DIY: Adding details to your haunt with printables

Posted: October 23, 2013 in Projects

DSC03005One inexpensive, quick way I’ve discovered to add some interesting details to my Halloween decor is using printables from bloggers and other sites.  This year I have printed a variety of items including: signs, silhouettes, photographs, business cards, paper dolls and labels.  Some I just use for ideas to create my own, some are available for purchase and some are given as free gifts by the designers.  I never understood the draw of Pinterest until I discovered all the Halloween project ideas on it.  Visit my Pinterest boards for a variety of ideas –

LABELS: The first printables that caught my eye were potion labels.  I had previously been collecting oddities to put in jars and have longer term plans for a full witches kitchen and laboratory scene.  My early plans centered around various items that looked cool or glowed in the dark.  Tonic water for example can be used as the “preserving solution” for brains and other body parts and the liquid will glow under a black light.  Tide detergent also glows under black light.  So I started collecting little  dollar store items from the party favors sections like mini skulls, brains, worms, spiders etc.  Then, I found many cool printables, so now I find the label I like best and then look for an items that fits it.  I’ve also collected a variety of jar decorating ideas to enhance these knick knacks.  Pictured is one bloggers jar created for Dracula’s ashes.  It is embellished with a variety of trinkets and treatments.

PHOTOGRAPHS: There are a variety of photographs available online in the public domain or under Creative Commons licensing that make them free for personal use.  I plan to print them and create cool frames to mix them in with family portraits.  I already have a collection of store bought holographic portraits on my walls and I would like to cut off the plastic frames and put them in nicer frames to display along with the others I’ve printed as well as create zombified versions of my family photos (more on that in another post).  I’m partial to Victorian special effects photography like the headless photos that can be found online. You can also find photographs of families posed with deceased family members.  The movie The Others features a book of this type of photographs which were popular in those days and are still common in some cultures.

PAPER DOLLS: While looking for photos, I ran across several artists who created paper dolls which can be printed for free or purchased. I particularly love the Vincent Price articulated paper doll by Mellisa Kojima which can be found here as a free printable- or go to for a free download of a traditional paperdoll of a boy with various Halloween costumes by Blair Sayer.

SIGNS: You can find a wide variety of signs to print or create on poster board or purchase metal or paper versions.  Zombies are in vogue these days thanks to The Walking Dead and the “Zombie Crossing” signs are some of my favorites – Get high resolution printable size here –   There is also a cool artwork and instructions for a free beware of Frankenstein’s monster sign here –

 Silhouettes & Business Cards: I love horror movies, so this year I am adding some nods to some classics with a tray of business cards as well as some iconic silhouettes for the outside walls of my house and garage.  The business cards include personal cards for Norman Bates (Psycho), Captain Quinn (Jaws) and Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) as well as some general businesses like Elite Hunting (Hostel) and Ghostbusters.  For outdoors I’ve found several shadows to be cut out of landscaping material to hang on outside walls such as Nosferatu and the preacher from Night of the Hunter.  

There are a variety of other printables you can add to your collection including templates for invitations, placeholders, food identification cards or games like the puzzle box from Hellraiser.  Let me know in the comments any other ideas you may have for using printables to add detail to Halloween displays.


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