Halloween Menu Printable

For our Halloween vanitas party (read up about it here and here), we had gorgeous menu cards illustrated by Danielle Kroll, whose work I just die over. And today she’s provided a template that you can print off yourself for your own Halloween party. Click here to get a blank menu!
Free downloadable menu card for your Halloween party by Danielle Kroll for The House That Lars Built
It’s easy to overlook the small details, especially when you have a big dinner party to plan, but your guests will appreciate these menu cards! In addition to these printable menu cards, the girls at Ramblin Rose Cafe have provided the full recipes for the dishes seen in the menu card above. Get the recipes here!
We also used these invitations and name cards for our tortured artist Halloween party (also illustrated by Danielle Kroll)! Be sure to check out all of the Halloween printables in the Lars shop! Browse through invitations, place cards, costumes, and decor that’s perfect for a Halloween party!

How to use your Halloween menu printable year-round

This Halloween menu printable is a favorite here at Lars, and that’s because it’s gorgeous and can be used at any party! Use these for a summer feast (more cheese boards!) or an ice cream party. No shame in ice cream as the starter, main course, AND dessert. For a brunch celebration, print out these menu cards with courses like mini baked donuts, french toast crumpets, and cinnamon buns. These menu printables are also perfect for baby showers, bridal showers, and birthdays! Any holiday party you can think of, these menu cards will work great!

Girl with a Pearl Earring costume

This might be my favorite costume of the Tortured Artist party bunch. Think of the looks you could give at a party! You wouldn’t even have to talk to anyone…just look to the side. Carli made Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring costume with some gorgeous fabric from our sponsor, OnlineFabricStore.net, which has an amazing variety of fabrics.
For this costume, we have tutorials on how to make the pearl earring, the head wrap and shawl, as well as a make-up tutorial. See all of it below after the jump.
Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween costume tutorial
Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween costume tutorial
Costume by Carli Randolf
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

Girl with a Pearl Earring: headdress tutorial



  1. Cut the blue fabric into 2 strips about 6-8 inches in width
  2. Cut the yellow fabric into a strip about 10-12 inches in width
  3. (Optional) Press the cut edges under on both sides so that they don’t show
  4. Imitate the painting as best you can. I started off by putting the model’s hair into a high bun and draping the yellow fabric over top. The bun gives the yellow fabric the volume.
  5. I had her hold the tip of the yellow fabric against her forehead as I wrapped the blue pieces around her head, making sure to cover her hairline.
  6. Hide the ends of the fabric by tucking them underneath the folds. You can cut off extra fabric that isn’t needed. If you’re worried about it staying put, you can use safety pins to keep everything in place.

Girl with a Pearl Earring: brown wrap and earrings tutorial

Brown Wrap

For the brown wrap, simply drape the fabric around the shoulders and secure with safety pins.

Pearl Earrings


  • Inexpensive craft clay (the kind you bake in the oven)
  • Dangle earring clasps
  • Metallic acrylic paint (Folk Art has a Pearl White color)
  • Paintbrush
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven


  1. Form clay into the desired teardrop shape.
  2. Bake clay in oven following packaging directions then let cool.
  3. Paint the clay. I had to put on about 4 coats of paint. Let dry.
  4. Attach dangle earring clasps. I just used clasps from a pair of old earrings!


Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween earring tutorial
Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween earring tutorial
Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween earring tutorial


Girl With a Pearl Earring: makeup tutorial by Rubie Huber

This face was so much fun to do but also a challenge! While our girl Morgan did look strikingly like the gorgeous original painting, she also had VERY dark eyebrows that we wanted to downplay. Getting rid of eyebrows can be tricky. You’re going to have to use Elmer’s glue sticks if you want it to look super legit (I recommend watching a youtube tutorial for this!).

For Morgan, I just combed out her brows with normal brow brush and set them with gel. Once that dried, I used a Maybelline Cover Stick (get it here) in white to go over them a few times. I set that with translucent powder and then covered the full top half of her face with a pale full coverage foundation. Spreading the pale base from the top of the forehead over the eyelids and to the top of the cheekbones really gave her a light and airy look.

For her eyes, I used white eyeliner on the lower waterline, then some light grey shadow underneath to create the same effect as the painting. Finish the eyes off with a single layer of mascara.

