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Welcome! Please enjoy my archived posts for home decor projects and seasonal inspiration here at homewardFOUND decor, even though I am no longer posting new content. ~ Deb

10.01.2012

Halloween Inspiration: Mad Science

 Welcome to October at HOMEWARDfound!
Let the Halloween Decor Inspiration commence...

I was recently at an local store's event taking photos for a magazine story (more about that in a bit),
and was delighted when I saw the ghoulish Halloween display shown above.
I knew as soon as I saw it that this would be my October 1st blog post,
 because there are so many creative ideas shown here that we can learn from...

This mantel has some terrific cost-effective ideas:


*the taxidermy bat
 it's a primitive DOLL hung on a board! and it looks for all the world like taxidermy because it's ratty, old, dirty, and beat up. ok, so bats aren't MY thing.... maybe they aren't yours, either. but take an old deer or moose mount, spray paint it matte black, then rub some dirt into it, scuff up the nose and antlers, and you have a creepy old animal thing to hang over your mantel. stretch some cobwebs between the antlers, put a few spiders in there.... positively ghoulish.

[i am NOT advocating killing animals. do you know how many dirty old head mounts there are at garage sales, thrift shops, and antique malls? someone else killed them, let's just make use of them.]

*the draping.
simple cheesecloth dyed black - you can buy it at fabric and costume & party supply stores.
it's lightweight, so it can go just about anywhere without a lot of support needed. you can stretch this stuff out, rip it to shreds, and it just looks even better. i'd have taken a length of it and created a ratty scarf for the mannequin, and tucked a bat into it like a brooch!  


*the specimen jars
these are simple big old glass canisters and pickle jars  - stuff you can find at every garage sale, thrift shop, even at Ross and Marshalls stores. gather up a few (and old & dirty is PERFECT for this!), then start working on the contents...


inside the jars, you can have any kind of scary, grotesque specimens you want. the dollar store and Walmart are a great place to grab plastic and rubber spiders, snakes, cockroaches, eyeballs, fingers, skulls, sponges that look like brains....

[ok, I love a good movie reference. and that just made me think of  a scene from 'Young Frankenstein', where Igor tells Doctor Frankenstein which brain he grabbed from the lab: 

"Abby somebody".
"You brought me an ABNORMAL BRAIN???".

so i'd put a sponge brain in a jar with pink tinted water, and a label that said 'Abby Somebody'. that would make me laugh every time i looked at it!
]

the jars could be filled with cheap plastic bones from the dollar store - femurs, hands, feet - but they don't LOOK cheap because of what you do with them: simply paint them flat white, then use a dry brush technique to smear some flat black paint into the crevices, making the details stand out. take them outside and roll them in the dirt, too, just to make them look like they came out of the ground - then pop them into the jars and close the lid.

a humorous tag will make people smile, too.  
do ya' see what i did there?

over on a cabinet next to the mantel, more specimen jars gather...


*old medical books
used as a base for more specimen jars, this just adds another layer of creepiness to the decor. the whole book doesn't even have to BE a medical journal - just the two pages you have it opened to. buy ONE ratty old medical book or magazine at an antique store, then tear the pages out and glue them into regular dictionaries. (THOSE are pennies on the dollar at thrift shops).

you can also add lettering to the cover and spine of old books, turning a plain old dictionary into a CREEPOLOGIST MANUAL or an EMBALMING GUIDE... just use a black sharpie marker and write right on the cover!

the photos you see above were all taken by me at
Down Home American Country Antiques, located in Orange, California 
it is owned by Peggy and Don Arentz, and Peggy is the mad scientist who thought up this display!

my story on Don & Peggy and their store will appear in the upcoming Holiday issue of FOLK Magazine,
but none of these photos will be used there.

4 comments:

  1. Oh my.... LOVE this! Wish I lived close so I could visit. I just love the bat. My kinda Halloween decor. I've got an old medical journal... now I know what to do with it. TFS! :)

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  2. This is really fun, oh how I love a science experiment gone bad!! Young Frankenstein is one of the funniest movies ever!! Love the photos!

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  3. Omg, I love, love, love your decoration ideas!!! Especially the bat and the giant book! Very cool! Found your blog on Flying Leasons :)

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  4. I think I have to pin everything in this post.

    Bliss

    ReplyDelete

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