He Just Wants to be in the Picture with You!

Everyday Adventures

This post is part of our ongoing promotion with Oriental Trading Company. All photographs and opinions are my own.

I’ve always wanted to put up a photo backdrop for our annual Halloween party, but I just never got around to it. Until this year, of course, when I had the help of the Ghastly Decorations pack from Oriental Trading Company; as soon as I saw it I knew it’d be perfect and I’m happy to say I was right! I mean, who wouldn’t want this charmer in their selfie?!

Peek-a-boo, I'll scare you!

Peek-a-boo, I’ll scare you!

We have a door that separates the front and back halls (what used to be the main house and back porch, respectively) but we leave it open all the time. It creates a wide angle between the hallway opening and my office door, and I thought it would be just the spot to set up our photo backdrop.


I had this black linen in my fabric stash, but you could use a large table cloth or buy a couple yards of fabric from the remnant table in a pinch. I draped it over the open door and secured it to the edge of the opposite door frame with some push pins. In the absence of a convenient door, a PVC frame could be easily constructed, or even a tension rod if you have some angles to wedge it between.


The 3 printed decorations came on one large sheet of plastic that, I suppose, you could use as is for a quick scene setter, but wasn’t quite right for this space; I cut them apart to better arrange them. I placed the window decorations fairly high–just a few inches below the top of the backdrop, so that our taller guests wouldn’t be fully blocking it. Plus, we have pretty tall ceilings, so no need to stay low.


Since this is meant to be a temporary decoration, I opted to use straight pins to secure the plastic decorations to my backdrop. You could also use safety pins or even some temporary adhesive. Just keep whatever you use tucked discretely inside the printed design so it blends in best. I did the same thing with pile of bones near the bottom of the backdrop, then added some more creepy cloth to the top and a grungy prop chain along the side of the frame. Just something to dress things up.


Of course, what photo booth or backdrop is complete without some props! I raided my old costume stash and commandeered some of the more amusing hats from Todd’s collection and put them all in a tote to keep nearby. This way even our un-costumed guests can get in on the fun!

jvanderbeek_halloween_2015_decorations-0334 And while I’m sure 99% of our guests will have their cell phones at the read, across from the photo backdrop I’ve hung a bit of garland and my small point-and-shoot camera for anyone who wants to take a picture for me!


I couldn’t resist giving it a try!

But what happened to the skeleton that was part of the wall decor set? Oh, he’s just hanging around the library…


Cobwebs are an easy way to spook-ify a space, especially bookcases with their plethora of sharp edges.


Oh, and for anyone curious about how the hallway mural came about, I put together a short video on the subject. Check it out here: Halloween Mural Process Video

44 thoughts on “He Just Wants to be in the Picture with You!

  1. Omgsh, I looooove the webs on your bookcases! We just started decorating for Halloween and have tons of bookshelves and bookcases that now NEED webs. 😉

    1. They’ve always been my go-to for quickly decorating our bookcases, Jaclyn. Bonus, the books are still fully accessible and the webs are super-cheap and last for years!

  2. How creative with the décor for your background. I love your photo with the pitchfork…cute! I also agree with the person above about the bookcases as they are great.

  3. I love this idea! It puts a whole new spin on a photo booth at parties! I’m throwing a birthday party for my husband this weekend that will be Halloween and Fall themed! I may have to try to create a backdrop like this!

  4. We love photo backdrops! Yours look nice and spooky. Just right! I like the idea of a skeleton in a library. Sounds like a good name for a Mystery Thriller. I will check out your video now!

    1. You’re right, it does! It also kind of reminds me of the Haunted Mansion at Disney, the flash at the end of the stretching room 🙂

    1. I’m not into the super-scary, but I can take a gentle spook. I got more startled by the mural when just the tree was painted and it looked like a looming something out of the corner of my eye!

  5. Im loving the webs! We are horrified of spiders so I don’t put them up to freak out my kids hahaha The skeleton is definitely a great idea. I’m such a scaredy cat that I would still get freaked out knowing it was fake! Halloween is definitely fun though 🙂 Great decorating

    1. I’m not a big fan of spiders or bats in the real world, but when it comes to decorations I love them! But I’m careful not to use anything too lifelike, because I probably would spook myself!

  6. What a fun set up and photo booth idea! I love that you make it look so easy to put together too!

  7. How fun! I love the title of the post to boot…”He just wants to be in the picture with you.” Haha! NO LIE. A picture was taken of me back in 2009 in front of one of my haunted, childhood homes; and an apparition was lurking in the window.

  8. I love all of the Halloween touches that you have added – makes me want to go decorate now. The bat chandelier is really eye-catching – I love it!

    1. The chandelier is something I’ve had for ages! I think I got it at Marshalls, but it’d be relatively simple to DIY with some hoops, string, pompoms and felt. I originally used it as a porch decoration (covered) but it does okay in our library in this house, too!

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