My favorite thing about this look is the wet lips. I used a pinkish-red lipstick all over her lips, then covered it with a juicy wet lipgloss (the kind you had in junior high that just goops on deliciously).

I set the whole face with a few spritzes of NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray (get it here) instead of powder so her makeup would stay but keep that oil painting sheen.


Be sure to check out the rest of our tortured artist Halloween costumes here! You can also view Halloween party ideas here to create your own themed party!

Mona Lisa Halloween Costume

We’re excited to publish MORE Halloween costume tutorials from our tortured artist party! You can check out the full list here. The Mona Lisa is an absolute classic, and luckily, it’s super easy to put together! Hooray for a stress-free Halloween!
DIY Mona Lisa Halloween costume

Photography by Alpha Smoot

Makeup by Rubie Huber

Hair by Aubrey Nelson

Model ME Hammond

Art directed by Brittany Jepsen


See the full tutorial below.


Mona Lisa Halloween costume


  • A poster of Mona Lisa (here’s a link to one)
  • A pretty gold frame (I got mine from Hobby Lobby)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Craft knife
  • Posterboard


  1. Glue poster of Mona Lisa to posterboard.
  2. Cut out the face of Mona Lisa with your craft knife. Make sure it’s a good size hole to fit your face.
  3. Frame it with your pretty frame
  4. Practice your Mona Lisa smile!

Mona Lisa Costume: makeup tutorial by Rubie Huber

That enigmatic face of all enigmatic faces!

Ok, makeup confession: my one regret here is not gluing down and covering her eyebrows better, but darn it all I forgot my Elmer’s glue stick in my makeup diddy bag. If you want to take this one step further, cover the eyebrows using an Elmer’s glue stick. If you wanna go my route, just use eyebrow gel and white concealer.

What happened to the real Mona Lisa’s eyebrows? It’s a mystery.

After you get the eyebrow situation covered, cover the entire face in a creamy, full coverage foundation. I like Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse. I went one shade darker than her normal skin since Mona Lisa has a dark bronzed/antique look. Wipe the same foundation over your lips.

For the eyes, you’ve really got to look at the picture to shade them with a brown shadow. She’s got interesting shading that’s difficult to mimic, but looking at the picture will help you a lot. Use a tiny dab of the same brown shadow on the corners of her mouth and under her cheekbones. Steer clear of the mascara and eyeliner, but instead use your brown eyeliner to draw that curved line across the top of the forehead, just below the hairline.

All you have left to do is practice your mysterious smile!

Gather your friends and family together, choose your costumes (we love themed costumes!), and celebrate with a Halloween party! Check out how to throw a great Halloween party here.

Vanilla Bean Skull Cake for Halloween

This. Is. Edible! It’s a skull, but it’s a cake. It’s a skull cake! I love the vanitas still life it created for our Halloween party. It acts as decor AND deliciousness. And let me tell you, this recipe is tasty! Just add some greenery (and fruits to continue the vanitas theme), and you’ve got a gorgeous centerpiece.
Also, I had to do it:

Here’s the full dinner table for the party in all of its spooky glory. There are a number of decoration ideas and recipes. You might die (muhahah! pun shamelessly intended) with all the delicious gorgeousness.

Photography by Alpha Smoot
Floral styling by Sarah Winward
Props from Mary Lee
Cake by ME Hammond
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

See the recipe and instructions below.

Vanilla bean skull cake


  • We used a skull mold from Wilton (you can find a similar option here)
  • 3 3/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 1 1/2 c. whole milk

For glaze:

  • 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare the skull cake pan by thoroughly spraying the pan with non-stick spray and lightly flouring
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Slowly add eggs, vanilla extract, and vanilla beans
  5. Combine dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl
  6. Add dry ingredients and milk, alternating approximately 1/3 at a time beginning and ending with dry ingredients
  7. Once the batter is mixed, place it in the prepared skull cake pan
  8. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  9. Allow cakes to cool for about 30 minutes until the cake is only slightly warm
  10. Unmold the cakes from the skull pan
  11. Allow cake to completely cool. Cut the tops of the cakes to be even and place the cakes back to back to create the 3D skull
  12. Glaze cake and allow glaze to harden before serving
  13. Voila! You have a scary skull cake!
We’ve had so much fun with the tortured artist party, and this skull cake recipe really hits the sweet (and spooky!) spot. You can view details of the tortured artist party here, as well as the full menu here. See more Halloween ideas in our Halloween archives!

