Tuesday, October 30, 2012

5th Annual Donigard Halloween Party: The Decorations, Part 1

Here is the first part of the whopper of a post with details of the decorations from this year's Halloween Party. I wanted to give lots of details on what we did and how we did it so I'm breaking it into two parts. So stay tuned for Part 2!

The party has been at our house the last 4 years, but since the Donigans moved into their new house this year, the party graduated to a bigger space. Which meant we had even more space to decorate! 

For the entry way, Bonnie made this sweeping bat chandelier to hang above our graveyard which was opposite the "Wall of Fame." We started this last year and everyone loved being able to look at the photos of the past years' winners. It is always fun to look at all the incredible and hilarious costumes that our friends have pulled together over the years. In the Wall of Fame shot, you can also see the coffin that Bonnie made last year peeking out. What you can't see in the entry is that there were also lots of twisted paper vines around the door way into the living room and the paper fence (which you see in the Wall of Fame shot) along the wall.


For this year's trophies, I saw this idea on a blog and tweaked it a just a little bit. These are skeletons from a string of skeleton garland from Dollar Tree. I reinforced the joints with hot glue and then spray painted them gold. For 3 of the trophies I added a few little embellishments but then rest I just positioned. You can see the Best in Show, Runner up Best in Show and Best Group Costume on the right of the photo, near the skull. For Best in Show I added a crown and made a skull scepter out of a stick and one of the heads from the garland. For Runner up Best in Show, I added a smaller crown. For Best Group, I positioned two skeletons with the arms around each other and tucked a skull under the arm of one of them. Then I stained some wooded plaques from Michael's and glued the skeletons to the plaques. I then added some little tombstones (just made out a few layers of cardboard glued together and spray painted silver) with the award category written on them. I really loved how they turned out - they are probably my favorite trophies yet. 

From the entry way, we took you into the spooky haunted forest full of trees, vines and the same paper fence all around the room (I painted 30 feet of fence for the party!). As well as the porch of Donigard Manor (more on that below).

This is the amazing tree that Bonnie made. The idea came from here, the same blog that I found the idea for the trophies. It is made from two Quik-Tubes, those cardboard tubes used for concrete and lots of paper mache and paint. It turned out so well and luckily Bonnie has a big basement so all these big pieces can be stored safely and used again for future parties.

We also put twisted paper vines on the doorway, just like the other side of the doorway in the entry.


For this wall, we draped fabric and then covered the wall with twisted paper vines. We added a couple garden trellises as well as a few real branches.  We also hung the spider sacks and huge spider from last year and strung lights across the ceiling and I painted a spooky tree backdrop. And Bonnie bravely allowed us to bring in real leaves from outside, which I think tied the whole thing together. Though they did provide a challenge when Barry lost his glasses. They did eventually turn up when we were sweeping up the leaves. Thanks to Gwen for putting this wall together, and twisting yards and yards of brown paper for all the vines.

So this porch, this porch. I painted all the pieces at home and then transported them to Bonnie's with a very rough idea of how to assemble them. It quickly became obvious that it wasn't going to work, and the amazing Rhonda stepped in and totally reconfigured it and made it work with her stellar design skills. She spent hours getting it assembled (and I hear even lost sleep over it!) So a big, big thanks to Rhonda for making this amazing porch come together. The columns are carpet tubes, the roof (which I painted individual cardboard shingles for, though unfortunately you can't see them) is cardboard and the front is made out of two sides of a miraculously perfect sized guitar box I found on the side of the road and painted.

Stay tuned for the next post of the other half of the house, coming right up. 


Jillaire said...

Wow. Trophies are awesome. It's all pretty awesome, but I think the trophies are my favorite. Also, I can't believe you individually painted shingles.

Amy said...

Wow, can't wait for installment #2! I have already looked through these photos three times to Ooh and Aahh. Awesome job. As always, I am impressed how you guys outdo yourselves every year. I am so glad bonnie made the tree! I saw her pin it on pinterest (she is the only stranger I follow), and I had repinned it for me next year because it was soooo cool! Nicely done. And the trophies are perfect. I really need to invent teleportation within the next year, so I can come to this party next year. Also, I was wondering about the string of lights you have up, are they little skeleton heads? I really like the scattered light shapes that they make on the ceiling. Where did they come from? I'm sure I will ask for more advice from the queens of Halloween parties. I love it all!

Kate said...

Amy: The lights are from Target a few years ago. They are little orbs that are made from sticks so look really cool and make great shadows (as you saw) I think they were summer outdoor lights since I bought them very cheap on clearance around Halloween. But I have seem them randomly at Target here and there over the years so keep your eye out for them.

Kate said...

Jillaire: Painting shingles and gluing them on was faster than it would have been to paint the roof to look like shingles. It looked super cool so it was too bad it wasn't super visible. But I knew it was up there :)

Serge said...

The table at the hall of fame sure looked bloody and creepy!