Halloween Mantel 2013

With just one month to go, I’m already starting to get excited for Halloween!

I always like to push the boat out for the Pagan festivals of Samhain (commonly pronounced “Sow-en”) and Yule (Christmas) and as time passes, I seem to go a little more nuts with the decorating.

Well, I don’t think it’s nuts but every year, Beloved raises a quizzical eyebrow and threatens not to retrieve an ever-increasing number of decorations from the loft.

But he always does.

Coz he’s good like that.

I’ve always had an interest in the occult. It’s a word that can evoke strong negative emotions, but there really isn’t anything dark or sinister about it.

Definition of the word Occult, As defined by Oxford Dictionaries

See? Nothing to be afraid of!

I bought my first deck of Tarot cards when I was 14, much to the disgust of the staunch Catholic who raised me. It was also around that time that I started looking into other forms of spiritual practice.

But that’s a deep and meaningful for another day.

It comes as no surprise, then, to discover that Samhain is my absolute favourite of the ancient festivals.

Halloween Mantel 2013

Despite being a traditionally British celebration, our North American cousins seem to have embraced Samhain rather more impressively than us.

While Stateside, Halloween is a very grand affair, a simple search for “Halloween Decorations UK” returns a sea of orange and black plastic.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for cheap. But as someone who celebrates Samhain as an important occasion, I’m looking for something a little more stylish.

Halloween Mantel 2013

Thank all that is (un)holy for Pinterest where last year, I discovered a whole world of homemade Halloween I never knew existed!

From beautifully decorated mantels to exquisitely painted pumpkins and a mountain of other homemade Halloween ideas that’ll keep a girl busy for a lifetime of Samhains… I couldn’t wait to get started!

DIY Halloween candle wraps

I must admit, I had stacks of fun putting together my very first homemade Halloween and trying to recreate a few of the ideas I’d seen.

You’ll have to excuse the shoddy photography. I took these as passing shots way before The World of Suzy Homemaker was so much as a glint in this witch’s eye!

2013 Halloween Mantel

Halloween Mantel 2013

Here’s last year’s mantel in all its yucky brown glory before I gave it a lick of paint.

Wilko is brilliant for picking up plastic creatures, including the bats and spiders you see dotted around the mantel.

I *may* have bought more for Halloween 2014.

Halloween Mantel 2013

I scored the beautiful solid pewter candelabra for a tenner in a local reclamation centre.

You’d pay a fortune for something like this new!

Easy Halloween candle wraps

DIY Halloween candle wraps

  • Print out your image on tracing paper
  • Wrap the paper around a glass
  • Insert a candle

What could be simpler?

Battery-operated candles work brilliantly in these highball glasses.

Handmade bat silhouettes

Handout bats made of black card

  • Trace some bat shapes onto black card
  • Cut out
  • Use blue tac to fix your bats to a wall


If you happen to have a cutting machine, you could go for a whole wall!

Spray-painted Pumpkins

Black spray-painted pumpkins and a ceramic Jack O'Lantern

For my mini pumpkin display, I hit a couple of autumn’s finest with black gloss spray-paint (do you know how hard it is to find faux pumpkins in this country?!) and dug out a centuries-old ceramic Jack O’Lantern. All it needs is a candle and you’re done – far less messy than the carving fiasco alternative!

***WORD OF WARNING*** Decorating with real pumpkins comes with a very important Suzy Homemaker announcement.


Surprising, I know.

They WILL leave a nasty puddle on your floor if you don’t get rid when they start to go.

Uh huh.



Lesson learned. Sorry Beloved!

Halloween Mantel 2013

This Halloween, I’ll be dragging out and re-using what I can, but I also have a few more ideas up my sleeve, which I can’t wait to bring you!

Will you be decorating for Halloween this year? I’d love to see your ideas, please comment below and post a link to your creations. Alternatively, come and share them on my Facebook Page. I can’t wait to see what you get up to!

A hui hou,


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