Vincent Van Gogh costume

Although our model is nearly a Vincent Van Gogh lookalike, you don’t have to be for this costume tutorial! This Vincent Van Gogh costume is easy and perfect for the cooler weather around Halloween (who doesn’t want to get cozy in a cardigan for their costume?).

We chose to go in less of the bandaged ear direction and more in the “I paint beautiful flowers” direction. Here’s how to get the look below…

Photography by Alpha Smoot
Make up by Rubie Huber
Costume crafting by Victoria Riza (with her red-bearded husband as Vicent, thanks Jordan!)

DIY Vincent Van Gogh costume


  • Red beard (model’s is natural but try this one and trim it down)
  • White collarless shirt (we used this one)
  • Blue cardigan (we used one from H&M, but you can find a similar one here)
  • Old pipe (we got ours from an antique store, but you can find a similar one here)
  • Straw hat with black band (you can find a similar one here)
  • Sunflowers (try these!)

Makeup tutorial by Rubie Huber

Now you can have a grand old time painting an entire face Van Gogh style, but our model was already basically the spitting image of the painter. So I just added some tiny touches. Using a dark red/orange eyeshadow, swipe some strokes under the cheekbones and on the outside corners of the eyelids. If you don’t have naturally red hair, you can use the red/orange eyeshadow to dust out a beard and eyebrows. Get it wet to create lines.

Van Gogh seemed to really love that blue vein look we often try to cover up under our eyes and in the inner corners, so play it up with some turqoise eyeshadow! Throw on your tortured artist expression and you’re ready to go!

Check out our other Tortured Artist Halloween costumes here!

Copenhagen row house costume

Row house Halloween costume made from a cardboard box

The Copenhagen row house costume is so bright and colorful, you just may want to recreate the whole city!

Here’s the story. Last year for Halloween Paul and I needed costumes last minute (surprise!) for an event we were attending. The idea came in a flash: Copenhagen! We needed to be Copenhagen. I drew it up in my mind, got the boxes, painted it, put it together AND THEN realized, DOH! The reason it came so easy is because it was Merrilee’s idea from her new book Playful, the book that you know, I just styled. The one that hadn’t been released! I couldn’t very well steal her thunder (though the one she created was a dollhouse) so I’ve had to wait a WHOLE YEAR to release this puppy. Do you know how hard that is for an antsy craft blogger?!

Since Paul LOVES to be in photos (NOT), I had Hillary come in and play my next-door neighbor. She’s a bright ball of sunshine.

Row house Halloween costume made from a cardboard box
Row house Halloween costume made from a cardboard box
Row house Halloween costume made from a cardboard box
Row house Halloween costume made from a cardboard box


Row house Halloween costume made from a cardboard box
See the full instructions below.

How to make a Copenhagen row house costume


  • Cardboard box large enough to fit into
  • Piece of cardboard for the roof
  • Craft knife
  • Paints in your preferred colors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Duct tape


  1. Open the box so all the flaps are out. You need a shape that will feel like the height of a building so I made mine as tall as it could go. I sealed up the flaps with duct tape and reinforced it with a glue gun.
  2. Create the shape of the roof by getting an extra piece of cardboard and creating your preferred shape. Cut it out with your craft knife. Cut a hole to the size of your face.
  3. Attach it to the box with duct tape and a glue gun.
  4. Make the A-frame roof by bending a long piece of cardboard in half. Have it hang over the box by a few inches.
  5. Attach the roof to the rest of the house with duct tape and glue gun again. Make sure the roof is in a position where you don’t have to duck.
  6. Paint the box to your desired colors. If possible, use white cardboard so it’s easier to paint on top (fewer layers). I went with traditional Copenhagen yellow and blue like the main harbor, Nyhavn.
  7. Figure out where your hands will be holding the box and cut out slits.
TIP: Make sure your boxes can fit inside your car! Ours didn’t so we had to hold them out of our sunroof. And drive 5 mph across town. Hmph.

