Tips, Tricks & How-To’s to Our Halloween Decor


I hope you all had the chance to join us, for our Halloween Decor Tour, in which we shared with you all of the festive touches I made, to put a little Halloween in the air, indoors and outdoors!  The post tour naturally consists of a ton of photos, or else how else could I show you all?  That, and my small chit-chat, made the post plenty long enough.  So I promised to share how I made some of the decor, in a separate post in the Crafts & Creations section soon. And here we are.

All of the signage design work that you see in this post (and the tour), that is similar in style and all ties together so beautifully, is part of the Halloween Party Complete Collection, which I purchased from Frosting & Ink Social Designery’s Etsy Shop.  Please note that everything that I printed out, I did so on textured white card stock. I also was sure that my printer printed the actual colors, being sure my settings did not allow the printer to choose the colors. (I am a color snob. I demand accuracy. )


One of the features I was most excited to show, was indeed the biggest hit with our readers!  That would be my Witch Parking Sign.  ; )


To start, I printed out the sign from my Halloween Party Complete Collection on a piece of 8.5″ x 11″ textured white card stock.  The actual design was 7.5″ x 10″, so there was an inch of white paper to trim off, all the way around. For anything rectangle or square, I want a perfectly clean straight edge.  So I always use this….

….my Fiskar Trimmer for cutting paper or card stock. But using scissors, or an x-acto blade and a metal ruler on a mat, would also work.

Now for the sake of saving you from having to keep scrolling up, I am going to show you the photo of this sign again. (Because I’m thoughtful like that. : )  You need to be able to refer to it and see it as I talk here.

I wanted to mount my paper sign on a piece of old looking wood, so I asked Michael to please cut a piece of thin plywood about 10.5″ x 13″, and to try and make the edges look jaggedy, like old broken wood. To get that effect that you can see above, he used a saber saw.  Then he stained it dark grey.

Now I needed to mount the paper sign, onto the wood sign.  I had every intention of really using the sign, right at the head of my parking space outside.  So it needed to not only be applied permanently, but the whole sign needed to be weather-proofed, sealed and protected, as well.

To do both the job of applying the paper sign to the wood, and sealing and protecting the whole thing I used Outdoor Modge Podge!   I applied a layer of glue to the back of my paper, as well as a coat on the front of the wood sign.  Then I placed them together with the design perfectly in place, smoothed it all out being sure there were no bubbles, and let it all dry overnight.   When it wasn’t so tacky to the touch anymore, I applied another coat over the whole sign (front and back), and let dry completely, again.   When that dried, I applied one more coat, and let it all dry again.  I paid special attention to be sure I was sealing the edge of the paper, to the wood sign. Any moisture getting in between when outdoors, would ruin it.

*Note – With a past project quite similar to this one, where I was applying paper to wood, and then adding final coats, I did not allow the coats to dry enough in between applications.  I didn’t want to, you know… wait. It didn’t turn out well, People. The paper was bubbling here and there because it wasn’t dry enough in the first place, making the paper soggy and rolling up, and it was just a mess. So leaving it to dry even 24 hours or so between coats sometimes, is necessary. Having patience, or not, shows in the final piece.  Rushing things, and hoping for the best, may not end well. Don’t do it.

I had this bottle displayed on my garden potting bench already. It was a cool indigo blue, but had faded in the sun.  So I decided to spray paint it matte black, and make a little Halloween necklace for it, by stringing buttons in colors that together, say Halloween to me: orange, black, green, and purple.  Different button sizes, and no pattern, rhyme or reason. Just string them on. I’ve made these little wrap necklaces for bottles and vases before, using beads and other elements as well. In doing so, I have used different materials to string on. But one thing I have found especially handy to use, is stretchy fishing line.  It works nice for small necks of things especially, that you may want to wrap around more than once, because if it barely is going to fit, it stretches some to prevent the string from breaking. It’s easy to work with. Of course, for a different look for indoor pieces, you may choose to use raffia, suede string, ribbon, etc.  I put a dead stick in it, and it was perfect!  It’s a small thing, but I really had fun with it, and I like how it came out.


