Eeek !

By Kate Riley October 16, 2009

I’m not one of those people you’ll find decorating my home at Halloween with anything gory, although I know the teenagers love it.  I prefer the whimsical kid friendly version of Halloween, especially since I’ve got to look at it all day.  And so do my little ones.

So yesterday, I sent my cousin and her husband off to the Russian River Valley to taste more wine.  Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Road is a must see.  Meanwhile, I kept all four of our kids with me.  Together, we added some spooky decor to my home.  We made our own black cat out of painted pumpkins, created an arachnid invasion on the mantle, and cast a witch’s spell on the front porch.

eek up close

Come on along on the kid friendly tour.  And get ready to get spooked !

First, I brought out my tarantula collection to display in the living room.  I’ve always loved Martha’s cobweb candlesticks, but unfortunately, Auntie CG had forgotten to pick up some cheesecloth for webbing at the store. I was forced to get creative.  So I made up my own spider’s web out of an old trellis and some craft paint.

garden trellis

I mixed my craft paint with a few tablespoons of water to turn it into dye, then dipped my trellis into the mixture.  After it was covered with the stain, I let it dry outside for a few hours.

craft paint dye

Then I hung it on my mantle, and let the spiders crawl all over it.  Eeek !

eek mantle display

eek candles

eek up close


To the living room console, we also added a gemstone wreath and some pumpkin shaped candles I’ve had for years.  The metallic orange pumpkins were new this year – on sale at Pier One.

living room buffet with candles

Here’s the gemstone wreath up close.

marble wreath with ribbon

I made this wreath a few weeks ago with these supplies:  a basic floral wreath, Rustoleum’s ‘Cinnamon’ spray paint, some glass marble gems, ribbon, and optional trim and butterflies.

gemstone supplies

Spray paint your floral wreath, then hot glue your gems onto the wreath.  Make sure to tie the necessary ribbon on, then attach more glass gems.

gemstone steps

Attach some botanical trim and butterflies if you desire.

living room console

For the porch, we brought out our homemade black cat “Whiskers”.

This is a fun kid craft.

black pumpkin cat

To make a black cat out of pumpkins, all you need are a tall pumpkin for the body, a smaller round pumpkin for the head (turned upside down), some black felt, black craft paint, a black boa, and some eyes.

black cat supplies

Clip the top off of your smaller pumpkin before you begin painting – you’ll be turning it upside down to form the cat’s face.  In my case, I used fake pumpkins instead of real for this project.

clip top of pumpkin

The night before the cousins took turns painting the orange pumpkins with black craft paint.

cousins painting

Here’s a three year old armed with black acrylic paint.

The non-washable kind.

I deserve a special Award for Bravery for this.

Or perhaps a Certificate of Insanity.

black paint

The good news is no harm came to any kitchen counter or kid clothing in the crafting of this cat.  But I cannot promise the same for your household.

For the face, simply cut some ears and whiskers, and hot glue them to the face with the eyes.  Then attach the boa tail with hot glue as well.

Here’s my cousin’s littlest son, Baby Brody posing with the kids’ painted black cat.  He’s got style.  Notice how his outfit perfectly matches his surroundings.  Don’t you just love a little dude in orange and green stripes ?  I could just gobble this little guy up.

baby brody

This morning, I also repurposed some old Thanksgiving candle wreaths and garland.  I twisted the garland into a “B” then used the two circular candle wreaths to spell out “Boo” in the dining room.  Not your typical orange and black.  That I like.

boo up close

We cast a witch’s spell on the front porch with some lights, globes, witch hats, and a new focal point – a witch on a broom !

curly willow witch

I made the broom with two bunches of curly willow, then secured our witch to the broom and suspended it from the covered porch.  I wasn’t thrilled with her existing hair, so I replaced it with purple plumes.  Ah, the magic of a hot glue gun.

witch hair

“I’ll get you my pretty… and your little dog too !”

witch on willow broom

I also added two witches’ hats to the existing glazed fall pumpkins in urns, then we strung some Halloween lights around the door.

witchs hat

I hung two tea light globes in front of the windows and secured some “moths” attracted to the flames.

They are pretty by day.

globe by day

But oh so fabulous by night.

globe by night

There’s a spell cast on my front porch.

The good kind.

halloween porch

Trick or Treat !


  1. Would you come do my house in Florida??? Pretty Please? I am not a Halloween person and my family gets upset with me since I don’t have my heart into it. So, I buy different types of gourds and spread them around the house or group them. But your ideas are great! Now that my kids are grown, I do some things for the kids in the neighborhood! Love it! Keep up the great work.

