This year I wanted to upgrade our Halloween decor a little bit to something a bit more grown up but still fun. As you may have noticed from previous posts (including the last one) I LOVE decorating our house for each season. It gives me the chance to get a bit creative with crafts, flowers and just lifts our house/our moods a bit too. Decorating isn’t just for Christmas (although it remains my favourite time of year to decorate for!) So below I have shared with you what I have been up to in the Shire on the lead up to Halloween! Read on if you dare….
Whilst pinning away about my new craft obsession (flower arranging) I found some pins, (including from one of my heroes Martha Stewart) using pumpkins as a vase and thought it would be a perfect hall table decoration for the cottage! Our hall table is the first thing you see on entering our home so I like it to make a good impression and this is where my seasonal touches always start.
You will need:
Assorted knives/tools for cutting and scooping out flesh
Bowls to keep flesh for cooking/waste
Garden sticks/cooking skewers
Floral foam and container (I used a square round)
Fresh flowers and greenery
Floristry scissors or clippers
I started by cleaning the outside of my pumpkin with antibacterial spray/wipes – this kills off bacteria that accelerate the decay of your pumpkin. Next I hollowed out the pumpkin as you would if you were carving it – remove the “lid” and then scoop out the seeds and the stringy stuff. Then I scraped out all the flesh with a serving spoon (I kept this to one side for making soup later – waste not want not!) It would be a good idea if you are using a square round/other floral foam holder to check the fit as you carve, mine sits just inside the pumpkin but still held above it – see photos below. If it sat all the way in this wouldn’t be an issue you’d just need to use a bigger block of foam.
Note – you could also keep the seeds to roast but I forgot this and binned them :/
Whilst you are hollowing out your pumpkin have your floristry foam soaking in water so you are ready to go.
Before I started arranging the flowers I pulled out everything I wanted to use from my bucket – all the flowers had been prepped before and were having a drink/some flower food. I then arranged them by type so I could see what I had to work with. I had also already done a little sketch of how I (roughly) visualised this design going down – I did this so I knew what flowers I would need to buy. Luckily when I was in my local supermarket they had perfectly coloured orange/yellow roses.
Next I placed the square round and floral foam into the pumpkin and experimented with where/how I wanted the lid to sit. Once I had a good angle that allowed me plenty of foam/space to work with I inserted a length of skewer into the pumpkin lid in two places and pushed it into the foam so it held secure.
Finally I started placing flowers. I used two sets of my primary flower – the roses – and arranged these in threes, one in a triangle to the side and the others in a row facing forward. Next I filled in the top row using these lovely green (non-edible) berries. When arranging I like to work with different textures which draws your eye around the arrangement and provides more interest too. Finally I filled in gaps and my bottom row with my filler flower, yellow carnations. I used a mix of closed buds and open flowers as well as keeping longer trailing pieces to stop it looking too neat.
Done! A lovely grown up Halloween decoration.
To ensure the arrangement sat at the right height I used the books that I often sit on our hall table (for this exact purpose) to raise it up. However to keep with the grown up Halloween theme I wrapped our books in brown paper and then printed these book covers onto more brown paper to tuck over. The pages are a free printable from Darling Doodles blog. Thank you to them for this fab addition to our house!
However, one decoration does not a seasonal house make so…
I found another great (free) printable that was apothecary style labels from Word Label Blog. These quickly jazzed up some preserving jars and bottles that I had lying around (and one new bottle I bought for £1.75) and placed with our antler candlestick with its seasonal coloured candles it quickly brought our dining area up to spooky, seasonal scratch!
Again, I printed these out on brown craft paper, carefully cut around them and used double-sided tape to attach them to the bottles. I then filled the jars with some coloured dried beans/peas and filled the “arsenic” bottle with water dyed with orange food colouring. Simple and quick!
Finally I decided to mix obsessions, Disney and flowers. I had sketched a design for a Tower of Terror Disney bounding arrangement. For those of you who aren’t total Nerds Disneybounding is dressing with a nod to a character or Disney something (I’ve even heard of people Disneybounding as a Dole whip!) So I wanted to theme something to my favourite ride/piece of imagineering, the Tower of Terror. I started by finding flowers in the right colour spectrum – burgundy, gold and black. I also knew it would have to be a forward-facing/triangle arrangement to suit the theme. This is what I did. If you are a super geek too you will get the references but for those who are less into Disney then I will explain!
The height was obviously needed for the “Tower” aspect (a leucadendron worked well for this), the colours are a nod to the bellhops’ uniforms and the colour of the Tower itsself. The tangles of leaves at the front (with dark red/black flowers) represent the overgrown grounds and gates. Then the gypsophola (Baby’s breath) is the mist that encircles the tower/ride and I have also dotted gold keys throughout it as hotel keys are one of the main emblems of the ride. The pomegranate is a tad random but is there so it is less formal/to break up the delicate nature of the roses. Yup majorly geeky, but even if you aren’t into Disney then this is a pretty spooky arrangement anyway!
A couple of days later I also threw together an extra little wreath for inside our house. I had a wicker wreath ring which I wrapped in bandage, stuck some googly eyes to it with PVA glue, placed some spiders onto it and tied a little Halloween orange ribbon to it. All just bits I had in the house but it added an extra something to an internal door.
So there you have it! Some grown up Halloween decor to brighten up your home and the dark nights!
Got your own favourite Halloween decor? Share it in the comments section below.