Halloween, Martha-Style

It’s October 1st, so you know what that means?  It means Halloween decorating!  With the days getting shorter and the temperature dropping, it just makes sense to start spooking the house up as I mourn the dying of Summer.

Over the last several years, my Halloween decorating has been inspired by two people:  Martha Stewart and Andrea Ferrell.   Both ladies enjoy Halloween decorating that leans towards the “natural macabre.”  Today I highlight Martha, I hope soon to highlight the lesser-known but equally fab Andrea Ferrell.

I’m so excited to try this bleeding candles trick!  Take some white candles, stick them in a bucket of sand, light a red candle, and let the wax drip down the white candles.  Genius.

bleeding halloween candles martha stewart

What’s spookier than silhouettes of feared pests – like bats, rats, and spiders?  And check out the runny black border around the top of the walls – now that’s creepy.

bat silhouettes spooky halloween idea martha stewart

I use tons of the spider-webs-in-a-bag stuff, but this year I bought some cheesecloth like this.  It’s easier than stretching the other to look realistic – you just drape it, maybe rip it a little, and add a few dried leaves like Martha does here.

cheesecloth spiderwebs on candles halloween martha stewart

You gotta think of how you can make the most normal of things a little spooky, like floral decor.  Pick flowers and fillers in black, brown, red, and drab green.  Add in some dark dried pieces and dark berries.  Then arrange it all in old, unpolished silver urns.

halloween floral martha stewart

Another great effect from a paper silhouette – this time as a curtain!

halloween paper curtain silhouettes martha stewart

I love this naturally macabre grouping of vintage silhouettes, a phrenology head, and dried cotscomb under cloches.  Looks like dried brains – how fun is that?!

dried cotscomb dried brains scary halloween craft martha stewart

Simply lovely to spray paint pumpkins in silver or gold.  Orange doesn’t go with my color palette, anyway!

halloween silver pumpkins martha stewart

Martha likes the glittered skulls, especially when piled beneath glass.  Believe me, I’m pulling out my cake stands and cloches for highlighting my Halloween decor this year!

halloween skulls under glass martha stewart

What’s easier than grabbing a few dead branches from the yard to create a little Halloween tree?  This one is spray-painted black but natural is good, too.

halloween tree martha stewart

Black crepe streamers make spooky curtains in your haunted house.

paper mache halloween curtains martha stewart

Who thinks like this?  I love it!  So now we’re dying Halloween eggs a mottled brown and using them in this “rotten eggs and worms” vignette.  The worms are old fishing lures.

rotten eggs and fishing lures spooky halloween martha stewart

I love using what you already have and creeping it up.  Like this pewter collection.  It’s all about the context – just add this bat silhouette streamer and some autumn florals.

spooky bat mantel martha stewart

More spooky silhouettes, this time mounted above votive candles to cast some really scary shadows.

spooky halloween silhouettes martha stewart

Gather dark fruit and dark-colored candles for a Halloween centerpiece.  Then add some roaches.  Nice.

spooky halloween centerpiece martha stewart

And don’t forget the spiders!  Some are stickers, others are plastic toys.  It looks like these votives are sitting in some bloody liquid.

spooky halloween spiders martha stewart

Wouldn’t you love to have a dinner in this dining room on a dark, stormy night?

dining room - spooky wall mural

So, are you ready for the spookiest Halloween yet?



  1. Jennifer Driver

    Martha was on The Today Show this morning. I thought about you with Cooking Club coming up! She had some really neat ideas!

  2. Jen C.

    I don’t usually decorate for Halloween (I’m too overwhelmed at the thought of it!), but this has given me some great ideas for crafts to do with the girls. I’ll probably have to get over myself and start doing more decorating like this now that they are older. Thanks for the tips. And I can’t wait to see a Halloween blog entry starring the one and only Mrs. Andrea F!

  3. Alicia

    Kristie, I just saw some pumpkins spray painted in black on Better Nashville. They were great… looked spooky.


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