DIY Halloween “Skeleton Wreath”

DIY Halloween “Skeleton Wreath”

October 5, 2015

    This DIY Halloween “Skeleton Wreath” is hanging on the front door now.  I think it is unique and perhaps, as a friend said,   a little bit “steampunk”.    The frame was a bargain for five bucks a year or two ago.  The first element attached to the frame was the creepy fabric I found at the dollar store.  

 

   Next, the lamp was attached.  An eye screw was attached to the back of the frame and the lamp was held by florist wire.   In total, four eye screws were attached to the back of the frame to use to wire the skeleton, the sign, and the lamp to the frame.

 

   The skeleton was half off at the craft store.  Great deal but his hands were straight and flat. Contemplating different options, I picked up his hand and tried to bend a joint slightly.   It bent a little so each joint was bent a little and the hand looked better, so I went back over each one and pushed a little more thinking that even if I broke one, I could glue it back together.

    You can see how the joints look a little whiter where it was bent.  Doesn’t the hand look better?  I wanted the hand to look like it was beckoning visitors.

 

   This poor guy!  I bent him, wired, hot glued and even drilled a hole through his heel!  Wiring him to the frame seemed the best option but I wanted his foot up on the frame.  I wrapped the wire around his ankle, but it didn’t lay right so I drilled a hole through his heel, threaded the wire through, and attached it to an eye hook on the back of the frame.

  At first, I tried to wire his hands where I wanted them but that did not work so well.  So, I bent his legs, arms, and wrists in the position desired and hot glued the joints.  Obviously, I had to hold it until the glue set, but it seems to be working!

 

  Three black twigs with just a little sparkle were purchased at the craft store.  Two were hot glued to the top of the frame and one was glued to the lower left side and bottom.  Black flowers were considered for this project, but sometimes less is more.  I had planned on spray painting some old silk flowers with black paint.   As I added the leaves, I didn’t think it really needed the flowers.  (The leaves were hot glued.)  A ribbon bow was made and attached with florist wire.

 

   The sign was created on PicMonkey, a free photo editing site.  I love that site!  It was printed out on copy paper and Mod Podged to black foam board, which was purchased at the dollar store.  The edges where the white foam was visible were blackened with a sharpie.

 

 

DIY Halloween "Skeleton Wreath" on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

   That was allowed to dry, then another coat of Mod Podge was painted over the sign.   

 

   This wreath will be displayed on our front door, which doesn’t get a lot of rain on it, but it does get some on occasion.  Because of that, three coats of indoor/outdoor varnish were applied, too.

 

   The leaves, which were from our yard, were Mod Podged last fall.  The brown leaves pick up the brown in the sign.  Hopefully, this Halloween “Wreath” is a stand out in our neighborhood!

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How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget – Part 3

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget – Part 3

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath

Finishing the pumpkin wreath will go more quickly than preparing the pumpkin and the arms.  Those took a little time but we are there now!  Thankfully, it will be ready before Halloween!

The arms, shoulders, and hands were completely wrapped in the paper strips.  The Papier mâché glue was applied with a paint brush just like before.  Then, the piece was allowed to dry. Some heavier paper was used at the elbows and the shoulders and a little extra bulk was added, too.

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

I wanted the hands and arms to look skinny and some of the lines from the cable to be accentuated in the hands.  When the paper was applied there, I took care to press it down alongside of the cable.

Drying time is all relative to humidity and sunshine.  One day, I put one of the pumpkin heads on the table on the patio, the sun was shining brightly, and there was no humidity.  That one was almost dry by the end of the day!  If you remember the first pumpkin I made, it took days!  Looking back, it was the weather that slowed the process.

 

After the piece was dry, clay was applied over the paper strips.  Since I was doing this on a flat surface, only one side could be worked on at a time.  You can see in the picture that balls of clay were applied where the knuckles should be.  Then, the clay was pressed around the edges and gently blended into the base coat of clay.  It’s beginning to look like a creepy hand now, right?

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

One side of the arms, shoulders, and hands was covered in the Papier mâché clay. ◄(You can find the recipe for the paste and clay here.)  That was allowed to dry.  Then, the other side was covered with the clay.  The hands had to be done in a few settings and allowed to dry between settings because of how close the fingers were to each other.   It was much easier to allow the fingers to dry and then apply clay to the one right next to it.

