This instructable will show you how to mke a Magical Apothecary Living Room ...on a college student's budget!  This might be redundant, considering the stupendously creative DIYers in the audience, but I have two words for you:  Thrift Store

You know what?  You're right.  I have a LOT more than two words for you which you probably anticipated if you've seen my other instructables.  As usual, the important, basic stuff is [generally] in bold and my lengthy diatribes [generally] follow.

So, ya...I went back to school last year and as much as I love it, it's not great on the pocketbook, ifyouknowwhaddamean.  Well, Halloween is like my Christmas.  I love-love-love it.  Favorite holiday of the year and I usually decorate for the entire month of October... until I freaked out my boyfriend last year with my eye for the macabre ("But honey, it's supposed to be a happy surpise!").  This year, planning in advance, we agreed to three weeks of delicious deathly decor.  You could say I like an air of realism, I guess.  Incidentally, Martha Stewart (inc) is a great resource for classy, realistic-ish Halloween ideas, as is (drum roll please...) Instructables, of course! *pshah*

Just a few more things before we get started--I had zero Halloween stufff before last year's celebration (well, I had two boxes of stuff five years ago before I... nevermind).  The great [time-saving] thing about this decor is that I stored all the work I did last year in a box in the basement, and then just added to it this year.  Sure, it looks similar, but the savings in cost and sanity are worth it.  Thus, keep your stuff around--even the paper mice!  Also, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle any chance you get.  I shop for Halloween all year long just like some people shop for Christmas all year long.  I'm a frequent thrift store shopper, so almost nothing in the pictures is new or purchased at retail. AND, if you bring something to donate when you go to Savers, you'll get a 20% off coupon for purchases of $10 or more--cool, huh?   Finally, I'll put up mini-instructables for the stuff I added this year, and do my best to explain the rest.  
**Please note that most of these projectsd assume a working knowledge of basic word processing/graphics (like MS publisher), some familiarity with 'borrowing' images off the internet, as well as access to a computer and printer.**

Happy Haunting!!!

Step 1: Unpacking and gathering more supplies

Just as a point of interest,  I would say that the final cost, spread out over two years, hovers around the $150 mark, including candles, candy, and pumpkins. Everything is remarkably easy to do and many bits are great for kids.  My advice is to pick a theme and a color scheme and then STICK WITH IT!  Relish the creative aspect, too, and you'll probably surprise yourself by your own amazingness. 

1.  SCAVENGE!  Unpack any Halloween-y items you may already have lying in your own basement/attic/shed/other-creepy-storage location and then start looking around the house.  Gather the books that have intrigueing Halloween correlations, scrounge together all the candles you can, and be prepared to bust out the hot glue gun.  Ask friends for candle discards, gems, odds & ends.  They'd probably be happy to empty out some of their 'junk' piles.

2.   Start putting up what you have, then make a list of what you'd like to see.  For budgeting purposes, make the 'no compromising' list and the 'meh, if I have the funds' list.  My 'no compromising' list was:
  • white muslin for the couches (I used sheets from Goodwill last year, but then ended up cutting them up for sewing projects over the last 11 months (Reuse-recycle-repurpose!), so I needed new furniture covers.  Plus, my house mate bought a giant leather couch that was longer than any standard sheet size so I needed plain ol' 120" width fabric to do the job.  Used 50% off coupon for Jo-Anns and spent <$15!)
  • Candy corn
  • Halloween candy
  • Large old book--dictionary preferred
  • 3 pages of scrapbooking paper
  • white cinderella pumpkin for carving

My "meh" list was: 

  • Fake human skull.  It should be noted that my attitude towards this skull is far from "meh" but it's on my secondary list because (a) I can do without it and (b) I refuse to compromise on quality and size here.  This is a long term shopping goal that may or may not be accomplished this year.  Further, I'm consdiering sculpting one myself, along with some other misc. human bones (perhaps another 'ible idea!).  Another idea will be a clay sculpted human bone windchime.  Sounds pretty, no?
  • large candles and hurricane jars for fireplace. 
  • Mortar & pestle-ish thing fille with creepy poultice

3.  Go shopping!  Need I say more? :-)

4.  Break out the crafty bits and put it all together.

This will be the 17th or 18th year we do a home HAUNT, this is just one of many Halloween related &quot;ibles&quot; I've done <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/2011-Haunted-House-with-help-from-instructables-po/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/2011-Haunted-House-with-help-from-instructables-po/</a>&nbsp; we didn't set out to decorate in a halloween theme but we needed a place to keep the skull chandelier so its in the living room over the couch, the barbie sized toepincher caskets and skeletons reside on either end of the knick knack shelf, skulls and potion bottles are scattered all around. I really like the spell pages you created, I may have to update my book of the undead for this year! Thank you for sharing. HAUNT ON
Soooo many great ideas! My favorite is the printed-on book pages, bloody well brilliant!
a mortar a pestle
This 'ible has lot of cool ideas- especially love the jars- and the chandelier!
Nice, really enjoyable. I like it.

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