DIY Ghost Tablecloth for Halloween

We’re on our very last tutorial from the Tortured Artist party, and this one is my favorite! This DIY ghost tablecloth tutorial is creepy and ghoulish and everything in between. Imagine eating a pleasant Halloween feast when all of a sudden you notice that the cheesecloth you think is artistically bunched up is actually a face. Muhahaha. We used cheesecloth bunched together as a table runner and inserted the faces along in the grooves. Perfectly spooky, right?!
Cheesecloth ghost table runner
Cheesecloth ghost table runner

Photography by Alpha Smoot
Crafting by Carli Randolf
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

DIY ghost tablecloth tutorial


  • Face form
  • Cheesecloth
  • Corn starch
  • Water


1. Make starch. Pour 2 cups of water into a microwave-safe container. Add 1 cup of corn starch. Mix well.

2. Microwave it in 30 second installments until it gets thick. Will take about 2 minutes long. Let it cool, but not get cold.

3. Coat your piece of cheesecloth (I recommend doubling it to make it stronger) in the cornstarch.

4. Drape the cheesecloth over your face form making sure to give detail to the face part. Really work your fingers into the facial expression. We used a mannequin head but you can find face forms at Michael’s or Joann. Put freezer paper underneath so it makes it easy to pull off.

5. We alternated between using a hairdryer and letting it air dry. It makes it easy to pull it off the surface.

6. When it’s completely dry, use a butter knife to separate the layers.

7. Create a table runner on your table by bunching up layers cheesecloth. Insert your faces in the bunches. Each face was ended up being about a 12″ square.

Add some candles and greenery to your table for the finishing touch. Muhahahaha. Check out the full spread at our tortured artist party here, and view the tortured artist costumes here.

More decor ideas for Halloween

If this DIY ghost tablecloth grabbed your attention, you can browse through MORE Halloween decor ideas in the Lars archives. Our favorites include this DIY rainbow pumpkin arch, these DIY wood transfer plaques, and creepy printable art decor to match your equally spooky ghost tablecloth. You can also check out more Halloween decor inspiration on our Pinterest board here.

Printable Custom Name Tags

We revealed our Halloween Tortured Artist dinner party, but we still have a couple of details to add to complete the party so you can easily recreate it. A proper dinner party needs to place their artists strategically. I mean, how awful would it be to place Van Gogh next to Gauguin? I know, horrible. Danielle Kroll came up with a gorgeous design for these printable name tags that you can use at your next event. You can download the printables here!
Free printable name tags for your Halloween dinner party place settings
Free printable name tags for your Halloween dinner party place settings
We placed our name tags on skeleton hands that we found out Michael’s just to add a tinge more creepiness. For more printables to complete your dinner party, download the menu card and invitation. You can also check out more Halloween party ideas like this skull cake and this ghost tablecloth to complete your dinner party.
See more ideas from our Halloween Tortured Artist party here. And be sure to browse more printables in the Lars Halloween shop!

Use these printable name tags at any gathering

Although we used them for our Halloween party, these printable name tags are pretty enough for any kind of celebration! We love to throw parties here at Lars (can you tell?!), and these illustrations will fit in with any decor. Place these name tags on guests’ plates alongside these printable napkin rings (with crowns to match!) and a floral garland table runner for a fun, colorful birthday party, baby shower, or wedding celebration!
Props by Mary Lee
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

How to Throw a Beautiful AND Spooky Halloween Party

This Halloween party was truly spooky and gorgeous, and we’re ready to share all of our tips to a great Halloween party. After 9 Tortured Artist costume ideas (10 if you include the double Fridas), one full menu with 3 delicious recipes and a skull cake for dessert, 2 illustrated printables from Danielle Kroll here and here (and one more on the way), 1 playlist, and 5 decor ideas here and here, it’s time to reveal the full dinner Tortured Artist party.
If you’re planning your own Halloween party, here’s how I would do it:


It’s the only time of the year when it’s truly permissible, so why would you avoid it? Embrace it. In the invitation mention the dress code. Here it was “Arrive dressed as your favorite Tortured Artist.”

