Shortcuts for a Very Vintage Halloween

Boogie Pumkin
Courtesy of Wayne Hamilton / Picasa.

We at the Eichler Network love the holidays, and Halloween is a particularly good one for those who relish the chance to show off their home. Spooky decorations, an endless-seeming parade of costumed visitors, and a very good excuse to throw a party all make this a great time to get into the spirit (as it were).

With the big day two weeks away, we're not exactly at the last minute but it's time to make some moves. For those who are suddenly realizing they need a few ideas to pull this holiday off, or those just looking for one or two more pieces to add to an already stellar decoration scheme, we've assembled some very simple ideas.


These skel-a-mingos (below) are a great twist on the classic '50s-era pink lawn flamingo. They're available from Amazon for about $20 plus shipping.

Those looking to update their pumpkin carving can print out these easy design templates from Heidi Hengel's Speckless blog. They're not exactly classic jack-o-lanterns, but isn't the whole point of going MCM to stand out from the neighbors? For some more pumpkin ideas, check out Dwell's modern Halloween slide show, which makes great use of black and white paint to update the everyday gourd.

Now, lighting: If you have a Sputnik lamp or other cool MCM piece, they make these flicker-flame bulbs that give a candle-light effect. Replacing the regular bulbs with those looks pretty cool and spooky, as Flickr user Jennifer Hibbard demonstrates.

Real candles are good, too, and these DIY mummy lights from the blog Try it, Mom! look like a great way to add some ambiance without splurging.

Now all you need is a costume. Personally, I've been working my way through the classic monsters, but after several years I'm down to Creature From the Black Lagoon, and I'm not excited about making that costume. So this year I think I'm going to go for a Gilligan's Island theme, probably as Thurston Howell. These '50s and '60s-era costumes are great because they're easy, everybody recognizes them, and they fit right in with our goal of "living today, the mid-century modern way."

But rather than listing a bunch of one-off suggestions you could probably think of yourself, I'll just post this vintage footage from a 1956 Halloween party to offer some idea of how people celebrated once upon a time.