13 Over-the-Top Scary Halloween Decorations

Monday, September 30th, 2019

Some people like to put up a few cobwebs and fake crows around their house to make it ready for Halloween, but there are others who really want kids to earn their candy by facing their fears as they fearfully creep up the walkway to the front door. If you fall in the second category, then you know it’s time to start decorating because horrific haunts won’t build themselves. While you’re planning this year’s spooky spectacular, here are a few delightfully dark decorations you might want to add to your scream scene.

Rotting Corpses

There are almost as many ways for people to create spooky rotting corpses as there are ways for corpses to disintegrate after death. Ultimately, the decision on which technique to use should come down to your budget, your time constraints and which end result you prefer for your spooky setting. Here are a few methods you might want to look into: Instructables user BeautyandBeast’s method involves liquid latex, panty hose and craft paint;  Instructables user Spyridoula Nemesis suggests using plastic tarps, a heat gun and wood stain; and Yard Haunt uses cheese cloth, wood stain, spray adhesive and spray paint.

If you’re not that crafty or just don’t have the time to invest, you can always buy a precorpsed skeleton like this creepy cat one by Junebugsjunktique on Etsy. Just do a search for “corpsed skeleton.”

Grave Grabber

What’s better than a creepy corpse? How about one that moves, leaving it to eternally attempt to crawl from the grave into our mortal world? This tutorial by Yard Haunt can show you how to really creep out the kiddos this year.

Deadly Spider Web

Here’s another idea for fake skeletons -create a creepy spider web complete with the remains of its human victims. Hector Turner’s creation process seems fairly simple as it involves little more than plastic wrap, cotton batting, glue and fake spider webs. You can also do this on a corpsified skeleton to make a really chilling scene.

Skeleton Wreath

Admittedly, this skeletal wreath by Mommy With No Money is cool, but not terrifying in its current form. If you corpsify your skeleton before bundling it into a wreath though, it’s easy to imagine that this greeting piece could become downright ghastly.

Alternatively, if you prefer to buy a wreath rather than make your own, while most of the designs on Etsy are cutesy, this one by Anastasia Artifacts is pretty cool, though again, it could have been way scarier if the bones were corpsed first.

Dead Body In A Bag

You don’t always have to go full gore to set a scene. In fact, sometimes showing less can be even more scary, like this dead body wrapped up in plastic. Best of all, since all you need to make this prop is newspapers, trash bags, string and duct tape, the whole thing costs about $3 in supplies.

The Creepy Well from The Ring

Even those that didn’t like The Ring still agreed that the well-dwelling little girl was totally terrifying. Lothar’s Lair has a tutorial to make one of your very own and, best of all, it’s motorized so your guests can howl in fear as they see the monstrous girl climbing from your stone well.

The Grim Reaper

Wire, wood, PVC, drywall mud, latex and burlap can be amazingly spooky when put together just right. In fact, Halloween Forum user jimmyzdc used these materials to create a uniquely creepy version of the Grim Reaper and he was even kind enough to include all the steps so you can create your own.

Dead & Breakfast

If you want to go with an overall theme but are tired of graveyards and horror flicks, this idea by Better Homes and Gardens is refreshingly different. Their “Dead & Breakfast” is both creepy and charming -just like some real B&Bs. Their layout has some truly wonderful details and we particularly love the welcome sign and the lonely bride.

If you love the dead and breakfast idea and want a sign to really help sell the theme, Etsy has a huge array of Dead and Breakfast signs that feature a wide variety of fonts, sizes, imagery and hanging styles. We’re big fans of this Sleepy Hollow Dead and Breakfast sign by KatydidCraftsShop.

Spooky Scarecrow

Here’s another scarecrow idea sure to scare the pants of your Halloween guests. It’s truly amazing how nightmarish a skull covered in wet burlap can look. Add some sticks for the arms, a hat and a coat and you’ll have people getting goose bumps before they even get to your doorbell.

