DIY Decor: Simple Halloween Living Room Decorating Ideas

My husband and I are pretty big fans of all things creepy so it totally makes sense that Halloweentime tops our list as the best time of the year. I wish I had a house that I could deck out for trick or treaters, but I have to make do with decorating my apartment for my own personal enjoyment.

Here’s what I’ve got going on so far.

Halloween Gallery Wall via MelodramaI have a colorful gallery wall above my sofa that features vintage illustrations. In honor of Halloween I kept it colorful and replaced the pictures with vintage Halloween themed advertisements and magazine covers.

Vintage Halloween Adverts via Melodrama Halloween Gallery Wall via Melodrama

Over on the other side of the room I used my DIY Halloween candles and hand painted IKEA FADO Jack o’Lantern lamp. I like to cast photography and art on our TV when it’s not in use. It makes it feel less like a big, black, empty square on the wall. For this I’ve been casting creepy photos and vintage Halloween greeting cards. Cuuuute, right?

Halloween Decor via Melodrama

And then there’s the bar (AKA my favorite corner). I kept it simple with black decorations. Because the room is already so colorful I didn’t want anything to clash too much. Black decorations bring the creep vibe, but don’t take away from the existing decor. I made black pennant garlands with Martha Stewart Crafts Pennant Garland Punch and used “Poison” and “Potion” bottles to Halloweenify the shelves. Oh and my DIY Ouija board tray!


Halloween Bar Decor via MelodramaHalloween Bar Decor via Melodrama

I tried not to go overboard this year, but still have a lot of fun with it. What do you think?! For more decor ideas be sure to follow along with me on Instagram @melodramablog.

DIY Decor: Metallic Gold IKEA EKBY BJÄRNUM Bar Shelves

One of the main challenges I always have while decorating my apartment is finding the decor I envision, at the prices I want. Neither of those are ever easy. Either I can’t find what I have in mind, or when I get close, somehow it’s the most expensive item in the store. I can drool over those high ticket items all I want, but let’s get serious, I’m no Rockefeller.

But it’s ok! This is where my handy-dandy DIY skills get to shine. This is where I get to do my favorite task of trying to figure out how to get the look I want for as little money as possible.

DIY Gold IKEA Bar Shelves For example, I wanted to expand my home bar area by adding 3 shelves above my bar cart. I wanted them to be gold to match said bar cart. My search pretty much turned up empty except for one option that was almost the right dimensions (from a store that will remain nameless) for over $100 per shelf. My other option was an IKEA favorite of mine that I’ve been keeping my eye on for a bit, and it just so happens that the EKBY JÄRPEN/EKBY BJÄRNUM combo was the perfect size, style, and price I was going for. The only drawback was that the brackets are only available in aluminum. Womp, womp.

EASY FIX.

DIY Gold EKBY BJARNUM IKEA Shelves via MelodramaThe right choice for me was clear and I’m glad I made it. Did I want to spend $300 on shelves from Unnamed Store, or around $60 for IKEA shelves and a can of spray paint? Um. DUH. The way I see it is if I can spend $60 total on a DIY version and use the extra $200+ toward other fun things like going away for the weekend or, I dont know, paying my bills, you’re damn straight I’m taking that route.

DIY Gold IKEA BJARNUM Shelves via MelodramaLet’s all just take a moment to reflect on the magic of spray paint. All I did was spray the brackets and screws with metallic gold chrome paint and it completely changed the vibe of the shelves. Done and done. So easy.

DIY Gold IKEA BJARNUM Shelves via MelodramaI styled them with the help of my growing glass and bareware collection, and a DIY framed print.

DIY Gold IKEA BJARNUM Shelves via Melodrama

Shelves: IKEA
Paint: Montana Gold – Metallic Goldchrome
Glassware: Baigelman Glass, Crate & Barrel, Target, Vintage
Bar Cart: Target
Chair: Vintage DIY
Floor Lamp: IKEA
Dresser: Vintage DIY
Lamps: Target

DIY: Día de los Muertos Sugar Skull Pumpkin Idea

Growing up Mexican-American I grew up celebrating Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). I remember visiting my family in Mexico and going to the cemetery where families would bring gifts, food, and build colorful, elaborate altars (ofrendas) for their loved ones. People would stay all night, often dressing up and painting their faces like skulls.