And the best part about this costume is that you can customize it to fit any city’s row house aesthetic: Brooklyn, Amsterdam, London, Paris, you name it! Have fun and get creative!

See more rad ideas like these in Merrilee’s new book Playful, and get more Halloween costume ideas here!

Picasso’s Old Guitarist Costume

Picasso’s Old Guitarist costume will have others swooning over your artistic skills! Keep reading for the full instructions!
When you think of Picasso what style do you think of? He was so prolific and touched on nearly every style that it’s hard to nail one down, but I tend to think of his blue period, because it was so uniquely his. It lasted only three years, 1901-04, but it so melancholically gorgeous with subjects painted in moody blues and greens.
The trick to the Old Guitarist costume is in the body painting, and luckily, we had Rubie Huber, who does make up for films and commercials, come and show us how it’s done.
Picasso's Old Guitarist Halloween costume with make-up tutorial
Picasso's Old Guitarist Halloween costume with make-up tutorial
Picasso's Old Guitarist Halloween costume with make-up tutorial
Picasso's Old Guitarist Halloween costume with make-up tutorial
Picasso's Old Guitarist Halloween costume recipe with make-up tutorial
Make-up by Rubie Huber 
Hair by Aubrey Nelson
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen
Check out more Halloween ideas here, and check out more of our tortured artist costumes here.


 Picasso’s Old Guitarist Halloween costume


  • blue dress (we bought a blue cotton maxi dress with long sleeves from the thrift store)
  • guitar with strap
  • blue and white hair chalk


  1. Distress the dress by cutting holes unto the shoulder, cutting off the neckline, and using a grater to rough the edges.
  2. Paint your nails blue with Chinchilly Essie nail polish.
  3. Victoria has dark hair, so Aubrey dyed it blonde first then colored it with blue and white hair chalk before tucking it into a low bun.
  4. Carry around a guitar (and make sure it has a strap so it doesn’t get int your way all night!).

Makeup tutorial for Picasso’s Old Guitarist

I had so much fun with this one, it’s ridiculous. Take a few minutes channeling your inner Picasso and get ready to paint freely without self-doubt or criticism. This look is all about the artist in you!


I used Mehron FX liquid cream face paint in blue (get it here), white (here), and black (here) for this whole look. Grab a cookie sheet or something easily washable to create a painter’s palette for yourself.


Mix the colors around and get some lighter and darker versions of the mix. For the face, you can apply a base blue/grey coat with a sponge, which is softer than a brush, but I would use a brush for all the rest so you get the stroke effect. Use any large, soft paintbrush (grab a cheap one from Michael’s)!

Take a look at your body and think about where you curve out and where you dip in. Check out how light hits you and then just go at it with the paint! Blend lighter colors where you feel like light hits more (cheekbones, collar bones, shins, tops of knees, tops of feet, and the bulge on your ankle). Paint darker blues on all the hollows or on the edges of the rounds (in dips in the neck, under the jaw, between bones, and around calves).

The skeletal feel really comes out in the hands and feet. Start by painting dark blue in between the fingers and extending those lines on the palm of your hand. You can push firmly into the hand to feel where the hollows should be. Next, paint a rough line on top of the fingers, adding splotches to the knuckles. Extend the palm as well. Repeat the same process on the feet.

Once you’ve painted everything, step back and look in a mirror. If you see any spot that looks too uniform or boring, blend in a different color; add more blue or white or grey than you had before and pile it onto your brush, swiping some thick strokes haphazardly. This will give you that painted look that is so beautiful.

It should not look perfect! Keep it wild and fun and just get those creative juices flowing. You’ll love the end result, and so will everyone else!

