In our Style Challenge series, we ask some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using Home Depot products as a starting point.
Every Halloween, Los Angeles-resident Johnny Love transforms his home into Love Manor. It features a spooky swamp-like graveyard and terrifying inside decor. This year for our Halloween Style Challenge, Johnny is incorporating some Home Depot Halloween decorations into Love Manor. Elsewhere, he shows how to create Halloween decorations for the fireplace.
Here, he shares with us some of his haunted house ideas, including how to create special lighting and macabre paintings.
Halloween to me is the one time of year where you can let your creativity run wild. I was so thrilled when The Home Depot contacted me and gave me a bit of a challenge. In the past, I would spend most of my time at The Home Depot spending more money on making my home look more macabre than well-kept, of course all for this wondrous holiday. However, this time I knew I wanted to think as far outside the box as I possibly could. In years past I would use PVC pipe and wood to create faux wrought-iron fences and foam for tombstones, so this year my idea came to life when looking at some old classic Halloween cartoons.
I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate these images and have them make sense until I was wandering around the paint section at The Home Depot. I saw the canvas drop cloth, paint brushes and vast selection of paint colors and knew for my first project I had to create some sinister pieces of art.
DIY Halloween Paintings
Using some wood, I created the frames for the canvases. With some wood glue and staples they held together extremely well. I used a saw to cut the wood into 45-degree angles for extra support.
Once those were dry, I used canvas drop cloth and stretch it across the frames. Again, using the staple gun to adhere it to the frame. Stretching from one side to the other to create a canvas that didn’t give when painting.
Now, it was time to paint!
I love the selection of colors the Martha Stewart line has and knew they would be perfect for the project. So to create my background I used Silhouette in eggshell, and for the images Lamb, Plumage and Behr’s Caribe, again in an eggshell finish.
After that was given time to dry, with the help of a friend, we sketched out the outlines of our specters! I wanted the canvases to appear as if they were a portal into another world. So our specters were painted across several canvases as if one continuous painting.
Special Haunted House Lighting
My second project for this scene was a source of lighting. Love Manor’s theme has always been associated with the bayou’s of New Orleans. So a lot of natural materials are used in our decorating. I love the warm glow Edison bulbs give and have always seen them on the shelf at Home Depot, so now was my chance to try them out! I wanted them to hang into the scene as if they were pendant lights. So I used black electrical cord, a plug in socket and rope to create the look. I adhered the rope to the pendant using a hot glue gun and wrapped it around up to the extension cord.
The final result came out better than I could have hoped. I wanted to display the paintings in a setting that gave them life. Love Manor has always been praised for it’s elaborate set-ups and I knew I had to create something that married the overall theme well. So by using some branches from the garden, I created easels for the paintings and created an artist’s “studio”. Bringing in the Edison bulb pendants and pillar candles for the source of warm light, I used a spotlight and cutout of a man painting to create the ghostly silhouette of The Painter. Once in place, the scene came to life!
Johnny Love is the creative mastermind behind Love Manor, an annual haunted house in the Los Angeles area. Read more about Johnny’s love of all things spooky and about other Halloween displays he admires on Love Manor: The Official Blog. He posts photos of his amazing haunted house, too, on Flickr.
To create his Halloween haunted house, Johnny used the following products from The Home Depot:
Visit our online Holiday Decorations Department for everything you need to decorate your home for Halloween.