This tradition is especially popular in LA. For the past 15 years the Hollywood Forever cemetery has been holding yearly Día de los Muertos events with food, contests, and live entertainment. It’s the perfect opportunity to join in and learn more about Mexican culture. 

I always try to bring elements of Dia de los Muertos into my October decorating, so for my first pumpkin of the season I decided on a Día de los Muertos theme.
Dia de los Muertos themed pumpkin #12monthsofmartha

If you celebrate Día de los Muertos and want to make this for your ofrenda, or maybe just want to show some love for Mexican culture at your home, here’s how to make your own skull pumpkin. You can use a real pumpkin or a faux pumpkin. I want to keep mine long term, so I chose faux.

I started by painting a calavera (skull) on to the pumpkin. If you’re bad at drawing, just search Google for “sugar skull templates” and use it to trace a skull on. Then paint it in with lots of color.

Finish your calaca (skeleton character) off by gluing a crown of flowers around the skull. Marigolds, roses, and other colorful flowers are most authentic. 

And that’s it!
Dia de los Muertos themed pumpkin #12monthsofmartha

DIY: Stamped Metal Decanter Tags | 12 Months of Martha

I’ve always loved the look of bars with fancy liquor decanters adorned with pretty tags naming what liquors they contain. They always remind me of scenes in TV shows and movies where someone grabs a bottle and aggressively pours a shot of some sort of brown liquor into a glass. Then they either shoot it down or just sort of roll it around in their hands while looking very pensive. It’s very dramatic, and I’m all about drama. It’s also super classy and vintage and I’m all about that too. What I’m trying to say is I like decanters with tags and I wanted to add some of that flair to my bar at home.DIY Stamped Metal Decanter Tags #12MonthsofMartha
I always see decanter tags at flea markets, but I never seem to snatch them up. Probably because they’re either too expensive or they’re not the right style. Recently I added some shelves and revamped my bar, so I picked up some new liquor decanters and decided to DIY some decanter tags using my new Martha Stewart Crafts metalworking tools.

Here’s all you have to do. It’s super simple and it took me less than 20 minutes.

Tools I Used-

Martha Stewart Crafts Metalworking Metallic Sheets
Martha Stewart Crafts Metalworking Alphabets Stamp Kit
Martha Stewart Crafts Metalworking Tool Kit
Martha Stewart Crafts Metalworking Awl

DIY Stamped Metal Decanter Tags #12MonthsofMartha

All you have to do is just cut a piece of metal to your desired dimensions and shape. I did a simple rectangle shape. I wanted my piece to be a little thicker, so I simply cut it to twice my desired height. That way I could fold it over and the metal would be doubled for more heft.

DIY Stamped Metal Decanter Tags  #12MonthsofMarthaThen I simply stamped my letters right into the metal. I used the awl to make the holes for my cord and to deepen any letters that didn’t get stamped deep enough. You can also use the awl to add more detail or filigree if you want.

DIY Stamped Metal Decanter Tags  #12MonthsofMartha

Simple! Done! Think of all the things you can use this technique for. Gift tags, food labels, etc, etc, etc.

Be sure to check out my other 12 Months of Martha projects and keep up with me and the rest of the #12MonthsofMartha bloggers on Instagram!

DIY Decor: Braziliant Decoupage Banana Leaf Chair

Once upon a time, I came home and there was a huge box at my door. I didn’t know what it was, because I hadn’t ordered anything, so I was kind of freaked out that a giant clown person was going to pop out and scare the guts out of me. I cautiously checked the label and hauled the big lug inside. Inside was a white molded plastic chair from INMOD. They sent it to in hopes that I could put my own spin on it and maybe dress it up a bit to make it my own personal style. Challenge accepted.

White molded chair from INMODI paced back and forth in front of the Eames style chair thinking. Then I turned my back toward it and glanced over my shoulder suddenly to see if I would see “it”. Then I talked to it, asking it to speak to me. I’M BEING SO DRAMATIC. I didn’t actually do any of that. I just let it sit around in my living room until I figured out what I wanted to do. Which came to me pretty quickly.

