It's Going to be my Second Favorite Holiday to Decorate For

I love fall, it is my very favorite season of the year. I start my decorating in September, generally the week the kids go back to school. I break out the colored leaves and the scarecrows and the autumn decor. The house is an extension of the great outdoors. Those stay up until after Thanksgiving, and are then replaced with Christmas decor. I've gotten some mileage out of the autumn decor because we don't decorate for Halloween. You won't find witches or skulls or ghosts here.

This year the kids decided that we needed to do something about that. This year, we are decorating for Halloween. Being the do-it-yourself variety, and being on a tight budget this year, we are making our new Halloween fun.

Our first project was a graveyard. The key pieces are the tombstones, of course, and I had an idea. Sam is a man-hoarder, which sometimes bothers me when his stuff encroaches into my space, but today I was glad of it. We raided his basement and found a piece of 2" styrofoam insulation. It's the super special kind with gray paper on both sides. Here's what we did:

1. Assemble materials.

2. Carefully measure and mark lines for cutting.

3. Cut. Ginsu is awesome for slicing through insulation. A jigsaw would be too, if the blade could be found.

4. Once cut, draw the shape for each stone.

5. Cut shapes, and add any cracks or chips that you feel would add character.

6. Spray paint the sides to hide the yellow insulation.

7. Hand letter the stones, taking great care to have fun with the names and epitaphs. If Micah helps, it just adds character to an old stone. Win.

8. Spray black around the edges of the stones to give an old look, and randomly add spray lines through the middle. I also highlighted the nicks and cracks with the paint. Super cool.

9. Set in garden, add lighting, dig a fresh grave, and wait for the screams to begin.

10. Watch the kids swell with pride in a job well done, and smile from the inside out knowing that a together project is the best way to do Halloween.

Also done while working on this project were the black rats. That's just oaktag-style paper (weird name, I've always thought) cut and painted. Duck Tape works wonders at hanging, but I'll get back to you on whether or not it was a good idea to place those outdoors rather than in.

Do you have a DIY project to share for Halloween? Link me up! We obviously are in need of more decor.


utmomof 5 said...

AWESOME!! I am a big Halloween decorator, so much fun. I love your tombstones! (That is a weird sentence to write BTW)

Michelle said...

Those are awesome! I can't believe how well they turned out. I am just not that creative, although with the step by step I could maybe do it - if I had any of the materials.

Your kids did a great job - and how fun for this year! And next, right? :)

Roger said...

The family that decorates together...

Those are cool, and y'all did a great job with them as well!!

Burgh Baby said...

I knew you would rock the homemade! And you did. Big time.

Anonymous said...

Those are TERRIFIC! The kids did a really, really great job, and no doubt learned that being frugal doesn't mean you can't have fun and do something well!

We are slowly adding fake pumpkins to our decor (bought with coupons from Michaels or JoAnns.) They can be carved just like regular pumpkins and then filled with a battery-operated light. It seems that 'live' pumpkins get more expensive every year, and while we will still buy them while the kids are young, some day they won't be into carving them and we will still have plenty of the fakes around to match the rest of the neighborhood.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Will you please adopt me?

JennyH said...

Those look fabulous!!

BTW... I love Micah's face helping hold the tape measure.

Your kids are some good artist. They must get that from their mom!

CanadianMama said...

Those look WICKED!!