Listen, I totally get that it’s not Halloween quite yet. I know that we get annoyed with Halloween stuff popping onto the store shelves, practically the second that the Fourth of July is over. It bugs me too. I sort of have an unwritten rule that I don’t address Halloween until October 1st and, yet, here I am posting about not only Halloween, but Thanksgiving! Sheesh, RULE BREAKER. I promise that I’m really only trying to be helpful. I mean, it takes some time to CREATE! And since we don’t all have tons of time on our hands, I’ve come up with a plan that transitions easily from Halloween to Thanksgiving. We’re going to reuse some of the same items but give them a different look.
Today I’m working on my mantle. It’s the focal point as you walk in my front door.
As you can see, I keep things pretty straightforward. But when the holidays come around it’s time to bring things to life! Here’s the thing – I also want to conserve time (as I said before), storage space, effort, and I want to spend under a million dollars. Hard to do these days.
So first, let’s address Halloween. I’ll give you the whole look, then break it down. Sound good? Drum roll please…
Fun, right? This isn’t the gruesome, mysterious Halloween or the vintage Halloween. It’s definitely the fun and kitschy Halloween, so adjust to fit your Halloween needs. I’ve also left it pretty simple so that, in the future, I can add new and different things; refreshing the look from year to year. Here’s what I did:
I took two, one dollar pails from Target and filled them with rocks. I popped in 2 dead branches from my neighbor’s tree (I’m calling it a service project 😉 ), and added a tiny bit of cobweb from my porch display. A little strip of burlap and some ric rac finished it off. As you can see, it was really easy and very cheap. It might be fun to add spider rings, or other Halloween ornaments too.
Jack-o-lanterns are a no-brainer. I got them on sale after Halloween last year. I love that I can use them for Thanksgiving, too! Of course real pumpkins are fantastic, but I’m definitely not keeping them around for Thanksgiving once they’re carved. Sounds like a science project…ick.
I almost didn’t give myself away on this, but I thought I’d better come clean. The center hurricane is actually a really large vase on top of a glass Italian coffee mug. Since I don’t drink coffee, I’m really glad to put this mug to use. I looked for a nice pedestal hurricane vase but they were between 17 and 30 bucks. I wanted to spend 6 bucks, which was the price of the vase. Yay for me!
For Halloween, I’ve used batting I already owned, purple tulle, and the spiders that came from the cob web package. I used another band of the burlap to tie together the trees and the hurricane. As you can see, it takes about 5 minutes to throw this together. It might be cute on a dinning room table too, since it’s cute on all sides.
Alright, now for my favorite thing: THE BANNER! I can pretty much thank Pick Your Plum for the banner. If you’re not on their email list, you might rethink that. I got all 4 colors of ric rac last year before Halloween for a swingin’ deal, the vinyl sheets for a better price than I can find them anywhere, and the wood cutouts in that amazing shape (that I could NEVER create myself) for next to nothing!
Since my kids are in the picture above the mantle, I went with “You are BOO-tiful.” After I put this together I came up with some fun ideas for the pictures that I may use next year. I could give my kids vinyl pieces to cut out and decorate their pictures with. You know, mustaches, horns, halos, top hats, stuff like that. Dry erase markers would be easy and fun also. Another idea is to blow up the pictures of them in their costumes from another year and display them for the holiday.
Lastly, I just used left over burlap and ric rac to tie the whole look up. You may decide to add more details. You could go with more gourds, a large hairy spider, something spooky like a hand grasping the bottom of the hurricane, or spiderweb lace hanging down over the edge of the mantle or table you’re using, just to name a few. The options are endless. But this year, I went with something accessible for everyone. Easy, easy, easy, and DONE!
So, Halloween comes and goes, and here comes November 1st. In 10 minutes I can take what I have, store what I’m not going to use for Thanksgiving in a gallon bag, take out my Thanksgiving gallon bag and create this:
MANY of the same items, but a very different look! Let’s start back with the trees and jack-o-lanterns.
The jack-o-lantern has turned his back on Halloween and is now a respectable pumpkin once again. the ric rac came off the base (just untied the knot) of the pails and I’ve added a wide russet ribbon. I removed the cobweb from the trees, and added these little metal leaves that I painted in all different fall colors, and hung them with twine I pulled from the burlap. Guess where I got the leaves? Yep, PYP! If you can’t find them right away, you could use silk leaves, bend your own wire leaves, or hang tiny pumpkin ornaments from them. Moving on…
The hurricane kept it’s burlap but lost it’s purple swirl and gained a garland of fall leaves and a wide brown ribbon. Another fun idea might be to add little fake pumpkins and gourds. If you did that, you might strew the garland down the length of the mantle with the burlap.
And then there’s the banner…
Thankful. I just love that great reminder! I used Pick Your Plum wood pennants instead of paper. Paper is totally an option, though. I just really like that these little guys will last a few more years.
And finally, I pulled the ric rac and added more of that russet ribbon, and now we’re ready for Thanksgiving! Shazam!
Now, don’t you feel like going to the pre-pre-Halloween sale?!? Maybe not, but get those creative juices moving for a convertible Halloween/Thanksgiving display of your own.
Oh, and Merry Christmas! HA!
For more festive halloween mantle ideas, check out this post:
and don’t miss your free printable halloween banner, here!