Since it’s plastic I knew I could easily decoupage it. I’m always inspired by Dorothy Draperesque brazilliance vibes, so I decided to use this banana print that you’ve probably seen before. (PERHAPS AS THE BACKGROUND ON THIS HERE BLOG?)

Decoupaged Palm Chair via Melodrama All I had to do was print out the pattern and use an exacto knife to cut out the leaves. Then I pieced the pattern together and glued it to the chair using decoupage medium, making sure to smooth out the bubbles, and seal with a few more coats of the medium to seal it. Decoupaged Palm Chair via MelodramaThen I spray painted the legs coral and gilded the black metal and screws. DONE!

Decoupage Banana Leaf Chair via Melodrama Voila!

Decoupaged Banana Leaf Chair via MelodramaNow it fits right in and gives me a little taste of those Brazilliant vibes.

Decoupaged Banana Leaf Chair via Melodrama

DIY Decor: Mid-Century Inspired Dining Room Wall Stencil [Part 1]

I’d grown really bored of having plain greige walls in my dining room for awhile now and wanted to add something a little more interesting to the small space. First, I painted my front door a bright shade of coral, but that just made the actual walls feel even more boring.

Since I rent and can’t exactly put up wallpaper, so I had to rely on paint or decals. I didn’t want to paint the entire room a different color so I decided to try stenciling. I had trouble finding a design that suited my style, until I found Cutting Edge Stencils.

It was hard to choose, but I went with the Beads Allover pattern. It has the mid-century vibe that I needed to pull together the style of my home. I could have gotten fancy with different colors of paint, but I just went with standard black so the rest of the colors I plan on bringing into the room will pop.

I was nervous, but I’m happy to report that these stencils are amazing and easy to use. You just tape the stencil to the wall and roll your paint right over it. You can the look of wallpaper, but the ease of being able to just paint right over it.

Wall stencils by Cutting Edge Stencils via Melodrama

Wall Stencils by Cutting Edge Stencils via Melodrama

I was done in a jiffy! No more boring wall.

Mid-century inspired stenciled wall via Melodrama

Tada! I love it so much I’ve decided to continue it all around the room! Stay tuned for part 2 of my stenciling extravaganza.

DIY: Patrón Bottle Cantina Lights | The Art of Patrón

Alright, guys. Here’s my last Art of Patrón bottle art contest project. This time I used mini bottles!

All you need for this is a strand of standard string lights and as many mini Patrón bottles as you can muster. Just buy a bunch and keep drinking them until you have enough. It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it.

DIY Patrón Mini Bottle Cantina Lights  via Melodrama #ArtofPatron

Drill a hole straight through the top of the cork, making it just big enough to fit the light through snuggly.

DIY Patron Cantina Lights via Melodrama

Feed the lights through the cork so only the bulb part is sticking out.

DIY Patrón Bottle Cantina Lights  via MelodramaThen just place the cork back in the bottle. These corks are snug as a bug so it should hold nicely.

DIY Patron Cantina Lights via Melodrama #ArtofPatronI didn’t need to use any glue or anything, but feel free if you’re worried about the cork slipping out.

DIY Patrón Cantina Lights via Melodrama #ArtofPatron

That’s it! Patrón cantina lights perfect for taco night or bar decor.

DIY Patrón Bottle Cantina String Lights via Melodrama #ArtofPatron

Feeling inspired to create something with your Patrón bottles? Time is almost up, so if you’re going to enter you better get on it quick! The deadline for entries is July 17th. One lucky winner will win $10,000 and nine runners up will win $1,000! Click here to enter. If you need more inspo and want to see what else I’ve made using my Patrón bottles, click here.

This project was sponsored and made possible by Patrón.

DIY: Paper French Fry Holders | 12 Months of Martha

So you know those paper french fry holders you get at like every fast food place ever? Is it just me or do they somehow make the fries taste better? In any case, I wanted some to hold fries for our BBQ pool parties and realized the pillow box maker tool I got for 12 Months of Martha would be perfect. Using this tool made it so easy. I just followed the directions as I would to make a pillow box, but made a minor adjustment. I used heavy duty paper to print a design I found on Shutterstock.

 

Make DIY French Fry Holders Using Martha Stewart's Gift Box Maker #12MonthsofMarthaSee that one side where I used an exacto knife to cut out the curve? That’s it. Then fold it up as usual and fill it with delicious greasy fries.