Decide on a decor theme

I mentioned here that our decor was inspired by vanitas, the term used to describe the brevity of life and nearness of death that was reflected in rotting fruits, skulls, taxidermy, and candles (see our decor ideas here) and a costume based on it.  We chose not to do rotting fruits but just living fruits as we didn’t want to gross out our guests. A piece of fruit at each place setting is the perfect adornment (see above image).

Add in the spooky to your Halloween party

I’m not generally a fan of the spooky element, but to make the beautiful vanitas work, we needed that extra creepy feel. For the table runner, we added in some ghost faces. I wanted something subtle that you wouldn’t detect right away. Surprise! Check out the full DIY here.


But also make it gorgeous

Though it’s a bit spooky, it should also be a bit gorgeous, right?! That’s how we like to do it here. Sarah Winward did the gorgeous flowers and used the styrofoam skeleton heads as vases. I love how they turned out. Drip fruits and flowers across the table for that lavish, over-the-top feel.

Black candles (perfect for the Halloween party atmosphere!)

Good, subtle lighting is a must. We lit our party with black candles, the only way to go. We got ours from Save-on-Crafts, who is the cheapest and has the best supply around.

Customize the event

 Danielle Kroll created these gorgeous name tags to go at each setting. You can get the free printable here. She also created these gorgeous invitations and menu cards, which you can get here and here.

Spooky Halloween party artwork

To transform your space and make it feel like a haunted house no matter where you are, cover up the walls with these free printable portraits, which feel spooky and hysterical at the same time. Check out the tutorial here.

Dessert that mimics the theme

It’s all in the details, folks. I was so excited for this vanilla bean skull cake. I think it truly made the party. And it was delicious, so there’s that. Get the full tutorial here.

A delicious autumnal menu

Ramblin Rose Cafe created the most gorgeous and gorgeously delicious menu for the party including a roasted garlic and cauliflower soup, a perfect autumn cheese board, and roasted root vegetables and a pomegranate ginger elixir to wash it all down.

Good friends with good costumes

 The perfect recipe for a Halloween party! Here are the ones we did: Girl with the Pearl Earring, Vanitas, 2 Frida Kahlos, Birth of Venus, Marie Antoinette, Georgia O’Keefe, Old Guitarist, Van Gogh, Mona Lisa.

We had a ball putting this party on, and there’s still a bit more. Get a behind the scenes look at the making of the party here!

Props by Mary Lee
Hair by Aubrey Nelson
Make-up by Rubie Huber
Food by Ramblin Rose Cafe

Georgia O’Keeffe costume recipe

Georgia O'Keefe costume recipe

Get ready to tap into your artistic side with this Georgia O’Keeffe costume tutorial! I will say yes to any tutorial with giant paper flowers, and this Halloween costume did not disappoint!

Georgia made her home in New Mexico and often depicted the setting around her: skulls, desert landscapes, desert flowers. We included those elements into our costume as symbolic touches. Of course, you probably won’t want to walk around with a huge bull skull (or do you?), but a microscopic version like the bracelet is a good alternative. We’ll show you how to make the oversized poppy as inspired by her paintings (see here), the dyed kaftan inspired by her close-ups, and a hair and make-up tutorial.

Skull as a bracelet for Georgia O'Keefe
Georgia O'Keefe costume recipe
Costume by Carli Randolf
Hair by Aubrey Nelson
Make-up by Rubie Huber
Props by Mary Lee
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen
This post was sponsored in part by

Georgia O’Keeffe costume recipe

  • Grey hair tutorial
  • Creepy make-up tutorial
  • Dyed kaftan
  • Bull skull accessories (find some cheap options here or here. Search for things like “taxidermy skull” or “faux taxidermy skull.” The bracelet is gold-leafed a bit for more flair.

