Sara’s Haunted (But Happy) Halloween House with Affordable New and Vintage Finds
Today, we have a VERY EXCITING special guest…that’s right folks, SARA IS BACK. AGAIN. She’s a die-hard Halloween lover, so we partnered with eBay and challenged her to deck her halls (too soon?) using a mix of vintage and affordable items. It’s been hard to get into the spooky spirit now that a lot of our traditional favorite fall activities are off-limits – so this year, consider skipping the scary, public, crowded haunted house and cozying up in your very own happy haunted house instead 🙂 Take it away, Sara…
FRIENDS, I’M BACK…AGAIN! Just for one more little post, but it feels so goooooood. Several weeks ago I casually mentioned to Jess that if there just happened to be any sort of Halloween content needed to please keep me in mind. Fast forward a few weeks, and Caitlin texted me “word on the street is you have a thing for Halloween. I think we have a job for you.” The job? Shop eBay’s huge selection of Halloween decor (both new and vintage), and decorate my living room in the coziest way possible. Adrenaline coursed through my veins, and my hands were shakey with excitement as I tried to type back “YES” faster than humanly possible.
It was the job I had been waiting for my whole life. An excuse to do nothing for two days but decorate for my favorite holiday, and use the excuse that it was all for WORK.
So without further ado, may I present, for the FIRST TIME EVER, my living room decorated for Halloween . . .
Yep, this is the first year of owning our home that I’ve finally gotten to decorate. The past two years we’ve had too many renovations going on. So this year, despite having a kitchen renovation happening just a few feet away, I finally had an excuse to make. It. Happen.
I won’t lie. My initial concept about eBay was that it was only a place to buy vintage (or other unique hard to find goods). My dad shops eBay all the time for rare watch parts, which he’ll bid on over several days. But I was ready to put in the time and effort in order to decorate for Halloween. But folks, I was wrong. I found TONS of new, ready to ship, affordable Halloween decor alongside a few really special vintage pieces that fit perfectly into the vibe I wanted for Halloween. The best part was that I could shop it all at once, pop everything in my cart, and purchase it all at the same time – vintage and new. I browsed and ordered everything on a Thursday, and it was all at my house by Tuesday afternoon, without a single trip to the store. Which, especially now, was really such a treat. (You could have all of your decor delivered to your door by this weekend!)
And after watching Em decorate year after year, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on the different elements I wanted to bring into my Halloween decorating. Let’s get into them.
SMALL EFFORT, BIG IMPACT DECOR
Hands down the easiest, and most affordable way to instantly bring some spooky vibes into a space is with a few bags of faux spider webs. I only used one bag and was able to cover a lot of area in both my living room and TV room. The best part about these webs is that they’re a great way to cover large areas, like bookshelves, without having to fill every shelf. And the fact that the webs are neutral means they won’t overwhelm a space.
I also brought the webs into our TV room. This room is already dark and moody, so just a few Halloween touches went a long way. Part of me kind of wants to keep this decor up year-round in here, just because of the ambiance it really gives the space. You know, creepy old library ambiance. Just what everyone wants in their homes.
Next on the “big impact, little lift” list are these bats. They’re thin plastic with little seams along their bodies which allows you to bend the wings out for a 3D effect. And they stick on the wall with little foam stickers. Each pack comes with 28 total, in 4 different sizes, and since they’re plastic they won’t tear when you pull them off the wall, so they’re 100% reusable.
Side note: Everyone loves my witches broom. I predict brooms are going to be a hot decor item this year, and I found one that’s going to last me several Halloweens to come. It’s hand-made, beautiful and just really, really cool. You know, as far as broom decor goes.
Just like the spider webs, they cover a large area easily, but bring in a graphic element that the spiderwebs lack. I did one little spiral up the wall by the front door, and it’s one of my favorite areas of the whole room.
Also, look at Bean!!!! Guah, my heart.
Another big holiday decor tip I’ve learned from my time at EHD? Pick a few elements (like the spider webs and bats) and repeat them around to help a space feel cohesive. So I threw some bats, in a smaller amount, above the entry console as well.
Now that we’re looking at the entry console let’s chat about the spiderweb table runner that I used. I found it as a pack of two, and decided it would be perfect over the entry console to help ground everything on there a little. But I didn’t really have plans for what to do with the other one.
I ended up using it on the mantle directly across from the entry console, and it worked like a charm. Having the mantle decor sit on top of the table runner instead of directly on the white shelf helps the area as a whole feel more like a centerpiece. It definitely draws your eye.
