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Farewell Halloween, Hello Harvest: The Quickchange Holiday Vignette

Quickchange holiday vignette

We were literally still in our Halloween costumes when the clock struck November, and all of a sudden our creepy Halloween vignette had to go, and fast. Here’s an overview of how we quickly transformed the the display into an homage to fall comfort without buying anything new.

First, let me show you the Halloween vignette!

Creepy Halloween vignette

John and I assembled this mostly from stuff we had on hand, plus a few little things from dollar and thrift stores. This doll, for instance, was discovered at the bottom of a horrible bin, smelly, unwanted and doomed to be ours.

This doll looked and smelled awful

It needed a little work, which John took care of handily with a screwdriver and a cordless drill.

Halloween baby in progress

Once the eyes were gone, we only had to jam a flameless candle up its neck to set the mood. Halloween magic!

Baby head is the star!

We also filled a rusty outdoor urn with floral foam and the some of the most depressing fake flowers I’ve ever seen.

Halloween flower arrangement

The painting on the wall belongs to John’s family. It’s actually a lovely painting, but we needed something to fit the style, and its antiqueyness was too perfect to pass up. The Ouija board, on the other hand, has been in my family for generations, although as far as I know, no one has ever actually wanted it. Except me. I specifically asked to have it. For emergencies. Like this.

Halloween vignette

We pooled all our candle holders and pulled out our worn and tarnished silver-plated tray. Oh, and we found this wooden box at a thrift store (some kind of…military? valet? no idea) so we filled it with brains and bugs. Er, plastic brains and bugs. There is a limit to our Halloween spirit.

So that’s the story of the Halloween vignette, assembled for under $10. To execute the quickchange, I took away the black cloth and left only the white lace panel underneath, then replaced the creepy objects with beautiful natural ones.

Harvest vignette
I fastened strings to a branch and tied leaves to the strings and hung the whole thing from the hook where we had just removed the portrait.

Candles and flowers for fall

I eliminated the most horrible flowers from the urn and replaced them with tall branches (with and without fall leaves) and lovely twigs with clusters of purple berries.

Pinecones for fall

The wooden box is now filled with pine cones, the silver tray crowded with fallen leaves, and the candlesticks brightened up with fall hues. I brought over our apothecary jar, which is now filled with dried beans and a fat pillar candle, as well as a smattering of scavenged acorns.

Beans and acorns

Handfuls of colorful leaves and a few fresh apples do a lot to pull the look together, which is much airier and more cheerful than the Halloween version, despite being made from most of the same stuff. It allows just enough opportunity for crafting without becoming an overwhelming project, and leaves me with a million other things I can make, find and buy (are the tiny pumpkins on sale yet?) to continue adding to it over the next few weeks. But I’m happy with this—it’s a good start, considering it was thrown together in about an hour. Presto chango!

I think it’s a lot of fun to decorate for the holidays like this, because a little goes a long way. What are your favorite tricks for streamlining the switcharoo between seasons?

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.