Thursday, October 2, 2014

Martha Stewart Halloween Mantel and Giveaway!

A simple Halloween mantel featuring Martha Stewart decor. #12MonthsofMartha http://designimprovised.com

Did you know Halloween is Martha Stewart's favorite holiday? That's probably why her Halloween decor is always some of the coolest at the store. I knew there would be some good stuff in my October 12 Months of Martha box, and it did not disappoint! I decided decorate my mantel in honor of Martha - incorporating the spooky bats, skulls, and gothic labels that came in my box.

You can win a box of Halloween goodies from Martha Stewart - enter below! 

A simple Halloween mantel featuring Martha Stewart decor. #12MonthsofMartha http://designimprovised.com

I tend to lean toward cutesy vs. scary decor when it comes to Halloween decorations, but these awesome 3D skull silhouettes inspired me to go a little spookier this year. I framed the paper skulls in some frames I already had, removing the glass and sticking them to a piece of white foam core (card stock would also work). A little spider web stretched across the frame adds a finishing touch.

A simple Halloween mantel featuring Martha Stewart decor. #12MonthsofMartha http://designimprovised.com

I borrowed these vintage laboratory bottles from Ross's man cave and gave them a Halloween twist with the Martha Stewart labels. Another 5 minute makeover was adding the bat window clings to the big mirror. I love this simple idea that anyone can do!

A simple Halloween mantel featuring Martha Stewart decor. #12MonthsofMartha http://designimprovised.com

While the labels are peel and stick, I left their backing on and instead used removable double sided tape so they could be easily be removed after Halloween (and avoid upsetting the hubby!).

A simple Halloween mantel featuring Martha Stewart decor. #12MonthsofMartha http://designimprovised.com

I replaced the usual greenery in the black urns I keep on the mantel with a "blue pumpkin" and some faux spider web.

A simple Halloween mantel featuring Martha Stewart decor. #12MonthsofMartha http://designimprovised.com

To finish off the display I mixed in a bunch of little pumpkins and draped my creepy crawly spider garland across the front.

A simple Halloween mantel featuring Martha Stewart decor. #12MonthsofMartha http://designimprovised.com

Thank you Martha for inspiring me to come up with a fun mantel this Halloween!

A simple Halloween mantel featuring Martha Stewart decor. #12MonthsofMartha http://designimprovised.com

Now it's your chance to get some Halloween goodies! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below and you could be the lucky recipient of the skulls, bats, and labels I used in my mantel as well as these pumpkin sleeves and pennant pad. So much fun!

Martha Stewart Halloween Giveaway! http://designimprovised.com

Martha Stewart Halloween Giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is post is sponsored by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as part of the #12MonthsofMartha program. All content and opinions are my own.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Halloween Spider Garland

Pipe cleaners were meant to be spiders! Use them to whip of this simple Halloween spider garland in minutes. http://designimprovised.com

Sometimes I laugh when I think about my favorite crafting materials… pipe cleaners, pom-poms, yarn… I'm still crafting with the same tools I loved as a kid! Having these simple supplies in my craft cabinet just makes me happy (and my girls happy too!). I love the challenge of using them in new, more sophisticated ways. I hope this spider garland is an example of that. I think it's just the right combination of creepy, crawly, and fun!

Pipe cleaners were meant to be spiders! Use them to whip of this simple Halloween spider garland in minutes. http://designimprovised.com

I think pipe cleaners were always meant to be spiders. They bend perfectly into little legs - and you can bend them in all different configurations so no two spiders look alike. 

Pipe cleaners were meant to be spiders! Use them to whip of this simple Halloween spider garland in minutes. http://designimprovised.com

Supplies for Spider Garland


  • Black pipe cleaners (you'll need 4 per spider)
  • Baker's twine or string (I used black and white baker's twine for a Halloween touch)
  • Darning needle

Pipe cleaners were meant to be spiders! Use them to whip of this simple Halloween spider garland in minutes. http://designimprovised.com

Friday, September 26, 2014

Halloween Spider Balloons

Creepy crawly Halloween spider balloons! || Design Improvised blog

I hope you guys have gotten a kick out of Halloween Balloon Week! As you can tell, I had more than a little fun coming up with these ideas. Thanks so much for humoring me by following along! I'm capping off the week with some creepy crawly spiders.

