Halloween 2016


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Because if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right. Besides, I went to all the trouble of painting those boxes, I’m going to use any excuse I can to use them.

Not too many kids came, but I got a lot of compliments.

Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Last year, I stuck a mini pumpkin in a jar. This year, it was my entry for the mini pumpkin decorating contest.

I had four led lights taped around the top, covered by the black duck tape. It was supposed to make it look glowy, but it didn’t really work.

Cubicle Decorating


I started with five identical boxes. I painted them the same way I painted my original castle (https://geekgirlmae.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/cubicle-castle-the-making-of/).

There are two tips that are the most useful. The first is to use a ‘paint pad’ – I use Shur-Line Handi Painters (https://www.amazon.com/Shur-Line-1500C-Handi-Painter/dp/B00004Z4H2). They are disposable and I’ve bought them at both Menard’s and Home Depot for under $2 a piece. They give a very thin layer of paint that doesn’t warp the cardboard and dries quickly.

That leads to the other tip: While you are in the paint aisle, look for the ‘oops’ or ‘miss-tint’ section. It’s the paint that came out the wrong color, or someone decided  they didn’t want it, and you can get it really cheap. It’s great, because you can even get the fancy paints for cheap, like the paint-and-primer-in-one kind that makes it easier to cover any writing on the cardboard.

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I won first place in the small-group cubicle decorating contest. Some of my coworkers joked that I spent more decorating than I won in prize money, but I really didn’t spend much. The only new elements were the teal boxes and a few tablecloths that I got at 90% off after last Halloween and. The Sharpies for the line-work on the boxes was probably the most expensive thing. Technically, the pop-up castle on top was new too, but I didn’t buy it specifically for Halloween, just integrated it into my decorations.

The whole thing actually started with me trying to figure  out a way too have the pop-up castle above my head. I eventually used a measuring tape and mocked out my cubicle in my living room. I precariously stacked some plastic bins and smaller boxes to get the size and relative position of the shelves, then played around with my boxes until I made something cool. I essentially had a fort in my living room for about a week.

Of course, then I decided less than a week before the contest that I needed to paint the boxes.(Original plan was to cover them with fabric or tablecloths.)

I managed to get it all done on time – one evening painting, two doing line work, two hours setting everything up the evening before, and another half-hour adding the finishing touches that morning.

I even took over the empty cubicle at the end of my row for some overflow decorations.

You can see all of my Halloween photos here, including the other entries in the pumpkin contest and another entry in the cubicle contest.


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