DIY White and Gold Light-Up Halloween Pumpkin Makeover

Autumn is just around the corner and it’s time to start decorating! First up, Halloween! I absolutely love Halloween, but it’s not really my personal style to do a lot of gore or tons of orange and black in my home. One of the things I like to do with my Halloween decor is try to make it fit in with my home’s existing style. Here’s a really quick and easy way I updated a pre-lit, cheapy plastic pumpkin that I found for for $6. Isn’t he cute?

DIY Gold and White Halloween Light-Up Pumpkin (4).jpgSpray paint. That’s all you need. I went with gold and white of course.

DIY Gold and White Halloween Light-Up Pumpkin (3).jpgI painted the entire pumpkin with white satin paint (satin or gloss work best) and then sprayed the stem gold. I didn’t use tape or anything around the stem because I like the way the gold over-spray looks on the top of the pumpkin.

diy-gold-and-white-halloween-light-up-pumpkin-2

Cute, right?! I think I’m going to have to pick up a few more pumpkins and try different colors.

before-and-after-pumpkin

Anyway, easy peasy! Super cute and fits in perfectly with the rest of my decor.

diy-gold-and-white-halloween-light-up-pumpkin

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Devil’s Booze Cake Recipe

If you’re in the mood for something super rich, chocolate-y, and boozy for your Halloween shindig, I’ve got the perfect cake for you. It’s a chocolate cake soaked in coffee flavored vodka, with gooey dulce de leche in between the layers and on top, and finished with black sea salt. It basically tastes like a boozy candy bar. In the words of Ina Garten, “How bad could that be?”. It’s perfect for Halloween! Or for when you’re generally feeling dark and want to eat your feelings, have PMS, etc. This cake has no limits, but it really is most perfect for Halloween.

Let’s bake.
Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama
This recipe was adapted from Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup coffee or espresso flavored vodka
Black Hawaiian Sea Salt for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and dust the pans with cocoa powder. (I like to flour chocolate cake pans with cocoa powder. I think this gives it a nicer finish.)

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make your dulce de leche. Place two cans of sweetened condensed milk to a pot of simmering water. Make sure the cans are completely submerged in water or they will explode. Simmer for 3-4 hours. Remove from water and let cool to the touch. Be cautious of opening cans. If they are still too hot they may splatter.

Once cakes are cooled, use a tooth pick to poke small holes around the layer. Brush the coffee flavored vodka onto each layer (about 1/2 cup each layer). Let the cake soak up the vodka.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. Pour a good amount of dulce de leche on and spread around. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and pour remaining dulce de leche on top and let it run down the sides.

Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama

Top with a sprinkle of black sea salt. SO. GOOD.

Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama

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: Ouija Board Serving Tray

If you want to be the Halloween hostess with the mostest, you need this Ouija board tray to serve your guests their cocktails and treats. Also, maybe conjure some spirits while you’re at it. Just kiddingggg…kind of.

You can find basic serving trays like this at most stores that sell home goods. I got mine at IKEA.

klack-tray__15449_PE082139_S4I wanted to use a classically creepy image and the Ouija board is one of the most iconic things I could think of. It works perfectly for this. I searched for the right image and decided on the William Fuld/Parker Brothers version. This is the image I associate most with the Ouija, and I like the cheekiness of the Parker Brothers name being on there. What a fun toy…and not satanic at all…it’s Parker Brothers!

oujia board
Click to download full size image.

Above is the image I used for my tray. For it to fit I had it printed at 24 x 18 on heavy paper. You can crop and resize it to fit the size of your tray and then take it to your local print shop. I went to FedEx Office.

DIY OUIJA BOARD TRAYFirst, I painted the tray black and then I cut out my Ouija image to fit in the bottom of the tray. I used Mod Podge in a matte finish to stick and seal the image on. Easy!

DIY OUIJA BOARD TRAYIt looks legit right? I just hope the wine glasses don’t start moving over the letters to spell things out. Although, I’m sure if I drink enough wine it’ll look like that anyway.

DIY OUIJA BOARD TRAY

DIY: IKEA FADO Lamp Turned Jack-o-Lantern

I can be a bit of a Halloween traditionalist, you guys. I like my October nights lit by the faces of Jack-o-lanterns and I like those Jack-o-lantern faces to be classic. However, I still like to mix things up sometimes, and get serious, it’s not exactly practical for me to have carved pumpkins sitting around as light sources for the entire month. When I saw the orange FADO at IKEA, I didn’t just see a colorful orb lamp, I saw a potential Jack-o-lantern.

fado-table-lamp__0275795_PE413950_S4

The FADO is a pretty cool lamp on its own. It has a spherical shape that is a throwback to the mid-century space age era and it gives off a nice, soft, glowing light.

