Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Victorianesque Hallowe'en: Lattices

I know, I know. It took me long enough to get to this topic. Fortunately, it does not
take much time or financial investment, but yields probably one of THE best reusable
and versatile items of haunting Victorianesque decor one can add to their collection.

This little trick is actually quite common for wedding locations and department store
display designers. Now we will make it work for your lovely haunted home. All it
takes is a length of lightweight wooden lattice work (similar to photo above), silk
vines, perhaps a few string lights and a small number of other optional items to
accomplish the look and function you wish from your Victorianesque backdrop.

Wooden lattice and trellises are very popular in neo-Victorian gardens because of
their ability to support ornate, fragrant vintage flowering vines, create a visual
screen, blocking the modern world outside, and serving as backdrops for wonderful
sitting areas, walkways and displays of rich and varied types of foliage.

For our purposes, here are a few ideas where latticework can be used to add a
Victorian flair, serve as a backdrop, set a mood, and guide trick-or-treaters to your
door while evoking "oohs" and "ahhs" from children and parents alike.
  • Single lengths of 4 ft. x 8 ft. lattice can be cut to desired height and width then decorated with silk vines and laced with string lights. Add your own touches as desired.
  • 2 or 3 uncut panels can create a full wall to discreetly hide or block areas where trick-or-treaters or visitors are not meant to wander. Decorate similar to above. Using small hinges, the panels can be attached, making them a bit more stable and easy to z-fold and store. Attach 3 at the front between panels 1 and 2, and 3 at the back of 2 and 3, leaving enough room for the hinge to swing forward or back. This allows your 3 panel lattice to fold forward or backward in a C-shape, each way in a Z-shape and to varying degrees for both.
  • 2 ft. x 3 ft. pieces, paint black and suspend in trees or position in other discreet places in your yard away from walkways. Position lights behind lattice, aiming downward to cast eerie crosshatch shadows on walkways. Add silhouettes of bats, spiders and other friendly Hallowe'en creatures. These pieces can also be suspended in more obvious and "decorative" places as perches for your family monsters and protectors of your haunted home. At dusk they will add an air of eerieness, and as the light comes on after dark, their outlines on the ground and walls will remind visitors that they are still there, ever dilligent in their duties.
  • Lattice work can also be trimmed to 12" - 16" wide in longer lengths to create temporary Victorianesque porch trim, especially when painted to match your home's own external colour scheme. Again, it is a wonderful place to house string lights, silk vines, or even hanging Spanish moss to dance on the breeze.

These are just a very few ideas for what can be done with lattice work that is easily
found at any home improvement store or gardening center. A somewhat accomplished
carpenter can use wooden or even vinyl molding to trim the lattice, adding support
and allowing for more elaborate displays. One or two 2x4s across the bottom are an
ideal base allowing for the attachment of wheels, making the panels even easier to
move and store. It all depends on your imagination and ingenuity.

As always, should you give this a go, please do send photos. I would love to feature
them as inspiration for other readers.

Now I'm off to find a lightweight gargoyle and make him a nice little perch over the

Until Next... Plumb the Pipe Organs and Haunt On,


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