I’m not the kinda gal who decorates with the seasons a whole lot. I don’t go overboard at Christmas, and I keep the same accessories out pretty much year-round. But I do like to add a few Fall-type touches to the fireplace mantel and the front door. (For a look at someone who goes all out for Halloween decor, check out Brooklyn Limestone’s past years’ decor and themed parties – amazing!)
A few years back, I bought a fake, feathered crow, and every October 1, he comes out to live on our mantel.
That was last year’s mantel. And even though we closed on the house October 24, just one week before Halloween, I still felt obliged to put him out.
So this year, along with “Flappy”, I printed up and framed some crow silhouettes to add to the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe mood. Here are the images I used (at full resolution if you want to use them as well).
I wanted them facing “in” toward the fireplace, so I flipped one of them in Photoshop before printing. I just put them in extra frames that I had on hand.
Then I added our monogram to a white pumpkin with black paint pen, using the same technique I used for the antique sign of printing out my type, then using graphite or carbon paper to transfer the type by outlining it with a pen.
Then I added some little mini pumpkin gourds for a dose of orange to go with the black I had going on, stuck a tail feather from our rooster into the top of the white pumpkin, dropped some pine cones into my apothecary jars, and called it a day.
Man, that fireplace insert looks tons better since I painted it black this Spring. After we were all done with building fires for the Winter, I pulled it out, gave it a super scrubbing, then taped off the glass with newspaper and spraypainted it with flat black heat-resistant spray paint. Much better than this.
I added a teeny bit of Fall to the front porch, too.
It’s not much, but I like the little bit of color it adds to the front of the house.
And since those stupid ginormous bushes are in the way, you can’t really see the front porch from the road. So I added a bale of straw, a huge yellow mum, and two more pumpkins next to our mailbox. Apparently decorating along the road in front of your mailbox is a country-house thing. Everybody does it out here, so I figured I should too. Maybe because all the houses sit so far back from the road? I dunno.
So I added our house numbers and “The Kieffers” onto the pumpkins for a more personalized touch. I used the same carbon paper transfer method again on these guys.
In order to know how big I needed the type to be, I just took a scrap sheet of 8.5×11″ paper, wrapped it around the pumpkin, and sketched a rough border to define the area I wanted to use on the pumpkin.
The photo above shows how I did the one for the house numbers (on a scrap crow print out). The four pencil marks are from figuring out how much of the pumpkin I wanted the numbers to cover. Then I used Word and set my sheet to landscape orientation. I zoomed in on the screen until my page was at 100%, then put my sheet on top of the screen so I could resize the font until it took up the space I needed to fill. It’s a lot easier than trying to guess what size your font needs to be, printing it out, then seeing if it’s too big or too small on the pumpkin.
And as far as the chairs go, that’s a project we’re still (literally) chipping away at. But we are on the home stretch of the stripping process, then it’s a whole lot of clean up and wood refinishing.