For thiese projects you can make like Martha and make them from scratch OR... make like Sandra Lee and make it Semi-Homemade. I saw potential in these simple RIP pre-made tombstones I picked up on sale last year at Party City for about $5 each. I already had some decorative paper with a scroll design on it... so I thought I could print some sayings on the paper and glue them to the space on the stones - which is what I did...

But these weren't just any sayings for Halloween. Since these were for a work party, and ironically it was going to be my last day, I gathered up the marketing ad slogans used during my sixteen years with the company (JCPenney). Here they are in no particular order, although I did include the years they were used in ad campaigns...

Here Lies The Legend of Aventura 1994 - 2009
(lol - that was me)

Sound familiar?


another HA!

I could have just left them the way they were, but I wasn't liking the way it looked like I just stuck something to the tombstone. So to help age its look, I used a trick I learned from an old worker of mine - Kathy. She was a master at spray painting props....

By spraying the edges with a mist of black, it helped add dimension.
And a trick to help blend and age the paper to the tombstone is called spitting.

It's a little harder to do with the new larger spray nozzles, but if you're using DESIGN MASTER SPRAY PAINT - don't press down all the way. Sort of tilt the nozzle back a bit and it spits. PRACTICE first on scraps to get the hang of it

DESIGN MASTER SPRAY PAINT is specially formulated to NOT eat away and melt Styrofoam. It's a craft paint and it can be used on paper, Styrofoam and even flowers (have you ever needed just the right shade of pink or coral and couldn't find it fresh? Get a color that's close or white and spray it.) I used it also on this black foamcore chandelier (I found online at Urban Outfitters for only $35). It was delivered broken - and the piece was missing. I traced one of the other good pieces onto black foam core. Although I did hot glue it, the seam was noticeable, so I used some black electrical tape over it, which helped re-enforce it as well (when hung in the space, you couldn't tell).

After the mess of making the props is done,
it was time to place them in the space...

You could set your tombstones in a grouping...
The ghost above is actually window decor - two panels for under $5.

Or use them to create scenes in your space...

Don't think this guy made it to Dancing With The Stars...

Lunchroom in process...

Simple vinyl covers, gauze runners, and the Jack-O-Centerpieces
actually help transform this space to the best it's ever looked...
(Now THAT is scary... lol)

And the chandelier helped dress the meeting room - adjacent to the lunchroom...

Getting the meeting room set up, I used some of the vinyl tablecover roll to create swags in the ceiling, leading to the chandelier...

(sorry the pic is fuzzy)
I set the meeting room tables zig-zag for a buffet luncheon. The round tables at the points gave extra table space for food. Plates, utensils, and desserts were on the other tables opposite the buffet.

The cats on the left & right were another package of two window decor  I picked up at Party City for under $5. The witch silhouette IS courtesy of Marth - I found it online last year. It's for a window. I used the same concept, and enlarged the image on the store copy machine. It was like a puzzle - I put together the pieces to make one large image. I spray mounted it to poster board. I cut out a template which I then used to trace onto black foamcore.

After cutting her out, I used a 36" round glass top to trace a circle for the moon (also cut from foamcore). I used square scraps behind each layer when I hot glued it all together to the one 8' x 4' sheet of black foamcore. Again, this helped to give the silhouette dimension... along with a few more bats. The spider web overlay is just a scrap of material I got at Jo Ann's fabrics and draped over orange satin cloths already on hand.

The associate hallway got a little spooky transformation as well.
I utilized some of the meeting room tables I had removed to create space inside - outside in the hall for (non-alcoholic) drinks. Old plexi inserts (on the wall) spelled out the upcoming event. I cut in half a bloody vinyl table cover to band the wall under the plexi. I gave a jagged cut to the bottom of edge of the black tablecovers. Ice filled coolers were stored under the tables. Cups and more bottle were above. Even the mens room door at the end of the hallway got a bloody door cover (I think it was only $3 at Party City).

To make some ghosts, I utilized some unsued display forms, tablecloths, newspaper and tape. I made a ball of newspaper, using masking tape to help maintain its shape. After I got the right size, I used an exacto blade to cut a whole on the bottom of the ball. The display form finial  (neck piece) was used for it to sit on. I secured it with more masking tape, draped the white cloth over it, and cut out poster board for black eyes I just pinned from outside. Eight of these were needing to get made, so after I made the first two, I asked my girls (the Visual Team) to make the others for the space.

I used another branch (I LOVE using branches!!) hung from the ceiling to hang the Happy Halloween banner from. This created a great little space as a backdrop for picture taking!

Yup... That's me and Jeff.
I was the "Legend of Aventura" and he was a Pirate...

Me and Jackie (as Cruella)

Me and my old boss on my last day....
Now he's a ghost... and I'm a witch.... lol

It was FUN decorating the space and it was also
Occupational Therapy... =) My costume was semi-home-made also... More about that in another post tomorrow...

Happy Halloween!!



  1. love the creativity. the room is fabulous. I also read below how to make your pumpkin centerpieces. great ideas. thanks for sharing.

  2. Very cool way to arrange the tables! Love the branches and tombstones! :) I'll have to try that ^^



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