After the entire piece was covered in the clay and allowed to dry,  Valspar Black 60074 – Flat paint, was painted over one side.  The paint was allowed to dry and then, the other side got a coat of the paint.

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Some of the Kilz primer was dry brushed over top of the arms and hands.  Then, I mixed a little black acrylic craft paint into some white acrylic craft paint to create a light gray paint and dry brushed it over the areas where the primer was.  The dry brushing just brought out more of the knuckle detail and the texture of the clay.

 

 

 

 

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

The pumpkin had to be attached to the wreath in some way.   I decided upon using fishing line.  That meant it had to be threaded through the pumpkin somehow.  

Using a small drill bit, I drilled two holes in the back of the pumpkin toward the top.  These were barely visible but the fishing line was easy to thread through one of the holes.

In order to take less tension or stress off of the points where the fishing line went through the pumpkin, a sleeve from a mechanical pencil was used to absorb some of that.  The fishing line was threaded through the hole drilled in the back of the pumpkin, through the sleeve, and out the other hole.  That should spread the stress all across the back of the pumpkin instead of on two little spots.

  Going in was easy.  Bring the line back out from the inside was not.  I ended up threading the line through a needle and using it to pull the thread through.  That worked nicely.

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

This is the back side of the frame.  You can see the eye screws were attached to the frame on the indentation where the glass and picture would normally be placed.  A small hole was drilled before screwing each of the eye screws into the wood.  It makes it much easier.

Felt pads were also glued on the back of the frame so the front door would not be scratched up by the frame. It probably cuts down on the noise of it banging against the door, too.  The zip ties were threaded through the eye screws and around each of the arms, securing them to the frame.  The shoulder piece was also zip tied securely.  

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

I left the ends sticking out in this picture so you could see where they were placed.    Then, using the fishing line threaded through the pumpkin head, the line was tied onto the two eye screws at the top of the frame.  (I used a double piece of line to thread through the pumpkin.  It will hold more weight and is much easier to tie.)

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using PicMonkey Editor, the sign was created.  The background was first created using the papyrus option under textures.  The typeface is ‘Face Your Fears’.  On top of that, I used an overlay  from the Vampires theme, the one with the tombstones.   The fade was increased a bit until the words showed up well but the tombstones were still recognizable.

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

 

When I was happy with the results, the sign was printed on regular copy paper.  The paper was then attached to a black foam core poster board, which had been picked up at the dollar store.  Using an X-Acto knife, the paper and the foam core were cut neatly.  The white inner core of the black board showed on the edges and a black marker was used to cover it on all four sides.Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Then, more exterior Mod Podge was painted over the printed sign, the back, and a coat on the sides.  A couple more coats were painted over the sign, allowing each layer to dry before adding another.

 

 

 

 

After the pumpkin head was tied onto the frame, I picked up the black thorny branches used on the skeleton wreath.  It just seemed something was missing at the top of the frame and the branches just seemed perfect.  Three of the branches were hot glued together toward the base of the branches.  Fishing line was used to tied them to the frame and a little hot glue for extra support.  The dried leaves got a couple of coats of Mod Podge and were strategically placed to hide the fishing line.

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

The process of  “How to Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget” has taken some time but I am so excited to see how people respond!   Finishing the pumpkin wreath – part 3, hope you have enjoyed this and hope it inspires you to create your own!  

 

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath – Part 2 – Arms, Hands, and Shoulders

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath – Part 2 – Arms, Hands, and Shoulders

 

Part 2 – The Arms, Hands, and Shoulders

So, I decided to use the cable for the ‘skeleton’, the arms, hands,and shoulders, for this figure.  It’s pliable to begin with, and by the time all of the paper is glued to it, it will be stiffened.  (If he were going to be standing, a more stable frame would probably be necessary.) In  the picture below, you can already see how the arm on the left is becoming more rigid.   The newspaper page I used on the arms is a little heavier than your run of the mill newspaper.

