DIY: Witch's Lair with Semi DIY Elements

Happy almost Halloween, everyone! I hope you're in the realm of getting ready! I sure am ready, I love this time of year. I'm an October baby, born on the 24th, so Halloween always revolved around my birthday themes growing up.

Since we moved into our home at the end of 2012, with our 2 month old on the day of entry, I've really grown in how I decorated inside and out. We have a courtyard, that is really lacking, except for the months of October through December. I kind of go all out for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I make our courtyard sort of an "outdoor room", and I also make it rustic, which is not really the decor of choice inside the home. My husband adores my love for decorating for the seasons, and let's me do it up country rustic outside! We live in Arizona after all, so a little dust and things kind of works with what's going on.

So, this picture here, is the table in our courtyard. I'll post more pics as you read along. Last year I wanted this space where you could feel a witch was present, but not really. And not a spooky witch, but a "primitive" witch. I really wish I had DIY tutorials throughout this whole set up, but sadly, I don't. When I made the cauldron and the books with titles, I didn't document my process, I guess. I could swear up and down I captured the before and after of the cauldron and books, but I can walk through a tad, it's not hard to do.

How I set this table space up. I had this cheapy cauldron I purchased at Walmart or Walgreens, I am not sure where. It was just black, and I used this to fill with candy for trick or treaters. Last year, I took cinnamon, flour and cayenne pepper, and made a past with mod podge, and with a gloved hand(!) I rubbed this mixture all over the cauldron to give it a rustic dirty look. I used cayenne to keep bugs away in storage...when I pulled it out this year...not one bug landed itself inside! I did use an adhesive spray once it set just to make sure I wouldn't get desert bugs or critters in there.

The books on the right hand side of the photo, those are cheap "book boxes" I found at ROSS! They had silly images on them of Paris, are hallow to place things in, and were on sale, so I scooped up two, painted them black, and then cut out the sayings using the Silhouette Cameo, using gold vinyl. LOVE how they turned out! No way could I be precise and do that free hand.

The tins are actually vintage replica spice tins that I purchased on Amazon, and I flipped them over to put on these fun labels on the back, which I purchased off of an Etsy seller, Lisa's Altered Art. I printed them onto White Sticker Paper from Silhouette. This adhesive paper is the best thing ever! I've done so much with it, and was happy to use it for this project! So, I downloaded the Etsy file, printed, cut the labels out, and slapped them onto the vintage tins! I also used some stain ink pads to help bring in a more rustic used look. I really like Tim Hotlz distressed ink pads...they are one of my crafting must haves!

A few years back I found a cider jug that had a fall theme to it, but I also flipped that over to make it a "witch's brew" jug, which fit perfectly!

I have nothing to do with the "Magic Spells" sign, though I easily could. I was at a local farm for their Pumpkin and Chili Festival, and they had these vintage like Halloween signs all about, so I gobbled up this one and another you will soon see. I can't DIY it all, people! I like to give money to the local artisans, too, and happy they helped me turn my courtyard into the Halloween Witch Dream it is!

In the following pic here, I have a simple black burlap wreath I made, using burlap strips I cut up (do this on top of something that you can throw away, but the way...the black shreds went everywhere!), with simple letters cut out, again from my trusty Silhouette. And then I placed this primitive witch's hat on top of it, that I also purchased from an Etsy seller, Joy's Home Treasures. I love this hat so much and the overall look! I do wish it were bigger, but it's my treasure piece! Of course I had a raven bird to perch onto this wreath...the orange glitter goes well with the orange glitter "boo" letters, which is hard to detect in the photo.

In the following pic is another example of the right side of our entry door. Also included are primitive witch shoes, that go with the hat in the pic above, as well a the shoe sign that says "The Witch is In", which I purchased from Pick Your Plum a few weeks back. Love this! The broom parking sign is another I purchased at that pumpkin festival, it's perfect for my funky broom, which I purchased at Joann's last's really a bunch of branches I purchased to just look like a primitive broom.

On the other side of the entry is a simple display of a rustic vine pumpkin, a large old lantern I purchased in a mountain town of AZ, some other pumpkin do dads, and that arrow sign I made, using a chalkboard arrow, then stenciled on "trick or treat", using chalk ink. I love making stencils when I can using my Silhouette...again! It's a life saver! 

You don't have to spend a fortune to decorate, and many items within the home can be turned into random holiday decor pieces by flipping them over, and reusing again and again! That empty lantern is now filled with mini pumpkins and gourds I purchased at Target...come Thanksgiving it'll be filled with earthy elements like pine cones, cotton branches, and maybe some lingering pumpkins if they haven't wilted by then. At Christmas they will be filled with ornaments, pine cones and other holiday accents. 

OH, and those pillow covers, I also purchased from Pick Your Plum, and they are stuffed with packing paper from when we moved! No need to purchase pillow stuffing, we had paper stuffing already for them since they are for show and not cuddling with. 

I hope you enjoyed my Halloween decor for the courtyard! I can't wait to share what I did inside my house. Thanks for reading!