Thursday, October 19, 2017

Halloween DIY 2017

Nothing to Disclose


Every October, I promise myself I'll make more decorations for Halloween - I make Pinterest boards, I print instructions, I buy art supplies - and it all sits there, unused, while I buy enough mass-produced Halloween stuff to open my own Euro shop. This year, I started crafting early, and I've amassed a nice little collection of homemade decorations.

I've been posting on Instagram and Facebook, but have been asked for tutorials and more information about some of the pictures, so I've put this together as best I can. If something isn't clear, just leave a comment below and I'll answer back ASAP!


You will  need: Balloons, cornflour, cold water, a saucepan, a whisk, cheesecloth, cups/bottles, newspaper/tray. To decorate: Black card, glue, tinfoil (optional).

Cheesecloth can be hard to find, so try shops that sell fabric (Guineys, Hickeys) or it can be found online fairly easily and reasonably cheap. I used a piece measuring 90cm x 90cm, that was enough for two big ghosts and two little ones.

Step One: In a saucepan, whisk 3 tablespoons of cornflour with most of the water from 500ml. Keep the heat at medium and keep whisking. If it gets too thick, add more water. When it starts to boil remove it and let it cool, then transfer to a container (a lunchbox is ideal). I followed the instructions here: Homemade Liquid Starch Glue.

Step Two: Lay a sheet of newspaper or a baking tray on a flat surface where it can stay for 24 hours. Blow up three balloons. One bigger one for the head, and two smaller ones for the arms. Place them on cups/bottles of varying heights and secure with tape if needed.

Step Three: Place the cheesecloth in the paste, roll it around to make sure it's completely covered.

Step Four: Drape the cheesecloth over the balloons and leave to dry for 24 hours.

Step Five: When the ghost is dry, you can remove from the balloons (pop if necessary) and decorate. I used black card and a glue gun for the face, and aluminum foil for the chain. Mine wouldn't stand alone, so I popped him on a kitchen roll holder.


You will need: A canvas, a picture or photo of your choice, Mod Podge or PVA glue, a paintbrush.

I bought my canvas in Mr. Price for about €3.99.

Step One: Choose a picture or photo that you'd like to transfer to the canvas. I found mine online and printed out onto plain A4 paper. Trim the edges if necessary.

Step Two: Brush the entire canvas with Mod Podge or PVA glue, then carefully lay your image ink side down, smoothing out carefully to avoid air bubbles. Leave to dry completely (about 12 hours).

Step Three: Using a damp sponge, gently dampen the paper and begin to rub the top layer of paper off gently. When I used the sponge it felt too abrasive, so I rubbed and rolled the paper off with my finger. This takes ages, but it's worth it - if you hit an air bubble, go as slowly as possible to avoid ripping the design. Blow off any debris as you go along.

Step Four: When you're finished, cover the whole image with a layer of Mod Podge or PVA glue to seal. I stained the edges of the canvas using a damp teabag to age it more.

I made this following a pattern by The Prairie Schooler called "Hocus Pocus". I found the pattern online, it's also available on Etsy. It took me about a week to complete - I worked most of the black areas first. There's no backstitch and all the sections were the same size, so it wasn't difficult. I added more orange to the moon, I wasn't keen on all the grey.

I found the frame at a second hand market for €1, it had the mount included which was handy.


You will need: A hardcover book, kitchen towel, PVA glue or Mod Podge, acrylic paint (brown, black, yellow), eyeball (or foam ball), air drying clay or Crayola Model Magic, silver paint, paintbrush.

I have wanted to make the spellbook from Hocus Pocus for years - I followed this youtube tutorial here:

I picked up a hardcover book at a market for 50c, then followed the instructions, covering it in tissue paper and securing with Mod Podge as I went. I used old fridge magnets for the clasp and got the eyeball on Etsy, but lots of Euro shops have decorations with eyeballs in them that would work, or a small piece of white clay/foam painted to look like an eye would work. I left it to dry, then painted it with cheap acrylic paint from a Euro shop. 

While the book was drying, I used Crayola Model Magic (eBay) to fashion the snakes and clasp. I found the Model Magic really difficult to work with - it seemed to stick to itself and kept springing back on me. If I was doing it again I'd use regular air dry clay. I sprayed the pieces with silver spray paint, then used a hot glue gun to stick them in place. I'm not happy with how the clasp turned out and I'll make a new one at some point, but overall I'm happy with how the book looks for a first attempt!


You will need: One long stick/length of timber, 4-5 pieces of scrap wood, printer and paper or paint, brush, Mod Podge or PVA glue, nails or screws.

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was such a great idea for an outdoor decoration!

Step One: Either print out your place names onto plain paper or draw them on the wood and paint them in. If printing, cut the individual letters out.

Step Two: Make sure the wood is clean, then coat in a layer of Mod Podge or PVA glue. Gently lay the letters in place. Brush another layer of glue on top.

Step Three: When completely dry, secure to the long post with screws or nails. Ironically, when we were putting this up, Oz blew off - so I replaced it with Halloweentown.

Mod Podge isn't weather resistant - so I'm coating mine in a layer of clear varnish just to make sure the writing stays put, and I can use this again next year.


To make the knitted pumpkin, I followed this pattern: Knit Pumpkin and Skeleton. This was the first thing I've knit in about 20 years, so it's not perfect, but I'm happy with it.

To make the pom-pom pumpkins and bats I used the old-fashioned method using wool and two card circles, if you Google "how to make a pom-pom" you'll find loads of methods. For the bat, I attached some googly eyes and cardboard wings/ears with a hot glue gun.


I made this last year, printed it out and just popped it in a frame from Dealz that I painted black (as seen in the first image in this post).

So - that's it, so far anyway! I've still got folders full of ideas, so if I get anything else done by Halloween I'll pop them up. If you've seen any cute DIY projects please let me know!

1 comment:

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