October 3, 2010

Vintage Halloween countdown part one: decorations and home decor

There’s an unmistakable feeling in the air, it is part gorgeously nippy fall weather and part season of jack-o-lanterns, festive costumes, and frightfully fantastic celebrations, that swirls around us as we gear up for Halloween.

Now less than a month away, All Hallows Eve remains (as it has always been!) my most favourite of holidays. I could eat, sleep and breathe Halloween 24/7/365, if given the opportunity. However, as the mister does tend to like it when I cycle the seasonal decorations, I refrain myself and instead do most of my celebrating in October. Indeed, come crack of dawn on the first, I go digging in the storage closet (ok, doing so isn’t exactly labourous work, as the wee little closet is about the size of a matchbox) and unearth my pint sized plastic totes of Halloween decorations, cards and costume elements.

With Stella (my darling cat and favourite "living decoration") in tow, I proceed to try and find space around our humbly sized apartment for each special piece. From garlands of autumnally hued (artificial) leaves to grinning ghost candles, plastic pumpkins to a box for Halloween candy that’s shaped like a treasure chest and which moans out a beguiling invitation for trick-or-treaters to take a sweet from its confines each time it’s opened, each item eventually finds a nook or cranny to call its own for the season.

While not huge by any stretch of the imagination, this fun collection is one that I began when we moved back to Canada from Europe in 2006 (I’d had prior collections of Halloween decorations, but sadly various moves throughout my life resulted in them not being able to come with me on my journeys). Each year it gets a little larger, though I find that these days I’m much more about finding pieces that really speak to my aesthetic tastes rather than just amassing any old thing with a bat, witch or goblin on it.

As time goes I hope to be able to enrich my collection of decorations with more vintage looking (or even genuinely old school) items, which got me thinking about the fact that there are so many wonderful decorations on the market these days that look as though they could have easily been plucked right out of a house during the early to mid twentieth century (and/or from the decor of a Victorian abode).

With the countdown to Halloween in full swing, and visions of festive home decor swirling through my mind, I thought it would be oodles of fun to launch a five part blog post series (one post to be added – all things willing – each week between now and October 31st) devoted to celebrating Halloween in vintage style (each post will cover a different element related to celebrating Halloween in vintage style).

As I know many of my fellow Hallweenistas also begin decking their halls with spooky decor around this time of the year, I decided to kick off this string of posts with a look at some of the marvellous antique and vintage looking Halloween decorations that are to be found online these days.

So on that note, let’s take a gander at twenty five of eerie, beautiful, imaginative, and sometimes downright adorable Halloween decorations that are sure to make vintage lovers everywhere swoon!


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{Subtle sparkle and timeless elegance fill this charming paper mache piece with a hearty dose of vintage appeal. Featuring a sweet little witch (complete with straw broom and black cat) perched on a crescent moon, this piece has a countrified yet entirely graceful air about it that would work in a multitude of different decor settings. Paper mache and resin “Witch on Moon” hanging decoration, $85.75 from A Vintage Holiday.}


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{Whether you use it to jot down your Halloween menu, keep track of party dates, or write spooky messages that seem as though they were penned by an otherworldly spectre, this strikingly pretty 14 x 18 inch blackboard wall sticker is sure to come in handy all season long. “Retro Blackboard in Rectangle” chalkboard wall decal sticker, $7.99 from ModCloth.}


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{This frighteningly cute trio of plush decorations is ripe with vintage allure, thanks to their old school colour pallet and grinning faces that call to mind Halloween decorations from the 1920s or 30s. “Freaky Felt Ornaments”, $19.00 (for all three) from Wisteria.}


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{Like something extracted from the stately office of an eccentric Victoria madman – or perhaps the baron of spooky literature, Edgar Allen Poe – this morbid, yet deeply beautiful, skull shaped desk clock is sort of conversation piece that will hold its engaging appeal for centuries to come. Wood finish resin “Skull Clock” with bronze detailing, $34.95 from Z Gallerie.}


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{This fantastically old fashioned looking, nine piece set features a frightfully cute cast of Halloween characters that clearly show building blocks aren’t just for toddlers! Vintage inspired Halloween block set, $29.99 from Christmas Traditions.} 


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{No need to fear this tablecloth, for the black bats it boasts are woven out of polyester lace and can’t possibly come alive and nest in your hair ;-) What they can do though is add a sweetly scary dose of winged mischief to your favourite tabletop. “Batty Black Lace Round Table Topper”, measuring 44 inches, $29.99 from Plasticland.}


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{If ever there was one of those “doesn’t this beat all?!” moments, spying this incredibly cool self-propelled broom was one of them for me! :) Like something out of a Disney movie come to life (think Fantasia or Beauty and Beast), these rustic looking, battery operated plastic brooms spring to life as if by magic when someone makes noise near them, and are just the thing to entertain Halloween enthusiasts both young and old alike. “Self-propelled (16.4 x 44 inch) Dancing Witch’s Broom”, $49.00 from GrandinRoad.}


