Saturday, August 29, 2015

Glow-in-the-Dark Day of Dead Craft Project

Because traditional Halloween decorations look out of place in the Ladybug House, L decided to create some Day of the Dead wall hangings, reinventing traditional Mexican designs with an African twist.

Here's a preview of how they turned out (NOT where they'll eventually be hung):

Want to create your own? They can be made fairly affordably if you plan ahead. (Consider making multiples, as L and D did. Cost per unit goes down and you can gift, sell, or keep the extras.)

SUPPLIES: (prices and availability not guaranteed):

  • balsa wood skull cutout (about $3; Michael's)
  • weathered grey Minwax stain (already had)
  • twine (already had)
  • several types of specialty yarn (price varies; Michaels)
  • craft paint (already had)
  • ***clear*** glow-in-the-dark craft paint (about $3 for a small bottle; Michaels)
  • small paint brush (already had)
  • paint sponge (under $1)
  • wooden beads (about $5; Walmart)
  • feather picks (about $3-4 each at Michaels: L was lucky and found a bag of 13 picks for $2 total in a thrift store)
  • copper wire (already had)
  • small glass beads (already had)
  • thick wrapped florist wire (about $6; Michaels)
  • glue gun and glue sticks (already had)
  • fake flowers (about $2 per pick of 5; Michaels)
  • fabric butterflies on wire ($2 for 3; Michaels)
  • clear fishing line

INSTRUCTIONS (results not guaranteed; use at own risk):

1. Stain both sides of wooden skull and let thoroughly dry. Apply second coat if necessary: L liked some of the grain still showing through.

2. Paint face as desired. Leave space for clear "tattoo." Let dry completely.

3. Tattoo rest of face with clear glow-in-the-dark paint and let totally dry.

4. Female figure only: create "crown" from heavy florist wire to fit on skull. Place crown on skull and adjust size as needed. "Decapititate" flowers from pick and affix with hot glue to front of crown. Add decorative "silk" butterflies. Brush butterflies lightly with clear glow-in-the-dark paint. String glass beads on copper wire as desired to make "earrings" and affix.

5. Male figure only: create nose ring with glass beads and copper wire and affix.

6. Cut yarn and twine to twice your desired length. Fold in half and fasten with fishing line at center fold to make "hair" or "beard" tassel(s). Tie tassels to skull and add wooden beads as desired.

7. Wire feather picks to hair/beard.

8. Cut short piece of thick yarn to hang and lace through top of skull. Add wooden bead to each end.

9. Keep wall hangings in a bright spot during the day and they'll look even more interesting when the lights go out.

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