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Salem-Inspired Spooky Tablescape

Every fall, I daydream of visiting Salem, Massachusetts. With its haunting history and one-of-a-kind characters roaming the streets (hey, Laurie Cabot!), Salem is a trip for the bucket list. For this DIY Halloween decor, we're channeling Salem (think: cobbled streets and crumbling tombstones) to create a bewitching tablescape.



- Thrifted faux pumpkin

- Spray paint in your color of choice

- Adhesive letters

- Washi tape

- Drop cloth or similar

- Soft tape measure (used for sewing)

- Paint pen (optional)

Step 1: Clean. Paint won’t stick well to a dirty surface, so wash your pumpkin with the correct method for the material it is made of. Mine was marked “dishwasher safe” on the bottom so I got to take the easy way out. For plastic pumpkins or something more delicate, you may need to wash it by hand or even just wipe it clean with alcohol wipes.

Step 2: Paint! Take your pumpkin outside or to a well-ventilated area. With a drop cloth or newspaper beneath it to protect the surrounding space, paint the pumpkin according to the instructions on your paint. Lids can be a little difficult since you’ll probably want to paint the bottom edge if it’s still be visible when the lid is on. I found that this trick with the empty water bottle (I cut off the top) worked really well. You could also paint the lid then flip it over and paint underneath. Just keep in mind that you don’t want to eat treats that have touched spray paint, so if you do paint any part of the inside you’ll probably want to use the jar only for wrapped candy.

Step 3: Add text. After the paint has fully dried, choose your phrase and find the right layout. Use washi tape and your soft tape measure to plan where each letter will go. I cut my washi tape to the width of the text lines so I could justify the lettering then, starting at the top, pressed it lightly onto the pumpkin in a straight line to make sure my words didn’t get stuck on unevenly. Once the first line of text was in place, I peeled up the tape and moved it down for the next line. Since there’s no punctuation in the sticker pack I got, I used a paint pen to add the period.

And that’s it for the pumpkin! Now, let’s figure out this table runner, shall we?



- Thrifted fabric

- Fabric paint

- Poster board, cardstock, or contact paper

- Yard stick or tape measure

- Marking tool

- Exacto knife

- Coarse paintbrush

- Scissors

- Painter’s tape (if using poster board or card stock)

- Something round to trace like a plate or lid

- Scrap cardboard