Use Martha Stewart's Gift Box Makers to Make DIY French Fry Holders  #12MonthsofMartha

They’re so cute and fun. You can do this with onion rings and other delicious foods. These are perfect for BBQs and cookouts or picnics or whatever really. Who needs a reason other than they’re cute and they hold delicious food? Not meeee.

Use Martha Stewart's Gift Box Tool to make DIY French Fry Holders #12MonthsofMartha

Home Decor: New Lamps, New Mirrors, New Living Room Look

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ll know I’m always changing things around in my apartment. I get bored, what can I say?

My husband was traveling for work this week, so I was left alone to my own devices. That really means I had to distract myself from the fact that when he’s away I become a lonely hermit womanchild. I usually take up various projects around the house and Netflix binge until my eyes blur.

I started a few little projects this time. Mostly rearranging and switching out pictures and the sort. I also started stenciling the dining area/entry way (more on that later).

Wall Stenciling in Progress via Melodrama

Then finally on the last day I saw a light at the end of my lonely woman tunnel. I emerged from my hermit crab shell and put on actual human clothes and took myself out for a little retail therapy where I found lamps and mirrors on clearance. The lamps and shades are from Target and the mirrors are from Ross. After I bought them I promptly returned home and turned back into a crab person.

Anywayyyyy here’s what it looked like before:

Vintage dresser as living room decor via MelodramaI traded out the DIY gold brushed art for round mirrors, traded the IKEA lamps for mint ones with caned shades from Target, and used my vintage milk glass vases to hold palm clippings for a whole new look. TADA!

Vintage dresser as living room decor via Melodrama

I had to have these lamps. They remind me of vintage jadeite. I thought the caned yellow lampshades added something special too. I decided on black mirrors because I feel like it grounds the TV. Otherwise it just looks like a big black rectangle on the wall. Overall I think this all goes with the rest of the room a lot better.

Lamps: Target

Lamp Shades: Target

Vases: Vintage, Etsy

Mirrors: Ross

Dresser: Vintage, Craigslist

Bar Cart: Target

Make sure you’re following along on Instagram to see more.

DIY: Upcycled Patrón Bottle Hanging Bird Feeder

Welcome to the third installment of my Art of Patrón bottle art contest series. If you haven’t heard, Patrón is holding a contest to find the best creative ideas you can come up with using their bottles. The winner will win $10,000 and nine runners up will win $1,000 each. If you need more inspiration, check out what I’ve already made with my bottles. For rules and more details about the contest, visit the official Art of Patron page.

This project is going to blow your mind with cuteness. Ready?

DIY Patron Bottle Bird Feeder

Tada! It’s a bird feeder. Here’s how to make it.

DIY Patron Bottle Bird Feeder Tutorial

You’ll need something to cut a hole in the glass. I used a Dremel rotary tool with a diamond saw and diamond bit attachment. I first cut a hole using a diamond wheel, and then evened out the circle and enlarged it by rasping with a diamond drill bit. You don’t want to cut the little birdies’ heads off, so make sure you use a sanding bit to smooth the edges out. That is the grimmest sentence I’ve written in awhile…

ANYWAY.

Once the hole is cut, use the diamond bit to drill a small little hole just under the larger opening. Insert a skewer or small stick in there so the birdies have somewhere to stand while they nibble.

DIY Patron Bottle Bird Feeder

Next use a regular drill bit to make a hole through the cork. Pull a strong string or rope through and make a big knot on the bottom of the cork so it all stays tightly in the bottle. If you want to be extra safe, you can glue the cork into the bottle.

DIY Patron Bottle Bird Feeder Tutorial

You can decorate it or paint it how ever you’d like. Fill it with your choice of bird seed and hang it out on a tree or patio. The birds will love you. You’ll be like Cinderella! Or the bag lady from Home Alone 2! Or Tippi Hedren in The Birds… Wait, no, let’s go with Cinderella.

DIY Patron Bottle Hanging Bird Feeder

Stay tuned for my final Patrón (mini) bottle project and be sure to enter your original projects or art to the Art of Patrón bottle art contest before July 17th for your chance to win $10,000.

This project was sponsored by and made possible by Patrón.