Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Spookified 2013.

'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to the world.  

My good friend Will S - you've hit the nail on the head, as usual.  

I do believe it's the child in me, the one who is only very thinly veiled unless something is really exciting, that loves Halloween.  Always has.  I am quite sure that before this whole thing is over, we'll be that house in the neighborhood.  

You know the one... all good neighborhoods have them.  

Anybody can do a yard display.  We'll be the Halloween version of the Griswold family with every square inch of the lawn covered with some sort of tacky/spooky decor and a creepy haunted house which we have to start setting up in July and no space in our garage or basement 9 months out of the year because we're housing all our junk  delightful accessories.  The neighbors will all know us and cross to the other side of the street when they see us coming and Leah and Logan will be shunned by the other kids because they have creepy parents who like to lure children into their back yard.  Girl Scouts will refuse to sell us cookies.  The Travel channel will do one of their Halloween specials on us and all the normal, non-freaky Halloween enthusiasts out there will raise their eyebrows at each other and be like, Daaang those Strassners are weird.  I'm sure glad we're not that crazy about Halloween!

But I digress.  We've still got a few years on that particular brand of crazy; stay tuned.

In the mean time... it's October!  And it has been a whole two years since I've decorated anything for Halloween.  The last time we had Halloween decorations, Logan didn't exist yet, Leah was 18 months old and the mantel looked a little like this: 

Yes, that's the best picture I have (and shhhh... it's not even from 2011, it's from 2009.  Evidently once my daughter was born I had other things to photograph besides the mantel.  Go figure.)

We were ready for a change.  

I've mentioned that my color scheme for this house is completely different from the colors typically in my wheel, and in that spirit, our family room is a light, slightly greige color that's very nearly white.  That, coupled with our black couches gave me a little inspiration: Black and White! 

One thing led to another, and now I'm excited to give you...

our 2013 Halloween mantel!

Ahhhh!  I love it!   A few close ups, because details are always the best part.

This Halloween mantel is definitely sponsored by black spray paint, which took all the natural elements from ordinary to spooktacular.

With all the birds happening on the mantel, I was crushing on this bird cage.  At first I was going to leave it empty to mirror the empty frames.  But I came across this super awesome skull in our Halloween stuff, which Casey drilled a hole in and we've always used for candles on the kitchen table, and knew he'd fit right in.  Love him in that bird cage - birds out, skull in. It's a nice nod to surrealism because I'm a super big Nerdy McDork pants.

On the other side, a pumpkin, a few candles and another empty frame round out the display.

 I loved this candelabra, but it was originally silver.  Black spray paint to the rescue again, and now it fits right in. 

I tend to be a bit of a mantel minimalist.  I like an agreeable sense of symmetry, but without adding too much stuff through the middle.  I know it's not everybody's thing, but I prefer a more clean-lined look. 

Initially I was going to put a bust of Edgar Allen Poe on that white pumpkin, but it was getting a little too kitchy and nevermore for the look I was going for.  So instead, I grabbed a sharpie and inked a spooky tree.

To finish it off, we spotted this burlap banner from Pottery Barn and knew we had to have it.  I like the way it matches the colors in our clock (one of my all time favorite buys from Target, on clearance nonetheless).

And there you have it!  We're a little on the fence about whether to add spider webs... Casey's all for it, but I don't want to take it too far.  There is a fine line between Halloween chic and completely tacky.  What's your vote?  To cobweb or not to cobweb, that is the question (might as well bookend this post with a little paraphrased Bard, right?)

Happy Halloween!  Thanks for stopping by, and please share your own spooky creations in the comment section, I'd love to see them! 


  1. It looks so good!! Really fabulous! I have no decorations except some toilet paper roll bats my daughter made :) You might have inspired me though! I'm going to think about at least doing a sharpied pumpkin!

    1. It's whimsical, right?! :) Besides, their hard work demands to be displayed! A year ago I would have been hesitant about my own abilities with a sharpie on a pumpkin, but any more I'm really all about just going for it to see what happens. If it's a flop... no one needs to know!!

  2. Your Hallween mantel is perfectly spooktabulous!! And I'm afraid we ARE that house on our street!! We are known as the Halloween house, but in a good non-creepy way. We love it! I'm loving your sharpie pumpkin too! I would hold off on the's just perfect as is! Enough gushing and thanks for linking up to our Get Your DIY on Fall Party Challenge! Our new theme starts Sunday with chalkboard projects, I'd love for you to share with us again!

    1. I love it, Christy. In our old neighborhood, we totally used to be those people as well, and it was my favorite part of Halloween! Our new neighborhood has a dozen homes that put our old decorations TO SHAME! It's going to be a while until we can hold our own again, but we're up to the challenge! :) I can't wait to see what you guys do!!!!

  3. LOVE IT! Please don't change a thing. I say no way jose to the cob webs. You are amazing!

    1. Thanks friend! No cobwebs, got it! That's kind of what I said, darn those husbands and their "opinions" that get us all flustered!! ;)

  4. LOVE your black + white mantel! It looks fabulous! Thanks for linking up to the "Get Your DIY On" link up party! Come back on Sunday for our "chalkboard" theme! :)

    1. Thanks April! I LOVE the other projects on your site - it's so fun to get so much inspiration all in one place!

  5. Thanks for sharing your super spooktabulous Halloween Mantel at our Get your DIY on Fall Party Challenge! I hope you come party with us again this Sunday. Our theme is chalkboard projects :) XO

    1. This one I've so got! I'm excited to share it next week! :)

    2. Yay! Can't wait to see! (Sorry I thanked you twice...I thought my original comment didn't post and I didn't want to miss ya! :)

  6. We're doing a black and white Halloween at our house too. Love the look of your mantle!


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