artsy fartsy,  Bug

Homemade Halloween Decorations


We live behind a photography studio (and no, Toby doesn’t work for them) that constantly fills their dumpster with giant sheets of cardboard. They do a lot of those fancy dancy family portraits that rich people hang over their fireplaces and the frames come in great big six-foot boxes. What this means for us is that we have an endless supply of flat cardboard! My dream medium.

So the other day Bug and I were kicking around with nothing much to do and we decided to make some halloween decorations for our windows. Why not, right? We don’t need no stinkin’ Walmart crap that I have to find a place to store the rest of the year! We can recycle the nice clean trash right next door and have no guilt about throwing it out when the season is over. Or maybe I’ll just give them to somebody else who does have room to store seasonal decorations.


First we sketched out what we wanted to make. Bug drew some kind of robot buddy guy or that’s what she called him anyway. I made my cliche spy cats. It was my way of thumbing my nose at my landlord who made me wash the graffiti cats off the cement wall by our house. She can’t make me take halloween decorations out of my windows I don’t think. Pffft.

I'm a scary cat!

Then I cut them out with my handy-dandy box cutter. I love that thing.

the collection to be painted

After we had a motley collection of scary-looking silhouettes we got out the paint. Black and white for me and green, yellow, pink and purple for Bug. I think we have very different ideas about what Halloween looks like but whatever. I’m all for free form art.

hi mom!

relaxing next to her "buddy"

Bug and her buddy had quite a fun afternoon together, just hanging out and relaxing on the cold hard cement.

painting black cats


I love it when we paint together. Everything else in my head just floats away…

adding some sparkle

Buddy Guy ended up looking scary after all. And yes, I did help a bit. I really need to not do that but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I think he’s kinda cute in a pickly-clown sort of way. You just know any minute he’s going to hop up and say “Boo!”

our house all decorated up

After the paint dried we took them upstairs and decorated the windowsills with them.

there's a ghost in the curtains!

Spooky, no?

spooky eyes are watching my dish rack

I’m kinda partial to the one guarding my dish rack.


Then we just had to wait for it to get dark to take some spooktacular pictures. We probably won’t get any trick-or-treaters this year (we never do) but at least it was fun for us. Maybe we’ll do the same thing for Christmas except with big giant snowmen and flying saucer-sized snowflakes.


  • gingermog

    Cool! This is right up my street I think I will borrow your idea and create some cool decorations for Halloween. Sorry I have not commented much of late. I have moved into a shared space with other creatives and we don’t have broadband yet. How did your big job go? I know exactly your how you feel in those situations, I crossed my fingers for your from afar. I hope your had a very restful vacation (I have not caught up on reading all your entries yet). Have you seen the film Stardust yet? it came out ages ago but I only saw it the other day, twas lovely.

  • Kuky

    How fun! You two always do such creative things together.

    I wish we had a convenient supply of cardboard by us. The only cardboard I ever have is if I order something. And the only thing I occasionally order is books so the cardboard isn’t very big at all.

  • bethany actually

    Your kid is not like my kid. She would have scribbled out a drawing, then gotten bored while you were cutting it out and wandered off to collect rocks, then maybe come back and painted two swipes down the middle and declared it done so she could wander off and collect more rocks. I wish my kid would paint with me for a whole afternoon. *sigh*

  • Leesa

    love the mother-daughter painting shot. You guys don’t even wear art smocks! Why is that? Something to do with lovin laundry?
    decorations look great, and a lot of fun too.

    SAJ says: I guess because we always forget and right now we don’t really have any “smocks”. Those are my designated painting pants though. Also, the paint is water soluble so I wasn’t really worried. :)

  • The Bug

    Fun! We have that exact same dishrack! I was very skeptical of it – we were moving into a house without a dishwasher & I wasn’t sure it would be big enough. But it’s great! Sometimes I have it stacked dangerously high (Mount Dish) – but I love it!

    SAJ says: Hee hee! Me too. I am amazing at stacking and sometimes at making
    terrible crashes early in the morning that wake everyone in the house up.

  • Sarah

    So that’s where all your cardboard comes from! What a great way to recycle it.
    But now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to shut this browser window before the ghost behind the curtain freaks me out any more than it already has.

  • zub

    oh my gosh, you are so gifted! i want some of your creativity. i love the cat with his fuzzy zigzag tail!
    even though we don’t celebrate halloween in south africa, i think i’m going to borrow these ideas for my nephew’s harry potter birthday party.

    ps: i love your shoes!

  • Jennifer

    I love this idea because I never have any place to put decorations after the season passes. This would be perfect for the girls to do and then we could just dump them later. We don’t paint enough over here! I’m starting to feel badly about it. I’d love to put some up in my kitchen window. I wonder if it would scare the girls if I put one up in their window too….

  • Nila

    Those are the best decorations ever. The best part is that you did it yourselves. Much better than anything you could buy at Walmart. Now if only I could find a little patience, then maybe…

  • Shannon

    I love it! Super cute and I love when you can get back at someone for something stupid like making you clean off graffiti cats. Happy halloween to you!