Pulling this off is really as simple as drawing or painting a Jack-o-lantern face onto the lamp. I used chalk to draw my ideal face shapes and then painted over it using a charcoal colored chalk paint. You can use a sharpie, a paint pen, or whatever you’d like. I just liked the chalk paint texture against the frosted glass of the FADO. It also looked more vintage to me that way.

IKEA FIDO Lamp turned Jack-o-Lantern

I love this little guy. Look how cute he is! And the glow sets the perfect mood light for Halloween movie watching.

IKEA FIDO Lamp turned Jack-o-Lantern

 

DIY: Golden Snake Halloween Wreath

I’m the type of person that likes to put something on the front door that lets everyone know “HEY WE’RE FESTIVE AND STUFF”. We live in an apartment so I can’t put any crazy lawn ornaments up and we don’t get any cute little trick or treaters but you will have to pry my front door decor from my cold dead hands. Anyway here’s this year’s wreath!

I decided to go against the traditional circle shape and used an oval grapevine wreath as my base and used plastic spiders and a rubber snake and mice to decorate it. I got these items at Michael’s.

DIY Halloween Wreath Idea

Obviously these things aren’t really my style on their own so I hit up my stash of crafting supplies.

DIY Halloween Wreath Idea

I painted the entire snake gold using a coat of Martha Stewart’s metallic paint in Golden Pearl and then a coat of Martha Stewart’s liquid gilding in gold over the top scales. SHINY! I painted a few of the spiders too.

DIY Halloween Wreath Idea

Then, I painted the mice black using Martha Stewart craft paint and added a little bit of ‘hair’ on their backs with Martha Stewart’s onyx tinsel glitter.

I also sprayed the wreath black and then lightly brushed it with Martha Stewart’s Black Vintage Decor Paint to add some more depth and creepiness.

DIY Halloween Wreath Idea

 

I used hot glue to affix everything to the wreath and then used black sheer ribbon to hang it. Tada!

DIY Halloween Wreath Idea

DIY: How To Make Your Own Decorative Halloween Candles

It’s almost time to break out the Halloween goodies! If you like DIYing your way throughout the holidays, this is the craft for you.
DIY Halloween Candles

I’m pretty into candles. They make great decorations, they add pretty light to a room, and sometimes they smell pretty good. Have you seen some of the prices on decorative candles though? Oof. Just get crafty and make your own.

You need the following things:

Candles
Wax Paper
Tissue Paper
Rubber Stamps or InkJet Printer
Colored Pencils and Pens
Heat/Embossing Tool or (very hot) Blowdryer

First, you start with tissue paper. Place your image on the shiny, smooth side of the paper. You can use a rubber stamp, draw your own image, or use a printer to create your images. Then cut them out as close to the edge as possible.

DIY Stamped Halloween Candles

If you’re not a rubber stamp collector or a particularly great drawer and prefer to print your images like I did, just tape a piece of tissue paper to a piece of standard printer paper and feed it through. You can find images and clipart to download all over the internet. Resize them in a photo editing program to fit your candle size.

DIY Halloween Candles

Color them in with pencils and add additional details with a ballpoint pen if you want.

DIY Halloween Candles

Once you’re done with that it’s time to adhere the images to the candle. Use a little bit of glue stick to stick your tissue paper to the candle.

DIY Halloween CandlesDIY Halloween Candles

Then wrap a piece of wax paper around the candle and over your tissue paper cut-out. Use your heat tool to melt the wax paper. You’ll know when it’s melted because the image will get clearer and you won’t be able to see the edges of the tissue paper cut-out anymore. I used a heat gun but a very hot blowdryer will work as well. Using your blowdryer’s concentrator nozzle attachment is a good idea. Don’t over do it! You don’t want to warp the candle. DIY Halloween CandlesDIY Halloween Candles

Once you peel off the wax paper you’ll see that the tissue paper cut-outs are embedded and sealed in a new later of wax. Make sure you use a fresh piece of wax paper for each candle to get a clean, smooth finish.
DIY  Halloween CandlesDone! Simple custom DIY printed decorative Halloween candles.

DIY  Halloween Candles