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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On the Fourth Day Before Halloween…

…our house was infested with mice.  Eeek!

If you are having a Halloween party this weekend or if you just want the house to be decorated for spooky fun try the ideas below.

I first got the idea to decorate with mice silhouettes from Martha Stewart.   As much as I love Martha, I often find that there is an easier way to create some of her projects than by following her directions.  Life is busy.  Who has time to follow all of the rules?  :)

Here was Martha’s mice infested bookshelf. 

Mouse Silhouettes  

You can find her directions by clicking here.  Or, if you are like me and have very little spare time, you can use my directions found in this post. 

The materials you will need to make the mice silhouettes my way are listed below:

  • Scissors
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Note cards
  • Glue stick
  • Plain white printer paper

Martha suggested printing her mice template.  Next, her directions instruct you to trace the mice onto black construction paper and proceed to cut out each one.  Again, I thought that would just take way too long.  Well, that and I had already used my black construction paper for another project that I will show you in the coming days before Halloween.

Here is what I did.  (My bookshelf with mice is below).  On Martha’s template the mice are already filled in with black.  I just used my regular ole white printing paper and let the printer make black mice for me rather than tracing the template onto colored paper.  Voila.  One click to tell your machine to print and you have black mice.  I printed several pages of her template so that I had plenty of mice.  (Pardon the grainy photos.  They were all taken at night using Judd’s iphone.)

Click here to find the mice template.


I proceeded to put several pages of the templates together at a time when cutting out the mice.  You know, cut out one mouse and have four because you’ve stacked multiple sheets when cutting.  To fully maximize the small amount of free time I have, I brought my printed templates with me and cut most of the mice out on my lunch break at work.  There is never a dull moment in my office.  Ha.


To make the mice stand up, I cut a few note cards into thin strips.  I placed one strip on each mouse and made sure it didn’t show from the front.  I then used a glue stick to secure the strips onto the back of the mice.  This gave them enough support to stand up.


Next, I turned most of the books on our shelf backwards so the pages would provide a better contrast with the mice.  This helped the silhouettes to show up better.  (Note: On a normal basis, I am vehemently opposed to turning books backwards on your shelf or covering spines with velum, cloth, etc.  I’ve noticed that a lot of designers are doing that lately to keep their rooms looking monochromatic.  I think it is absurd.  Books are for reading, sharing, and discussing.  They provide a deeper understanding of the world around us.  They are for spreading knowledge.  How will the designers and the owners of the homes they design be able to utilize their books if they don’t know which ones are which? OK.  I’m off my soapbox).  I figured for 31 days in October we could spare turning ours around; however, they will not stay like this.  We like our books.  We read and enjoy them all year long.


Next, I placed the little critters on our bookshelf.  Most of them are freestanding.  I did, however, put a rolled  piece of tape on the backs and tails of a few of them for support.


To up the spooky factor, I filled a basket with some glittered pumpkins and placed it on the shelf.


Also, I found some great websites that allowed me to print some creepy art to replace our usual photos on the shelf.  I just opened the frames and put these on top of our usual pictures.  Again, I just printed them on regular white printer paper.  I didn’t have any photo paper.  In my opinion, the regular paper added a flat look which increased the level of scary.

Click here to find the website with the bat art.


Click here to find the website with the skull.


Overall, the project was easy and a lot of fun to create.  Also, I don’t think this will take long to put back to normal when Halloween is over.    You still have time to make this for the weekend.  If you do, leave a comment and share your post about it.  It would be fun to see how you’ve used the mice.