All Souls Day Craft and Last Minute Decorations

Gourds

Last year, hubby and I were at the National Museum of American Indian and stumbled across a delightful little exhibit on decorated skulls for All Souls’ Day.  I am fascinated by this holiday, and the crazy cool decorations that abound.  I wanted to try my own hand at a little craft to celebrate this holiday, and had a few extra supplies on hand to create a little something.

Supplies for All Souls Day craft

Supplies for All Souls Day craft

I bought a little $1 frame at Michael’s last year, took some leftover glitter paper (from my mini glitter tealight houses), some scrap white paper, a sharpie, glue, scissors, and small foam squares.  First, I detached the plastic film covering the opening of the frame and took the paper insert out.  I cut a piece of glitter paper to fit, and inserted it into the frame.  Next, I cut out a skull head, and decorated it with my sharpie pen.  The shape is easy enough- a circle with a smaller square on one end.  For inspiration for the skull, I looked online at All Souls Day decorations.  (Skull candy is a good term to search).

Cut out and Draw on Skull

Cut out and Draw on Skull

Attach foam piece to back of skull

Attach foam piece to back of skull

And finally, just glue the little foam square to the back of the skull and then to glitter paper.

Glue skull to glitter paper

Glue skull to glitter paper

And voila!  Your own little shrine to the dead.

Happy All Souls Day!

Happy All Souls Day!

The rest of this post I wanted to show a few more pics of things I’ve been doing for Halloween decorations this year.

Gourds

Gourds

These are some more of the crazy gourds I bought at Miller Farms this year.  For filler, there’s an osage orange, and some mini fake pumpkins.

Vignette

Vignette

Here is what I settled on for a vignette on the Larkin chest.  One of my smaller chalkboard painted planters, a ceramic skull in an old silver jewelry dish, a fake spider, and a pair of silver candlesticks with black tapers.

Skull with photo

Skull with photo

Last year, I spray painted this foam skull black.  I was thinking about making it a glitter skull, but I liked it plain.  Another project I have in mind is to use a white paint pen and decorate it in a Mexican All Souls Day fashion.  Right now he’s just hanging out on the sewing table in the front foyer.

Rockin' Out Skeleton

Rockin' Out Skeleton

Also hanging out in the foyer is this Rockin’ skeleton.  I picked him up a few years ago in a shop downtown, Walker Home Furnishings.  Unfortunately (for me), they moved their store up to Arlington.  But they always had lots of fun and cool antique Chinese furniture and modern ware.

Bubbling Cauldron

Bubbling Cauldron

Below the skeleton I threw together this old plastic cauldron with some fake spider web material in it, and topped it with a bow.  The whispy material of the webby stuff sort of looks like fake fog bubbling up.  I bet at night, with a few tea lights inside, it could look more realistic and spooky!

Cat Candle

Cat Candle

I love putting these candlesticks out every year.  They have these black cats all over them with rhinestone eyes.  Another (after Halloween on sale) purchase in downtown Fredericksburg.

Happy Halloween and All Souls Day!

 

I’m linking to these parties:  House of Hepworth

Staining a Cheese Box

Fireplace Vignette with stained cheese box

It has been a while since I’ve posted anything.  I’ve started a bunch of projects, but have stalled on a lot of them.  In some cases, it’s just a matter of getting my wits about me to finish them.  In other cases, I’m either missing materials or am unsure of what I want to do.  One project I have been able to finish is staining one of the cheese boxes I bought.

Cheese boxes

Cheese boxes

I knew I wanted to paint one and stain one, and I wanted to leave one natural for now in case of future inspiration.  For the stain, I wanted something that was a bit dark, but not solid, and would maybe look like it had a little age to it.  So I gathered my supplies:

Staining Supplies

Staining Supplies

I experimented with the bottom first, with a black minwax all-in-one stain.  It was super easy to use, however, you really need to use a brush to get in the little crevices.  Also, it was just too dark, opaque, and not what I wanted.

Staining Fail

Staining Fail

I also realized that the boxes were just too rough to stain as is.  So I broke out the hand sander, and went to town.  I started with a lower grit, and then finished with a higher grit for a smooth finish.  It was difficult to get around all the staples, but I felt it was good enough.  The box pictured here one of the other boxes.  I decided to spray it antique white for a later project to be revealed.

Little palm sander with cheese boxes

Little palm sander with cheese boxes

After wiping them down, I decided to try a different stain– Jacobean by Minwax.  Much better!  I applied it with a foam brush, and was quite generous.  I then quickly, and lightly, rubbed it with a clean cloth.  It looked beautiful after drying overnight, but I wanted a nice sheen so I finished it off with two coats of poly.

Fireplace Vignette with stained cheese box

Fireplace Vignette with stained cheese box

I’ll try to remember to take some more pictures of it, later.  See how you can see the grain of the balsa wood stand out?  I really like the color this stain gives the box.

It’s also a great size- about 15″ in diameter.  It’s just big enough to fit magazines and books into for a quick clean up.