Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 30 Craft: Skull under Glass

Oops.  I've missed a few weeks of posting.  Turns out that life has been happening in big batches lately.  It's all good, I've just been very busy.  So even though it's been 114° here I have got Halloween on my mind.  Halloween for my crafting, Halloween on Pinterest and Halloween on my Etsy shop shop.  Check out a few of my latest items:

My hubby tells me the zombie teddy bear is morbid, but I think he's a twisted sort of way.

I came across a glass lantern at Michael's last week.  It was on mega clearance, so I couldn't pass it up.  You know the drill - buy now, figure out the craft project later.  They also had some styrofoam skulls that I thought were pretty cool and an idea was born.  Skull in a bottle.  

Here's what you need:
A bottle lantern.  The bottom opening is 5".  Note: As I mentioned, Michael's was clearing these out, so I'm not sure you can find this exact one.  However, I've seen similar ones at Hobby Lobby and you could also use one of the cool lanterns Target sells.  Or you could cut the bottom off a wine bottle and add some wire.
Styrofoam skull.  Michael's had several sizes; I bought the medium size.
Sculpy clay that cures in the oven
Embossing powder and perfect medium
1/2" dowel
Off white craft paint
1/2" drill bit
Tacky glue
straight pins (or floral pins)
Styrofoam ball

If your glass is wired in place you need to get the glass out.  For my lantern that was on the neck of the bottle.  There was a wire that just needed a little bend to ease it out of loop so I could free the bottle.

The skulls have a number on the back.  I just sanded it off; it came off super easy.  They also have a black hook in the top; I just gently removed it.  Your hat will cover the hole.

I forgot to take a photo of the skull "before", but the photos above give you an idea of what they look like.  There is a fair amount of detail, which is nice.  The embossing powder just kicks it up to the next level.

Rub the perfect medium all over the skull.  I found I couldn't quite reach all the nooks and crannies, but that's good, because you end up with a lot of shading and detail instead of one color.  
With a brush put on the embossing powder.

Because the skull will be protected by the glass I didn't add anything to seal the embossing powder in place.

Using the drill bit I worked it into the base of the skull to make a spot for the dowel to slip into.  

I used some craft paint to cover the dowel.  Once it dried I added embossing powder to the dowel.
My skull was looking a little boring to me so I thought I would "dandy" him up with a hat and ruff.  For the hat I formed a top hat shape and base out of the Sculpy clay.  I used a little more than half of one of the 1.97 oz. packages.

With a toothpick run some hatch marks on the base of the top of the hat and the brim.  This will help it stay together.   You can also bury a screw into the hat and use it to screw into the skull after the clay bakes.

I added just a little bit of embossing powder to the hat and added some ribbon and then added it to the skull.

Next, I added a ruff to not only make him more stylish, but also to cover most of the dowel.  Here is a great video on how to make a ruff.  I slipped that over the dowel.  Here's what the ruff ended up looking like.  I used about three yards of 7/8" ribbon.

Use your drill bit to work a hole into the styrofoam ball.  The moss ends up using a lot of space, so even though my opening is 5" I only needed a 3" ball.

Now it's time to add your moss.  I haven't worked with this very much and found it VERY frustrating.  It kept coming apart and shedding everywhere!  Maybe I should have moistened it first?  What ended up working for me was using smaller pieces and pinning them into place.  

Slip your skull into the bottom of the lantern and check all sides to make sure you are pleased with how everything looks.  Once you are satisfied put the lantern back into its base and secure the wire back into place.  

Display him on your favorite table or hang him on your back porch.  Thank goodness I have photos with this post; if you read it without the photos it sounds more like a how-to from Dexter!  Happy haunting.