This seems to be the year of the skeleton for me. Here's a super quick and easy decoration for an often-ignored part of the house. The fireplace! (Also, it's a great way to use either your skeleton pieces, OR your less "attractive" skeletons, like bluckys, a.k.a. blow-mold skeletons.)
*As with all displays involving string lights, please do NOT leave this prop illuminated when you are away from home.
The cost on this project can be as little as $0 if you happen to have the items on hand, it will take you about 10 minutes to complete (unless your fireplace requires a lot of cleaning). If you have to purchase everything, I would estimate it between $35 and $75.
Step 1: Supplies
Fabric (I used some "Creepy Printed Fabric" that I found BEFORE Halloween last year on clearance for $0.96 a package at Walgreens.)
Orange string lights
Fireplace (or faux fireplace)
Cat - Not recommended (I dare you to try and stop him.)
*NOTE - The fabric needs to be translucent enough to show the lights, but opaque enough that it's not blatantly obvious what the light source is. If you simply cannot find fabric and/or you don't have a firelog holder, you can "mould" some Great Stuff over a plastic tarp (use empty water and large soda bottles for the armature under the tarp you're using for the Great Stuff). When the Great Stuff is dry, spray paint it black and peel it off of the tarp. It will have natural openings which will create your banked coals look.
Step 2: Clean Up Your Fireplace
Since the idea is that you have recently roasted someone, it's best to have a clean-ish fireplace. If you're going for an abandoned feel, don't worry about the cleaning, just be sure to add some aging and cobwebs to the "leftover" bones.
Step 3: Just Add Fire
Arrange your "fire" (the string lights) under the firelog holder. Try to spread the lights out to the edges with the highest concentration of bulbs towards the center.
Step 4: Bank Your Fire
The purpose of the cloth is to mask the light source, you want this to look more like a banked fire with hot coals than a roaring fire with flames. Arrange the cloth to mask the bulbs, while still allowing plenty of light to come through.
As noted in the supplies list, I used what was called "Creepy Printed Cloth" from Walgreens. I found it on clearance for $0.96 a bag last year. I did what any good haunter (a.k.a. a "collector") would do, I bought all of them. Anyway... This one happened to have a skull pattern on it. Which isn't necessary for the project, but it does give a nice blackened/ash colour to the look.
*NOTE - "Creepy Printed Cloth" is NOT the same thing as the "Creepy Cloth" you can find at dollar stores and some Halloween stores. It will not work. (At least, it won't work well.)
Step 5: Add Parts
Now, simply arrange your parts in whatever way pleases you the most, and your fireplace is decorated!
There are tons of different things that you can do to add to this design. You can add a cauldron. You can put in some red and purple lights to create a more variegated colour scheme. You can add silk fabric and a fan to mimic flames. You can use this post to corpse your skeletons to make them look more cooked. You can make the project as complex as you like. However, since this is being posted at the beginning of October, I wanted to keep it simple.
Second Prize in the
Halloween Decorations Contest