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Halloween decorating and making your own spell book

I hate scary movies, but I love creepy Halloween decorations. Go figure. 

So every season my son and I dig out the skeletons, skulls, and other creepy-crawlies to liven up the front yard. I really wanted to do something different this year – less cheesy. Less cheap scare, more Fall, with a touch of the hair-raising, in a subtle way. But, it didn’t happen. I had hoped to have a hoard of time and money to shop for new things. Neither happened. So, we went with our usual. 

The only part of the outdoors I am really happy with are the crows. Why? Because the pizza delivery guy told me that this one scared the hell out of him! I don’t blame him. (Have you seen Hitchcok’s The Birds??)
Here’s a couple of the indoor vignettes…

The only real fun I had with decorating for the 31st has been the “mad-scientist lab,” as I like to call it. I saw this idea on Pinterest and more or less just stole it!

To think I bought these apothecary jars for a baby shower I hosted last year! This one now holds my son’s rubber snake!

These lovely cloches were scored at Great Gatherings during a 75% off sale! I got such a deal on them! And doesn’t the skull look creepy in there!
I found these jar labels online. Gotta love free printables! I can’t remember where I found these. If you Google search images for Halloween printables, you’re bound to find them!
Another snake in a jar, with little mice scampering over things on the table!  I wish I had a realistic looking frog! How can a household with a 7-year old boy not have a fake frog??
My only real project was making this spell book. This was also an idea found online – and easily recreated! Below are the simple steps (so simple you don’t really need steps, but I’ll list them for you all who insist on complete tutorials)!
I bought this big dictionary at a local used bookstore. Only $1.00!! And fortunately for me, it already had a black board cover. Look for a thick book – it doesn’t matter if its old, you can make it look old.
1) Find a big, thick book, with black board cover. If you can’t get a black cover, paint your cover black.
2) I used a wet sponge to moisten all the edges of the pages. Let it dry. 
3) Design two sheets to look like an old spell book. Again, there’s a lot of wording examples on the net. I found both of these “recipes” on the net. I used an old-fashioned gothic style font and designed using Adobe InDesign. I downloaded the free skull and snake images from The Graphics Fairy
4) Next, open to the center of the book. Spray each side with spray-mount glue and stick down your newly designed sheets.
5) Then, I antiqued the page edges and two new sheets with Annie Sloan’s dark wax. I just brushed a small amount on with a paint brush and it looks beautifully old!
6) I took my wet sponge again and went over the edges of the pages and started to roll them with my fingers. They dried slightly rolled up and look great!
7) Last, I grabbed an old black ribbon, cut a forked end, and just draped it across the open book, and tucked the other end under the book. I didn’t even attach it, as I don’t expect anyone will be touching this evil-looking thing! (insert bewitching laugh here)
And that’s it – the hardest part was driving 30 minutes to the used book store!
Now that the house is all decked for Halloween, I can’t wait to take it all down and start putting up my Christmas things! Damn, two more weeks until Trick-or-Treat.
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