I think the swarming bats around the front doors around Halloween time, was an idea first featured in Country Living Magazine (?) last year, and lots of crafty home-owners all over the country were all over the idea, including me!  I just didn’t get to it until this year. There are bat templates you can download from the internet, if you do a search, and I would guess that others looked and found some to use, as I did.  They can be cut out and used to trace with white chalk onto black material, over and over. Then you simply cut them out.  I looked around for bats that looked right to me, a lot. So in the end, I can’t remember where I actually found one I liked. (Or I’d tell you.) But anyway, I did resize it to have 3 different sizes of bats.


I made the bats out of stiffened felt. I think I got about 15 sheets or so, and got as may bats as I could out of them.  Instead of cutting the bats out of the paper and tracing them, I went about things a different way – because I could, and it just seemed easier.  Michael (my husband) has this perforation wheel, to create a pattern of holes through paper, and then you pounce that pattern onto another material, using chalk dust. So we just perforated the bat patterns on the paper, and then used our school chalk board erasers with chalk dust on them, to pounce the patterns onto the felt.

Scissors + Kids = Bats

Just so you know, my kids love cutting things out, and ask to help. I’m not into child labor. ; )

We stuck all of the bats on the house and door, using duct tape on the back.  Yes, one or 2 do blow or fall off now and then. Maybe there is a better way to adhere them, but duct tape works good enough for me. I don’t even notice if or when any are missing.  Michael does though. He tends to be the bat chaser I guess. LOL. But generally, they stay put pretty well.


This funky black feather wreath itself was wicked easy! I simply bought it as is, at Michael’s Arts & Crafts! (Where I bought all of the materials I needed, but didn’t have on hand.)


The circle sign in the middle, was another design in the collection I bought. Frosting & Ink customizes it with your own last name, before sending you the files! How cool is that?

The middle of the feather wreath was originally empty. Just a hole. So somehow, we needed to find a way to stabilize the sign in the front middle. The feathers were not going to hold it there.  So we simply cut a square out of some leftover stiffened felt, and mounted it on the back with hot glue, covering the wreath hole.  Then we just folded some pieces more stiffened felt and used them as spacers, connecting them with hot glue from the inside of the back support felt piece, to the back of the front design circle.  Simple fix!  It needed to be an indoor wreath, no doubt about that.  But thankfully, we have a glass front door, so we were still able to use it as a front door wreath that shows on the outside, when the brave ones come knocking.  ; )

We hung the wreath by hot gluing a piece of black sheer ribbon to the wreath itself on the back, and then to the top of the door frame. Yes, we did. lol. It comes right off, without damage.


One might wonder how I cut out all of the circle designs.  There were many circle designs to be cut, and it would surely be no fun having to do so with scissors.  I want my circles perfect, so it was high time I got a good circle cutter. (With a 50% of coupon, of course.)  I got the Martha Stewart Circle Cutter, and I love it!! The blade pops on to the fit-in-your-hand cutter, and the blade swivels, so it makes circle cutting seamless and perfect.


For all of these little mini-signs (originally cupcake/cake toppers, table signs, etc.), I again used my Martha Stewart Circle Cutter for the round designs, and my Fiskar Trimmer for the square designs. Sticky tabs were used to stick them to the black sheer ribbon strands, that run from the top of the doors to the bottom. Simple and cute!


Lastly I just wanted to mention how I created little ghosts on my Halloween Fan Pull. The heads themselves are simply formed by t-shirt material cut into squares, and forming it over the round beads. Then I used more clear fishing line to tie off the necks some to create the head better, and the kids drew on faces. This is all done while making the fan pull itself, which I also do using strong test fishing line, doubled. The spider element is at the bottom (center of the line), and then I used a fat needle and the fishing line to quickly string all of the beads on.  When it was time to make a ghost, I simply stuck the needle right through the middle of the square piece of material over the round bead, tied off the head with another piece of fishing line (trimmed down after knotted), and continued to string beads. When all of the beads are on for a fan pull, Michael ties on a little piece of wire and knots it up into a ball, to hook right into the ball chain clasp.  Works like a charm!  >  I hope you comprehend those directions. It’s late now. I was watching  X-Factor (2 hours this night) while doing this post too, on commercials.