I cut a cable long enough to allow for shoulders and the two arms.  Although I was planning to use PVC pipe for the shoulders, I had a heavy cardboard tube from a package of aluminum foil and decided to use it.   You can see the cable is  crimped up on each side of the tube, which helps hold the tube in place.  I also flattened the cardboard tube in the middle so the pumpkin head could sit on top of it.  (That would have been a lot harder to do with a PVC pipe.)

 

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You can see how the ends of the cable coating were sliced, splayed, and the wire ends exposed.

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 2 The Arms, Hands, and Shoulders on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

Then, the ends were spread around the ‘arm’ above the wrist and hand and using masking tape, secured the cable to the wrist and hands.

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 2 The Arms, Hands, and Shoulders on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

 

My plan was to have the hands positioned like they were pulling the figure up and out of the frame on the bottom of the frame.  Trying to think how I would pull myself out of a frame, I moved his right hand to the bottom and then the left hand to the top corner of the frame.  Then, I saw a picture where the figure was offering one hand, beckoning you to come with him.  Ohhh!  That was perfect!  Now, he will look like he is reaching down and offering a hand to pull you into the frame!

So, I placed the shoulders and arms into the frame.  The piece fits perfectly against the sides of the inner frame walls.  Using eye screws, I can secure the arms to the sides of the frame.

The pumpkin head laid on top of the flattened cardboard tube looked great.  The head will be attached with fishing line or metal wire.  Two little holes drilled into the back will allow the wire to go through one and out the other and attached to eye screws in the frame.  To spread out the load on the wire or line, the wire will be run through an old marker tube.  Then, there will be less stress on the two points where the wire or line touch the pumpkin head.

The space below seemed to need something.  I picked up the sign from the skeleton wreath and placed it there.  Yes, I think a sign there would be perfect.  Now, I need to come up with the perfect words…  Any ideas?

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 2 The Arms, Hands, and Shoulders on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

In the meantime, the arms, hands, and shoulders will be receiving more Papier mâché and, ultimately, paper clay.  

Click here to see ►Part 1 of How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget.

 

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How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget

This is not your typical Halloween ‘Pumpkin Wreath’!  Remember the Skeleton Wreath I made a couple of years ago?  How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.comWell, I decided to update the decoration, disassemble the skeleton wreath, and the idea of a pumpkin wreath began to take shape in my mind using the black frame again.

James Whitcomb Riley, the Indiana Poet,  and his Little Orphant Annie poem was my inspiration.  My mother read this to us when my siblings and I were little, and believe it, or not, I memorized it.  It is probably my favorite poem of all time, especially the part about the little boy who wouldn’t say his prayers.

No, I didn’t want a sweet little pumpkin wreath.  From Riley’s poem:

An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

The vision I had was a creepy pumpkin crawling out of the frame.  That is why I have been making Papier mâché pumpkins.  They were the practice leading up to this ‘Pumpkin Wreath’.  (You can find the instructions for the Papier mâché pumpkins by clicking on the link.)

After making these pumpkins, I can tell  you it is a fun process and I am afraid this Papier mâché has become an obsession…an addiction…  I love it!  There will be more Papier mâché creations!  

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Well, here are some of the elements to begin this wreath.  The pumpkin head has a first layer of paper clay in this picture.  The pumpkin also has a flat back because of the plan to place him in the picture frame.  I also made the hole in the back instead of the bottom.  Hopefully, that was a good decision.

This creepy cloth was found at the craft store.  Wanting some type of pliable wire to create a skeleton for the hands, I asked Dave if we had any coaxial cable (We are an Amazon affiliate and may receive a small percentage of any sales from this link at no cost to you.  Thanks for supporting this website!)

It took no time for him to bring this to me.  He even offered to strip the cable, which would have left me with three individual wires but why not use the whole thing?

First, using my hand as a guide and adding length to it for a bigger hand, I cut the cable for the thumb and each of the fingers.How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

Then, I cut a double of each of those lengths.  The small finger ended up being 11″, the ring finger  11 -1/2″, the middle finger 13 – 1/4″,  the forefinger 11 – 3/4″, and the thumb – 10″.  These measurements are not critical!  This is a monster!  Use your imagination and create your own!

