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Halloween Decorating Ideas 2018 – Live! with Kelly + Ryan

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

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It’s that time again… Time for Halloween Decorating on Live with Kelly + Ryan! This is my 4th year doing Halloween on the show and believe it or not, I still have tons of ideas to share. If you’re new around here (or if you’ve forgotten because let’s be honest, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve blogged) I’ll recap… Each year I share some of the top trending Halloween ideas on Pinterest– we’ve done costumes, entertaining (I totally creeped Michael Buble out with our human body buffet), indoor decor, makeup, and more!   Some are OG East Coast Creative ideas and others are ideas that so many amazing creatives have done and we get to put our own spin on them and share our attempts with the world!

This year we’re focusing on Halloween ideas for the outside of your home! As soon as the segment is online I’ll post it right here, but until then, here’s some intel on the projects from the show!

Now, to keep things simple, I bought everything for these segments at just a few stores… You need a home improvement store (bet ya can’t guess which one I used?!? lol #Lowes) a craft/fabric store (I hit up both Michaels and JoAnn) and most importantly Spirit Halloween (ya know those stores that pop up seasonally in strip malls etc? Yeah, they have everything you need Halloween wise- way more than just costumes!) I’ll link as many products as possible below to make things extra easy on you! My kids are so pumped to decorate our house this week- I made them wait until the show was over because Mama doesn’t need to be making everything twice!

Ok here’s the project intel – leave me a comment here or on Instagram if you have any questions! (IE- Q: Are Kelly and Ryan as nice and authentic as they seem A:  100% yes and two of the most professional peeps in the biz. I love working with them!)

1- Spooky Trellis

We ordered this trellis on Amazon for under $25 bucks (Amazon wasn’t on my stores list, but come on, with Prime, does it even count as a store? It’s just that easy!) Now you have a few options here – if you live in the woods like I do, you can forage branches and use them to fill the trellis. If you don’t, you can get really inexpensive grapevine wreaths at the craft store. I got ours on sale for 2.99 each (pretty sure that primitive country style ended back in 2003). Cut the wreath apart and it unravels pretty easily. We used about 5-6 wreaths to cover a BIG 8′ trellis.  We spray painted it black in some areas, added some faux greens (again you could use dead stuff from your yard) and then for the fun part… The Bag of Bones! We got these bag o’ bones at Spirit and scattered hands, feet, some ribs, throughout… it’s equal parts creepy and whimsical! I also think you could easily change this out for other holidays – just swap out the bones for Christmas balls and you’re good to go!

Trellis | Grapevine Wreaths | Bag of Bones |

2- Shallow Graves

I’m really into this project – I won’t lie.  I found these Shallow Grave kits at Spirit Halloween and they have everything you need to DIY this project.  We used recycled plastic bags under each burlap “grave site” to give it the bulk (You could use real first too, but I think the bags are easier and won’t get as flat if it rains). The kit includes little lawn stakes to hold the burlap down around the edges and the trick to getting the authentic dead person look is sprinkling dirt around the edges and just a bit on the top.  Add some faux flowers and a tombstone and voila!

Shallow Grave Kit | Dirt | Faux Tombstones |

3- Spider Invasion Tiny House

This house is pretty amazing. My friend Jon Paul from Superior renovations made it for me 4 years ago for our first Halloween segment on Live! and since it’s been a Christmas House, Halloween House of many different colors- it’s really adorable, even covered in zombie hands (last year) or spiders! This year, we did a spider invasion theme and did a combo of DIY spiders and some from Spirit Halloween store.  For the DIY fellas, we used half a styrofoam ball, fabric fur, and jumbo pipe cleaners.  We just taped them all together – nothing crazy fancy.  For the person wrapped in webbing, we used bags of spider web from Spirit – that stuff is SO fun to work with. Pro Tip: The more you pull it, the more realistic it looks! Just keep pulling.  We wrapped lots of web around some recycled plastic bags, added mini spiders and it looked just like a poor spider victim!

Mini Spiders | Spider Web | Large Spiders |

4- Cement Parlor

This is one of those projects that had a major “Is this going to work” factor… I had seen some cement Halloween furniture for $999 per piece.  WHAT?!? For Halloween decor that’s not even comfy for the skeletons?!? No way! It got my wheels turning though and I wondered if I used stone spray paint (you know, the stone finish stuff) if I could get the same look. Guess what – it’s worked! You should have seen me fist pumping when I realized my crazy idea was legit! To try this yourself, all you need is some super inexpensive, old looking, thrifted furniture. We paid $20 for the big chair – basically look for ugly styles and colors that no one else would want and then negotiate the price down from there- don’t ever pay full price for an ugly chair that you plan to spray paint.  There are a few different brands of stone spray paint (and we tried them all) but found that the Krylon brand worked the best on fabric.  Buy enough to do two coats as the first one soaks into the material a bit.  This is one of my favorite hacks in a long while- cant wait to add these pieces to my front porch! 