Talking Mirror

This cool video technique by Instructables user davidandora can work for either a dark fairy tale or a haunting depending on the set up. The trick is to create a custom mirror frame that can hold (and hide) a flat screen monitor so you can show a ghostly image trapped inside the mirror.

Singing Pumpkins

Fans of Disney’s Haunted Mansion will immediately recognize this singing pumpkin illusion by Instructables user davidandora as the same one used on the singing busts in the graveyard scene. While the materials needed for this project aren’t cheap, if you already have access to a good projector, you might want to try this cool illusion at your house. The effect is particularly powerful when you surround your singers with regular carved Jack-o-lanterns. Just don’t be surprised when little ones get upset because they don’t know how those pumpkins have come to life.

Pepper’s Ghost

Granted, the LEGO images used to illustrate this tutorial by DIY Hacks and How Tos isn’t particularly scary, but if you successfully incorporate this classic trick into your Halloween decorations, people are bound to be creeped out by the moving, translucent “ghost” you created.

Haunted Soul Tree

Anyone who has ever wandered through the forest alone at night knows how eerie trees can be. This animated haunted soul tree by Instructables user dionicia12 is a great way to take advantage of those natural human fears. Even if you don’t quite have the skills to make the tree come alive, the basic design is pretty chilling even without movement.

Have any creepy Halloween decorations you’re particularly proud of? Share them with us in the comments!



Wonderful Vases Perfect for Mother’s Day

Monday, May 6th, 2019

If you’re looking to get your mom a little something beyond the standard bouquet this Mother’s Day, you may consider a beautiful vase that she can hold onto long after her flowers have wilted away. No matter what kind of mom you are lucky enough to have, there is certain to be one piece in this list that will fit right in with her home decor.

Serpentine Wood

This unique vase looks different from every angle. With sweeping wood shapes flowing around a standard glass form, art-lovers are sure to love this creation by EvensensProductions.

St. Germain

This elderflower liquor has a legion of fans and a uniquely beautiful look. If your mother has joined the cult of St. Germain, she’ll love this stunning vase by BottlesNWood made from one of the brand’s iconic and crystal-like bottles.

Tall Iris

Delicate and graceful, this vase sold by AndreasAntiquesFinds is a lot like the flower it is meant to depict.

Photo-Filled

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this personalized vase that can be filled of images that show Mom what she means to you is absolutely priceless. Etsy seller Jenny Gaynor will also leave a note and a special date on the base of the vase to add even more significance to the piece.

Test Tubes

This striking test tub vase set by Etsy seller JupiterCarpentry is perfect for those who simply love science, as well as those who want to display their blooms in an all new way.

Customized Birch

Etsy seller PartySparkles customizes lovely wood vases so you can engrave them with your mother’s initials, you and your siblings initials or a message that reads “ILU.”

Anatomical Heart

Is your mom more of a Morticia Addams than a Martha Stewart? Then rather than going with something pretty, make her go batty over one of these fascinating anatomical heart vases by Etsy seller Dellamorteco. Available in redblackpewter or transparent with veins, they’re the perfect way to say “I love you even just the bloody way you are.”

2D Made 3D

If your mother loves drawings over sculptures then she just might prefer this great illusionary vase from CraftPrintsByV that looks like a drawing made real.

Puzzle Pieces

A perfect fit for any puzzle-fanatics, this cool 3D wall sconce by SJPuzzles is made up of beautifully painted jigsaw pieces.

Caterpillar-Inspired

Why settle for one bouquet when you can share many? The caterpillar vase by RiversEdgeRelics displays six different bundles of blooms at a time in a fun, bubbly line.

Deer Head

Ideal for an animal-loving mother, this clever design by DobrCeramics lets you replace antlers with beautiful floral displays or even plain branches.

If you think your mom might want something besides a vase, Etsy also has tons of handmade creations she’s sure to love. Whatever you get your mom this holiday, Happy Mother’s Day.