2 Frida Kahlo costumes

2 Frida Kahlo costumes
I’ve always wanted to host a “come dressed as your favorite artist” party and I found Halloween the perfect opportunity to do so. We invited everyone to come dressed as their favorite tortured artist for our Halloween party. Some of the costumes we’ll show you are a bit more “tortured” than others, but all are easy to make from your existing closets with a little help from the fabric and craft stores. 
A must for any Tortured Artist party is Frida Kahlo, who, as a person, was quite a tortured soul. We decided to go with her double self-portrait, The 2 Fridas, which is a great choice if you’re wanting a costume for two people. A lot of the costume came from my own closet, but you know me, I like my clothes bright and waistband-less.
Frida Kahlo costume tutorial
Frida Kahlo costume tutorial.
To give you a bit of background, this particular painting depicts Frida in the midst of her divorce from Diego Rivera. She left the two hearts exposed showing one broken and the other hole, the one that Diego loved. She depicted surgical pincers to show that she was cutting off the emotional ties.
Frida Kahlo costume recipe
Here’s how to get the look:

Frida Kahlo costume recipe
Frida Kahlo costume

Photography by Alpha Smoot
Hair by Aubrey Nelson
Make up by Rubie Huber
Crafting by Ashley Isenhour
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

See the full tutorial below

HEADBAND by Ashley Isenhour

Materials: 3 silk flowers (1 large and 2 medium), 6 silk leaves, headband, black ribbon or fabric strip, scissors, hot glue gun, pliers with wire cutting section (depending on your flowers)

Step 1: Cut 3 silk flowers and 6 silk leaves from flower stems. If your flowers have wire in the stems you’ll want to use wire cutters for this. Leave about 2 inches of stem on the flowers to make gluing the flowers to the headband easier.
Step 2: Cut about 1.5″ of ribbon or fabric strip. Fold piece over one end of the headband and hot glue it into place. Glue end of ribbon to other end of headband. Start wrapping ribbon tightly around headband and add a bit of hot glue to secure ribbon to headband. Continue wrapping until headband is completely covered. Cut end of ribbon and hot glue end to headband.
Step 3: Hot glue 2 leaves (one on either side) to back of large flower. Squirt hot glue on middle of headband. Attach large flower (angling flower forward) and hold in place until hot glue dries. 
Step 4: Turn medium flower over. Bend stem to one side of flower. Hot glue 2 leaves on opposite side. Repeat with other medium flower. 
Step 5: Lift right leaf of large flower up and squirt hot glue on underside of leaf and along headband. Place one of the medium flowers in this space, making sure that leaves on medium flower are pointing away from center large flower. Angle flower forward slightly while glue dries. On back side of headband hot glue stem of medium flower to back of large flower to secure. Repeat (in opposite direction) with other medium flower.
Make a Frida Kahlo floral headpiece
ANATOMICAL HEART by Ashley Isenhour
Materials: 1/4 yard cream or muslin fabric, embroidery needle, red embroidery thread, embroidery hoop, scissors, white glue, scotch tape, water soluble fabric marker (like this), template (get it here)
Step 1: Print out embroidery pattern. Cut piece of fabric large enough to fit your embroidery hoop. Tape pattern to a sun-lit window. Tape fabric over pattern and trace heart onto fabric with a water soluble fabric marker.
Step 2: Stretch fabric in embroidery hoop. Stitch over heart pattern using a chain stitch (see a great tutorial here) or backstitch. (Good tutorials here.
Step 3: Rinse fabric with water to erase fabric marker. Allow to dry. 
Step 4: Trim fabric about 1/4″ all the way around outline of heart. Dab a tiny bit of white glue around edge of fabric and let dry. This will prevent fraying.
Note: If you don’t want to embroider, you can paint or draw it with a marker.


These two girlies were fun to work with, and I was able to express my love for one of the most beautiful female artists with their make up.  
Of course the main job with Frida was the eyebrows.  Don’t be afraid to go crazy here! You gotta go even bolder than your boldest brow to really get that Frida look.  
First brush your brows up and out and every which way you can to make them fuller and more prominant.  I used some eyebrow gel (get it here) to set them at all sorts of angles.  Darken them out with dark brown matte eyeshadow.  To make them more intense.  Spread the same dark eyeshadow between the brows.  Using a super thin tiny brush (this one worked great) get the same eyeshadow wet with water and draw a few lines in between the brows and all over the edges.  
Keep the rest of the face really clean, only adding nude cream eyeshadow and black mascara.  
For the cheeks I used a deep liquid blush more on the red or purple side than the pink; Frida was all about the rich reds. Blend it out on the apples of the cheeks.
You need a deep oxblood red to get the Frida drama.  I love the Kate Moss line by Rimmel London #11 (from here). It’s intense.  
Finish off the look with a little bronzing around the edges of the face with a non shimmery bronzer.  

