Well I kind of went crazy this year… I know I haven’t posted about this yet, but a few months ago we tore out our old fireplace surround and Mr. Project built a whole new set of built-ins plus a new mantel. We also had some snazzy new tile installed as well. So this year I had almost 3 times as much mantel space to decorate, so I focused my efforts on a big Halloween mantel display. I’ll post about the mantel later.
I reused all my decorations from last year, and added a bunch of new jars and some new artwork to the space. I also finished two projects that I tried to get to last year – a chalkboard art piece and an urn with branches and ravens.
My banner from last year stored really really well and was quick and easy to re-hang. If you’re interested in building a similar banner, it might be easier now because these Lost & Found Halloween papers have been manufactured by My Mind’s Eye and are available for purchase at most any scrapbooking retailer.
Here is the overall pic:
I tried to mostly incorporate my existing shelf decor though I did remove a few things here and there. I’ve still got a little bit of filler to add, but I like to pick up clearance items after Halloween, so you’ll have to wait till next year to see it more fluffed up. Here are a few detail shots:
You can see my Doctor sign and my apothecary shop sign. I designed and printed these and placed them in frames that were already on top of the shelves. I’ll probably have these printables available to purchase in my Digital Shop sometime this week along with my new apothecary labels (the labels from last year are already available).
I also took some of my Lost & Found Halloween papers (with orange glitter) and cut them to fit in some of the smaller frames I had already in the bookshelves. I just placed the images over the glass, so they’ll be really easy to remove and store for next year. I found some old western ephemera type photos online and printed them to fit portrait sized frames to give a little spooky feel to the space.
And then this year I finally got around to my chalk art piece. Last year I bought the chalkboard (with the lace edging printed on it)from Grandin Road. I loved it and wanted to do something cool, but just ran out of time and energy. This year, since all my decorations were pretty much done, I spent the time to create some chalk word art.
It looks so fun in the space, and hopefully will last years to come!! Here’s a quick tutorial on how I did it.
This is the board to begin with (notice the creepy baby hand prints on the bottom lol):
I designed the type and layout on my computer (using illustrator), and then printed it out. The finished size is 18×32 – I printed on three 12×18 sized papers and then taped them together.
Once I knew it all fit and looked good, I did a very elementary transfer by rubbing graphite pencil lead on the back of my printout. Some sort of opaque projector would work really great, but I don’t have one of those and I figured that this would just be the easiest way to transfer my image over and prepare it for the chalk. You’ll want to tape this in place with the correct side showing (not this ugly side).
Here you can see I’ve done some of the chalk work, but more importantly you can see the graphite transfer. So if you don’t remember from elementary school, you place the design right-side up and then just hand trace with a pencil (or other hard instrument – pen, embossing tool , etc. ) and the graphite that you rubbed on the back will transfer over to the chalkboard anywhere you trace.
I did mine in sections. I’d trace and then pull back my printout and do the chalk work. I used a white chalk marker instead of chalk, and was really pleased with it. I tested some chalk sticks and since they were brand new, they just didn’t go on the surface very well, also it could be the quality of the chalkboard etc. But either way I was really happy with how the chalk marker worked. I had tons of control and it does not smudge at all once it’s dry. So I didn’t have to worry about any mistakes after I was done with a section. It will come off with water though, so watch your kids and their sippy cups! I’m going to pick up some spray fixative to hopefully keep it looking good for many years to come.
I used a ruler to do my straight lines – worked like a charm!
And here is the final outcome! I would say start to finish (not including the design work), it took me about 5 hours to do. Really not that bad, and no hand cramps afterwards. I did only use one marker, but I kept thinking it was going to die after the first section, so definitely stock up if you are doing a big design. Oh and it was way easier to draw cursive then block lettering, so if you’re doing the design, use a lot of cursive type!