Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Welcome, Foolish Mortals!

Before this year, our outdoor Halloween decorations consisted of four skulls to hang in the tree, three blacklights, one Styrofoam tombstone & an 'autopsy room' sign. We revamped the autopsy sign and turned it into {THIS}.

We put up the tombstone, but it kept blowing away. I was so sick of placing and replacing the stinking foam that I wanted to make our own set of stones that simply would not move in the wind. We had a couple scrap pieces of 2x8 and 2x12, so we decided to make our own out of wood.

Since we are BIG fans of all things DISNEY, we modeled ours after {The Haunted Mansion}.

Gather It:
  • any size scrap wood you want (we used 3 ft-ish of 2x8 & 2x12 scraps)
  • saw
  • wooden stakes
  • screws & drill
  • vinyl & cutter or cardstock to make stencils
  • ebony color wood stain & brush
  • Grey spray paint (I used Krylon double coat) 2 cans, just to be safe
Create It:
  1. Find your Wood: We live in a fairly new neighborhood, so there's always some kind of construction going on. If you're lucky, you can find fairly decent pieces of wood for free in their scraps pile; all you have to do is ask.
  2. Cut the Wood: We had three original pieces of wood; I drew the top curve of the stones then the hubs cut them out with his hand saw (the guy could really use a miter saw--- Christmas, maybe?)
  3. Stakes & Screws: Using two screws per stake, attach two wooden stakes to the back of each tombstone.
  4. Stain: Liberally apply the dark stain to the stones. Follow the directions on the can & get every showing piece of wood.
  5. Create Stencil: While you're waiting for the stones to dry, it's time to create the stencils. Since I wanted to do stones authentic to the Haunted Mansion, I googled for a list of actual tombstones at the Haunted Mansion {HERE}. FYI--- UR Gone is in the mausoleum.. so it is authentic. Then I created the stencils in Silhouette Studio & cut them out. The HM font is called "haunted mickey." As always, if you have a Silhouette & want to make theses, I will email you the document. Weed & apply the vinyl like you would any other vinyl project. If you don't have a cutter, create your stencil by printing your design on cardstock, then cutting out what was painted then use it the way you'd normally use a stencil.
  6. Spray Paint & Wait: Lay your stones out on some tarps in a well-ventilated area & then spray them like there's no tomorrow. Cover every little itch, wait for front to dry (according the can) and flip over and paint the back. I used all of one can & barely had to open the second. After the paint is dry, use tweezers or a small hook to gently peel off the vinyl. Under the vinyl stayed the color of the stain creating an engraved wore look. If you got the right kind of spray paint & stain, you don't need to seal it, but if you're paranoid go ahead.
Your homemade homage to the home of 999 haunts is now ready to display. They'll be dying to see what you did. :)

Stay tuned for one more homage to a different Halloween classic. :)

I'm linking {HERE}
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Skeleton Greeter

Two weeks to Halloween!

I have a confession: I love {Pinterest}. I spend entirely too much time on it, but I end up finding crazy awesome ideas. I saw {THIS} idea about a month ago and knew we must make our own.

It's a Skeleton Wreath made by Meg at {Mega-Crafty} & {Mega-Spooky}.

Here's my version:

My Little Notes:
  • You really can buy the bones anywhere. We found our at Target. It was $20 for the bones, and I'm sure we could have found them cheaper somewhere else, but I was way too excited to start this project (and so was my hubby) so we caved and got the bones.
  • If you follow any of my advice: Don't buy the styrofoam glue (especially if you're impatient like me). In my experience it did not stick at all, I even waited the time it said to, tried to move it and... you can imagine the rest. My husband, the trusty engineer, said he thinks the glue is just repackaged white glue. It sure acted like it... PLUS it's not water-proof; so, if you plan on making it an outdoor wreath, definitely get the corresponding glue. Before I changed my glue, I kept having visions of my Skeleton creation falling apart in the next rain. Even though I don't usually have to worry about THAT in Texas, it DID rain the week after we made this.
  • Now I bet you're asking, well how do I stick it together now, Amber? Well, I'll tell you: Gorilla Glue (or as our 2-yr-old says Monkey glue--- she has a thing for monkeys and don't ask me how) and some well placed alummium wire to make the joints even more secure. Think about it, Skeleton man doesn't have any cartlidge to help him stay together... that's what the GG does, adds cartlidge.
  • Play around with the bone arrangment. Mine started out as a wreath and I quickly realized that wasn't going to be very effective. So we messed around until the bones were perfect. Then we added a spooky sign for an even creepier touch (the sign was actually one of our first Halloween decorations we bought).
  • Work in sections at a time, to give the GG a little more time to dry.
  • He's hung up with picture hangers and some string behind his head. The positioning of the string makes it so that he protudes out a little... in the face of anyone who comes to the door.
I'm excited to see the expressions of the Trick-or-Treaters... if we get any ;)

I link {HERE}.
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