Creepy crawly Halloween spider balloons! || Design Improvised blog

These spiders would look cute in a bunch, or mixed in with other balloons. Why not throw in an orange and black pom-pom balloon while you're at it. ;)

DIY Halloween balloons || Design Improvised blog

Supplies for Spider Balloons


  • Black 12" helium grade balloons
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
  • Curling ribbon

Halloween Spider Balloons

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Halloween Mummy Balloons

Halloween Mummy Balloons! || Design Improvised blog

Googly eyes and balloons make for a perfect match. Stick a couple on a balloon and you get instant cuteness! I made mummies with mine, but you could make monsters, aliens, Frankenstein, Dracula, a witch, you name it. Just use different colored balloons and a Sharpie marker to fill in a few more details.

Halloween Mummy Balloons! || Design Improvised blog

In addition to the goggly eyes, I just wrapped around a piece of white crepe paper to "mummify" the balloon. Although Stella and Hazel like to call these "mommy balloons". ;)

Halloween Mummy Balloons! || Design Improvised blog

Supplies for Mummy Balloons



  • White 12" helium grade balloons
  • Googly eyes
  • White crepe paper streamers
  • Double-sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Curling ribbon


Halloween Mummy Balloons! || Design Improvised blog

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Halloween Bat Balloons

Transform black balloons into bats for your Halloween party! || Design Improvised blog

Often times, the simpler the better. All it took was a pair of paper wings to transform these balloons into Halloween bats! I love that you can tell what they are without adding any further embellishment. Leaving them as just their silhouette keeps them modern and fresh.

Transform black balloons into bats for your Halloween party! || Design Improvised blog

Supplies for Bat Balloons


  • Black 12" helium grade latex balloons
  • Black cardstock
  • Bat wing template (this is optional - I freehand drew one and then used it as a template for the rest. You can find more options in Google Images)
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape
  • Curling ribbon


Halloween bat balloons

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Halloween Ghost Balloons

These DIY Halloween ghost balloons look like they are flying through the air! || Design Improvised blog

BOO! These little ghosts want to welcome you to Day 2 of Halloween Balloon Week! How fun would it be to have a bunch of these at your front door to greet trick-or-treaters? 

These DIY ghost balloons look like they are flying through the air! || Design Improvised blog

These ghost balloons with just a touch of spookiness appear like they are flying through the air with a little breeze.

These DIY ghost balloons look like they are flying through the air! || Design Improvised blog

Supplies for Ghost Balloons


  • 12" helium grade white balloons
  • White crepe paper
  • Black Sharpie marker
  • Curling ribbon
  • Double-sided tape
  • Scissors

DIY Halloween ghost balloons

Monday, September 22, 2014

Halloween Balloon Week!

Simple and awesome DIY Halloween balloon ideas! || Design Improvised blog

Who's ready to have some fun this week?!!! You guys know I love balloon DIYs - every since I made my pom-pom balloons I've been hooked. I've done balloons for Valentine's Day, 4th of July, and even Mother's Day, so I figured why not Halloween?

It turns out once I started thinking of Halloween balloon ideas, I just couldn't stop. I came up with a week's worth of balloons - some spooky, some silly, and all super simple.

I hope you join along all week to see what I have in store! I'm kicking things off with these eery spider web balloons!!


Balloons are the perfect blank canvas for getting creative. The number one thing to remember when adding a DIY touch to helium balloons is that it has to be lightweight, otherwise it will weigh down the balloon. Luckily, this faux spider web fit the bill perfectly!


In addition to these colorful spiders, I think these balloons would look really chic with gold spray painted spiders. You could also do white balloons with black spider webs - so many options, and such a fun addition for a Halloween party!

Spooky DIY spider web balloons || Design Improvised blog

Supplies for Spider Web Balloons


  • 12" black helium grade balloons 
  • Faux spider web
  • Plastic spiders (I used spider rings)
  • Double-sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Curling ribbon

Spooky DIY spider web balloons || Design Improvised blog

Friday, September 19, 2014

6 Simple Fall Craft Ideas

Simple fall craft ideas you can make for under $15! || Design Improvised blog

Based on my Instagram feed, it looks like fall crafting is in full swing (I happen to follow a lot of DIY bloggers!). Fall is one of my favorite times of the year to decorate our home with things I've made. I wanted to share a few of my favorite fall projects from years past in case you are in the mood to do some fall crafting this weekend!

1. Yarn pumpkin garland - these simple pumpkins are just involve wrapping yarn around your fingers and tying to some twine with a pipe cleaner stem.

2. Yarn wrapped candles - a little yarn gives LED candles a cozy fall makeover.

3. Stenciled cinder block vases - show off some fall foliage in these vases stenciled in oranges and browns.

4. Corn husk wreath - an eye-catching wreath that you can keep on your door through Thanksgiving!

5. Wine cork wreaths - are you a wine cork collector? Then this is the project for you!

6. Stovetop potpourri - once you make a pot of this, you'll want to have some simmering on your stove until spring.

Happy crafting!
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