Who are those masked pumpkins?

Who are those masked pumpkins

I had grand plans for elaborate Halloween decor this year, but in the end I chose one more simple project to tackle – a masked pumpkin. In fact I made a whole crew of them to decorate the whole house with.

Who are those masked pumpkins

They joined my other Halloween craft the Day of the Dead Wreath on my porch.

Who are those masked pumpkins

I also decorated with some of my favorite seasonal pieces including a pirate patch of our ceramic pig and the always popular, can’t-be-Halloween-without-him, Devil Mini Nate.

Who are those masked pumpkins

Masked pumpkins also found a home next the center of our football-obsessed lives, the 52″ television (with Sleepy Hollow appropriately playing). Someone keeps moving them away from the screen, but I prefer them to just sit slightly in front of it.

Who are those masked pumpkins

My masked pumpkins were inspired by these cute felt-lined pumpkins I bought from Target. My favorite is the fat masked pumpkin so I made a similar mask for the Cinderella-shaped red pumpkin. The trio of felt-lined styrofoam pumpkins are now sitting on my office desk and bring me lots of joy every time I am in there.

Who are those masked pumpkins

In order to start the project, I needed a few more pumpkins so I invested in three new “foam” ones from my local fabric store. I really liked how these fake pumpkins are made to look like the heirloom varieties. I like my pumpkins to have some personality and buying these guys saves me from purchasing a couple real Cinderella pumpkins. I should note that these foam pumpkins are labeled “for inside use only” so I took the precaution of coated them with a clear sealer to make them a little more hardy.

Who are those masked pumpkins

Although super simple, this look is also ingenious because the masks are removable. This means November 1st, I can de-mask them and still have harvest/thanksgiving appropriate decorations up. Woo!

Who are those masked pumpkins

Okay back to the project… Masking the pumpkins is a very easy craft. You will need black felt pieces, a piece of white chalk, some sort of stretchy string (I used clear beading string) or elastic, scissors and possibly a sharpie.

Who are those masked pumpkins

First determine a size mask for each pumpkin. Then cut the felt into a rough rectangle. (Mine ranged from a third to a half of a felt piece.) Take the rectangle and fold it into half. Make sure the edges line up and sketch half the mask shape onto the felt. Mark the eye placement as well. I went with different mask shapes for each pumpkin so they all had their own look.

Who are those masked pumpkins

Cut out the mask shape and eye socket. Open the felt up and flip it so the unmarked side shows. Trim anywhere you need to make the mask even.

Who are those masked pumpkins

Then, take the stretchy string and measuring around each pumpkin to get the right length. Cut small holes in each side of the mask and then knot the string through them. Stretch the mask over the pumpkin and take a look to get the placement right. If you go with a light color string like I did, you may need to use a sharpie to black it out.

Who are those masked pumpkins

I am down with the simple black, but it would be fun to add different colors for a superhero look as well. The masks would also be cool molded or embellished.

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Oh, and I did get two real pumpkins as well. They will live on the front porch until the 31st. I’ll try to convince Nate to carve one, but there’s a good chance I’ll be doing them both with the cats help, of course.

Silhouette crazy

Our Halloween decor has been pretty consistent the last few years. After my colorful Halloween rave theme in 2009, I changed direction for a more modern interpretation. My favorite prop has been animal and monster silhouettes. They are so easy to add to my current decor for a little more spooky flair.

Halloween 2012

This is the third year I’ve used Martha Stewart’s skeleton cling in our front picture window.

It’s so easy to put up and take down.  All you need is a spray bottle with soapy water and a squeegee to apply. I learned how watching this video. Basically you spray the window and decal down before applying. Then position it exactly how you want it and squeegee the excess water and air bubbles out. Work from the center out. Spray more water if it dries out before you are done.

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Once it’s up, I add orange fairy lights to the window with a combo of strategically placed nails and 3M command strips. At night when our shades are drawn the strands give enough light to see the skeleton from the street.

A witch in the window

The windows are such a fun vignette to tell a little story. Joining the creepy skeleton this year, is a witch in our kitchen. I bought her the same time I bought Mr. Skeleton, but wasn’t sure where to put her up.

Scary witch at night

After a lot of deliberation, I really am glad she’s found a home in the kitchen. It’s fun to see her there especially when I am cooking dinner.

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I had to cut her down to size so she unfortunately lost her cauldron in the process. She still has her bone though that she’s about to throw to the raven I stuck to the other window pane.

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Window decals are not the only way I use silhouettes. I’ve made my own bat and mice silhouettes out of card stock to decorate the interior in years past, but I couldn’t pass up on these sparkly spiders and ravens I found on clearance to use this year.