Lay the cable out with the thumb on one side, the forefinger length next to it, the middle finger, the ring finger, and lastly the little finger section.                                                                  

Gather the cable up, adjust the cable, trying to keep the fingers in the correct position, and wrap masking tape around the “wrist”.  Begin spreading the cable out to resemble the hand.  I kept referring to my own hand to judge where the hand needed to flare and where the thumb would need to be.

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

You might have seen where other people have used old marker tubes to create the segments of the fingers, which was my original plan, but this cable was thick enough that I didn’t feel like I needed that after all.  I kind of like it being long and skinny.

 

 

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

You can see where the thumb was positioned out and away from the forefinger piece and masking tape was wrapped around it.  It is beginning to look like a hand isn’t it? 

The next step was to wrap the entire hand piece with the masking tape.   The tape was used to create the palm and back of the hand.  Small pieces of tape were torn and placed over the ends of the fingers and then each of the fingers was wrapped.  Paper strips and clay will add more detail to the hands.

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

These hands will look like they are pulling the pumpkin figure up and out of the black frame.  At least that is the plan!   You can see I’ve already begun to shape the hands in appropriate positions.  Even though they are easily manipulated right now, after the Papier mâché clay is applied, they won’t be as pliable.

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Figuring out the arms and shoulders and adding the Papier mâché will be the next steps.  Part 2 of “How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget” will be shared later this week.

Has this inspired you to create your own pumpkin wreath?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DIY Wreaths That I Love!

DIY Wreaths That I Love!

October 2, 2015

DIY Wreaths That I Love! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com 

    In the past, I have created some DIY wreaths that I absolutely love.  Seriously, I love the Christmas wreath with the silver ball ornaments.  It is elegant in its simplicity.   I could not bring myself to take it down this past year because I love it!  Having it displayed in the dining room seemed to be accepted by family and friends through February and Valentine’s Day, but by spring, maybe not so much!  In retrospect, I wish I had attached the bright red bow to be removable!  Seasonal bows could be added.  Right?   Directions for Christmas Ornament wreath.

 

DIY Wreaths That I Love! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com   The brass tack wreath is another that I love and it still hangs over my kitchen sink on top of a black fabric Roman shade that I made.  The rust colored bow picks up the color of the wooden cabinets and I love the shiny gold against the black fabric.  It was made for the fall season but it seems perfect year round.  Directions for the Golden Tack Wreath.

 

DIY Wreaths That I Love! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   I love the spring wreath.  The change to a soft purple ribbon and bow makes it even better.  This wreath reminds me of a vintage floral wreath from an old book.  The little nest with eggs is so subtle and sweet.   Even though there are not directions for this wreath in one of the blog posts,  it would be simple to copy.

 

DIY Wreaths That I Love! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The combination of burlap and sunflowers is one of my favorites.  Add a  vintage flag and it makes a very patriotic wreath.

 

   Right now I am in the process of planning a Halloween wreath for the front door.  Seeing a full skeleton on a wreath on Pinterest, gave me an idea.  I was contemplating whether there was a spare wreath form in the storage room or not and remembered the black frame I had used to frame a Valentine’s wreath.  

 

   I finally found a small lantern today in the “At Home” store.  I have been looking at all the craft stores but couldn’t find one the right size!  The dollar store had some creepy fabric, which I thought would make a nice addition.  Michael’s had some black twigs with just a little sparkle to them, which were half off and a coupon for an additional 25% off the total order made them pretty cheap!

 

   Last year, I Mod Podged some fall leaves.  (Don’t you just love what you can do with Mod Podge?)  My plan is to use the leaves for this wreath.  I thought if they seemed too colorful, a coat of black paint would fix that but looking at them with all of the black, I like the contrast.  Considering some silk leaves at the craft store, it just seemed they were too flat and the veining was not evident.  Why not use the real thing?  

    There is a process to my creativity.  This is the rough layout right now.   

DIY Wreaths That I Love! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   

    The idea of a harlequin patterned bow seems appealing to me, but that particular ribbon seems elusive thus far.  Another day of shopping might be in order…  After all, this Halloween wreath is, hopefully, another addition to the DIY wreaths that I love!

P.S. You can see the finished wreath by clicking here ► Skeleton Wreath.

DIY Wreaths That I Love! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com 

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