How to: Frighteningly Fun Halloween Front Door Decor

Posted in HOLIDAYS
on October 4, 2018

Add some magic to your Halloween front door decor with these spooky inexpensive ideas. You’ll find a plethora of DIY Halloween decoration projects, mixed with holiday items fit for your favorite ghouls, goblins, and witches, all commonly found in many stores. Stop in for heaps of frighteningly fantastic Halloween front door ideas that will give you the best looking porch or front door on the block!

halloween front door decor idea

My favorite part of Halloween decorating outdoors is that it doesn’t matter what state my yard and garden are in – as a matter of fact, the messier, the better. All of a sudden cobwebs are IN. Hence the reason it’s my favorite time of year! When some of my blogging friends were getting together to share their Fall front porch ideas, I jumped in with two feet and scared up some easy ideas to share! So, if you’re on the lookout for easy Halloween front door decor ideas, you’ve come to the right place!

halloween porch decor ideas

PS: Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for even more fantastic ideas for your Fall Outdoor Spaces!

Frighteningly Fun Halloween Front Door Decor

I like to use a theme when decorating, especially for holiday decorations. I find it makes it so much easier for me to ensure everything is cohesive. This year’s Halloween door decorations were no exception, and choosing a theme was easy when I came across this Witch’s spell book Halloween prop!

My porch is quite long. To decorate the long expanse, I broke up the width into three sections – The front door received the spookiest treatment!

OUR HALLOWEEN FRONT DOOR  DECOR

As you round the bend of the walkway, a spooky scene awaits you just up ahead, with tombstones flanking each side of the doorway.

diy Halloween door decoration

Our DIY Jack-o-Lantern arch induces both giggles and shivers – It’s almost like entering a haunted carnival ride! This DIY Halloween front door decor is perfect for greeting trick-or-treaters, is an excellent accent for our annual Halloween party, and don’t even get me started on the GREAT photo op potential!

halloween door decor diy

diy halloween decoration ideas

Framed in lights, a flurry of bats accent the front door. Look for an upcoming tutorial on how to make this Halloween wreath.

halloween door decor

iy outdoor halloween decorations

The resident witch’s broom is ready for her next flight. Look for her on Halloween night, silhouetted against the moon. A mix of both real and faux pumpkins ensures an inexpensive and varied display. You’ll recognize my signature pop of jewel tones – who says Halloween must be orange and black? Shaking skeleton, eager to get out of his cage, gives everyone a fun little fright when they stand near the door.

halloween front door decoration ideas

This sign reminds us that witches can be found everywhere, especially on Halloween. Download the sign for free HERE.

halloween house decorations

 

WITCH’S BREW 

A creepy crone appears to be whipping up something delicious in her cauldron to share – although, her ingredients might be somewhat.. unorthodox? Don’t get too close though, or you might end up in the pot!

halloween witch decorations

cheap halloween decorations

Maybe if we’re nice, she’ll share the recipes from her spellbook!

deco halloween

Without a doubt, this cackling beauty is the scariest thing on this porch! Download the FREE witch out never sign here!

Look twice before crossing paths with this furry feline friend. This sign states the obvious that he’s rather unimpressed – just in case his piercing green eyes and loud meowing don’t!

animated halloween props

LOUNGING SKELETON

Our skeleton friend relaxes on the swing surrounded by colorful pumpkins. I wonder how long he’s been sitting there?

outdoor halloween decorations

 

halloween porch ideas

Finally, my yard looks perfectly in sync with the neighborhood – you know I’ll be embracing those cobwebs! To think, in a few weeks our front porch and front door will be overrun with ghosts, goblins, princesses and maybe a cat in the hat, as they go house to house, knocking on doors,  with a loud ‘trick-or-treat’! Our Halloween front door decor is sure to give them a thrill and keep them coming back!

halloween front door decor

Don’t forget to check out these fabulous fall porches, too! Thanks to Amy of My Life from Home for hosting!

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How to: Make a File Cabinet Desk DIY

Posted in DIY, DIY AND HOME DECOR, FURNITURE MAKE-OVERS, HOLIDAYS, OFFICE
on September 18, 2018

file cabinet desk

Beyond sharing a fun DIY twig wall art project that hangs in the room, our home office has yet to make an appearance on the blog. The reason? I am not a clean desk/office person! There, it’s out there. Wait, you too? Whew, I don’t feel so bad then.  Luckily, I recently caught the cleaning bug and can finally share my File Cabinet Desk DIY project. It’s been a while since I took on a furniture makeover project – too long really! But like the other projects before I’m so happy with how this inexpensive DIY desk turned out.  

Our entire family uses this room (when we can find the desk), but with only one work area and five family members at home, we were in need of some additional desk space, specifically one where multiple kids could work on their homework at the same time. Being that I’m what you’d say.. frugal? (AKA: I was broke!) I came up with a cheap customized solution – A File Cabinet Desk DIY! This project is easy for beginners and those with more DIY experience alike, is relatively inexpensive, and entirely customizable for your room – which in my case means it can accommodate a bazillion kids!