I think a good thing to take from this post is, there can a lot of ‘winging it’ with crafting, with just a little fire-thought. Yes, sometimes you find one method works out better than another. But the process is simply figuring out what you are trying to create or do, and what kind of materials you may need or have on hand, to make it all work. (Whatever your project may be.). Just think about how you want something to look, and what you can use in terms of material, to achieve that vision. It’s not about doing everything perfectly, but learning as you go, and picking up a few tricks along the way. As you know by now, I have found fishing line to be pretty handy in my crafting!  There is some pretty strong test line that is durable, and it’s practically invisible, which can be a helpful for some projects too. There are so many tools out there that can make the more tedious parts of crafting (like cutting things out), faster and easier. And then there are lots of things right around your house, that you can use as well. Substitutions and preferences, are all part of the crafting game. If you have fun making what you do, and it makes you and/or others smile (even on the inside) when they see your creations around, then you are a successful crafter!

(Is there anything I missed?  Anything you wanted to know about our Halloween Decor that you had a question about, that I didn’t answer here? Please go ahead and ask, and I’d be happy to do my best to answer.)

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Shabby-Chic Fan Pull & Pillow


I know!  It’s been awhile since I’ve made a ceiling fan pull, huh?  Hey, a girl only has so much time to craft! But once I got this new one in my head, I couldn’t go out & get the supplies to make it, fast enough.  I made it, and then I was so excited to see it up, that I took down my summer fan pull, to put it up.


Shabby Chic is so my style now. It’s just a wonder to me, because when I was a little girl, I hardly had a feminine bone, and I was sure I never would.  I even recall a mylar motorcycle poster on my bedroom wall at one point. But here I am!

I really dig pink, lace, and Shabby-Chic-ness.

This fan pull has that kind of feel to me.  You?  That’s what I was going for, anyway.

I found THE perfect beads at Michael’s Arts & Crafts.  I used the style of the round soft pink ones (in various colors) so many times.  But how about those rose ones, huh? I swear my heart skipped a beat, when I saw those.


And despite the fact that I used a large glass pendant just like this one in green, for a spring fan pull, this pink one went way too perfectly, for this pull too.

Besides, I couldn’t find a big pretty rose to use. Not at that store anyway. And this worked nicely.


I was so excited to add my last little touch: a lace ribbon bow.


It looks so pretty, hanging in the middle of the room, that the summer fan pull may not make it back up, this year.

(If you’d like to check out all of my other fan pulls I’ve made so far, you can search ‘fan pulls’ in the category box later, in the sidebar.)


I’ve been meaning to share something else with you all, since um….February?!  The big Shabby Chic Pillow, that Michael got me for Valentine’s Day. <3


How pretty is this embroidered pattern?

It’s a satin like thread, on a light polyester, I guess.

The texture of the thread-work plays so awesome in the light.


So does the crocheted-like lace trim.


Lovely, isn’t it?


Yes, when the kids come in from playing, all covered in dirt, I preach! “Oh boy!  You better be SURE not to touch-my-PILLOW!”(And between you and me, I may have a few heart palpitations with that preachin’.)

Yes, I COULD just wash it.  But then I’d have to iron it again too! And I really despise ironing.

Oh, which reminds me, that yes, this pillow cover IS removable.  Check out the back….

It’s the details.  You know?


I don’t know why I get so crazy over this stuff.  But I do.  Like….butterflies. Over so many little things in life.  Not kidding.

I plan to make this whole room, pretty Shabby Chic-ish.  But part of that plan, is pretty involved (possibly crazy), and frankly, our home-finishing list is long enough at the moment.  It’s difficult not to jump on every great idea I have, but I just try to stay focused, and add that (and this, and that….) to the end of the list.  Sometimes, my ideas change, before I actually even get to one!  Ha! But hey….the brainstorming is half the fun for me. And that’s a great thing, for a Chic low on time and ca$h!  ; )    It’s also a great thing, that I’m a Do-It-Yourself-Her. Did I tell you I’m going to learn to sew next?  Yes I am. True story.  But that’s quite another post.

Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing my Shabby Chic fan pull & pillow.


Summer Fan Pull (and Some Special Gifts)

Call me way late to the party, but I ‘just’ got around to making my summer fan pull.  I’ve kept this one up, which I made for spring, all of this time.

But I’ve got 2 things to say about that:  1)  I’m not really late TO the party.  I think more, I’ve been too busy being AT a party, to find time for such things, as getting crafty.   2) The spring fan pull did not look all that out of place, so it didn’t bug me too much.  I mean, it’s not like it was snowflakes or anything.

Thus, I’m giving myself a break.  Just in case no one else does.

I did a have a plan in my head for a long time though!   I knew I wanted to make it beachey-themed.  Seashells, beach colors like warm tans and sea blues.

What I didn’t know, was that I would have splendid company, while I crafted my summer fan pull.  My brother and his family were down, and my nephew and niece decided to make a fan pulls of their own, with me!   So I enjoyed some nice chit-chat with them, while we crafted.  I found it all rather enjoyable, and I think they did too!

So here’s my summer fan pull.  Quite summery I think.  Do you like??  I had planned to take photos of my nephew and niece’s  fancy fan-pulls as well, but they had put them away, and then we forgot!  Darn-it-all.  But they did a nice job!

Moving on.

My God Daughter, and her mom (my cousin) and brother (and her brother’s friend) were down recently as well, for the kid’s photo shoot.  And my God-Daughter brought me this……

….a hand painted cupcake wine glass, from Delish.  Because she knows I love everything about cupcakes.

I really do.  I love this glass.  I love her.

It’s not the first time she has been so thoughtful. (Nor is is it the 2nd.  Or the 22nd.).   Last time she was down, she brought me this cupcake plate set and sugar bowl!    Because she knows I love everything about cupcakes.

I really do.  I  love this set.   I love her.

But wait…there’s more….

…..She made me, all by herself, this wine cork pull.

I think it’s beautiful.  It has HER all over it.  Sprinkled with love, for me.

I really love it. And her.

I know….it does kind of seem like she gets the impression I drink a lot of wine, huh?

LOL.  But no….I don’t think so.  Just look how full that bottle of wine IS!!  I’ve had it for weeks!  My dad brought it for me, when he came down several weeks ago.  He knows I love wine, on occasion.

I really do.  I love him.

But my God Daughter…….She is just the sweetest freckled little thing I have ever met.  And as much as I treasure the gifts that she gives me, and always will, I treasure the gift that she is, in my life.

I really do.  I love her.


Spring / Easter Fan Pull

Just a quick share of my fan pull for Spring & Easter.

These beads are so beautiful. They are heavy, like marbles, but smaller.

And just ….pretty.

The  beautiful piece on the end is glass as well.

It has definitely put another touch of  ‘spring in the air’, in the sun room.

Just in time for a lovely Easter this weekend too.

Thanks for dropping by, and taking a peek!

***HaPpY SpRinG!!***

Fan Pulls: for Winter & February

So it was almost the end of January, when I put up our ‘winter themed’ fan pull.  Because, I had to make it first!  Next year, they will all be up right on time, because they’ll all already be made.   But for this little craft-session, I also made February’s. A LOVE theme of course.

We’ll look at the winter one first.  This one we’ll probably use maybe in late November, if it has snowed, and maybe the first week or so of December. But then we’ll be having our Christmas fan pull up for the rest of December.  The winter one here will go back up for the month of January, and maybe early March until it feels like spring.  Unless of course I make a St.Patrick’s Day one, although we’re not Irish. But I suppose that’s not St. Patrick’s fault. lol

I’d like to take this opportunity to say…fan pulls are very hard to photograph!  Maybe I’m not using the right lens, that I don’t have. : )   But I just can’t seem to capture beauty of the fan pulls, in relation to the room, if that makes any sense.  So…I do the best I can for you.  : )

The winter fan pull was easy to make, because I found little snowflakes, already on a chain!  So I bought 2 of these, and connected them.  I used 26 gauge wire at the very top and like last time, just sort of balled it, to slip into the catch from the actual fan chain higher up.

