Happy Halloween! As promised, here’s a little bit more last-minute DIY Halloween decor. All you need for this one is matches, a white pillar candle, and a red tealight, and you can make yourself a creepy, faux-bloody candle. When picking the candles, keep in mind that because of the translucence of wax, you might want to go a bit darker with the red than you might think you would.
Shown above with my DIY bat flock.
To make your own blood-drip candle, simply light the red tealight, let some of the wax melt, and tip it over the top of the white candle, covering it with drips on top and along the sides. Vary the sizes of the drips by letting more or less wax melt before tipping the red candle. (Be careful with the hot wax and open flames!)
In need of any last-minute Halloween decorations? I was, so I put together this Halloween tablescape. Originally I intended to put it up days ago, but everything takes me a lot longer to do than usual. And my original plan of hanging the bats from the front porch ceiling was foiled when I realized that I couldn’t climb up on a ladder to reach the ceiling (and my wheelchair wasn’t going to cut it). So instead these guys are hanging from the chandelier above our dining room table, and I quite like the effect. If you have better climbing abilities than I do, though, these would look great hanging from a ceiling. Just affix them with a bit of tape (heavy-duty tape if we’re talking outdoors), or tie the string in place.
(See that bloody candle? I’ll post instructions for how to make your own a little later tonight!)
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Here’s how to make your own flock, bat template included:
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While I was in the hospital in September, a disorienting thing happened: it really started to transition to fall. You know how people always say, “I can’t believe it’s [whatever month] already?” Well, by the time I went home I couldn’t believe it was October already, and I really had an excuse for my confusion–there’s at least a week of my life that I can’t remember much about due to a combination of a brain injury and heavy-duty painkillers. I repeatedly didn’t recognize my own mother, hallucinated a swarm of bees was attacking me, and had to have my reasons for being in the hospital explained to me on a daily basis. Eventually I came out of my daze, and spent another several days in the hospital healing and learning how to deal with my injuries.
So mid-September turned into October way too quickly for me. It was summer, and then by the time I was out of the hospital, I was surprised to see that my local grocery store had a big pile of pumpkins out front. For everyone else, the transition to fall was probably a bit more gradual. But in case you’re still mourning summer, there are plenty of great things about the fall season. Here are a few ways to enjoy the cooler days ahead.
Wear fall colors and cozy clothes – The days of boots, scarves, and cardigans are upon us. If you find yourself missing your summer dresses, try adding a cozy knit and a pair of tights to get a couple more months out of them. And while you may not feel like dark colors work on hot days, warm, rich colors like eggplant, emerald, and of course, black, are perfect for the cooler months.
Visit pumpkin patches, hay mazes, and apple orchards – If I was able, I’d be tempted to visit the haunted corn maze on Sauvie Island. Although I won’t be going this year, in past years it’s been great fun to pick out pumpkins at an actual pumpkin patch, and to pick fresh apples at an orchard. Freshly-pressed apple cider tastes even better than the stuff in the stores, and the scenery is always gorgeous. If you’re in the Portland area everything from apples to pumpkins to chestnuts and lavender are all available nearby for the picking.
Cuddle up with movie marathons – If you’re not so keen on outdoor activities, you don’t have to feel guilty for settling into the couch for a movie marathon. Dreary rainy evenings are perfect for binge-watching all of those tv shows you were too busy to watch the rest of the year.
Fall food and drinks – It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy spiced apple cider, hot chocolate, apple pie, greens, caramel apples, soups, stews, squash, and brussels sprouts. You’ve got to use all of those apples you picked somehow, right? And all of the fall produce in season is the perfect excuse to cook up a fall feast.
Frolic in crunchy, colorful leaves – Colorful autumn leaves make the perfect photo backdrop, but they’re also fun to crunch underfoot. And if you’re willing to do some raking, nobody can tell me that jumping around in a big pile of dry leaves isn’t a good time. If you’re unsure about how this works, just follow this cat’s lead.
Have a backyard campfire – If you have a firepit in your yard, you’re ready for your very own brisk backyard campfire. Sure, summer campfires are fun, but it’s when you really need the fire to stay warm that the real magic happens. Add s’mores and you’ve got the perfect evening activity.
Decorate – Halloween and Thanksgiving both have their own decorating traditions. Carving pumpkins can be really fun (and a great exercise in creativity), but there are plenty of carving-free ways to decorate with gourds if you’re not ready to wield a knife. (I love these super fancy painted and studded pumpkins!) The spooky Halloween decorations are great, but even if you ignore the holidays you can update your decor with cozy throws and rich fall colors to reflect the change in seasons.
So those are the ways in which I usually try to enjoy fall. Did I miss any of your favorite activities? Please tell me what you love about the season!