By upcycling household things with a little paint and adhesive, you may instantly add some Halloween spirit for your mantel. Experiment with colours beyond the traditional orange and black to get a chic alternative appearance; possibly even go for a monochrome palette. Try your hand in one of these basic projects to liven up any corner needing some Halloween style.
Project: Bat Garland
A handmade garland of bats crafted from black duct tape, gathered twigs and white accents offers a twist on traditional Halloween colors.
I painted some tin cans with matte black paint, then added some white roses, a big faux spider and some old paperbacks with the spines facing the wall. Sticks gathered from out and painted black provide something to hang the garland out of.
Cheesecloth covers the mantel itself, adding ghostly texture.
Materials. Duct tape, a ruler, scissors and some twine or ribbon.
The best way to make the bats. Cut 12-inch strips of duct tape and then lay out them about two inches apart. Put a piece of string down the middle of each piece as shown.
Fold each side of the tape in half toward the string, with each finish overlapping a little in the string line at the middle.
There should be no awkward sides staying now. Fold the sides together and trace the outline of one half of a simple bat design. Cut along the lines throughout both sides of the tape. Unfold to show complete bat contours.
Continue the process until you reach the desired length. Then hang the garland out of your mantel or banister.
Variation: Ghost Garland
Use the same idea to make a ghost garland. Cut 6-inch strips of white duct tape and then lay them down about 3 inches apart. Insert string to the middle and fold down the tape to stick both sides together.
Cut slightly into the rectangle near the rope, adding a curved detail into the top. Cut waves in the bottom and add eyes with a black permanent markers. You’re done!
Project: Gold and White Mantel
Attempt going with an untraditional colour scheme such as metallic gold and white to get a new Halloween display. This appearance has three components.
1. Upcycled magazine bookend. Find a stack of old magazines and tape them together. Using a flat paintbrush, paint the surfaces of the pages with an acrylic shimmery gold. Allow the pages to dry, then put in a blueprint. I chose a simple chevron-like pattern.
Tip: Make sure to use issues of the same magazine to get a consistent, flat surface.
This DIY project could be repurposed in the future in another part of your home.
2. Gold scallop garland. Cut 4-inch strips of gold duct tape. Line up the tape pieces about two inches apart, sticky side up, and lay twine down the middle.
Fold over the tape, pressing on the sticky sides together equally, and cut on an arch from corner to corner. Then eliminate semicircles to create a half-moon bannerad.
Tip: Trace a circle on a sheet of paper, then cut it out and fold it on every piece of folded duct tape. Trace the outline with a pencil, then cut out the item.
3. Ghostly white garland. I used a couple of fallen branches out of a backyard tree for this garland, but any comparable foliage will work good. You could even change up this DIY project with a different colour or foliage.
Measure the width of your mantel, including how much you would prefer the garland to fall on both sides. Collect branches from outside and clean and clean them.
Cut some grapevine wire depending on your dimensions and begin securing branches into it. Following your garland is finished, move your project coat and outside the branches in white spray paint. Once the branches are dry, then flip them over and spray the leaves. Repeat until your garland is coated. And of course, you may always use the foliage unpainted.
Note: Lock the end of the branch into the grapevine wire first to get a more natural look and sturdiness. Each product displayed can readily be adjusted to match your home’s color scheme.
Hang both garlands from your mantel as revealed, and include white pumpkins as an accent. I painted the stems gold and stacked the small pumpkins onto a cake stand to include height and variety.
Using some papier-mâché letters out of a crafts store, spell out”Boo” or other seasonal term, and paint it on your accent colour with a flat bristle brush.
Your turn: How are you decorating your mantel for Halloween?
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