Halloween Haunted House Ideas from Love Manor

Article Posted By: Johnny Love

Haunted House Ideas: Spooky DIY paintings from John of Love Manor

In our Style Challenge series, we ask some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using Home Depot products as a starting point. 

Every Halloween, Los Angeles-resident Johnny Love transforms his home into Love Manor. It features a spooky swamp-like graveyard and terrifying inside decor. This year for our Halloween Style Challenge, Johnny is incorporating some Home Depot Halloween decorations into Love Manor. Elsewhere, he shows how to create Halloween decorations for the fireplace.

Here, he shares with us some of his haunted house ideas, including how to create special lighting and macabre paintings. 

Halloween to me is the one time of year where you can let your creativity run wild. I was so thrilled when The Home Depot contacted me and gave me a bit of a challenge. In the past, I would spend most of my time at The Home Depot spending more money on making my home look more macabre than well-kept, of course all for this wondrous holiday. However, this time I knew I wanted to think as far outside the box as I possibly could. In years past I would use PVC pipe and wood to create faux wrought-iron fences and foam for tombstones, so this year my idea came to life when looking at some old classic Halloween cartoons.

I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate these images and have them make sense until I was wandering around the paint section at The Home Depot. I saw the canvas drop cloth, paint brushes and vast selection of paint colors and knew for my first project I had to create some sinister pieces of art.

DIY Halloween Paintings

Using some wood, I created the frames for the canvases. With some wood glue and staples they held together extremely well. I used a saw to cut the wood into 45-degree angles for extra support.

Use wood to create frames for the canvas of the haunted house paintings

Once those were dry, I used canvas drop cloth and stretch it across the frames. Again, using the staple gun to adhere it to the frame. Stretching from one side to the other to create a canvas that didn’t give when painting.

Stapling the canvas for the haunted house paintings

The finished canvases for the haunted house paintings

Now, it was time to paint!

I love the selection of colors the Martha Stewart line has and knew they would be perfect for the project. So to create my background I used Silhouette in eggshell, and for the images Lamb, Plumage and Behr’s Caribe, again in an eggshell finish.

Paint for the haunted house paintings

The color palette for Johnny Love's haunted house paintings

Black canvases for haunted house paintings

After that was given time to dry, with the help of a friend, we sketched out the outlines of our specters! I wanted the canvases to appear as if they were a portal into another world. So our specters were painted across several canvases as if one continuous painting.

Haunted House Ideas: DIY Halloween art

Special Haunted House Lighting

My second project for this scene was a source of lighting. Love Manor’s theme has always been associated with the bayou’s of New Orleans. So a lot of natural materials are used in our decorating. I love the warm glow Edison bulbs give and have always seen them on the shelf at Home Depot, so now was my chance to try them out! I wanted them to hang into the scene as if they were pendant lights. So I used black electrical cord, a plug in socket and rope to create the look. I adhered the rope to the pendant using a hot glue gun and wrapped it around up to the extension cord.

Wrapping the socket for haunted house lighting

DIY materials for pendant lights used in the Love Manor haunted house

DIY pendant lights with rope used in the Love Manor haunted house

The final result came out better than I could have hoped. I wanted to display the paintings in a setting that gave them life. Love Manor has always been praised for it’s elaborate set-ups and I knew I had to create something that married the overall theme well. So by using some branches from the garden, I created easels for the paintings and created an artist’s “studio”. Bringing in the Edison bulb pendants and pillar candles for the source of warm light, I used a spotlight and cutout of a man painting to create the ghostly silhouette of The Painter. Once in place, the scene came to life!

Spooky DIY paintings in the Love Manor haunted house

DIY Halloween painting

Prop paint brushes in the Love Manor haunted house

DIY Halloween paintings with candles in the Love Manor haunted house

Haunted House Ideas: DIY Halloween paintings

Haunted House Ideas: DIY pendant lights made with rope

Happy Halloween!

Johnny Love is the creative mastermind behind Love Manor, an annual haunted house in the Los Angeles area. Read more about Johnny’s love of all things spooky and about other Halloween displays he admires on Love Manor: The Official Blog. He posts photos of his amazing haunted house, too, on Flickr

To create his Halloween haunted house, Johnny used the following products from The Home Depot:

For more Halloween decorating ideas, see other articles in our Halloween Style Challenge series, and follow our our Halloween Halloween Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest.

Visit our online Holiday Decorations Department for everything you need to decorate your home for Halloween. 

Style Challenge is a series of posts from guest contributors who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using a single Home Depot product as a starting point. Johnny received the Halloween products for his space from The Home Depot and a Home Depot gift card, but The Home Depot provided no other compensation. The opinions and ideas Johnny expressed are his own.

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