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It made sense to add more spiders to the front picture window and a raven to the kitchen one. The rest went all over the house. I just used double-stick tape to mount these guys on windows, walls, mirrors and picture frames. When I am ready to take them down, all I have to do is peel of the tape and store them for next year.

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With my murder of ravens and cluster of spiders, I did bring one little mouse back. He’s messing with the raven in the Great Room.

Black cat mug

Of course decor is only part of the Halloween celebration. I recently got this scaredy cat mug to drink my Pumpkin Spice beverage selection from. It sure makes my evenings much more fun.

Later this week, I’ll finish the look with a few carved pumpkins to decorate our entry way, but that’s it — a very simple Halloween look.

Halloween 2010

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Nate gets this look on his face when I start to talk about decorating for the holidays. Its not that he doesn’t like the decoration – he just hates the mess I make putting them up and taking them down. I don’t blame him – my creative process for these kind of projects is not very organized.

Last year I was so overjoyed with the possibilities and I went a little crazy.

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… and unfortunately it turned out to look more like a rave party than Halloween.

This year, I decided to keep things simple.

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Orange twinkle lights hung above our new picture window with a black and purple pom-pom garland my mother gave me. I set the lights on a timer so that when I got home from work, the lights were already on.

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I was at Micheals about a week before Halloween and they already had a bunch of decorations on clearance. I picked up two Martha Stewart window decals. The skeleton one went up into the picture window. I absolutely love it. It looked so cool with the lights at night. I plan on using this next year.

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I also put out my crazy cat face I got at Target last year, plus my fake pumpkins I picked up at Michaels. My parents gave me three Cinderella pumpkins from their garden than I plan on roasting, but until then I set them on my porch for decoration.

Inside, I just added little Halloween touches to the current decor.

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I poured last year’s candy corn into a square vase and added a tall pillar candle. I also bought a simple and inexpensive berry branch from Michaels that I stuck into a blue vase I thrifted years ago.

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Finally, I put out a Slatkin & Co. Leaves Candle. It has a nice aroma apple, cinnamon, mulled cider and berry. Plus it burns forever. I love it.

I am a major candle lover, but I am trying to move to away from cheap candles towards healthier options. The Slatkin ones are a compromise until I find quality soy candles that burn clean.

On Halloween night, we only had ONE trick-or-treater and he was about 17 years old, but I was still glad that my place was decorated. Driving up to the house every night, made me smile and really that’s what it is all about!

Halloween Recap

Our first Halloween in the new house was awesome.

I was determined to go big with a front porch fully decorated to entice the trick-or-treaters. I think I succeeded. Here’s the rundown of what I did.

Be spooky

All the house painting prep was a benefit to make our house extra scary. We looked old and creepy with all the scrubbed off paint and raw wood.

I decided I wanted to take a different route than the normal skeleton-on-the-door decorations. Instead, I wanted to create a spooky, yet colorful forest like entryway.

Create some mystery

First I needed a forest. I scored with six pruned birch branches from my parents backyard. Getting them home in my Honda Civic was comical, but once I got them lined up on the porch it was totally worth it.

Bring on the light

After installing the branches, I strung them up pink mini lights.  I will admit, it looked a little like the entrance to a rave, but I liked the warm glow they gave off. (and again – I was staying away from the traditional feel.)

I had blue IKEA fiber optic lights from a few years back that I added below the branches. They created a soft electric flora look below the trees. Then to tie all the colors together, I bought some stained glass globe lights at Target that a strung along the roof line.

Have fun

Once all the lights were up, I added fake cobwebs to all surfaces and planted some crimson mums in terra cotta pots to line along the railing.  These are great because I can continue to use them after Halloween. In fact, I think I will go buy some more.

Next came the props, I brought “mini Nate” outside to guard our door and added a scary cat head to the front porch.  I couldn’t resist the cat head from the gardening dept at Target. It was both scary and cute. I am sure it will be something I use again and again. I put a makeshift wreath up on the screened door with, yes, another cat. Nate pointed out later that the wreath with the pink lights did give the front porch a little of a Christmas like theme. I still don’t buy that completely, but I will probably not add the wreath next year as a precaution.

I finished the decorations with four (yes four) carved pumpkins. I designed three and had Nate sketch the fourth. It took me about two hours to hollow and carve out all four. The kitties kept me company as I went. We found out the Loki has an unnatural love of raw pumpkin.

Once everything was up, it felt right. There was enough spooky and crazy for everyone. I know the place is going to look great once its painted, but with the decorations up I got a glimpse of what it will look like as my house.