and your home.

carolynb octopus bowlOne last item for you. I was tagged in a FB post by Carolyn, who is using one of my painted bowls to hold beautiful handmade jewelry by Garage Band Jewelry and Green Lion Forge. Here’s the note she posted: “What’s better than hand made jewelry? An amazing hand painted octopus to display it! I am seriously in love with this piece from my friend and amazing artist Dawn Schmidt Ventimiglia.” That is so sweet, and I ALWAYS appreciate getting photos of my items “in the wild”!! *SMILES* Thank you, Carolyn!

Gratitude Attitude,
Eclectic Dawn