The time has come and Halloween season is upon us! I have only been antsy about this since I went to a theme park in June. This is the time when me and my people come out of the woodwork! You know who you are! Theatrical people, hidden goths, cosplayers, rockabillies, Halloween moms, carnies, re-enactors, Disney freaks, Poe readers, magical realists, and closet witches. Did I miss anybody?
I don’t know if I ever mentioned this but I used to be a theatre major. Once upon a time I took college courses in lighting, set design, and costuming. I’m not exactly a pro but I’m not a novice either. There is no shame in being a novice. I know many novice Halloween decorators and cosplayers who could put me to shame. I am approaching Halloween like I approached my daughter’s wedding, it is all just one elaborate set.
I have had my eye out for all the latest Halloween trends and which ones I want to attempt this year. I may not hit them all but each new thing I try only adds to the collection. There is so much ground to cover that I am going to do this in a series of posts. For this one, I am going to focus on lighting. Of course, my research on lighting has led me to a higher source, primarily Pinterest.🙌 Here are some of my favorite lighting finds:
- Red Lights. You heard that right. They have a red rum Shining feel to them. (and we know what that spells backwards right?)I have pulled out my bulbs near my garage and on my porch and replaced them all with red lights. Now I know that multicolored lights in green, purple, and orange are all the rage but I am going to suggest going with one color of light bulb throughout for a statement punch. I really fell in love with the idea of red lights when I saw some in white pumpkin Jack O Lanterns with smeary painted eyes and mouths that look like they were painted by the The Joker from Batman.
- Projectors are arguably thee most essential Halloween item for me right now. I’d call this my Halloween essential. If I were only given one item to decorate with for Halloween, a projector is the item I would keep. There is beauty in minimalism. I took my girls trick or treating in a small town once and one of the homes had a projected image of a witch in a moon silhouette. Everything else was dark. It really did make quite the statement. This year I am going with a red laser bat with a glowing eye and motion wings.
- Mason jars and candlelight. Candlelight is the cheapest mood lighting you can do. There is no substitute that compares to a real flame 🔥 The methods you can use for decorating your Mason jars are endless just be sure to do it in a way that does not create a fire hazard. For example, adding dried flowers might seem like a good idea but you don’t want to create kindling if things get hot.
- Waxy dripped candles on old bottles or red wax dripped on white candles if you want to be particularly gory. Black on white works, or of course there are always the traditional Halloween colors.
- Battery lighted candelabras. I went to a church trunk or treat, and a lady at the event had these in the back of her car with fake cobwebs while playing a scary Disney CD. I think she had a cauldron and a fog maker too. The CD was playing something like “Eat my poison apple!” She also did something with candy apples that I can’t quite remember. Her car was a hit. I think the battery lighted candelabras made the whole thing.
- Gargoyle candle holders for a goth effect. Who doesn’t love Gargoyles? I have always had a secret wish to do a Ghostbusters theme with green slime and gargoyles.
- Raven candle holders because…Edgar Allen Poe.
- Any type of lighting that make you look like a mad scientist. You can even get ambitious and use real science. I have never tried these homemade lights that look like slime but I would love to know how they turn out.
- Twinkle lights. They are not just for weddings. Put them on dead twigs or branches. Add crows or ravens.
- Do not underestimate the power of glow sticks. I have put them in balloons and stuck them in Skeletons and then wrapped them up in cobwebs. You can put them in gloves and tie them up and place them in water or underneath clear mesh fabric. I have been avoiding the disposable latex option lately because I am trying to live zero waste. I do see the beauty of glow sticks for visibility and safety for children but I try to use a zero waste option like using light up wrist bands that are made for jogging.
- My cheapest favorite lighting find besides candlelight is battery operated strobe lights in pumpkins. We can’t all have a lightening machine. These give the same effect and I swear they last a long time.
- Floating candles with mums because beauty and magic. I suggest putting these in galvanized tubs or old barrels.
- real crystals and crescent 🌙 moons for altar lighting. I am really liking the celestial fortune-teller theme with lighting. Thinks stars, moons, tarot, rocks, and gems.
- Lights under pallets that look like trap doors. I’ve got a pile of pallets ready to go. I am on it.
- Paint and black lighting. I am liking painted words with creepy fonts used with black lights and light up scarecrows with pumpkin faces or grim reapers that utilize the paint and black light effect. The taller these are the better. You should check these Evermore Pics out. This is a new theme park that just opened near me. I am so excited about it that I can hardly contain my enthusiasm.
- Orbs. By far these are my favorite lighting costume accessory. Staffs with Orbs.
Spoiler Alert: This year I am going with a celestial fortune teller theme and focusing on red lighting and web design (spider web design). For these, I use thick yarn with a velvety texture, or washi-tape. Honestly, my favorite craft items to use for Halloween are washi tape, duct tape, Rit dye, Calontir trim, and iron on felt. I’m experimenting with bleach pens right now.
Okay, I have seen lighting attached to costuming and I am liking this trend. I have seen cute tulle skirts with sewn in battery operated lights and I have a secret confession, I once attempted to make a light up costume like the one Robert Redford wore in the The Electric Horseman. It did not go so well. Now, a lot of you may not remember this movie, but kudos to those of you that do.
I did attempt to sew 🔥 flame printed fabric into vinyl pants. That one did not turn out so bad although that costume remains unfinished. This was for a rock a billy costume idea I had that was inspired by Reverend Horton Heat. I will be throwing out some costume ideas in another post.
BE FOREWARNED! I will be posting more in October. There’s a lot of ground to cover and I need a place to contain all my enthusiasm. If anyone would like to look at any of my sources for Halloween inspiration and lighting you can link to my Pinterest page from my blog’s home page. There are so many fantastic ideas out there for Halloween inspiration. I have a Halloween Idea board, and another board titled Halloween, Cosplay, and Theatrics. None of these are my original pins but I am working on that.
Enjoy your Halloween Season! Soon I will be opening up the Halloween box and we’ll see what’s inside!