How To – File Cabinet Desk DIY

The super short how to: I made this desk from three metal filing cabinets that I picked up at the thrift store and a simple DIY wood desktop out of pine boards stained with walnut. But, I bet you’re you looking for more detail? I’ve got you covered! Read on!

Everything You Will Need:

Bases
Desktop

How to Make the File Cabinet Desk Base:

file cabinet desk base

Finished File Cabinet Desk Base

Give each cabinet a thorough cleaning using TSP and a wire brush, being sure to remove any loose paint.

Add Trim

file cabinet desk diy

Cut the baseboard trim to fit at the bottom of the file cabinet with corner pieces meeting at 45° angle corners.  Pre-drill and countersink holes on each piece of trim. Line up and pre-drill holes into the file cabinet. Attach the trim to the cabinet using liquid nails and bolts securing with a nut on the underside of the cabinet. Fill holes and corner seams with wood filler, allow to dry, then sand smooth.

Paint the Cabinets

Paint each cabinet, including trim, with flat black to coat – two coats will likely be needed. Follow the flat black with a light, sweeping coat of metallic gunmetal gray, giving just enough coverage to create a metallic sheen. When dry then follow up with clear lacquer in a matte finish.

Add Drawer Pulls

Build your own file cabinet desk

 

Some cabinets have a handle rather than a pull. In that case, remove the existing handles and replace them with new ones – a chunky cup pull was perfect for this project!
diy desk drawer pulls
I was not that lucky and had to follow a few more steps to change the hardware. You’ll likely have a built-in plastic handle such as this one above – measure the holes from your handles and carefully drill holes through the plate. Attach your new drawer pulls over the plate and secure.

 

For the desktop:

file cabinet desktop

Finished DIY File Cabinet Desktop

Cut your Wood to Proper Size

My desktop is 8′ feet long and 23″ wide, which meant no cuts for the desktop boards. For an area larger or smaller than that, adjust the size of your boards and cut them to the correct length before starting.

I cut 20 sections from the furring strips at 18.75″ long, saving two 8′ furring strips for the front and back edges.

Sand, sand, and sand some more

Give all of your cut sections a thorough sanding to smooth out the surface and remove any markings or ink stamps. I used an orbital palm sander for this step – I like this one a lot! It’s not expensive, and it’s easy to use.

Create the Desktop

Young House Love and Lindsay Stephenson both have great tutorials on building a desktop and I was able to get some fabulous ideas from their DIY desk projects. Ultimately, though, I found my way of doing things if for no other reason than to keep costs down. I wanted my desktop to be relatively heavy and thick but found that giving the illusion of this was a little easier on my pocketbook than buying a thicker cut of wood. Hardwoods can be expensive y’all!

diy file cabinet desk topTo beef up the 1″x6″s, I first created a frame from the furring strips and support pieces I had cut. The frame consisted of the 20 support pieces, evenly spaced, then sandwiched between two 8′ furring strips, secured together with glue and wood screws.

diy filing cabinet desktop

The planks were then secured to the top of the frame using countersunk wood screws. Fill all holes with wood filler – sand when dry.

Pre-condition and stain

Pre-condition the desktop wood before applying your stain. After it dries, you can apply your stain. I went with a dark walnut to match the bankers’ desk in the room. To apply, use a brush recommended for stain or, use my favorite method – wearing rubber gloves, apply the stain using an old (lint free and clean) sock, working the stain in a circular motion. Once you have good coverage, remove any excess stain with a lint-free cloth. Let dry.

Apply a Protective Finish

After a light sanding, apply your polyacrylic finish of choice following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will protect your top and also give the stain depth and richness.

Finishing up

To assemble your DIY Desk, space your file cabinets evenly and lay the DIY desktop on top of the cabinets. I centered the middle cabinet and placed the left and right cabinets 24″ apart, leaving a generous opening for a desk chair.

 

desk made from old metal file cabinets

Allow 24″ between pedestals for ample seating room.

 

And, here it is all styled up and pretty! I’m in love with our File Cabinet Desk DIY. With any luck, I’ll be able to keep this desk clean. What? A girl can wish!

diy - filing cabinet desk

I hope I’ve inspired you to take on building your own customized DIY file cabinet desk solution, and please, let me know if I can answer any questions or help with your project.

DIY Filing Cabinet Desk

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Filing Cabinet Desk DIY

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How to decorate for Fall: Oodles of Fall Fireplace Mantel Decor Ideas

These fast and easy fall-inspired fireplace mantel decor ideas are a simple way to bring the bright colors and textures of the season into your home. fireplace mantel decor

 

With the craziness of school drop-offs, after-school activities, and packed social calendars (not mine, my kids’!), it can be difficult to get dinner on the table not alone decorate my home for the seasons. Like you, I’m strapped for time and energy, and I’m making a tremendous effort to be more mindful of this. I just can’t put forth hours and hours of decorating time like I once did and still keep all the balls in the air.

