Dec-O-Ween! A Decomposing Composers Halloween

It’s here! Dec-O-Ween week is here! This is my first time hosting a blog hop of any sort, and it’s been so much fun reading everyone’s posts and seeing the great Halloween decor they’ve all come up with. Make sure you take the time to check out all the other posts after you finish here!

Dec-o-ween blog hop

The kids and I had a surprisingly tough time coming up with a theme this year. In the past we’ve done “The Raven,” Miss Havisham’s wedding feast from Great Expectations, and haunted camping. But this year inspiration was hard to come by for some reason. We eventually settled on a dead presidents/haunted White House theme, what with this being an election year and all.

But I just wasn’t having much luck figuring out how to execute the plan. We could do presidents with bleeding eyeballs or something, but beyond that? When it got to the point where I was googling how to build a model of the White House out of cardboard, the whole thing started to seem too much like a nightmarish social studies project, and I gave up. I was also a little worried it would come across as some sort of political statement, which wasn’t the idea at all. Then Ari helpfully suggested that “haunted nativity” might be a less controversial theme. Thanks, Ari. But no.

I think we struck gold with what we finally ended up with though: Decomposing Composers! Spooky and fun with the bonus that it’s a Monty Python reference.

decomposing composers musical halloween theme

It’s possible that I went a little overboard buying stuff for this display…but I think it can all be reused in a non-spooky capacity later on. Really, there were just two significant purchases. One was this little vintage toy piano I got on ebay. It was in rough shape, and I had to glue two of the legs back on, but it’s adorable and it plays. And it’s only creepy when it’s covered with spider webs:


The Beethoven busts (affiliate link) were prizes the kids won at their piano recital a couple of years ago.

The only other thing I bought was the old violin case. I found it on Craigslist; it had belonged to the seller’s grandfather, I believe. They’d restored the violin that used to be in it, but bought a new case for it so didn’t need this one anymore. Dave would have been able to borrow a modern, not falling apart case from the music department at his school, but it wouldn’t have looked old and creepy. So that wouldn’t do. This one is perfect for filling with the bones of dead musicians and their long forgotten compositions:

decomposing composers halloween: old violin case filled with bones

decomposing composers: antique violin case

Oh, wait–I lied. I also bought a bunch of plastic bones at Target. But those will work in practically any Halloween theme, so they don’t count.

We have no shortage of sheet music around here, so I used some that we already had and then “antiqued” it by brushing tea on the pages (same technique I used for my anatomy cards a few years ago):


I had the candelabra around already, and I just put some black votive candles in it:

decomposing composers halloween theme

I almost replaced the Impressionist prints with a whole gallery of dead composers, but I decided that might be a bit much, so I just did one. I found a pictures of Beethoven online, used my photo editing software to white out his eyeballs, and printed him out. I tried adding dripping blood to his eyes, but it looked pretty cheesy. Also disgusting.

Spooky Beethoven print for Halloween

The table got a little fall-ified (but not Halloween-ified) when I busted my brass squirrels back out:



Aside from the dining room, we have some Halloween going on by the front door:

front door decorated for Halloween

I would have loved to fill this whole space with dozens of gorgeous heritage pumpkins in all different shapes and colors. But they were ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS EACH at the grocery store. Or maybe seven. Whatever. They were too much. So I only got two. to mingle with my lots of regular old orange pumpkins. The boxwoods that used to be in the raven planters did not survive the hot, dry summer, so I ripped them out and stuck pumpkins in there instead.

composers17s composers16s front porch with pumpkins and mums and raven planters

Also there are mums! And our old skeleton friend (thrift store find from a few years ago):

skeleton with mums

And the light up Frankenstein to greet all of our Halloween visitors:


There was supposed to be a wreath on the door, but the one I ordered turned out to be way too teeny tiny because I always do that. Seriously. I wrote a whole post about my problems with perspective YEARS ago. You’d think I’d have learned by now. But no. So no wreath! Oh well.

If you’re a regular reader you’ve already seen our foyer display with vintage horror movie posters, but here it is again for the new folks:

Halloween display with vintage horror movie posters

And I tucked a little brass pumpkin in when I redid my sunroom mantel a few weeks ago:

mantel with lots of vintage finds

And that’s it! I had a lot of fun putting Halloween stuff together this year; hope you enjoyed seeing it :).

Now take off and check out the other posts (and then come back tomorrow to see the rest); it will be time very well spent!


Decor and the Dog


Remodelando La Casa

A Designer At Home


Go Haus Go

Number Fifty Three


Boxy Colonial (you’re already here!)

Newly Woodwards

Domicile 37


Craftivity Designs

Sunshine and Munchkins

Put together a decomposing composers, spooky musically themed Halloween display

Linking with:

Tatertots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza








Dec-O-Ween! A Decomposing Composers Halloween — 28 Comments

  1. Love it! I need to show this post to my daughter, she’s our musician and I’m sure she’s gonna love it as much as I do. That Beethoven’s pic is my fave, so creepy! πŸ˜€ Oh, wait no, the little piano is my favorite, I want one like that!

  2. The poor skeleton looks so tired, carrying the chrysanthemums all the time.
    The violin case is superb! I love the piano, too, but I think the Beethoven busts need some blood or something. More cobwebs! There’s always room for more cobwebs, right?
    And I’m with Ari. I am now considering what I could do with my childhood Nativity scene this Christmas (I got it out last year and thought I was done with it for another decade or so) without permanently changing it. Spiders riding the camels, for instance. No paint on anything, but cobwebs, and maybe some skeletons visiting the Baby Jesus? Bearing what sort of gifts? Inspired now.

    • The nativity idea definitely has possibilities…I should have suspected Ari would eventually come up with this idea way back when he used to crash his fire trucks into his Fisher Price manger scene as a toddler….

    • Is he?! I think he’s just sitting! Anyway, that’s what I’m going to keep believing… Yes, I could have let him run with the nativity idea and then respond to all the comments himself πŸ˜‰

  3. You’re so good at this Halloween thing. The theme is perfectly executed!

    Also, I’m growing my own pumpkins next year. Because expensive. But they won’t live. I did find a nice old man that had some for around $5. So better but still.

    Thanks so much for setting up the blog hop!

    • Thanks, Michelle! We tried growing pumpkins a couple of years ago, and we had two that finally started getting big like a week before Halloween. And then it froze and they died before they ripened? something like that. It wasn’t pretty.

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