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{Cast from an original 1930s mold, this black, orange and yellow hanging lantern is made from embossed die cut cardboard panels that allow light to shine through when you place a candle or (much safer) an electric or LED light inside. “Spooky Halloween (German) Lantern”, $14.95 from Blümchen & Company.}


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{While some witches are depicted as gnarled, wart ridden, hideously ugly creatures, this fetchingly beautiful young woman in anything but! Adorn your walls with this five piece decal set and add a sublimely elegant hit of fashionable Victorian inspired art to any room in your (haunted) house. “Bewitching Witch” wall decal decoration set, $10.00 from Colonial Candle.}



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{String up a wealth of vintage charm with this midnight black and pumpkin hued garland, which features jolly crepe paper and ribbon accents that are sure to bring out the trick-or-treat spirit in anyone. “Retro Halloween” garland, $24.99 from etsy seller Flapper Girl (who has several other wonderful Halloween themed garlands, vintage style aprons, and other items in her shop).}



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{Dripping with sparkling chandelier crystals, this stately candelabra looks as though it could be treasured family heirloom – perhaps from the decrypted mansion of a pair of old spinster aunts, the likes of which every neighbourhood child was certain was haunted. With places for five tapper candles and measuring a respectable 21 inches tall, this chic black cast metal candle holder is the sort of ornate, gorgeous piece you’ll want to keep out long after the witching hour has passed! “Midnight Candelabra”, $29.95 from Z Gallerie.} 



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{Though it might not actually scare off too many would-be Halloween night pranksters, this immensely cute sign (is it just me, or does anyone else think there are too few pink Halloween decor items?) is sure to make naughty and nice witches and mere mortals alike grin every time they see it. “Neighbourhood Witch Metal Wall Sign”, £4.95 from dotcomgiftshop.}



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{Whether you send your little gremlins out the door with these adorable vintage inspired, screenprinted jute tote bags for a night of trick-or-treating, or use them as decor pieces around your home (wouldn’t they work beautifully as centerpieces?), these delightfully fun bags are sure to elicit jack-o-lantern worthy smiles from all who see them. 11.5 x 20 inch “Big Bad Totes”, $16.00 (for all 3) from Wisteria.}



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{More sweet than sinister, this timelessly pretty vintage reproduction poster of a sleeping lass with fairies encircling her as she rests, is the sort of sublime artwork that is sure to set your Halloween home decor apart from the masses. “Halloween Girl” 12 x 16 inch reproduction poster, $7.99 from Amazon.com.}



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{Crafted from naturally sustainable rattan, this cute brown owl presides over autumnal decor with a sagely expression upon its face, all the while glowing beautifully thanks to fifty miniature lights . "Decorative Owl with Lights", measuring 29 inches tall, $129.00 from Pottery Barn.}



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{Reproduced from original 1920s designs, these amusingly cute, large-size paperboard die-cuts are perfect for any spot in your house that could use a playful jolt of Halloween cheer. Three piece (cat, bat, and pumpkin) set of Halloween cut-outs (complete with black string hangers on the back so that they can easily and quickly be hung anywhere you like), $3.00 from Blümchen & Company.} 



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{Anyone who says that advent calendars are reserved for Christmas and Christmas alone has obviously never seen this utterly fantastic Halloween version! What better way to count down the sleeps until All Hallow’s Eve than with this beautiful black, cream and orange tin and wire calendar? “31 Days Till Halloween” (33 x 24 inch) advent calendar, $105.25 from A Vintage Holiday.}



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{Drape a focal window (or doorway) in your home with this sleek black damask lace valance sporting a wickedly appealing skull and wing pattern, and watch as your decor magically transform from everyday ordinary to spookily extraordinary! “Batty Skulls” sheer black lace window valance, $24.00 from Plasticland.}



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{Let your sweet tooth run wild after filling up these darling vintage looking wooden nesting boxes with your favourite Halloween goodies – after all, October 31st comes but once a year, why not indulge in a (fanged) bite or two of candy? Four piece set of Halloween nesting boxes (measuring 12, 11, 10, and 9 inches, respectively), $59.99 from Christmas Traditions.}



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{This stunningly beautiful, intricately handmade Halloween wreath is crafted from vintage and modern paper to form a home decor item that is worthy of becoming a treasured heirloom. Measuring approximately 17 inches, this captivating raven bedecked wreath is available for $65.00 from etsy seller Simple Joys Paperie.} 



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{Far more cute than chilling, these all-weather acrylic floor mats from Martha Stewart's Halloween line exude lovely vintage charm and are sure to bring happiness to all who make their way to your door this holiday season. “Creature Mats” in either Owl (32 x 36 inches) or Cat (34 x 36 inches), $79.00 (each) from GrandinRoad.}