Decor for your Halloween party

Decor for your Halloween party
Decor for your Halloween party
Decor for your Halloween party

Happy October! Right on cue, Utah welcomed fall in with crisper weather, rain, and falling leaves.

If you’re just joining us here on Lars, we’re showing you how to throw the perfect Halloween party, complete with printables (like this invitation), costume ideas, and today, food, and decor ideas. The theme of the party is vanitas, which is an art history reference describing the brevity of life and nearness of death. In art, this concept was portrayed with decaying flowers, blown-out candles, and rotting fruit SO, we thought, wouldn’t that make an awesome party theme? Because who doesn’t want rotting fruit at their party, right?

Here are some decor ideas for your party. Think “what would be in a Dutch baroque painting?” and create a number of vignettes around your space. To get you going:

  • Stacked old books
  • Skulls (I got ours at Michael’s. They’re made of styrofoam so you can carve them out and use them as a vase to put flowers in!)
  • Shells
  • Candles and candlesticks. Lots of them!
  • Honey and honeycomb
  • Dried or old flowers (finally, you black thumbs are in luck!)
  • Rotting fruit. 
  • Taxidermy
  • Linen tablecloth
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

Printable Halloween party invitation

For our Vanitas Halloween party (check out the full explanation of our theme here) we recruited the talented Danielle Kroll to design an invitation. We wanted something that was both beautiful yet a tad creepy and I love what she came up with. I think it really captured the feel of our event. We printed it off on an off-white card stock.

Print off your own invitation here (all blank version and partially blank version)

Illustration by Danielle Kroll
Photography by Alpha Smoot
Florals by Sarah Winward
Props by Mary Lee
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

Vanitas Halloween costume recipe

Vanitas Halloween costume. Florals and ghoul.
It’s officially fall and us DIY bloggers capitalize  work really well with holidays and the only one we have to work with is Halloween so…let the ghoulish games begin! I’ve got some really great things in store for you over the next few weeks. I’ve collaborated with the talented photographer Alpha Smoot, who’s frequently in town from Brooklyn, floral designer Sarah Winward, hair stylist Aubrey Nelson, prop master Mary Lee, and make-up artist Rubie Huber to bring you some gorgeous and simple Halloween costume and party ideas.
First up, we’re going with a vanitas theme. You remember “vanitas” from art history? (Or am I the nerd girl art history major?) Raise yer hand if you know what I’m talking about! Since we here at Lars go for an “artful life” we thought we’d bring up those (painful?) college days and remind you of the 16th/17th century Dutch still lifes that often used morbid imagery like skulls, decaying flowers and fruits, clocks, blown out candles, to convey the brevity of life and nearness of death. Being one part creepy and one part beautiful, vanitas was the perfect theme for our first simple costume. 
Here’s the recipe: 
Vanitas Halloween costume recipe.
fresh flowers in hair
Vanitas Halloween costume recipe. Flowers, grey hair, make up, black dress.
flowers and butterflies in hair.
Vanitas Halloween costume recipe.

photography by Alpha Smoot
flowers by Sarah Winward
make up by Rubie Huber
hair by Aubrey Nelson
model and wardrobe by Kandyce Carroll of Ramblin Rose Cafe
additional wardrobe by Mary Lee
art directed by Brittany Jepsen

See how to get the make-up, hair, wardobe, flowers, below!

Vanitas make up by Rubie Huber

For the Vanitas we started with a pale base. I mixed Mehron Fantasy FX with Revlon Photoready Airbrush foundation because I wanted it pale but also creamy.  Blend the two together on the back of your hand and apply with a make up sponge.

To add dimension and contour to the face I used Mehron Fantasy FX in grey.  Blend it on the back of your hand and using either your fingers or a large round brush, lightly swipe then blend it under the cheekbones and jawline and around the edges of the face and collar bones.  Just follow all the natural hollows to create a ghostly gaunt feel. If you don’t want it so intense then just use a smokey grey eyeshadow.