12 Fun Easter Crafts You Can Do With Your Kids

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

If you’re looking to create some fun projects with your kids this spring, here are a few fun Easter crafts you can make as a family and proudly display around your home.

Peeps Wreath

The great thing about making this wreath from Eclectically Vintage with your kids is that you can enjoy making something that lasts for years with some of your favorite people while your kids can enjoy munching on Peeps that won’t make their way onto the wreath. Just make sure you buy enough Peeps to account for snacking.

Fluffy Bunny Wreath


If you’d prefer not to fill the kids with too much candy, this cute bunny wreath by Hoosier Homemade is simple and safe enough to make with your youngsters -who will love the resemblance to a certain bunny that only visits once a year.

Easter Bunny Door

Alternatively, rather than decorating the door with a bunny, why not make your door into a bunny? This cute design by East Coast Mommy Blog is sure to be a hit with kids everywhere.

Tulip Bulbs In Vases

Here’s a great way to teach your kids about botany all while growing a stunning centerpiece for your Easter dinner. Just follow the directions from Homes To Love and you’ll soon be on your way to growing flowers right in the vase.

Easter Bunny Flower Pot

Another great way to teach kids about the way plants grow is to have them plant grass. With this cute craft by Kids Fun Reviewed, you also get the benefit of having grass grow right out of the Easter Bunny’s head.

Bunny Chalk

Want to teach your kids that simple chemistry makes some of the things they love to play with? Then work with them to make these cute bunny chalks by A Bubbly Life and then let them go crazy coloring the sidewalk with the completed results.

Hand Print Bunnies

Hand print turkeys are treasured by parents everywhere and now you can bring that tradition alive during Easter too by making hand print bunnies like this one on Imgur. Just make sure you keep the kiddo’s thumb dry or your bunny will end up with a weird growth from the side of his face.

Candy-Filled Flower Vases

Peeps and jelly beans can really brighten up a flower arrangement and all you need to duplicate this look featured on The Laws of My Life are two vases (one that fits neatly inside the other), candy and flowers. Best of all, you and the kiddos can munch on any leftover candy.

Crazy For Carrots Centerpiece

With all the candy spread around by the Easter Bunny, it’s a great time to remind kids that veggies can be tasty too -in fact, they’re the preferred food of that legendary bunny. This vase by Chic Style is simple, beautiful, and a great way to get your youngsters to munch on a few extra carrots.

Bunny Banner

This simple paper craft is so kid-friendly that the creator at Serving Pink Lemonade even created the original with the help of her own tiny assistant.

Paint Sample Garland

For youngsters that just can’t get enough colors, you can also try turning paint swatches into Easter eggs and then making a garland from those as seen on Modern Parents Messy Kids.

Easter Egg Window Art

These simple foam window decorations by Pleasantest Thing look absolutely charming and happy, but best of all, your kids can put them up and decorate them all on their own.

Have a Happy Easter dear readers!



The Weather Outside is Frightful, but These Christmas Cards Are Delightful

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

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It’s always nice to get a Christmas card, but it’s even better when you get a geeky card that also makes you laugh. While I can’t help you get better Christmas cards, I can tell you where to find better ones and I suggest heading to Castle McQuade’s Etsy shop, where you can get delightfully geeky cards such as these.

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Designs include geek favorites, including Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, X-Files, Die Hard and more. And each one not only has cool artwork, but also a great punchline.

So checkout the cards over on Etsy

Via Nerd Approved



How Father Christmas has Evolved over the Centuries

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

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Father Christmas is unique in that he is a pop culture icon who instantly recognizable across the world and yet didn’t he didn’t come out of a book, a cartoon or a movie. Whether you call him Santa Claus, Papa Noël, Kris Kringle or even Old Saint Nick, Father Christmas is ubiquitous throughout European history. This iconic character has even made it as far abroad as Australia, America, Japan and Brazil in recent centuries – indeed, in 2015 the entire world knows Santa. The question is does the world know where Santa came from?