However, I love the feeling I get when I take a few minutes to add some cozy elements and quintessential fireplace mantel decor into our great room. As a result, I count on less decor making a more significant impact but still giving me the same comfy, cozy, homey feeling that I crave at this time of year. Fireplace mantel decor is a great place to put my efforts – it’s a small area, and it’s a focal point. A few minutes spent here is doable!

To spark your creativity, I’m joining my friend Amy of My Life from Home, and a great group of (equally busy) ladies, in sharing our favorite fall fireplace mantel decor ideas and inspiration. No mantel? No worries! Use these ideas in any corner or gathering spot in your home that can use a bit of fall love.

SIMPLE FIREPLACE MANTEL DECOR IDEAS FOR FALL

COLOR

When thinking of fireplace mantel decor, color is an excellent place to start. There are the typical fall colors – rich plums, reds, yellows, oranges, caramels, and browns. However, they aren’t the ONLY colors of the season.

fall fireplace decor ideas

fireplace mantel decoration ideas for fall

Begin by looking at the elements and colors you’re already using in your home, then add in complimentary fall colors. For example, I like to leave the bold fuschias, teals, navy, and bits of red, of my room and work in caramels, deep browns, and bright oranges. This cuts down on decorating time (I don’t have to redecorate) and also gives the room a unique twist that is entirely my style.

SHOPPING AT HOME

Use anything from around the house – items that work well at this time of year include textured baskets, soft pillows, thick, heavy blankets, and home accents in the colors of the season – think rustic wood and warm metals such as copper, burnished brass or antique gold.

fireplace mantel decoration

Once you’ve decided on a color theme, it’s easy to go on a gathering spree – Put away your summer linens and bring out your warm, chunkier knit, faux fur, or microfleece throws and pillows.  Look to the outdoors, too – leaves, acorns, grasses and signs of the harvest, like pumpkins and gourds.

ARTWORK

Artwork is one of the first things I change when redecorating. If the center of your fireplace is home to a TV,  lean art on either side or flank each side with a large print that reminds you of the season.

fireplace decor

If you are the lucky ones who’s fireplace is entirely dedicated to fireplace mantel decor, first, A) I’m SO jealous and B) this opens up SO many possibilities for easy decorating. Layer art pieces of different sizes as a fun focal point or hang a round mirror for an up-to-the-minute look.

I found colorful, digital download prints on Etsy that I loved. Mounted on white poster board, leaving lots of negative space keeps the saturated colors and bold patterns from being overwhelming. Inexpensive poster frames in 16″x20″ make this a cheap, super-easy project with big impact. I like how the large picture-frames balance the larger accents objects on the mantel but aren’t overpowering. And, I love the burst of vibrant color! These are the specific images I used.

Autumn Abstract Print by Momo Digital

Fall Tree from LottiOMara Art

 

ADD LIFE  

mantelpiece decor

An easy way to add a touch of the season to any space is with seasonal plants. This bright and lively fuschia Aster proves that fall colors don’t always come in oranges, yellows, and browns!

fireplace mantel decorating ideas

When I styled this mantel, pumpkins weren’t quite readily available, so, I used various faux and glass pumpkins in different textures and materials. You might remember the bold and bright orange pumpkin from last year! The easy tutorial to make your own can be found here.

fall-pumpkin-craft_closeup

In past mantels, I’ve used other fruits such as apples, pears, dried beans and corn and even kiwis for their fuzzy brown skin. Be creative and again, work with your home’s color scheme. And, hey, if you get hungry, you’ll know where to find your next snack – win=win.

SCALE AND BALANCE

Be mindful of size. It is better to have one or two large items rather than ten small items. The former looks chic, while the latter seems cluttered and disarrayed. The large lantern first anchors the space then acts as a vessel for seasonal items. Multi-purpose items are always helpful!

mantel decor ideas

Balance doesn’t always mean having identical items on each side of your fireplace mantel.  Although that is fine, ensuring you have things with a similar scale (height and width) on either side and varied heights of side-by-side items, you can use unmatched items as well. I find an unmatched look to be more exciting and unexpected.

geometric candle holders

Geometric Candle Holders

In this vignette, the eye travels from the highest object and moves down to the smaller one. It flows -and flow is good.

fall fireplace decor ideas

To recap, there are a billion and a half ways to decorate with fireplace mantel decor. There are neutral themes, pumpkin themes, all white themes, minimalist themes, and traditional themes to go with any decorating style.  As you gather ideas for your fireplace mantel decor, considering these things will maximize your decorating endeavors inexpensively and effortlessly – you might even be able to fit it in before your next activity!

Check out all of these beautiful mantels and see if any inspire you-you’ll be sure to find something in every style and theme!


 

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