Stone Paint 1 | Stone Paint 2 | 

5- Lawn Ghosts

These are a Pinterest fan fav. I found so many different versions of these, but we went with the a version that I thought was the easiest. We used styrofoam balls on 1” dowels and did a combo of white cotton fabric and sheer netting to create our ghosts.  Since we made these for the studio, we attached the wood dowels to little wood bases, but if I was doing this in my yard, I’d use a yard stake and just tap it down into the ground.  Faces are optional, but we used black duct tape on the styrofoam balls to create our mouth and eyes.  

Styrofoam Balls | Wood Dowels | Cotton | Netting | Black Duct Tape | 

6- Classic Mummy

This is a great porch decor idea and was really simple to make! We picked up this dummy from Spirit Halloween and wrapped him using strips of muslin fabric.  The trick to making your mummy look authentic is to rip your fabric, not cut it.  We used scissors to cut the first inch of each piece and then just tore it with our hands.  We wrapped and wrapped until we had our very own mummy! 

7- Cauldron Trick OR Treat

This is a really fun idea if you’re hosting a Halloween party. 3 Cauldrons are filled with tricks or treats and your guests need to find out which is which.  We used plastic cauldrons from Spirit and put dry ice in the bottom, we used a second plastic bowl inside with our tricks/treats – you don’t want your guests touching the dry ice.  For our tricks we used marbles in warm water = eyeballs and  slime = mushy brains.  Once your kiddos grow wise, switch up the order of the cauldrons! 

Cauldrons | Bowls | Candy |

8- Black Cat Pumpkins

This is a great idea for faux pumpkins “funkins” – we stacked two black pumpkins (large on the bottom, small on top) and then use an old cat halloween costume – ears, collar, tail.  For the face, we used card stock and a paint pen.  It’s easy, cute, and fun no-carve idea! 

Halloween Doors

Each year we do some creative doors and this year we shared 3 new fun ideas.  Big word of caution here – you want to make sure that whatever you do doesn’t destroy your door, so… if you have a metal door magnets are great, otherwise you definitely want to use Command Outdoor Hooks. They can withstand the elements, no tools needed, and come off cleanly.  I warned ya, so don’t blame me if you use anything else. LOL! 

1- Bug Invasion Door

We got these awesome little cockroaches at Spirit Halloween store and scattered them around the door all looking like they’re trying to get into the knob.  This one is so realistic looking and creepy!! 

2- Glowing Masks

This idea is especially awesome at night. We spray painted plastic masks from Spirit in a variety of bright colors – those are for the daytime effect.  We top coated each one with glow-in-the-dark spray paint and they light up at night, looking suuuuper ominous! 

3- Bone Door

There are so many cool bone options and we thought it would be fun to gather a bunch of animal bones together almost like specimen art. This door is creepy, but also leans really classy as well.  It’s one of my favorites this year! 

Hopefully we gave you tons of ideas to Haunt your House this year!  Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for tons more inspiration and the links to lots of the materials we used for the show! Did you have a favorite project this year? Leave me a comment here or on IG and let me know!!


PS When I was at Spirit Halloween Store (approximately 30 times in the last week of prep) I learned about a really cool charity they’re involved with to make hospitals less scary for children. Our little man Callen spent Halloween in CHOP a few years ago while he was having a pretty scary neck surgery so this charity really hit home. Below is more info- thought I’d share! 

At the heart of Spirit Halloween is Spirit of Children, a program which focuses on making hospitals less scary for kids and their families. Since its inception in 2006, Spirit of Children has raised over $45 million for the Child Life department at hospitals across the country. Donations to Spirit of Children stay within local communities, with 100% of funds going toward a child’s life. For the 2018 Halloween season, Spirit of Children will be supporting 140 hospitals across the country, with a goal to raise $9 million. Spirit encourages customers to help make a difference in a child’s life this Halloween season by donating at their local Spirit Halloween or spreading awareness via Facebook and Instagram using #SpiritofChildren and #MoreCowbell in their photos. For more information, please visit:


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