Welcome to the Raven Hollow Designs blog, version 2.0! Halloween is the best season of the year (although some people call it fall, or football season), don’t you think? Over the years I have created and acquired many dark and spooky items which I use to decorate as much of my home as possible for Halloween (and usually throw a big party to show it off). So for my first post, let’s go on a Halloween Home Tour!
Spooky, atmospheric decorations are part of what makes a Halloween party so much fun. I love creating objects that my guests can pick up and examine, and that add that next level of creepiness to a display. Last year, I made a couple of spooky books and expanded on my bottle collection by experimenting with a texturizing technique using paper towels and glue.
My favorite thing to design each year for Halloween is my annual party invitation. I usually get started brainstorming ideas over the summer, and make sure to get the invitations delivered in September so my guests have time to plan. Every year the invitation is different — some years it’s on paper, other years it’s via email, and yet other years, like 2016, the invitation is an actual object, usable as a decoration itself.
When it comes to Halloween decorating, oftentimes the older something looks, the spookier it seems. One ever-popular way to dress up your home for the season is to create potion, poison and apothecary bottles with creepy labels such as “Eye of Newt” and “Witches’ Brew.” As a graphic designer, I love creating these bottles because I get to design all kinds of labels for them. I also use these labels for other items, like invitations. To really add a finishing touch to the labels, I make them look worn and distressed using a layer effect in Photoshop and a photo I took of something that sounds very ordinary and random — the table on my deck.
My sister-in-law is almost as obsessed with Halloween as I am. Almost. When her birthday was approaching this year, I knew exactly what I would make as her gift, for the front door of her new house. This spooky yet classy wreath will be greeting trick-or-treaters in style.
From tombstones and signs, to pillars, columns and coffins, foam insulation board (also known as rigid insulation) is an incredibly useful and versatile material for Halloween projects. You can find it in home centers and stores that sell building materials and it comes in varying thicknesses, most commonly 3/4 inch and 2 inch. It’s lightweight and easy to carve, melt, distress, and paint, which makes it perfect for constructing Halloween decorations. Many of the handmade tombstones you see all over the internet are made with foam insulation board. Today I’m going to show you the basics of carving and painting this foam board with a tutorial for a simple small sign with a faux stone look.
Some of the most popular indoor Halloween decorations I’ve seen online and in stores are those spooky apothecary jars and potion bottles that make up witch-themed displays. I love creating labels like the ones you see in these displays, they can make any ordinary piece of glassware into a frightening decoration. You can also use them for food and drink labels at Halloween parties. I’ve designed many of these labels over the years, and today I’ve chosen one to post here for you to use for your own decorating. Read on for the link to download.
It’s summer and prime time for Halloween DIY projects. Summer gives me the long days and warm weather to take full advantage of the outdoor space for working with foam insulation board, power tools, spray paint and other not-so-indoor-friendly materials. Every year I make a list of projects I want to tackle but I rarely ever get to all of them. I have found that the best way to keep track of all my ideas and works-in-progress (which sometimes carry over to the next year) is to make a worksheet for each project. Of course, since I am a graphic designer, everything I create that gets printed is designed to the hilt. So in this post I’m sharing my Halloween Project Worksheet, which I am offering to you as a PDF download so you can keep records of your projects too.