When the leaves begin change, or the calendar gets to the middle of September, it's time to put out the festive decor. (Seasonal candy dishes are a great way to always have candy out without feeling guilty. It's for guests). There's no point in living if not for holidays. As long as I can remember, I've always been the first one with my decorations out. As a child, I used to beg my parents to pull down those musty old boxes from the attic the weekend after Labor Day. The Halloween boxes always had such a distinct smell, the sweet stench of rotting costumes and melted face paints. Every once in awhile I'll get a whiff of that comforting scent and it takes me back.
Remember these guys? You still see them everywhere around this time of year, most recently sticking out of a vodka display at Jewel-Osco. Yes, you're absolutely supposed to put those hinged limbs in inappropriate positions, like this one on my fridge. I found this little gem at a thrift store for a quarter.
This one is another Halloween staple. These card stock cut-outs have been an American tradition since the 30s. We had all these growing up, but the years of Scotch tape and sun-bleaching made them fall apart. As an adult, I have started collecting these prints made by the Beistle Company. This witch was always my favorite for some reason.
Often called die-cuts, these old decorations are sort of hard to find nowadays. I saw a few on Etsy and in vintage stores, but at ridiculous prices. After doing an embarrassing amount of internet research, I found out that they do still make these but not very many stores carry them anymore. I've had some luck at mom-and-pop party supply stores though. Last year when I was visiting home, I hit the Beistle-jackpot at the biggest Halloween store in the Midwest, Foy's in Dayton, Ohio. Not only did Foy's have all my old favorites, but they were like a dollar, so I bought way too many.
My plus-one has demanded that all my die-cuts remain in the kitchen.
For obvious reasons - These are by far the creepiest. They were once part of a long chain of other odd-looking pumpkins.
Put it all together, and the result is somewhat like an elementary school classroom.