A Boo-tiful Mantel & Pumpkin Patch Fun

As mentioned earlier in the week, we made it to the pumpkin patch on Sunday! I haven’t been to a pumpkin patch (pumpkins on the vines and all) for years… but now that our little group of friends has a group of little ones, everyone was excited to take photos and enjoy the fall scenery.

The farm was beautiful and full of photo opportunities… my favorite is Kevin attempting to empathize with my growing belly (bottom right photo). I told him he should carry the weight of the pumpkin under his shirt for the rest of the day if he really wanted to understand!

After plenty of delicious cider and pumpkin chili at a friend’s house, it was time to get back to the ‘spooky’ mantel.

We throw an annual Halloween party and decorating the house is a fun part of the preparation process – the mantel being a central feature! This year’s mantel was full of garage sale finds from Saturday’s hunt, a few new store additions and plenty from last year’s inventory.

I was really hoping to create something glittery for the mantel and was excited to find already-glittered pumpkins on sale at Target. The ‘decor’ aisle of grocery stores is usually full of great deals just about this time of the October month and I scooped up two plastic skulls, rubber spiders and cheese cloth.

The garage sale finds and plastic skulls received a coat of flat black spray paint (including chain links – haggled to have those thrown in for free – which were inspired by Centsational Girl’s haunted mantel):

Black & white photos stayed on the mantel while the colorful prints were cleared and replaced with the black empty picture frames. Cut out bats and plastic spiders from last year’s decorating made the perfect spooky fillers for the frames while cheese cloth and spider webbing draped the entire fireplace for an aged look.

An orange leaf garland cut into strips (used for fall decor too) added a bit of color amidst black flowers (diy dead centerpieces from last year) at the base of the frames. My Ikea black lantern fit right in.

The rest of the home received a few frightful updates as well. I resurrected last year’s construction paper cut outs and mixed in a few new friends made from vellum for picture frame pop outs (a great project for kids!). My husband wondered why the ghosts had hands… but I think think they look a bit friendlier the most Casper-like they are ;):

The bathroom apothecary jar collection was spruced up with plastic painted skulls, more cheese cloth, rubber spiders and my favorite spray painted faux florals:

And that’s the Halloween update! A few fun additions to a growing box of seasonal goodies… and it all topped out at just about $25 (including those great glitter pumpkins!). Can’t wait for the party in just a week and a half… I guess it’s about time to get planning. Here’s a look at the event from last year.

Three New Looks for Fall

This past weekend we pulled out our warm scarves, visited a local pumpkin patch and sipped hot cider – it was the perfect fall day! It was also our first day of San Diego rain. Well, not so much rain as a heavy drizzle that lasted most of the afternoon.

But that means just one thing – fall is officially here in full swing and I’m ready for movie nights curled up by the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa! That and the opportunity to wear wool, heavy knits and leather boots.

Three new looks for fall:

Board #1: It’s still wavering around the mid 60’s in San Diego which means warm tights paired with a belted wool skirt and tucked in blouse (covered by a timeless trench) is ideal for the workday.

Board #2: While I love the growing belly, I think what I miss most from my closet is the opportunity to belt long cardigans, sweater dresses and lots of layers together. I love the shape of this particular sweater dress and the mix of brown, olive and grey pulled together with an ikat scarf. Add a simple gold cuff (I actually just added this staple to my collection and really love it) and hoop earrings for a soft fall look.

Board #3: Last but not least skinny cords, sparkly ballet flats and colorful outerwear over a few warm layers is perfect for a day of errands around town. Top with a bold necklace and enjoy.

Oh fall! So happy you’re here. A full page of style boards and their sources/pricing (including the above) here.

Spookifying the House – Halloween Inspiration

Halloween is creeping up on us! It feels like I just began decorating for fall and it’s already time to update the home with a few frightful features.

I spent Saturday garage saling with a friend for Halloween DIY project finds to add to the mantel, porch and throughout the house. Before I start out for any kind of shopping (especially thrift) I like to keep an inspiration board in mind to help focus my search and get the creative juices flowing. Here’s what I assembled for the weekend:

Picture frames and mirrors that are already hung around the house provide a great opportunity to incorporate cut out shadow shapes, creepy eyes and even tempura paint (which washes right off) in the shape of ghosts. I’m a big fan of glitter this fall as well – I’ll see if I can’t find decor ready for a diy coat.

Halloween Inspiration, Halloween Decor, Decorating, Orange, Black, Spooky, Pumpkin, Centerpiece, Tablescape, Mirrors, Windows

I’m also looking for anything that can be spray painted black – there’s something especially Halloween-ish about candle sticks, ceramic animals, pumpkins, lanterns, votive holders, skulls, spiders and the like when coated in a flat black and covered in cobwebs.

I’m on the search for creative ways to incorporate creepy shadows. Lining the inside of a lampshade with black cut out bats is a fun way to do this (when the light is switched on your bats dance on the surrounding walls), but why not line candle holders, lanterns and windows with fun shapes too? I love the tissue paper candle holders above – just be sure the tissue paper is on the outside of the glass!

Will be sharing all of my finds soon – it was definitely a productive day searching and my living room mantel is nearly finished. For more inspiration, check out this great link party at The Stories of A to Z showcasing dozens of blogger & reader mantels to peruse. Happy Monday!

Images: Better Homes & Gardens, Martha Stewart

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