How to make the paper poppy flower


  • Watercolor paper
  • Shallow dish
  • Water
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Petal template
  • Aluminum foil
  • Watercolors (dark orange, light orange, and purple)
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue gun
  • Pom pom template
  • Yarn


  1. Use the petal template to cut four petals out of watercolor paper.
  2.  Fill a shallow dish with water and soak petals in water for about two minutes. While wet, place a petal on aluminum foil and paint one side dark orange. Paint broad edge of other side dark orange, paint middle section light orange, and narrow point purple. Repeat will all petals. Let petals dry.
  3. Hold narrow point of petal and the handle of a paintbrush in one hand. Press paintbrush against petal with thumb and use other hand to pull petal upwards, bending the petal around paint brush handle. This loosens the fibers in the paper. Repeat process in other direction on petal. Repeat with all petals.
  4. Cut slit in the narrow point of each petal. Overlap the two sides of the narrow point to make a cupped shape and hot glue into place.
  5. Bend broad edges of petals backward.
  6. Glue two petals together (see photo) at narrow points. Fill in gaps with other two petals.
  7. Use pom template (see tutorial here) to make a pom. Glue pom to center of flower. 

Georgia O’Keeffe costume: makeup tutorial

The real Miss O’Keeffe has such a unique, fierce beauty that just slaps you in the face. It’s hard to replicate, so instead, I wanted to just bring out different “feels” of O’Keeffe in the makeup.

First I started with a matte makeup base (get it here) to take away any shine from the face. I wanted the model, Carly’s, beautiful skin to be able to come through without shine, so I added almost no foundation after the base. What we did do though, is bronze. This evokes the haunting, desert beauty that I felt from Georgia and her artwork, so I bronzed and bronzed and bronzed, concentrating on the edges of the face, under the cheekbones, and below the jawline. I kept going down the neck, focusing on the hollows. I had Carly awkwardly flex her neck and shoulders so her collar bones popped out, and then bronzed around them.

Her lips were nude and natural, but you can mix some concealer with a tiny bit of pink or peach lipstick if you don’t have your own nude color lip wear.

For her eyes, we fierced up her brows with ELF eyebrow kit (get it here) and created some drama in her eyes with dark matte grey eyeshadow only on the inner and outer corners. Think ghostly! In the end, Carly carried it all with her modeling.

Kaftan Pattern




  1. Measure your height and multiply that by two. This is how much yardage you will need. Depending on how wide your fabric is, you may need to measure how wide you want the fabric to be and cut. I tried to keep the selvedged edges so that I wouldn’t have to finish that seam.
  2.  Fold the the fabric in half and mark center with safety pins on both sides.
  3. Dye fabric following dying instructions on package.
  4. Cut out a hole for your head. Make sure to start by cutting a small hole and then increase the size to fit your head through. Stay-stitch to keep the fabric from stretching.
  5. Finish neck edge. I did a bias tape facing. Quick and easy.
  6. Put on the dress and pin fit both sides of your body through both layers of fabric. Sew a straight line down each side.
  7. Sew in a button hole at the stitching near your waist to allow for a belt (optional).


Grey hair tutorial by Aubrey Nelson

  1. Start by coating the hair in white hair chalk to give it texture and grey appearance. A favorite chalk of mine is this one from Kevin Murphy
  2. To give a wispy & effortless look we gathered all the hair with just our fingers and held straight out fem the head holding it by the ends
  3. Then roll the hair up sideways into a simple twist and secure with bobby pins
  4. To give a more tousled look, massage the hairline and perimeter of style with the palm of your hand to loosely free hair
  5. Make finishing touches with white chalk

THE END! You’re now ready to show off your costume masterpiece, with skull and poppy in hand!

See our full list of tortured artist costumes here! And check out some more influential women Halloween costumes here!