Unlike Captain America, Batman and other childhood icons, Father Christmas was once a real person. Nicholas of Myra, as he was known until his death in December 343 AD, was the man behind the legend of Saint Nick. Nicholas of Myra was a Turkish monk who gave away his inherited wealth to travel the countryside, tending to the sick and poor. The most famous legend of Nicholas’ deeds is probably the story of how he saved three sisters from being sold into slavery and prostitution. He paid their dowries and helped them on the way to marrying the people they wanted to marry. This gesture made him famous across the continent, and by the time he died Nicholas was a veritable hero of the people.

This level of fame lasted for over 1000 years, with a Yuletide ‘boy bishop’ ceremony popular throughout the medieval era. In this ceremony the church youths performed the functions of their elders, effectively running their parishes for the day. 300 years later during the Renaissance era in Europe, Sinter Klaus (also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker) had become the patron saint and protector of more peoples than any other. However, his popularity among the people had started to dwindle, causing the church to reinvent Saint Nicholas slightly, naming him Father Christmas, Père Noël and Kris Kringle across the continent.

While Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, prostitutes, bakers and even Greece, Father Christmas is most certainly focused on being the patron saint of children. His reinvention in the 1600s focused on his generosity, becoming the go-to legend for boosting Christmas cheer. His old monk’s habits were swapped for the fur-lined blue, green and white robes that were popular with the then-modern people. This mysterious pop-icon would then visit Europe’s poorest children, leaving them small gifts of food, sweets or money to reward them for a year of hard work (if you’re looking for yule tide ideas for Christmas then a gift generator may do the trick to help choose what is needed in this day and age vs the last 2000 years). This was around the time that Father Christmas’ tradition of leaving coal for naughty children came into being, though the evidence suggesting why this happened is scant at best. The general assumption is simply that it was a scare tactic to encourage good behavior as the last thing that a kid would want is a lump of dirty coal when they could be getting sweets and money.

This version of Father Christmas endured for several centuries, right up until the 1900’s when Santa underwent yet another wardrobe change. Some people attribute Santa’s current reds and whites to the fact that these are ecclesiastic colors, though scholars argue that these aren’t the colors that pious Saint Nicholas of Myra would have worn. The generally held belief here is that Coca-Cola redrew Santa in their own vision in the 1930s, and the weight of the company’s advertising has restructured the way we see Santa as a result.

When you look back over the last 1700 years, Saint Nick certainly has come a long way – and we’re not just talking about his move from Turkey to Lapland/the North Pole. While there are many fictionalized parts to the Santa story – the flying reindeer and the sleigh for example were invented in the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (the one that starts with “‘Twas the night before Christmas…”) – the legend is certainly based on fact. Even to this day Saint Nicholas of Myra is revered across the world for his generosity and altruism. Though he may not be alive and well today, his memory has inspired generosity for almost two millennia. It almost makes you wonder how much Santa will have changed by the 2000th anniversary of his death in 2343. Will the sleigh endure, or will Santa roll with the times and find a more conventional way of air travel? Only time will tell.

Image via Susanne Nilsson



Win Christmas This Year With This Stormtrooper Sled

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

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It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but experts are already arguing over what will be the hottest toys of the holiday season. Many have their money on the remote-controlled BB-8 that can be controlled with a smartphone. All experts agree that anything Star Wars is a pretty safe bet when it comes to the most popular toys of the season. That being said, if I was a kid, I’d be all about this amazing Star Wars sled for sale on Bonanza.com. It not only looks cool, but it can also be controlled with handlebars, making it a lot easier to operate than classic sleds. The fact that it’s only $100 also makes it a much more practical toy than many of the other options out there.

Heck, I only wish it had a higher carrying capacity than 150 pounds so I could use it even now as an adult. If I could just lose a few dozen pounds I’d be good to go.

(This post has been sponsored by Bonanza.com, though I really do endorse this awesome product)



Role Play In Christmas Style With These Gingerbread Dice

Monday, December 16th, 2013

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OK, technically they aren’t actually gingerbread, but these graham cracker dice are a great way to turn your gingerbread castle adventure into a full on holiday roleplaying game.

