Monday, October 24, 2016

Simple Halloween Decor

This summer, my husband and I sold our house and moved to a much smaller apartment that was more centrally located to public transportation and an interesting social life.  We're enjoying it a lot, but it is still an ongoing challenge to learn to live smaller and more simply, and we're still creating our 'look'.

But holidays come when they come, ready or not, and while I am not able to totally deck out the place for Halloween, this is still my favorite time of year, and I wanted have a few touches.  I keep a bin of Halloween decorations (now living in an offsite storage room), and rooted through there to see what I could use, and we wound up buying an item or two that caught our eye, and this is what we came up with:

We'd just set up this shelf arrangement near the door shortly before it was time to decorate for Halloween - we needed a place to hang keys and our dog's leash, as well as have a landing zone for my husband's loose change.  So, when it's not Halloween, we have this row of hooks (that are actually dog butts) for the hanging items, the rustic blue crate shelf that holds two little stoneware cups for change (one of them is specifically for quarters for the laundry room), as well as a sign about dogs and a dog motif cross stitched piece I did.

We didn't take down any of it, but I did add an additional cross stitch piece, a couple purchased raven items, some fresh mini-pumpkins (now sitting on the upturned change mugs, so there went that bit of organization), and some artificial autumn sprigs from my Halloween bin.

The thing I like about this is that the shelf and dog butt hooks are fastened to the wall, but everything else just sits on it, letting me change out the decoration without putting any more holes in the wall.

On a small end table that sits to one side of the living room, I tucked some artificial sunflowers and other seasonal sprigs inside our tripod lamp.

A beat up hanging clock (from Michael's), another older cross stitch piece I did, and a small ceramic skull created a nice, shabby Halloween still life that will transition easily into November with the removal of the skull.

On a whim, I covered the shade with a black lacy poncho-style shawl of mine.  It provides a little more atmospheric l
lighting down in  that part of the room.

Nearby, we have an IKEA ladder that is currently rather overflowing with things (we're still deciding what it is we want to do with that space).  I had a length of grapevine garland and several ornaments which I'd normally put up on a year round tree I like to decorate each season.  Here, we just have no space for it, but I was sad to not get to show off my ornaments, so I draped the garland around the top of the ladder and hung them off of that.

Our biggest addition to what we already had came about on whim - while we were at Michaels Arts & Crafts, we came across some of those inexpensive Halloween portraits they have that look like antique photos if you look at them one way, and scary demonic undead things if you look another way.

They are simply glued onto a plastic molded frame, good enough as a disposable ornament, but we decided against them because they looked as cheap as they were.

But then we saw this really nicely made roughed up cabinet-door style picture frame, which I would have wanted with or without a plan.

After the holidays, I'll replace the photos with more personal to us family photos, but for now...

We bought two of the cheap Halloween pics, and, after cutting them out of their molded frames (which was tedious and involved some non-ladylike words), put the one of the twin demon babies into the top section, and the nice gentleman that turns into a half-skeleton monster into the center section.

That left the two smaller panes unfilled.  Well, as it happens we have a really lovely antique store that is a two block walk around from our apartment.


I took a walk down there to see if perhaps they had any old photos I could use for the bottom panes, and they did!  Sadly, not identified, but I selected one of two children looking very stiff and uncomfortable in their finery, and one of a mother for this little family. Her photo had faded with age, giving her a ghostly appearance.

The pictures did not quite fit in the frame, so rather than cutting them up, I scanned and printed them onto photo paper so they would be the right size.

I really like the end result!

My final decorated spot was outside on our balcony, where I was able to use a few more of my favorite goodies from the bin without making our indoor space look overly cluttered.

The Witch plaque hanging on the utility door was bought years ago from a dollar store, and still makes me smile everytime I see it.  Bright orange autumn flower garland is draped overhead, where we took a length of rope and wrapped it around a long metal beam for our various hanging needs - we use large S-hooks from IKEA to quickly add and remove whatever we want up there.

The two tin Witches Hats are also dollar store finds from years gone by - they have little doors so that you can set a tea light inside.  I have some remote controlled battery operated tealights in them to provide a bit of glow in the evening.

Even when it's necessary to keep things simple and easy to switch out, I find that being able to decorate for the holidays goes a long way toward making a new apartment look and feel like 'home'.  I may still be trying to figure out where I'm going to put my spices, but at least I know where the spooky stuff goes.


  1. Your last line made me laugh---I may still be trying to figure out where I'm going to put my spices, but at least I know where the spooky stuff goes.

    Too funny, we redid the kitchen this summer, and I still can't find anything. Grins, cute decor, really like the vintage picture window frame. Grins, Sandi

  2. Your apartment Halloween decor looks great. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. Pinning.

  3. Very cute decor, I really like the crow photograph and the simple draped black lace. I had some unused brown lace I used because I had it on hand, but the black is much better.

  4. You made excellent use of your space and I hope you figure out where to put your spices!

  5. Very nice! It can be hard to find space to decorate for the holidays in an apartment. My favourite decoration is the raven art.

  6. I remember the fun it was to decorate my apartment for the holidays. Thanks for sharing on #FridayFrivolity

  7. I love the "Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are" sign! Lovely decor :)

    Edye | Http://

  8. Lynda, I love the simplicity of it all!! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party-and don’t forget to leave a comment at the party – Next week’s features that also leave a comment get pinned and tweeted!

  9. Lynda, I love that you figured out how to have things that bring joy to you out for the Holidays, it would be sad not to see those ornaments and decorations. I love the window frame with the old pictures, it looks great. Can't wait to see what you do with it for Christmas!

  10. Pinned! These are fabulous ideas for decorating for Halloween in a smaller space. Everything looks fantastic. On a side note, I love your sign saying "Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are" That's lovely! Thank you for sharing with Hearth and Soul, Lynda. I hope we will 'see' you again this week!.

  11. Lynda, Downsizing can be liberating but also an adjustment. For the 11 months we were between houses and lived in an apartment, I hated that all our decorations were in storage. We had a 3 foot tall tree that year. You've done a great job of making the situation work. Thanks for sharing at Your Inspired design.

  12. With a little decor here and there you can totally change the look and feel of a place, and you`ve done that! It looks great for Fall & Halloween!

  13. I love how you decorated for Halloween, especially the cabinet with all the photos. I think it's neat you found antique REAL photos to use. It's like a real mystery of who the people are!
    Thanks for linking up at the #HomeMattersParty. Hope to see you at this week's party, the door is open Friday at midnight EST.