My Top 5 Favorite Halloween Staples

Soooo... remember how I said that I wanted to finish the majority of my Halloween projects by the end of this past weekend? I'm awfully hilarious sometimes.

Alas, fate threw in some curve balls, with my husband having to spend the week in New York for work, and my munchkin getting sick for the first time (she's so pitiful, it's breaking my heart!).  In addition to spending the past two weekends out of town, and being under the weather myself it's a bit of an understatement to say that I didn't quite get everything done that I wanted to.  So, while I will be working at finishing everything I can, I'm scaling back some plans and leaning on my fave fast decorating staples for some big Halloween impact.

So, without further ado, my top 5 favorite pieces (for fast and easy decor) from my Halloween Decorating Arsenal.

5. Books 

I know I talk about this all of the time, but I LOVE books for decorating.  And in the flickering light of candles, they take on a positively eerie presence...hosts of stories whispering from the shelves.

How To: 
Remove book jackets from hardcovers and stack them haphazardly to display curiosities; Create your own creepy book jackets;  Photo copy pages, weather them with tea and a lighter and wrap candles; Look up Halloween appropriate terms in the dictionary or encyclopedia, photo copy pages and frame them.

4.  White Sheets 

Draped over furniture, white sheets, tablecloths or curtains give your rooms a fabulous abandoned look.  Basic, yes, but that's why I love it.  It's a way of making a big impact and potentially saving your furniture from tipsy or clumsy guests.  Winning.  

Martha Stewart (Source) gives a great tutorial on making these moth-eaten curtains as well!

3.  Black light

Let's face it, black lights are just awesome.  A black lit room will reveal all kinds of fun glowing objects - teeth, white clothing, some liqueurs, eyes... But you can spice things up by adding a theme (think Mad Scientists Lab or Witches Potion Bar) and some fabulously fluorescing household objects.

Get Your Glow On:  Tonic Water (with quinine) fluoresces a pretty color of blue and can be frozen as ice cubes for drinks.  Original Palmolive dish soap (the green stuff your mom used when you were a kid) glows a bright green.  You can even use it to "paint" on fabric and then just wash it out when you're done.  Laundry detergent, honey, vitamins, highlighters... all of them glow and all of them look great in tiny bottles and jars lined up among random "oddities."  (Another favorite trick is to break open a highlighter and drop the inside into your toilet tank.  Every time the toilet fills, it will take some of the ink with it and make the water glow.)

2. Glow Sticks

Cheap, versatile and fun, glow sticks have a lot of haunt power.  Glowing ghosts are my favorite quick and easy glow stick project, but you can also try submerging glow sticks in water with creepy objects, adding colored light to jack o lanterns or creating eyes in the bushes with some toilet tissue rolls.

Glowing Ghost How To:  Insert a lit glow stick into a white balloon and inflate.  Tie it off, add eyes with sharpie and cover with layers of shredded cheesecloth.  Suspend with clear fishing line.

1.  Cheesecloth

My number one go to is cheap, ordinary cheesecloth.  I freaking LOVE this stuff.  It's inexpnsive, it's versatile and it gets pretty high marks for creating ambiance.

How To: Shred it and hang it for curtains; wrap it tightly around your cushions or furniture and secure with safety pins for a mummified look (I once mummified my entire sofa); use it as a tablecloth or as a drop cloth for covering anything too "pretty" (like pictures on the wall); stretch the fibers as far as you can, drape from the ceiling and walls and attach fake spiders; create floaty ghosts by covering balloons; create super cool self-supported ghosts by using liquid starch and cheesecloth and drying it over a ghostly form... Seriously people, this has got to be the best Halloween decor item EVER.
HGTV (Source) shows off how easy it is to make creepy billowing curtains for your outdoor space

Alright, I'm off to put some of these items to good use!! I hope to have a few more pics of my Halloween progress up by tonight.  Got any of your own go-to props, projects or decor? I'd love to hear about them!  Leave me a message here or on facebook! Happy haunting friends!

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