Birth of Venus Costume

Our vanitas Halloween is in full swing, and we’re so excited about our tortured artist costume tutorials! Let’s continue with the Birth of Venus costume!
Birth of Venus was painted by Sandro Botticelli in 1486 as commissioned by the Medici family. It depicts the goddess of love, Venus, emerging from the ocean as a full-grown woman. There are a lot of interpretations of the painting, but it’s generally thought to be a depiction of the birth of love and spiritual beauty as a driving force of life. Read more about it here.
We decided to do an adaptation of Birth of Venus (shockingly, we don’t do nudity here on Lars). But for those of you who like to do artistic sexy Halloween, I suppose this is your chance. We went with a bodysuit–you’re welcome.
Make-up by Rubie Huber
Crafting and modeling by Hillary Gallup
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen
Birth of Venus Halloween costume

Birth of Venus costume tutorial


To make the skirt:

  • Wrap the decorative net around the waist and secure it with wire or safety pins
  • Remove from body and place paper under netting
  • Use hot glue to apply the shells onto the netting


For the wig:

Once you get your wig (we got ours from here), you will need to trim it to your desired length and fullness (as this one is REALLY long and unshapen). Just get out your handy scissors and go to town!



If you don’t feel comfortable going with bare legs, you can try some nude leggings.

Birth of Venus costume: makeup tutorial by Rubie Huber

Venus! The epitome of natural beauty! I wanted her (and your!) own natural beauty to shine out, so go for minimal foundation. Instead, spread a BB cream or tinted moisturizer across your whole face for a healthy glow. Use just small bits of concealer under the eyes, around the nose, and on any blemishes.

Define those eyebrows subtly with the ELF eyebrow kit (get it here). I love ELF! So cheap and easy.

To get a golden look, I used the same shimmery bronzer for both cheeks and eyes. In fact, bronzer as eyeshadow is one of my favorite things. Yay for multi-use! Go for an all-over bronze shimmer on the eyelid and the cheekbones. Sweep it back into the hairline. Spread a thin layer everywhere for an all-over glow. Use your finger or a smaller brush to swipe across the brows and down the bridge of the nose.

Find a peachy nude lipliner– I like Revlon colorstay in Rose (get it here)– to lightly fill in the lips. I like to line, then smudge inward so you get just a little color, and add on a shiny clear chapstick for the fresh natural lips.


You can view the full tortured artist party here! Looking for more Halloween costume inspiration? Look no further than our longest list of Halloween costume ideas yet!

image of painting from here.

Creepy Printable Art Decor for Halloween

For our tortured artist party (see more details here), we wanted our Halloween decor to feel one part Haunted House and one part 17th century Dutch Baroque. Printable art decor was the perfect solution, as it looks extravagant but is actually really cheap! Ashley came up with the idea to print off some large scale engineering prints at the local printer (we love Printmark–old Cougar Copy–here in Provo, but Staples also works!) that run about $5 each. We simply printed them off and hung them up! You could even place them in some fancy gold frames for an extra elegant Halloween party. AND you can use them again for future Halloweens!
Spooky Halloween art decor (free!)
Spooky Halloween art decor (free!)
I love how customizable this printable art decor is. By choosing your own portraits, your party guests can really see your character come through! Maybe these portraits will inspire you to do a creepy Halloween portrait session of your own (if you’re doing a themed Halloween costume party like ours, this would be a great idea)!
Check out the full instructions and how to get the printable artwork below!

photography by Alpha Smoot
crafting by Ashley Isenhour
styling by Sarah Winward and Brittany Jepsen
art directed by Brittany Jepsen

Creepy Portrait Posters for Halloween decor

  1. Go to Rijksmuseum and create an account.
  2. Type “portraits” into the search bar. A “portraits” collection should pop up under the search bar. Click it.
  3. When you find a portrait creepy enough to fit your taste, click on it. Go to the bottom right of the enlarged version and click the scissor icon. Click “download this work.”
  4. Save your file on a flash drive and take it to your local printer and ask them for an “engineer print.” Staples or FedEx should do the trick! They offer a few sizes ranging from $2-$8.
  5. Hang up and enjoy your creepy Halloween portraits!

Fill those walls with holiday spirit this Halloween! We have more printable art decor available in the Lars Halloween shop, as well as some invitations and costume ideas! If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy those creepy portraits, check out our paper bag portrait luminaries tutorial!


