As wonderful and carefree as summer is, I’m usually not sad when it ends. I love this change of seasons: The crisp, chilly air, the changing colors, the spiderwebs hanging in the walkway. Okay, maybe not so much the spiderwebs.
But in fall we have to take the good with the creepy. So I have two little decor projects to share – one slightly creepy and one the visual equivalent of comfort food.
We’ll start with slightly creepy.
1. A Creepy Little Bush
Recently I was at my local nursery looking for winter pansies when I stumbled upon something much more beautiful – and just a bit haunting:
A cushion bush (Calocephalus ‘Silver Stone’).
The plant tag even described the branches as “ghost white.” I loved the slightly creepy look of this little starter plant. And it was on sale, so how could I resist.
I could just see it in a black and white themed container on my front porch. And I happened to have a tall white pot that would elevate this plant so that it would be noticed next to the front door.
Adding Height and Contrast
Obviously, I would need some height in this potted arrangement – something taller than the cushion bush. And something dark to act as a background so that the bush’s ghostly, twisted branches would really stand out. But another plant would add too much texture.
So I remembered these dried ornamental leaves from an old arrangement.
I don’t even know what they are, really, but their thin stems would make it easy to stake them into the soil behind the cushion bush – after I spray painted the leaves black.
I wanted the container to look beautiful and slightly creepy. And what is more vaguely disturbing than a baby doll head. I’d had this little concrete baby doll head for years, and no one but me has ever liked it. So it was perfect.
The Crowning Touch
I arranged the container in a black plastic pot and set it inside the tall white pot. I elevated the plastic container with flat stones until it stood an inch or two above the top of the white pot.
And then I bought an inexpensive grapevine wreath at the craft store, spray painted it black, and cut it so that it would easily fit around the pot.
This way, the scene is elevated a bit, yet the plastic pot inside is somewhat concealed.
The long black leaves are a great backdrop for the white branches.
The black and white theme looks good with our charcoal front door.
I was tempted to do more – maybe add a jolt of an unexpected color, or add more creepiness, but adding more of anything would have detracted from the ghostly bush, so I decided to stop right there.
Since both the plant and the wreath were on sale, and I already had everything else, this container cost me around $5 to put together.
Are you ready for some color? Let’s go inside.
2. Gleaming Little Pumpkins
Metallic pumpkins are hot this year. And although I’m not one to jump on every decor bandwagon that comes along, I love the warmth and beauty of metallic finishes this time of year.
So I bought a bag of little pumpkins.
I wanted to try coating them using sheets of gold leaf, but once at the craft store I found “premium gold leaf finish” paint. So I bought one in classic gold and one in copper.
I made the mistake of trying the copper first on a couple of pumpkins. The paint made them look more pink than copper.
So for damage control, I wound up painting over the copper with the gold paint.
On most of the pumpkins, I used a damp paper towel to wipe off a little of the gold paint after I applied it – a sort of mini rag-rolling project. I wanted the pumpkins to still look real, but with a slight metallic gleam.
Once the gold foundation was dry, then I used the copper paint sparingly in just a few places to add a little more patina. Again I muddled the paint with a wet paper towel after I applied it.
I do like the warm glow of these pumpkins. It’s a look that will get me past Halloween and into Thanksgiving.
While painting the pumpkins, a failed attempt at using fallen birch leaves as stencils led to a little discovery: The birch leaves looked beautiful with a thin coat of gold paint, accented by just a touch of copper paint on the edges.
For now I’ve scattered the leaves and the pumpkins around the living room.
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The premium leafing finishes that I used on the pumpkins are made by Precious Metals. There are 8 colors available.
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