Obviously, the process is pretty simple as it just involves gluing graham crackers together with icing and then drawing on numbers, but following Our Nerd Home’s instructions for cutting it into the right shapes is critical if you want to make anything besides a six-sided die (and where’s the fun in that).

Via Make



The Most Haunted Destinations in Europe

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

With Halloween and all of its dark and ghostly delights fast approaching, we got to thinking about the spookiest holiday destinations in Europe.

After all, what could be a better way of indulging your love of all things spooky than booking a weekend in a haunted house or doing a tour around the most haunted locations in Europe? So, we took a look at just some of the places you could visit and be very scared by this Halloween. Just don’t look behind you!

The Famous Catacombs in Paris

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OK, so you can’t stay in them exactly, but you can book a holiday in Paris and go and visit one of the most awe-inspiring tourist attractions in the French capital. The Paris Catacombs are basically a huge maze of crypts and tunnels that wind their way under the streets of the city, where the dead went to rest after the city ran out of space for more traditional cemeteries. The famous Paris Opera House is also worth visiting, not just because it’s utterly fabulous, but also because it’s the very real place Gaston Leroux based his story of the Phantom of the Opera – a legend that has captured imaginations for over 100 years. Perhaps the masked ghost is still lurking down there, hiding in the vast underground lagoon that sits below the Opera House…

Image by Joseph Holmes

Spain’s Faces in the Floor

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If you’re into ghost stories then you will definitely have heard about Belmez de la Moraleda. The unassuming street in Spain has become extremely famous due to the scary faces that have been manifesting in the floor. They began in 1971 and have been photographed frequently. It was found that there were human remains beneath the floor, which were then removed but it’s a very evocative place to visit. If you’re on holiday in Spain this Autumn, and particularly over Halloween, consider making the journey, it doesn’t have to be an expensive diversion either. It’s easily reachable from various resorts like Malaga, so a bit of searching online should come up with cheap flights to Malaga and a hire car to get you to your haunted destination. Just try not to be too frightened!

Image by Juan de la Cruz Moreno Balboa

Glamis Castle – The Most Haunted Castle in Scotland

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Scotland is pretty famous for revelling in its many haunted houses and spooky places to visit so you will be spoiled for choice if you’ve decided to head up north this Halloween. But for one of the best, and most notorious, places to stay, try Glamis Castle. It’s a fabulous Gothic castle, which looks like it has come straight out of the Addam’s Family, and according to all the tourist guides of the region, is bound to give you the willies should you be brave enough to spend a night within its scary walls.

Image by Diego’s Sideburns

Visit the Real Dracula in Romania

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You can’t go to haunted places in Europe and miss out on the residence of one of the most notoriously scary people ever. Vlad the Impaler is the inspiration for Stoker’s Dracula and his place of residence was Poienari Castle. In fact, it’s also the place where he tortured so many enemies to death by calmly popping them on stakes and then holding a feast while listening to their cries of agony. Soak up the atmosphere of the castle and nearby Lake Snagov, which is where he is thought to be buried.

Image by Richard Mortel

Follow the Footsteps of Jack the Ripper in London

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London’s East End is where the infamous and famous serial killer known as Jack the Ripper stalked his prey in the late 19th century. The mystery of his identity has never been solved and his story is grimly fascinating. You can book on to a guided walk which will show you every murder spot and all the other venues with which he is associated. You never know, maybe you’ll be inspired enough to solve the mystery once and for all!

Image by Jamie Durant

Know of any other great haunted destinations worth visiting? Feel free to share your stories in the comments!



Happy World Turtle Day

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

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You may not have known today is World Turtle Day, but now that you know, don’t you just want to hug a turtle? Well, if you’re terrified of salmonella or if you just can’t find a turtle within hugging distance, these 20 cute turtle pics are the next best thing.



May The Forth Be With You?

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Only if you’re a traitorous  rebel scum.