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DIY Spooky Chic Halloween Decor 

A STYLISH HALLOWEEN ON A BUDGET

Article by Julie Bonner

Photography by Julie Bonner

Spooky Season is here, and you're in a mad dash to put together some last-minute decorations. You're a mom on the go, and you don’t want to be cheesy but you don’t have time to whip up a Martha Stewart-style haunted house. (Daydream: Oh, how fun it would be to go to one of her fabulous parties!) OK, back to to decorating. So here are some fabulously fun, easy, chic-on-the-cheap ideas to try.

1st: Take inventory of what you own. You would be surprised that with a little imagination you can transform some pretty basic everyday items into expensive-looking props.

  • Look for vases, old books, wine bottles, small jars and bottles, candlesticks of all sorts and sizes, houseplants, random bookends, old figurines you were going to donate, old mirrors small to medium.

2nd: Found and foraged lawn waste. You know you’ve been trying to get your yard winterized; now is the perfect time. Gather up some branches and leaves to use inside and/or on your porch too.

3rd: Leftover Halloween decor—spiderwebs, plastic skulls, pumpkins, crows, plastic spiders, craft paper, ribbons—whatever you can dig out of that mystery tote in the garage.

4th: You will also need some black spray paint, Spanish or green moss or both, and a printer.

Nice job! Now let’s put together some “Spooky Chic” vignettes. First, think of where the biggest opportunity in your home is. Do you have a entryway console, buffet in the kitchen dining area, console in the family room, fireplace mantel, dining table or large kitchen island? If you don’t have the time and energy or enough to go around, pick and choose where you want to focus your energy to give the most impact.

My first go-to is cutting out lots of bats from black construction paper of multiple sizes. Anyone can do this. Get your kids involved. Give some paper and scissors to your husband in front of the TV—the more the battier.

Next, round up those vases. Clear glass work great to stuff with Spanish moss and skulls or pumpkins; maybe add in a few spiders. You can also gather some of your smaller branches and tape or hot glue some of your bats on and simply display as a stick-bat bouquet. You can create a swarm of bats up a wall just by tapping staggering alternate sizes in a sweeping display. This is so simple yet gives a great look.

I love the idea of repurposed decor, and spray paint is my weapon of choice. Old ceramic vases in traditional shapes or small figurines painted black take on a haunting impression. You can fill these with more sticks and moss or get a few fresh flowers in deep hues to add some color. Spray paint some of your leaves and vines you foraged to wrap around a mirror or stretch over your fireplace mantel. If you find some leftover feather butterflies from spring and summer, you can spray those black as well and glue to empty picture frames or on a random skull here and there.

Designer Tip: Tuck Spanish or green moss in to hide any wires or framework you don’t want to show.

Fill old bottles and jars with food-colored water. You can stick a printed poison label on for true spooky authenticity—you can find all sorts of free Halloween printables on Pinterest. Replace a few picture frames also with a couple Halloween printables to complete the look. Small mirrors can be treated as trays to stack your spooky goodness on. This works best on coffee tables or side tables so you can see the reflection of your display or reflect the glow of a candle.

I hope you feel a little more inspired and empowered to make your home “Spooky Chic.”

Follow me on Instagram @juliebonnerdesign

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