Know these tricks for Halloween decorating success

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published October 25, 2016

 A variety of gourds sit on display, with mums and ornamental grasses in the background, at Telly’s Greenhouse in Troy Oct. 18.

A variety of gourds sit on display, with mums and ornamental grasses in the background, at Telly’s Greenhouse in Troy Oct. 18.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

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METRO DETROIT — Corie Conroy, president of First Impression Home Staging, said she is seeing a resurgence in the popularity of pumpkins and other gourds in seasonal decorating this fall, and she recommended new tricks to keep decorations fresh.

She said one idea is to stack pumpkins and gourds outside, using hay bales for a variety of heights. Homeowners can customize their outdoor pumpkin collection by painting their house numbers on each pumpkin, she said.

“Decorations don’t have to be expensive,” she said.

Conroy recommended purchasing plastic trick-or-treat pumpkins at the dollar store, spray-painting them metallic gold or silver, and using them as a planter for fall flowers, such as mums or pansies.

“You can put them on the dining room table or outside,” she said. “It makes it look like a very rich decoration for the season that you can use for Halloween or carry over to Thanksgiving too.”

Another of Conroy’s tips is to purchase small pumpkins at the dollar store, spray-paint them metallic, and incorporate them in a seasonal wreath for the front door.

“I think Halloween is all about lights and texture,” she said. “To create that feeling of texture around your house, you can do spider webs outside or do texture by putting cornstalks or a garland of leaves by the front door.”

To add a bit of glitz, Conroy recommended giving the garland of leaves or cornstalks a light dusting with metallic spray paint.

As for spooky lighting on Halloween night, Conroy said homeowners can use a flashing light to create a dramatic, scary effect. Other popular Halloween decorations, she said, are hanging witch hats that appear to float and battery-powered candles shaped like skulls.

When entertaining, Conroy said, hosts can serve bottled drinks in a pumpkin full of ice or simply serve punch out of a pumpkin-shaped bowl.

Conroy recommended simple changes to keep décor in line with the season, such as setting candles in candy corn, switching to fall flowers and giving Mason jars a Halloween flair by drawing monster faces on them.

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