Halloween Dinner Party Menu

I gave a sneak peek of the delicious dinner party menu for our Halloween vanitas party (read more about the party here) with the printable menu cards and guys, you will want to bookmark/pin/note/dream about this menu. It’s beyond. If you remember from the Midsummer party, we partnered up with the girls from Ramblin Rose Cafe who created this out of this world menu. These girls have a knack for making delicious, healthy food that’s also gorgeous. And they have graciously provided all the recipes for you. SCORE! You’ll get dishes like:
Roasted root vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette
Roasted root vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette
Autumn Harvest Board
Autumn Harvest Board
Autumn Harvest Board
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower soup
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup
plus a delicious beverage to wash it all down. This dinner party menu is autumnal, flavorful, and beautiful! Go ahead, bookmark!
Food and food styling by Ramblin Rose Cafe
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen
See the full recipes below
Roasted root vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette

Dinner party menu: Roasted Root Vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette

  • Red beets, golden beets, rutabaga, black turnip, parsnip, and rainbow carrots
  • Olive oil
  • 1 c. black rice
  • 2 c. water
  • 1/4 inch slice of ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • Big pinch of sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 c. hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped (for garnish)

Honey Orange Vinaigrette

  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 c. honey wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper


  1. For the vinaigrette: place everything in a jar with a tight lid and shake to combine. Taste and adjust with sea salt and cracked pepper to your liking.
  2. Rinse black rice in a strainer under running water to get rid of excess starch. Place rinsed rice, water, ginger, star anise, salt, and pepper in a pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook for 25030 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat and leave lid for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, remove star anise and ginger.
  3. Meanwhile, rustically cut a variety of root vegetables. Toss in olive oil, sea salt, and cracked pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees until tender (about 30 minutes).
  4. Toss rice in vinaigrette and pour onto platter. When vegetables are done roasting, arrange on top and finish with extra vinaigrette, sea salt, cracked pepper, and toasted hazelnuts.
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup

Dinner party menu: Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup

  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • Olive oil
  • Veggie stock to cover
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Yogurt
  • Chili oil

Chili oil

  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red chili flakes
  1. In a small pot, bring oil and chili flakes to a simmer, then turn off and let steep for about 30 minutes to let the chili infuse into the oil.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  3. Cut the top of the garlic bulb off, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap it in tin foil. Roast the whole garlic bulb until soft and golden.
  4. Roughly chop onion and sauté in olive oil until translucent. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Roughly chop cauliflower. Add to onions and season again. When cauliflower is tender and golden, cover with veggie stock.
  5. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the papery bulb into the soup pot. Blend soup with an immersion blender or high speed blender until smooth. Taste and season with more sea salt and cracked pepper if necessary.
  6. Finish with the chili oil and a drizzle of yogurt
Autumn Harvest Board

Dinner party menu: Autumn Harvest Board

  • Artisan bread, torn
  • Artisan cheeses– we used Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Teahhive Cheddar Cheese, and a French Roquefort Blue Cheese
  • Olives
  • Orchard fruit, sliced
  • Figs, cut in half
  • Pomegranate, deseeded
  • Butter and flakey sea salt
  • Honeycomb
  • Spicy dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Big wooden board to serve on

A few pointers when arranging a harvest board:

  • Use a big enough board. Better to have the contrast of wood showing than all the good stuff rolling off.
  • Place the cheeses and bread down first. Everything else can be scattered around and made to fit.
  • Keep each ingredient clumped somewhat together, to keep it easier to dish from.
  • If using honeycomb, place on the board at the edge. The honey starts to seep out of the comb as soon as it is cut.

Dinner party menu: Pomegranate Ginger Elixir

Equal parts:

  • Pomegranate juice (chilled)
  • Ginger beer (chilled)
  1. Combine in individual glasses or make a big pitcher. Serve chilled.

These foods look *almost* too gorgeous to eat. To complete the dinner party menu, try our vanilla bean skull cake for dessert! And to go along with these dinner party recipes, check out our full post about how to throw a beautiful and spooky Halloween party!

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,, 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!