Halloween at the Taylor Ranch

I love Halloween. It seems to be the one holiday where one’s creativity can truly be unleashed in any direction. Halloween can be anything to anyone – cute, clever, creepy, funny, or spine-tingling. I mean, there aren’t many ways to make Easter hilarious. Or make Thanksgiving witty.

Despite my love for Halloween, I find it hard to get up the energy to actually DO anything about it. I rarely wear a costume or decorate my house beyond a couple of carved pumpkins. My last costume effort was in 2010, when I went as the Drama Llama:

Drama Llama

So, yeah. That happened.

As a matter of fact, we haven’t been home for Halloween since we moved to this house in 2011.

This year, we decided to host a grown-up Halloween party, since we didn’t have any of our kids. And I decided to get off my buns and decorate.

I focused on a few areas, rather than trying to spookify every square inch of my house. I also didn’t want anything cutesy or glittery, because I have a shriveled little grinch heart.

I wanted bats. Specifically, these bats. I wanted a flock of them to careen around my house. I deputized Jason, Hollyn, and Jensen to make my bat dreams a reality.


And behold, it was batty.


These terra-cotta pumpkins belonged to my parents. Since my mother no longer decorates for any holidays, she let me have them. They guarded the front door.


I also set out some of my random glass vessels (roasted red pepper jars, vases from our wedding, spaghetti sauce jars) and put candles in them, too.


A friend let me borrow some of her Halloween decorations, like this tulle…. thing?…. that I draped on my dining room chandelier:


Yes, there were MOAR BATS in the dining room. And on the sideboard is my Zombie Village, which started out life as a Christmas Village that was scorched in our house fire. A few coats of black spray paint later, it was ready for Halloween.


And finally, the mantel. I love, love, love how this turned out:


The ghost lights were borrowed from a friend. I bought the drapey cloth stuff from the dollar store. I printed a few pictures from Clip Art Etc. and stuck them in frames I already had. I printed the “Eek” letters on sheets of vellum, and put them in vases with LED tea lights. I collected wine bottles (and by “collected” I mean “emptied into my mouth”) and painted them black. The creepy vintage photographs? Those are my actual grandparents.

The anatomy flash cards were probably my favorite project. I got the idea here, and they turned out perfectly.


The best part? I spent about $25 to decorate my whole house. Here’s how that worked:

$5  – black textured card stock for bats

$14  – off-white card stock for anatomy cards and framed prints, vellum for vases, black paint for wine bottles

$5 – five packages of creepy cloth from the dollar store, used in foyer, living room, dining room, and family room.

Everything else was free, borrowed, or already in my crafty arsenal.

So that’s it! Halloween on the cheap. I hope yours was filled with loads of good candy and zero wax lips.






Filed under Holidays, Home

2 responses to “Halloween at the Taylor Ranch

  1. Lisa

    I like your Zombie Village! Great idea. And all the bats!

  2. Pingback: Halloween Crafts with Toddlers: A Primer | House Blend

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