  2. I love it all!! So creative! I wish I could think of these things! I’ve got to get creative… And I love that it’s more ‘pretty’ halloween-y instead of scary and gross halloween!

  3. Oh! I just love the black cat pumpkins! And the trellis died to be a spider web (SO much better than that goofy spider webbing you can buy this time of year that never really looks like a web). You have inspired me once again.

  4. LOVE the ‘cat’. Adorable photos. FUN stuff with the kidlets. Your front porch is so ready for Halloween and looks really cool! I like the not so spooky look.

  5. How fun!!! I especially loved the pumpkin black cat! The kids looked like they had a great time decorating! I would like to gobble them all up :)

  6. You have such GREAT ideas all the time. LOVE these decorations. You are very talented. I am redoing my bedroom furniture (which has been on hold for over a won’t stop raining!!) and my inspiration is from you!! I am using your favorite – Heirloom white:0 Thanks for all your ideas.

  7. what great projects! will definitely do the pumpkin kitty. I have a question: did the spray paint make the foam wreath gooey? I’ve always had problems spraying foam – guess the propellant or something. Love that project, too – little bling goin’ on.

  8. You. are. fabulous. :)

    I love that you let your three year old at that black acrylic paint. I need to be more brave. I threatened Natalie within an inch of her life when I was painting my pumpkins. Maybe I’ll try the black cat next year.

    I love the witch topiaries and the gorgeous gem wreath…I might give that one a try!! :)

    Thanks again for all of the ideas and the great photos. :)

  9. Wow!! I love your decorations!! They are so pretty and not at all gory for halloween! They even look whimsical:) Its amazing what you did with the wreath, I’d love to make something like that for Christmas! thanks for the great ideas!

  10. Absolutely fantastic! I love this type of decorating….kid & adult friendly. :-) You are extremely creative….I’d love to see inside your mind and figure out the missing link in mine. I love seeing your home & projects.

  11. I LOVE everything about this! I too made your pumpkin toparies. I posted on my blog, not nearly as gorgeous as yours! I love the hats that you added!

  12. Very clever! Love the witch hats on your stacked pumpkins! Also love the Target mirrored tray! I just picked one up myself!

  13. Oh, I just love that gemstone wreath!!! I might need to make more than one, in various colors for different holidays. What a great idea.

  14. Awesome decor!! Here’s a stupid question: is it okay to leave the black cat outside if it rains? i’m wondering if the paint will run and therefore destroy my porch tiles! thanks=)

  15. I love that gemstone wreath! I’ve been going back and forth for ideas and I think I’m gonna borrow this!

  16. I am not generally a big fan of holiday decorating (unless we’re talking Christmas), but this has definitely inspired me! Gorgeous wreath idea too – that would be great for the entire Fall season!!

  17. Wow this is just full of great inspiration!! I love the kitty pumpkin and the wreath made from the glass rocks. cute idea with the spider web too!

  18. There’s an extremely good chance I’ll make that marble/gem wreath this weekend! It’s fabulous!!! Great ideas here, Kate!

  19. I can’t wait to have kids so I have a good excuse to go all out with the Halloween decor. I don’t like gory things either. Your front porch looks so amazing, and I have to ask, where did you get the tea-light lanterns! So cute!

  20. LOVE the gem wreath. I would have been over it by the time I glued the third gem on. My patience level is nill. But, I’m seriously considering putting that aside to try to recreate something like that for Christmas. Pretty pretty.

    And, clever idea for the black cat pumpkins.

  21. This is absolutely lovely! Spot on and sooo my taste in Halloween decor too. Classy, sparkly, not gory. Love it all.

  22. Your mantel is AWESOME. Cute cat pumpkin, love the fancy glass wreath and metalic pumpkins, OH’ HECK I LOVE IT ALL! I really really really love your porch… can I just steal it for this fall! ;)

  23. Now that is my kind of Halloween decor… crafty, thrift and super kid friendly. LOVE IT!!! Thanks for sharing, I’m off to duplicate a few of your projects! God’s blessings on your day, Sarah :D

  24. So cute! I love the pumpkin Kitty. That’s a great idea! I didn’t know you were such a great witch hair stylist!

  25. WOW! I just stumbled on your website the other day and I love it!!!! I can’t get enough!! Last night I recreated your gemstone wreath and I’m so excited to hang it! The painted wreath is beautiful all by itself, so I’m thinking of maybe doing 2 smaller ones just painted to match and hanging them together on the wall. Thanks for the awesome inspiration!!! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!!

  26. This is amazing. I am going to add a link to my blog. Thanks for the ideas!! I’ll definitely be back. I found you through ivillage.

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)