As Kourt’s assistant, I wear many hats. One of them happens to be black and pointy and involves two of my favorite things—crafting and Halloween. Last October, I had some (rare) downtime at work while Kourtney was traveling, so I decided to surprise her by giving her home a spooky makeover. Now, I’m sharing all of my tricks (and treats) for how to transform your own home into a haunted house!
Kourtney has these alcoves in her courtyard that I thought would be perfect for a Halloween vignette. I decided to go with a witchy theme to transform the entire courtyard. First I sketched out my ideas, then hit up her Halloween decoration bins, Facebook Marketplace, Goodwill, craft shops, and home improvement stores to gather all of my supplies. The best thing about these displays is that once you buy all of the items, you can reuse the props and supplies each year.
What You Need:
1. Large plastic cauldron
2. Modge Podge
3. Dry Oatmeal
4. Black waterproof spray Paint
5. Various shades of brown, copper, and green acrylic paint
6. Paintbrushes and paint sponge
7. Plant saucer or shallow circular dish
8. Pond foggers
9. 3 Large garden stakes or Birch branches
11. Orange twinkling string lights
13. Spooky cloth
14. Fake Crows
16. Outdoor power strip and timers
Kourtney already had a cauldron in her Halloween bin, and I kept seeing spooky light-up cauldron displays on Pinterest. Many of the ones I saw online used insulation foam, which I didn’t feel was safe to use in her home, especially for a prop we want to reuse long-term. Instead, we opted to go with a cauldron project that is less toxic but more advanced and admittedly more complicated (but worth it!). This is definitely the Halloween decoration that gets the most attention from guests.
1. Prep the Cauldron
First I mix Mod Podge and oatmeal together in a bowl and splatter and drip it all over the cauldron, as though potions have been boiling and sloshing over for years. I let that dry, then spray paint the entire cauldron black.
Next, I take different shades of brown and copper and smudge them with a sponge around the cauldron to give the appearance of an old, rusty iron cauldron. I also paint the handles copper.
Then I drill holes in three sides of the cauldron at about 2, 6, and 10 o’clock and tie the rope through to hang the cauldron from its tripod.
Then, I go in with different shades of brown and green and paint over the oatmeal drip. I allow some paint to get on the rope and drip down the side to give it a super messy appearance.
2. Create the tripod and fire
I buy three wooden stakes from Home Depot and fasten them together with zip ties, propping them up in the alcove, and tying a thick rope around the top. The stakes were a little too thin for the size cauldron we have, so find a smaller one, or switch to thicker birch branches.
To create the fire under the cauldron, I set up logs with orange twinkling Christmas lights throughout and put black Halloween cloth over the twinkle lights to give them the more muted look of burning embers. Then I cover the rest of the ground with white and gray Halloween cloth to hide the cords.
3. Add the potion
I can’t fill the entire cauldron with water because it would be too heavy to hang from the tripod, so inside the cauldron, I use an overturned garden pot to prop up a shallow dish near the opening of the cauldron.
You’ll want to use a dish that is as close in size to the opening of your cauldron as possible. If there are gaps between the dish and the cauldron opening, the mist you are going to create will be sucked into the cauldron instead of floating out. If you have gaps between your dish and the cauldron opening, you can use black tape and a trash bag to seal the area.
The next step is placing the foggers inside the dish. I use three and gather their cords, taping them down the back of the cauldron.
Finally, I am ready to hang the cauldron from the stand (this part is a balancing act). I place crows on the stand and the cauldron rim and fill the cauldron dish with water, adding a colored landscaping spotlight on the ground pointing at the cauldron to give it a more spooky glow.
I plug all of this into timers that are turned on at dusk and off once everyone goes to bed, and I check the water every other day to make sure it doesn’t need to be topped off.
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