At the moment I´m sitting in a TGV speeding across France, while blogging. This train is so quiet, nobody speaks or makes any movements, I almost feel like I´m back in Finland again. At least I can focus, since I´m not surrounded by the usual French chatter (although I admit that I prefer the chatter to the Finnish silence).
Anyways, let´s talk about the topic of my post. I want to share a few tips and trick, on how to decorate your home easily, and with a small budget. What you´ll need can be found in a handicraft store and in the nature. We bought pumpkins from Monoprix and Carrefour, check out your local grocery/veggie store. Unlike the lucky Americans, we don´t have any pumpkin fares or markets here in Europe, where we could go pick them up Christmas tree style (at least not that I know of, since Halloween isn´t that big of a deal here). Even if you don’t celebrate Halloween you can decorate your house with pumpkins and other fall stuff, I prefer celebrating the fall by making my apartment look nice and pretty, instead of focusing too much on Halloween.
We had a budget of 40€, so with that in mind Frenchie and I headed to Loisirs et Création to get a good black marker, a glue gun (it was under 5€, and works pretty well), different color thin cardboards, a wreath model, glitter and some ribbon. You´ll also need pumpkins of different shapes and sizes, we got a big one we´ll carve next week, and a few small ones to use as decoration. So get the kind of pumpkins you like, cheap hairspray and candles and you´re good to go.
My mom has taught me to use materials the nature has to offers, e.g. fallen leaves and branches, pinecones, and in general just all things you find beautiful, and that can be picked up without harming the nature. So with this in mind we headed to the park. Don´t be afraid of using different materials, if you´re not used to them. It´s super easy, just go to a close-by park and pick up some colorful fall leaves from the ground, pinecones etc., mix colors up. The evenings are getting so dark, so it´s nice to have colorful decorations at home.
Our nearby park happened to situate on a very, very, v-e-r-y steep hill, which we ended up climbing. Dragging around with our other purchases, completely exhausted, we got a bit lost and didn´t end up in the park we meant to go to, but nonetheless I found everything I needed. So if someone comes telling me there´s no parks close-by, I´m sorry but it´s a bad excuse haha.
After you have all the supplies needed, roll up your sleeves and get to work!
I got this idea from Martha Stewart, and made my own version of her beautiful glitter pumpkins. You´ll need small pumpkins, cheap hairspray, glitter and newspaper to cover up the floor.
Start with washing and drying the pumpkins. Make sure you dry them properly, if they´re still moist when you spray them with hairspray, the glitters won´t stick. Start with spraying a small area of the pumpkin with hairspray, and drizzle some glitters on the area. Use your imagination and get creative. I started with doing an all-glitter pumpkin. If you want the same look, put on a lot of glitter and smooch it on the pumpkin with your finger in a circular motion. It´ll stick on to the surface and form a paint-like finish.
If the glitters don´t stick, try letting the hairspray dry for a few seconds, before putting on the glitters, it might be that you have put on a bit too much hairspray (I do this often). Simple and fun, you can do all kinds of patterns like this. My other pumpkin got a polka dot cover.
A few tips: remember to cover the floor with e.g. newspaper, otherwise you´ll have a sticky, glittery floor. And protect your mouth with either a mask or a scarf, since you´ll be breathing in a lot of hairspray, and as we all know this is not the healthiest thing to do.
The Fall Wreath
I´m a big fan of wreaths. Back at my parents place, my mom always decorate the house with one gorgeous wreath after the other for Christmas. My original plan was to get an oasis base formed as a wreath. An oasis soaks up water making the wreath staying fresh for long. I didn´t find this, so I decided to go for a foam-wreath base. I only used leaves and pinecones as materials, so it should last pretty long. What happens is that the leaves dry out at some point, making them shrink a bit. But if this happens and there´s “holes” in the wreath, fix it by covering it up with a few new leaves.
If you want to do my version, you´ll need a glue gun, the foam wreath, leaves of different kind, different pinecones and a few chestnuts. If you´re not used to using a glue gun, be a bit careful the first times, so you don´t burn your fingers.
If you want to do it the logic way, start with the red leaves (I surrounded the outer circle with red and the inner circle with yellow leaves), take a small bouquet of leaves, put a bit of glue on the wreath and push the leaves on it. Continue like this all the way around, and after, glue the yellow leaves on the inner circle in the same way. Take a small amount of leaves at once, if you put on a too big wad, the glue might not hold well.
If you want to do it the more difficult and un-logic way, do like I did and put everything on at once, I do not recommend this haha.
Make sure to cut the stems off the leaves after you glue them on the base, otherwise they´ll stick out pointing in all kinds of directions. After you´re done with the leaves, it time to start decorating.Once again use your imagination, and decorate the way you like. I put on a lot of pinecones, and finished it up with a touch of glitter. Glue the pinecones on top of the leaves, I usually put a couple pinecones next to each other, since they support each other and are less likely to fall off, if the glue would happen to dry out a bit. I usually start with modeling out, by placing the pinecones on the wreath, trying out what looks best, and after that glue them on. This way it´s easy to get an overall look of the work, and make alterations if needed. I also had some branches which I glued on using the same method.
If you want to add a bit of glitter as a finishing touch, do the same as with the pumpkins. First spray on hairspray, and then the glitter. You can e.g. only put glitter on the pinecones, or the whole wreath like I did.
Et voila, it is done!
The Halloween Decorations
Frenchie designed our "Halloween Wall", he´s the one of us who´s good at drawing and artsy stuff. He drew and cut out the figures from the cardboard-papers we bought, so simple and fun to do.
I hope you got some ideas from my post, I´ll be back with our pumpkin carving next week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!