Design

Halloween Shelves

October 21, 2014  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Our halloween party is this Saturday and we have been in turbo drive trying to get a few things done around here. Of course, nothing goes as planned and there are always hiccups–like, maybe you didn’t order enough wallpaper or something. #thelook  So while there are, no less, than 4 house projects going on around here, I also took it upon myself to transform the reading room shelves into something a little more festive.

reading room progress

Every year we have a “photo booth” set up with lights, camera, action and a backdrop. Last year we actually painted this room green for the backdrop–and it stuck! Haha. The room worked so well last year because it is the first room off of the front door making it really convenient, so we knew we wanted to use it again for pictures. We debated moving the piano and using that wall, but in the end, the shelves–creepified won as the backdrop (we’ll probably still move the piano for the party).

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I worried I wouldn’t have enough stuff to fill the shelves, but decorating for Halloween doesn’t really have to be done with “Halloween” stuff, you know? Filling some bud vases with water and dark food coloring, gathering red and black spined books and turning them backward. Truthfully, a lot of the stuff here was already on the shelves–spider webbing and little crows and rats from the dollar store go a long way.

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There were a few other easy things I did. I clipped some red branches off of the bush in our front yard and stuck them in a mason jar. That wire basket that housed magazines previously, I filled with dark cheese cloth (from the dollar store!) and a slew of gourds.

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I held onto this dead plant for a month knowing it would work well for Halloween. Not that I killed it on purpose. Not that I ever do. Meh.

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I printed off a couple images  I found on vintageprintable.com.  This portrait is creepy and perfect. They have a lot of portraits that are straight up scary, but I didn’t want Greta to have any bad dreams. I also found a good bat printable (bottom shelf) that felt just right for these shelves. It’s such a great source for free art to fill frames, especially for Halloween!

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This candelabra from was one of the only new things I got from Wayfair for these shelves–and something that I can definitely use not just for Halloween. I dripped some red crayon wax onto a few pillar candles (watch the video here) to add a pop of color (sorry to use that term. so very sorry.) and gore; sticking with only three candles, so I don’t have to replace them all for everyday use. Plus, that would kind of be overkill, right?

These shelves and outside will probably be the main areas decorated for Halloween. I have hung bats from the ceiling for the past few years but they are looking tired now. I did get a few more things from Wayfair’s Halloween sale last week to use elsewhere that aren’t fussy, but festive.

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Although all of it will definitely set the Halloween mood, everything (with the exception of that spider web tablecloth–which is so so chic, I’ll have to instagram it) can be used throughout the year, too. Maybe I’ll swap out a pillow or two, as well. It is a party.

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I’ll leave you with a night shot so you can get a better vibe. Do you decorate for Halloween? We have 17 pumpkins outside and a couple huge spiders that Greta couldn’t live without–we’ll have to save those pictures for a different post.

What do you think?

  1. Dawn Walsh says:

    Looking for a dark green paint color for our family room and like the one in your photos. Can you please email me back with the paint color and finish? Thanks in advance!

  2. Ashley says:

    Ohh I always love those who halloween up the inside of their homes. Lovely.

  3. Alison says:

    Wow are Wayfair’s prices high. Even though you got that stuff on sale it was a lot. Yikes. I will stick to thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets. And of course the dollar stores too. Too rich for me. Your shelves look great. That green really is a nice color, I am glad it stuck.

  4. Stephanie says:

    When scrolling through your post I did a double take when I saw the portrait of the child with the cat. My grandmother had that painting hanging on the wall in her guest room and I remember staring at it when I was little. It was creepy but I loved it at the same time. I wish I knew what happened to it when she moved out of her house. The shelves look great- good job.

  5. Victoria says:

    I love that creepy girl with the cat :)

  6. Love it! Looks super creepy – in a good way! Great job!

  7. Meagan Briggs says:

    I swear, the first thing I am going to do when we have a house (and some friends too haha) is throw a party. I am itching to be the “Party People!”

    These shelves are so awesome. You outdid yourself! Every detail is perfect. My favorite thing you said was the “little crows and rats from the dollar store…” and I cringed a bit. haha RATS!? so gross, and such a perfect touch.

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