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{Play a mischievous (but entirely good-natured) trick on your Halloween guests by offering them a dish full of these lovely trompe L'oeil patterned candies, then sit back and watch the giggles ensue as they pick up these sweets and realize they are in fact made out of glass not sugar! Eight piece set of glass “Old Time Halloween Candies” (which come packaged in a cute little box), $10.95 from Blümchen & Company.}



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{Conjure up the golden age of advertising with this whimsical pair of beautiful antique looking tin signs, measuring in at 10 x 16 inches each. “Black Hat Society” and “Harvest Moon” metal signs, $19.99 (for both) from A Vintage Holiday.}



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{Give your guests (and unsuspecting housemates) a tiny fright when they peer into the soap dish in your powder room and see this old school looking anatomical heart design peering up at them from within the confines of a bar of absinthe scented soap. 4oz bar of glycerin soap, $5.00 from etsy seller Steam Bath Factory.}




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{Send an instantaneous chill up the spine of anyone who dares to come near your home on Halloween night, with this playfully spooky array of large scale silhouette cut-outs made from heavy-duty plywood covered with jet black paint. “Martha Stewart Halloween Yard Silhouettes”, available in “Witch” ($149.00) and “Three Halloween Cats” ($49.00 for the set), from GrandinRoad.}




{Please note that unless otherwise stated, all prices above are in US dollars.}


Aren’t these pieces positively spellbinding? Though modern creations, each one emanates gorgeous vintage charm and style, making them timeless treasures that you’ll want to display year after year.

Decorating for Halloween with vintage flare doesn’t have to be a tricky or complicated affair. Seek out pieces in muted tones of black, beige, orange, and yellow, as well as burgundy, green, gold, purple, and cream, then look for elements such as old school artwork, metal components, paper mache creations, items that look as they were handmade and/or handed down from your grandparents, and those with a country charm or shabby chic look to them. Go with decorations that you love and you’re bound to create a stylish Halloween setting that any witch, vampire or ghost would be proud to call their own! :-)


18 comments:

  1. What a great selection of spooky stuff.
    Love that broom and wouldn't mind a set of those blocks myself (just to name two).

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  2. great finds, I love that broom! the owl is too cute and I've always loved that last silhouette from Grandin Road!

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  3. Great post! It's the most wonderful time of the year. :)

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  4. I need that broom! It is so neat. :)

    I, too, love Halloween. I adore it. My collection of decor isn't very big, but I'm working on it. I want to put up fake spidey webs out in my patio area, but I worry actual spiders will take up residence. Ew.

    So good to see you back in the blogging world, dear. :)

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  5. What great Halloween goodies! We don't really celebrate Halloween here in the UK, but I would happily fill the house with pumpkins!

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  6. Fantastic post! I adore vintage Halloween decore. It makes me want to decorate my house for Halloween tonight.

    Best Wishes,
    Amanda

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  7. Wow, hasnt halloween come up quickly!
    I adore the halloween word with the little characters on top :) oh amd the little plush decorations.

    Rose

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  8. (Usually) my favorite time of year! This year, for some reason, I've been less than enthused about decorating for it.
    Your post has just gotten me so excited though! Thanks, I'm off to order some pumpkin die cuts!

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  9. Fantastic decorations! I did a little yesterday but I want more!

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  10. I love your blog! I am your follower! I invite you to follow me as well! Enjoy your week!!

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  11. i just saw ur blog and it's amazing :))

    http://ps-u.blogspot.com

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  12. Thanks Jessica for this post. I have followed every vintage Halloween site on the internet since 2006 and discovered Wisteria just this year. I bought their 3 bag set and they really are wonderful. I will check them again next year! Betty

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  13. I just found this post via Pinterest and have decided I want you to write all of my descriptions from now on! Thank you! :)
    Lana / Simple Joys Paperie

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    1. Awww, thank you very much, Lana, that's such a sweet compliment. I'm so happy you discovered my site and am off to explore yours right now.


      Joyful holiday wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  14. Hi! Any clue where to get the green with wall decal now? Its the $10 set I love it but I guess I missed out!

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    1. Hi there, thank you very much for your comment. I'm afraid I don't. I just tried checking eBay and about seven of my favourite online shops for Halloween decorations, and no one has it in stock any more. If I see it for sale anywhere or one like it, I will post here in the comments of this post immediately.

      Happy Halloween countdown!

      ♥ Jessica

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  15. Great collection, I especially love the witchy ornament. Superb detail on her!

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    1. Thank you very much! It's awesome that this festive time of the year is rounding the bend again. I love autumn and Halloween to no end and will have many more seasonal posts here this time around, too.

      Wishing you a beautiful, fun filled fall!
      ♥ Jessica

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