For the eyes  you can use any thick, black smudg-eable eyeliner. You can go cheap on this one, I used ELF Studio Kohl Eyeliner  which is very black, and smudge-able.  

Line the eyes making sure you get in the waterline, and then smudge up into the lid and a little underneath. I like to smudge into the inner corner up and down the nose to add a tiny bit of contour.  

I wanted the Lips to be super dark and even black.  So I lined them with black eyeliner, then filled them with the darkest lipstick I could find.  Smudge them together to blacken the lipstick even more and cover with a gloss.  

To set everything, lightly brush the face with a translucent powder.  I don’t like spending money on expensive versions of this, so I make my own with cornstarch and a tiny bit of baby powder.  It works great and costs close to nothing! 

Vanitas hair by Aubrey Nelson
Products used for color: Kevin Murphy Color Bug in White, Bumble and Bumble white hair powder,  Jks Touch up Spray Powder chrome

  1. Start by spraying a salt spray in the hair to create volume and texture. (These are some favorite products: Bumble Surf Spray and Sacha Juan Ocean Mist)
  2. Section the hair into large sections with one being on the bottom right of the head for braid. 
  3. Take a boar bristle brush and back comb the large sections to create volume. 
  4. Take back combed sections, and spray with white or silver powder to color. 
  5. Take those same sections with the excepting of the one you will be braiding and use hairpins to secure them with lots of body. Starting with the ends of the hair and rolling up can create a really pretty messy curl with the texture that you can pin. (These are my favorite hair pins: Diane Hair Pins)
  6. Take the bottom section you left out for the braid and section it into three sections for a basic braid and secure with hair tie (these ones are my favorites!)
  7. Once you have the hair pinned and braided take your chalk or spray and make finishing touches to the color, pay close attention to the hairline to make it look as natural as possible. 
  8. Spray with hairspray to secure and add florals! 

Vanitas flowers by Sarah Winward
Sarah inserted hellebores and clematis into Kandyce’s gorgeous mane.

Vanitas costume
Mary Lee provided a vintage beaded shawl and Kandyce Carroll used on of her existing black dresses to create the costume.

DIY Pumpkin Family Halloween Decor

In the spirit of my Halloween decorating philosophy (classic harvest season decorations are always a win!), I will be providing you a few tutorials on how to create a lovely Halloween. First up, a DIY pumpkin family. Are you dying from cuteness overload yet? I nearly did as we shot this. It’s too much. I teamed up with the succulent expert Cassidy Tuttle of Succulents and Sunshine (a blog all about succulents. She even has an ebook!) and illustrator of the most adorable faces, Michelle Christensen of My Little Belleville to bring you the world’s cutest pumpkin family. Succulents as hair and a painted face. I die. AND, Michelle made you some templates so you can recreate her faces. You can find them in our Halloween shop here. Score!

DIY Pumpkin Family


  • Light-colored pumpkins (I found that white works the best)
  • Acrylic paints (black and red and white are all you really need)
  • Fine paintbrush
  • Carving knife
  • Pumpkin faces PDF template (download here)
  • Pencil
  • A variety of succulents
  • Rocks for succulents


  1. Carve out the top. You won’t need it so feel free to discard.
  2. Scoop out the seeds.
  3. You can trace the faces onto the pumpkin by positioning the template where you want the face and then pressing hard with a pen or pencil.

OR 4. You can use pins or toothpicks to transfer the image onto the pumpkin.

OR 5. Use the template as a stencil and cut it out and paint over it with your brush.

6. Paint in the lines with your acrylic paints.

7. Die of cuteness overload.

8. Put some rocks into the pumpkin and insert your succulents. Try a few in the head or just one larger succulent.
I mean…
Greenery AND pumpkins? I love it. Look at how adorable and colorful this pumpkin family is! You could also make this DIY pumpkin family resemble your own family! How cute would that be?
Dying of cuteness right? Your Halloween decor will definitely be the cutest on the block. Be sure to check out these succulent worded pumpkins or more ways to decorate pumpkins with succulents here.
Photography by Cassidy Tuttle of Succulents and Sunshine
Illustration by Michelle Christensen of My Little Belleville (check out her adorable shop!)
Assistant: Audrey Ellsworth
Art direction and crafting: moi