I decided to repeat the table cloth element, and brought in a smaller circle cloth to cover the little side table that sits between the living room lounge chairs. Subtle, but effective.
A little spooky lace never hurt anyone. Cue the hanging gauze, in both black and white, that I used. These gauzes give the mirror over the fireplace and the window an almost hauntingly ethereal look – as if they had been covered in fabric years ago when the house was abandoned, which was now disintegrating with age and neglect. Or at least that’s what I like to think. Also the gauzes were sups cheap *thumbs up*.
KEEP IT WHIMSICAL
I’m not really one for being scared in my own house late at night. So instead of going for dark, haunting, and morbid (which I totally support if that is your jam), I brought in some elements that kept the decor feeling lighthearted and fun.
MY BIRDS! I unpacked each of these faux crows, and immediately became attached. They really bring a Hitchcock/New England folklore vibe to the room, and at a really affordable price point. My bats! These cute little skeleton bats hang from their toes from any ledge. They’re perfect for bookshelves, in my opinion, but would also probably work great on mantles, art ledges, or light fixtures.
MIX IN SOME VINTAGE
Have some vintage books, the kind with leather binding and gilded edges? Some creepy old family photos? Time to break them out! Or, do what I did, and use Halloween as an excuse to shop for some new vintage pieces.
You know what’s pretty cute? A little bowl of eyeballs. You know what’s EVEN cuter? A little VINTAGE URN filled with eyeballs. That vintage urn is black glass, and such a gem of an eBay find. It really sets the mood. And right next to it a unique little candy bowl that I already had in my collection (don’t worry, I found a similar one for a few of you quick-fingered shoppers!).
Now, I’m not one for filling my shelves with holiday decor. Like I mentioned above, just cover big areas with some web. BUT, when I was browsing on eBay I came across a TON of vintage or reproduced Halloween postcards, die cuts, and photos. FRAME THOSE BAD BOYS. Voila, custom Halloween art that’s probably cool enough to leave up all year round. Peek our vintage framed Halloween photos in the black frame below:
Oh look, another vintage urn being used as a candy dish. eBay has a ton of really awesome vintage urns, like this one. The urn candy dish is my trend, and I want to personally take credit for this trend when you see it all over Instagram in the next few weeks.
LET IT GLOW
Nothing makes a holiday space cozier or more festive than a good amount of warm GLOW. I wanted to make sure that no matter how spooky I got with the decor, I still had enough warm yellow light oozing out of my decor that it felt both inviting and charming. Which brings me to this sweet, sweet little haunted house (check out this similar one).
It’s a black metal haunted house, with orange plastic in the windows, and little shelves for votive candles. When you light them up inside the whole home glows with a spooky (but cozy) warm light. I went with flickering electronic votives, for safety reasons, and the overall effect is pretty magical.
I also really love that black wire tree, which I bought separately from the haunted house, but was destined to be its friend. It’s like I’m building my own little Halloween version of a Santa’s village. Topped with a larger than life crow and next to a die cut palm reading diagram, and you’ve just visited my favorite vignette in the whole house.
It’s pretty cute, right? I MEAN TERRIFYING. It’s all so spooky and terrifying, right?
The other big place I brought some glow in was our fireplace. It’s not currently functioning – something we desperately want to fix – so in the meantime, I filled it with orange, yellow, and white candles (taking my cue from the overflowing bowl of candy corn on our entry console). Once they’re all lit up it’s almost just as cozy as roaring fire, minus the immense heat. Which, to be honest, we haven’t really missed yet here in Pasadena. Plus, the candles make the whole house smell like pumpkin spice. Some joys are just so basic.
There you have it! My very first decorated Halloween in my home, all thanks to EHD and eBay. My heart is so full every time I come back into the house, to finally have it nice and spooky for my favorite holiday. And! I get to enjoy it all month long. If you need me I’ll be eating all this popcorn, drinking some cocoa, and watching “Practical Magic” on repeat until October 31st.
Emily here to sign off – I just want to say a big thank you to the team at eBay and ShopStyle for partnering with us on this post (it was so. much. fun.), a big thank you to Sara for being a great stylist, friend, and photographer (hire her or follow her on Instagram!), and a big thank you to YOU, the readers, for helping support the brands who support this blog. Happy Halloween and have a great week. xx
**Styling and Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp
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