Halloween at the office is the best compromise. Do you love Halloween too? For me, it always gets my creative juices flowing! Hubs isn’t crazy about doing big Halloween productions at home, so I get my fill of Halloween decorating at the office!
For those of you lucky enough to be able to decorate your office spaces at this ghoulish time of year, I have a few ideas! Today, I’m showing you two office spaces I vamped up many a full moon ago.
Halloween at the Office
The first time I got creative around the office was at the turn of the 21st century when I was in the advertising biz (doesn’t that make me sound impossibly old?). My boss was a notorious chain smoker and I was always ribbing him about quitting. So what’s a devilish girl to do? Immortalize his likeness in a pumpkin with a lit cigarette in his mouth, of course.
Back then I didn’t have a digital camera; this pic was taken with a Polaroid:
Here’s a pic of the boss holding his pumpkin (blanked out because I didn’t want to post his picture without permission). The pumpkin just doesn’t have the same effect until you light both it and the cigarette. But you can see how the carving and detail looks!
Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery?
To further my Halloween fun, I dress up as the pumpkin I carved of my boss. Orange sweats and an iron-on a picture of my boss on the sweatshirt is a start. But to complete the effect, I attach a cigarette in his mouth by wrapping an elastic around the ciggie and fabric from the back. Luckily the boss has a sense of humour about his smoking addiction!
Here’s how I did it. I first clean out the pumpkin in the traditional manner. I take a picture of the boss and digitize it into shades of grey, black and white using Photoshop. Then attach the template to the pumpkin using tape and use a pick to prick the outline into the pumpkin. After removing the paper pattern and saving it for reference, cut into the pumpkin skin using wood chisels and various other cutting tools. The white areas are completely cut, while just the outer orange skin comes off in the grey areas to a shallow depth. The black areas remain as is. Carving at various depths gives just the right amount of contrast and really makes it come to life when lit.
Ideally when you light the pumpkin from within, it’s best to use a flashlight. I use a tea light because it was the only thing available at the time, but that’s a mistake. The heat starts to cook the pumpkin from the inside and makes all your hard work and effort droop!
Pumpkin Carving Tutorials
If you want to get more creative with your pumpkin carving, the site Serious Eats, has two great tutorials. The first one will start you on carving and shading a pumpkin and the second one shows how to carve a photograph into a pumpkin, like the one above.
If pumpkin carving isn’t your thing, try this DIY pincushion instead.
Halloween at the Office – Take Two
By 2003, my boss gets a job offer and the agency sadly closes its doors a year later after filing for bankruptcy in the U.S. I move on to a brand new career in another company. However, a few years later, that company too is feeling the pressure of hard economic times. To save money, the CEO decides to close down our cafeteria where all employees enjoy complimentary breakfast and lunch every day. We were all pretty bummed out about it, but I was happy enough to even have a job after loosing my last one! However, that didn’t prevent me from spoofing the whole situation at Halloween!
Given the ‘graveness’ of the situation, I was able to commander an empty cubicle so I could create my scene. At the entrance was a ‘tombstone’ that read Cafeteria Rest In Peace. I kept the tombstone itself pretty simple.
If you’re interested in making your own one-of-a-kind piece, check out Oh My goth Part 2 Build a Halloween Tombstone. Back them, if I was making another tombstone to decorate my home at Halloween, it would read “Died… from not forwarding that e-mail to 10 other people.” Remember that craze?
Halloween Cubical Decor
At the base of the tombstone I placed some dead roses on top of some dead grass. In the office chair sat a
dummy office employee. She’s made from wire mesh, pool noodles (with articulated arms and legs) and a hair dressers’ head. I nicknamed her ‘Fembot’ after the Austin Powers character. She’s stylishly sporting a company hat and hoodie. Around her ankle is a ‘ball and chain’. Because who doesn’t feel like that at work?. And a ghoulish baby in her lap; sometimes it just feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day – eh?
Although it doesn’t show well in the picture above, the baby’s head is a skull that lights up, with a spider residing inside the cavity to up the creepiness factor! Here’s a close up:
On the desk itself, sits a lunch tray I managed to ‘borrow’ from the cafeteria before the final closure. The plate is empty – save for an albino mouse scavenging for food where there’s none to be found! Spiders are crawling around a rancid mug of coffee and atop a pile of diapers with a few upside down ‘dead’ ones thrown in for good measure.
Oh how I love to decorate for Halloween at the office – and poke fun at Corporate America in the process (my company was US-based)! If you decorate your office at Halloween, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments.
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Ha-Ha! I’m so glad you posted, Sara. These are great ideas and beautifully executed. What fun. I honestly thought that was a real person in the chair, though her face seemed a bit “off”. Now I know why. It’s really sad when companies have to give up something so wonderful as subsidized lunches. Your cafeteria tray is both inspired…and gross. 🙂
You make an adorable pumpkin. Your boss must have been blown away.
I’ve never had the chance to decorate at work, but my sister has. They created a “graveyard” once with the names of employees that had been laid off.
Funnily enough her head actually is off right now (on the floor of my wardrobe closet detached from her body because I couldn’t cram her in there in one piece)! Too funny about the decor at your sister’s office; that’s my kind of humour!
That is pretty funny. I just emailed my sister and asked her to share the “graveyard” Halloween photo. Stay tuned.
Wow, what and amazing job you did. I love it!