Egads, in searching out a favorite site I recall from eons back on making Halloween tombstones (and I found it, these were top-notch, meant to be built once and last Wolfstone Halloween Host Tombstone how to), I found a copy of a post I made on the Gardenweb junk forum regarding Halloween decorations in October 2005, fifteen years ago! “Forget the Backyard …” was its title, we were offering solutions for “Dragoness MS” who wanted Halloween decorations on the cheap as her neighborhood, although standing, was recovering from Katrina.
Nifty little bit on the Mac I have, I can save any webpage as a .pdf. Used to just save links, but then a favorite gardening magazine with truly top notch instructions online for various wood crafted items went out of biz and took down their web. Now if I love it, I try to save more than a link. I’d saved this particular post as someone had put free vintage images within the posting and it was a collection of fun Halloween stuff.
Wow, I do say in a post a few down, everything old is new again. The painted Halloween jars aka lanterns are all over the linkys and Pinterest this year. I don’t have pictures for the crafted items as I moved and these older things didn’t make the cut for packing space (too easy to replace). From Oct 7, 2005:
“Basically, for the ghosts, you invert tomato cages and string white Christmas lights around them. Then, cover with the Ghost (EASY – a front and a back – if you don’t sew you can use glue) and the faces are painted on. You don’t really need the pattern. They use white craft felt but any heftier white/ tea stained fabric (Osnaburg for a nice look) would do. Use stick tepees instead of tomato cages.
Lanterns - use clean jars (I’m personally fond of Classico spaghetti sauce as it has nice flat sides and for other crafts clean new mason jar lids fit). Use contact paper or WIDE painters tape and cut out four Halloween shapes (bats, cats, ghoulish face, wide toothy grin, nose, eyes like jack o lantern) and 99 cent paint from WM. Place a shape on each side or just one – invert jars on a stick in the ground (empty wine bottle, whatever) and spray away (I do cover the area with old newspapers as I tend to be messy). You can also spray the shape area first (orange, light purple) and then do the black coat (looks much better, use painters tape not contact paper if doing this – you can also stencil a face on at the end). I’ve traced around Halloween cookie cutters, used the shape from rubber stamps and see this year MarthaStewart.com has some good, downloadable images along with a beautifully executed version of the jars. Place in a bit of sand (optional) and a tea light (battery ok if not raining or you put the lid back on, candle ok but know kiddies may wander over up close to stare in and some costumes are flammable) - la voila. String wire around the tops to hang them. I may do all ghoulish faces this year and have the outer coat purple or icky green.”
Do visit Wolfstone’s site and note that he navigates to more detailed pages and updates (they made them a few times so many years apart and included their learnings and improvements). His gravestones are incredible and, if you follow his method, they will last.