Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Halloween Homemaking

Article, photography, and YouTube Audio Podcast by Rain San Martin
The Halloween season is passionately my favorite time of the year, more so than the holiday itself.  For me October 31st, marks the end of the celebration. The grand finally. And it is the days throughout September and October that I cherish most. These are some of the reasons why: Cool autumn leaves in shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown. Front porches bedecked in pumpkins and mums. Spooky fun decor, with festive lights in orange, yellow, and purple. Inspired Instagram and Pinterest images by fellow content creators, sharing their whimsical treats and spaces. Opportunities to wear my "Boo" scarf with silly ghosts on my belt.

As a keeper of your abode, whether this is part-time or full-time, you can be the seasons Halloween entertainer. Even if you live alone. I'll share with you how I celebrate the entire season of Halloween and give you tips for creating your own fun. So put on your fall apron and lets get to work!

Below are affiliate links to items I use and love. This helps to support this site at no extra cost to you:

Plan and prepare: 

Check out a few Halloween treat and DIY books from you local library. You could also buy a new book for long term reference. My favorite author on the subject is Matthew Mead. Matthew Mead Halloween Tricks and Treats is a classic!

Decide when to decorate and pick a theme.

When the calendar flips to September, I put away the spring-summer decor and transition into the Fall and Halloween spirit. An annual trip to Michaels kicks off the season.

Our year-round Gothic decorations will stay in use however. Rather than changing my decor theme each year, I gravitate towards classics.  A Rustic Vintage Halloween theme has been my go-to style for years. Weaving autumn decorations with spooky whimsical pieces. I create simple vignettes. Few decorations are used as I enjoy a minimalist lifestyle.  I've selected two focal areas, the mantel and the front porch.   


The mantel.  

The first thing I took out this year was the brass candelabra. A staple for Victorian Spooky ambience. Last year I purchased a small gilded mirror from a historic neighborhood garage sale. This adds Victorian mystery to our mantle year-round. I DIYed my own spooky fabric making two shades.  Using painters cheesecloth I dipped the shear fabric in black tea bags for an aged cream shade, resembling moth-worn sheets. Next I soaked the left-over white fabric into black clothing dye, creating a gray spiderweb-like effect.  


My perched crow sculpture is from Michael's. The Fall Bucket List sign,  was joyfully discovered from Bloom'n Things (now located in Shipshewana, IN). Strung across the mantle is a fun Halloween banner which I created during a video tutorial. Here I cut out uniform (double backed) triangles on brown shipping paper. Next I pasted black card-stock as a back drop, painted on letters, then placed each triangle over the twine.

The porch.

The second area I spotlight is the front porch. I make sure to have sprayed off the deck, cleaned the windows, and overhanging near the end of the summer. This makes a clear slate for fall. On a wreath hanger I placed a Treat-Or-Treat sign. This paired well with the Vintage Inspired black cat and jack-o-lantern floor sign bought this year at Michaels. 

Fresh pumpkins are grouped on the porch. Strung orange lights are draped along the perimeter of the door using nails as a guide. Fiery candy corn yellow lights illuminate, just above the steps, creating a mini canopy. This glow greets me each evening I return from a power-walk adventure.   

Optional embellishments.

My husband Sage, and our son Orion made hand-drawn spooky silhouettes using black card stock and white paper. These are placed on windows.  Our kitchen perimeter has a layer of faux autumn leaves garland.  Another black raven is perched on the cabinet tops.


Our family has treat-day twice per week. This is when I pull out pantry sweets, which were safely guarded throughout the week. Sometimes I prepare baked goods for the occasion until needed for treat-day. Our children love to help with baking. This season we prepared a double batch of cookie cutter dough, freezing half for another time. These were cut using Wilton Halloween Cookie Cutters in ghosts, pumpkins, and candy corns. To decorate I melted white chocolate candy coating and mixed in food coloring. Sprinkles, candy corns, and decorative icing were also used. 

Here are a few more ways I enjoy Halloween Homemaking, and so can you:

*Have a family pumpkin carving party.  Put on a spooky Halloween playlist.  I'm always curating mine each year. It has a mix of ambient eerie music paired with upbeat tracks.

*Set out a seasonal puzzle.  We cherish our All Hallows Eve puzzle by Dowdle! Our family loves working on this charming Halloween town puzzle every year. I get lost in the intricate details of trick-or- treaters, the pumpkin patch, Jack-o-lanterns, and more! 

*Make a couple of DIYs. The process can be restful, and you can enjoy your accomplishment in the upcoming years. 

*Host a mini-treat decorating party.  Have guests dress in costume.  Set out pre-made treats to decorate with melted chocolate, icing, and sprinkles.  You can do this alone too! Make yourself an autumn themed beverage and have a party for one. Why not? And no, you do not need to do a virtual Zoom meeting for this. Enjoy the peace of being unplugged.

Most of all keep things simple. Never commit to more than you absolutely feel comfortable with. Don't rush. Savor the moments of life.  

You can also listen to this Audio Podcast on my YouTube Channel.  

May you have a Slow Autumn and magical season!

Rain 🎃

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