Monday, October 26, 2015

DIY Creepy Halloween Haunts

I tried to make non-scary Halloween decorations, but I failed. These things are SO creepy!

At least the kids don't seem to be too afraid of them.

Here's the basics of how I made these easy creepy haunts:

cheesecloth ghost

I came across this tutorial, from Martha Stewart... oh how I love Martha. She calls these creations "Cheesecloth Spirits", which sounded pretty tame to me. Here's what her version looks like:

I decided to give it a try! First I found the wig heads, for much cheaper on Amazon than the sources listed in the original tutorial. Because it's always good to use odd number grouping when decorating, I ordered 3.

I followed the directions on the tutorial, using a mixture of watered down Stiffy, and craft glue. But, it would work just as well with some outdoor mod podge.

To apply it I used a cheap foam brush. You could probably just use a sponge too.

This is a messy job, and you'll need LOTS of cheesecloth. I'd plan on at least several yards per "spirit". Start by placing a piece of cheesecloth over your Styrofoam head, coat with outdoor mod podge.

Continue to layer on more sheets of cloth, ripping the ends to give it an erie look.

But, once these were dry, the looked too plain to me. There wasn't much definition in the face, so I decided to bring more attention to the eyes.

cheesecloth ghost

Using watered down acrylic paint, I added deep purple to the eye area. Because it was so watered down, it dripped down the face and into the folds of the fabric, causing a super erie "bloody tears" effect. You could use blood red, but I prefer subtlety suggestive halloween decorations. Overdoing it on the "blood and guts" always seems like kind of an easy cop-out to me. Subtle is creepier.

But, I have little kids in the house, and they looked a bit too creepy. So I decided to try to tone down the freaky factor a little bit.

cheesecloth ghost

For slight sparkle and texture I applied some mica flake medium that I had on hand.

I also covered up some of the dark purple with plain white acrylic. They were a little less disturbing after this.

cheesecloth ghost

Time for them to find a home!

I glued/ screwed white cup hook into the top of each head, and suspended them from small bamboo sticks.


cheesecloth ghost

Be sure you really rip up the cheesecloth at the bottom, so that there is plenty of extra fabric to flutter in the wind.

cheesecloth ghost  cheesecloth ghost

I tossed a couple of strands of christmas lights in the bushes bellow these cheesecloth ghosts, because up-lighting is always spooky, and they were ready for fright night!

cheesecloth ghost

Happy Halloween!

Also, if you like DIY decorations as much as I do, you may enjoy this post:

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Working With Ugly Carpet

There is a lot you can do with a little imagination and a small budget. But, sometimes there are things in a house that your just can't change. Sometimes there are things you have to work around.
For us, one of those things was the carpet. When we moved in, a little over a year ago, we knew we'd be living with the mint green carpet for a while.
Here are a few "before" photos or the carpet, with the seller's furniture.


When we moved in the walls were all pink, and (as you can see) the carpet was an unfortunate shade of green (that my husband nicknamed "pistachio").


There was a lot we could change about this room. We could paint, bring in our own furniture and add light. But, unfortunately budget restraints kept us from changing the floor.

The challenge then became to update the room in such a way that it would look like we meant to have mint green carpet!

The first thing I did was create a Pinterest board where I began to gather ideas. I searched the internet for color combinations that included mint green. I used everything from wedding cakes to clothing, as color inspiration.

I began to notice that mint green looked lovely combined with vibrant coral, or even red. Because red and green are complementary colors, I knew that they would look good together. But I wanted to add a modern touch too.

Knowing that grey is a very trendy and popular color in decorating right now, I looked for ways to incorporate it into the mint green and red pallet I was aiming for. Eventually I settled on a dark, warm grey.

Our couch was brown, so I knew we'd need to get a new one. To help update the space, I looked for a trendy midcentury modern replica, in a dark warm grey tone.

I was so pleased to find this sofa at CB2 (an affiliate of Crate and Barrel).  Both Crate and Barrel, and CB2 are excellent sources for reasonably priced, midcentury modern inspired furniture.

avec sofa

I painted the walls using my two favorite Benjamin Moore colors, #925 (Ivory White) which is the perfect warm white, and #976 (Coastal Fog) which is the perfect "greyeige". We added 3 sun tunnels in the ceiling to bring in light, and started moving in!

We purchased the two accent chairs from the previous owner, and had them reupholstered. See "before and afters" here.

I found throw pillows in the perfect colors at Target, and added them to the seating areas.
I also purchased a trendy grey "poof" for extra seating, painted the fireplace and added large grey baskets as accents on the hearth (purchased at Target). 

Whenever choosing furniture for this room, I tried to pick items that where unique and/ or modern.  I also kept the color pallet in mind.

They grey coffee table is localy crafted and came from a local shop. Meanwhile, the large bookcase on the wall is mass produced, by Pottery Barn

I hung long red curtains on the sides of the windows (being careful that they didn't actually cover any of the window, to give the illusion of bigger windows and to maximize natural light).
Overall, we are happy with how the room turned out. Eventually the carpet will be replaced, but in the meantime, we have an updated and comfortable space to enjoy... even if the carpet is mint green!


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