You will find I am showing lots of seemingly similar photos in this post, because I want to show you the various displays of color that these throw when the light hits them. BEAUTIFUL hanging there on a sunny day.

See here….blues, purples,…

…here….oranges and pinks! So as it spins or swings some, it’s just lovely with the colors changing rapidly.

Here is a closer up of the snowflakes on the chain.

Yesterday when I was making them, it was snowing out!

But it’s gone today.  It’ll snow again though.

The gorgeous big snowflake on the bottom, I found separately at the craft store, and added to the snowflake chains.   Love the colors in this one above.

Now look at this!  Same big snowflake from a different angle.  See? It’s glass or crystal I think.  I’m not sure.

Here is the snow flake chain laying on the table.  It is SO much easier for me to photograph them this way, than them hanging in the middle of the room.   Pretty though, huh?

So these are more what they look like hanging up.  It’s just hard to photograph that way.

I couldn’t stop taking photos. lol

So…..that’s for winter.

For February, here is what I did….

…which again, the photo just doesn’t do it justice.   I do want to mention that this one IS threaded beads all the way.  And, unlike using 26 gauge wire all the way through as I did for December’s, I found that heavy fishing line works great!  I did double it for extra strength, just in case.  And THEN, I used the wire to attach at the top.   It’s one of those things, like with anything new, you learn a little bit every time, and do better next time.  If you recall, December’s has a little swagger, from the wire through the beads.  It didn’t hang straight.  I SAID I liked it, and thought it gave it character. But I just didn’t want to do it over. ; )  I like the slinky flexibility of heavy fishing line, much better.

So here is a much better and closer look.   Red beads in 2 different sizes, some little silver bars, and some diamond-like studded squares.  I LOVE them.  They did not come with the red beads….I put them all together.  They were all cheap-cheap.

But the big heart at the bottom….not so much!!  When I found it, it was SO PERFECT and JUST what I was looking for for the bottom of this fan pull.   So I looked to see how much it was.  $15.00!! It was a cubic zirconia.  I almost cried.  I mean….I just don’t spend money on such frivolous things.  We can’t!!  But I REALLY wanted it!  Most all of the beads were on sale….so I was thinking, somehow, this one must be too.  It was with all of the beads. So {A} brought it to the register to have them price check it.  But guess what?  It was really and truly $15.00.

I just stood in the aisle…frozen.  I couldn’t spend that on it, and I couldn’t leave with out it.   So there was nothing else to do, but just stand there.   With my whole family around me, who were losing their patience.

So, Michael finally said, “Oh just get it!!.  Gosh….every time I pull that fan chain, I’m going to say, “$15.00!!  $15.00!!” He really would too.  Trust me.  Not that I would ever forget myself….but the joy of seeing the beauty of it would help me get past it, in time. But not Michael. Well, I already felt guilty enough.  That little announcement would surely tarnish that ‘love’ feeling I would have had going on through-out the month of February.  So….when I got to the register, I did what I would recommend YOU ALL DO, whenever you can.   I begged for a coupon or a discount!  I said, “Please….do you have a coupon hanging around I can use?” And she said promptly answered, “No I don’t. Sorry.” (For the record, she didn’t really sound sorry.)  So I said, “But my husband said he is going to say “$15.00″ every time he pulls the fan pull chain!”.  THEN she said….“Actually, I guess I do have this 40% off one item coupon in my drawer here.”

See?  : )  So then I did the happy dance, let out a “YYahhoooooo!!”  through out the whole store, the kids said, “MAMAAAA!”, and then I thanked her profusely, of course.

She said I was welcome, and I believed her that time.

Oohh….Be still my heart!  (No pun intended. lol)

It’s a gorgeous piece, is it not?

I think the whole fan pull, is just beautiful. Classy.  Gorgeous. It twinkles!

And every time Michael pulls that chain to turn the fan on and off, he can smile and say…

“40% off!”.

“40% off!”

Well Folks, that’s it for this edition of ‘Fan Pulls’!

I hope you found that my crafting, and shopping tips, inspired you!