DIY: Golden Snake Halloween Wreath

I’m the type of person that likes to put something on the front door that lets everyone know “HEY WE’RE FESTIVE AND STUFF”. We live in an apartment so I can’t put any crazy lawn ornaments up and we don’t get any cute little trick or treaters but you will have to pry my front door decor from my cold dead hands. Anyway here’s this year’s wreath!

I decided to go against the traditional circle shape and used an oval grapevine wreath as my base and used plastic spiders and a rubber snake and mice to decorate it. I got these items at Michael’s.

DIY Halloween Wreath Idea

Obviously these things aren’t really my style on their own so I hit up my stash of crafting supplies.

DIY Halloween Wreath Idea

I painted the entire snake gold using a coat of Martha Stewart’s metallic paint in Golden Pearl and then a coat of Martha Stewart’s liquid gilding in gold over the top scales. SHINY! I painted a few of the spiders too.

DIY Halloween Wreath Idea

Then, I painted the mice black using Martha Stewart craft paint and added a little bit of ‘hair’ on their backs with Martha Stewart’s onyx tinsel glitter.

I also sprayed the wreath black and then lightly brushed it with Martha Stewart’s Black Vintage Decor Paint to add some more depth and creepiness.

DIY Halloween Wreath Idea

 

I used hot glue to affix everything to the wreath and then used black sheer ribbon to hang it. Tada!

DIY Halloween Wreath Idea

DIY: Here’s How To Clean Animal Bones So You Can Use Them As Decor

A while back I was shooting some engagement pictures for my friend at an abandoned ranch area in San Diego and we noticed a lot of animal bones around. I mentioned to her that I thought they would make cool home accessories and even Halloween decorations if they were cleaned up. They can be quite expensive at trendy stores. She didn’t have much to say about the subject, but a few weeks later her husband showed up with a paper bag containing a goat and cat skull for me. I was pretty stoked about the goat skull but I won’t lie, the cat skull still creeps me out a little, because aww kitty. I saved it for later (for you know, like, spells and stuff), but I got down to business with the goat.

Skull cleaning

I know the idea of cleaning animal bones probably sounds creepy to some of you. I don’t really blame you. At certain points it kind of weirded me out too — like the moment I realized I was brushing a dead goats teeth. It’s fiiine. You’re recycling.

Anyway, the first step is to clean off whatever dirt and grime you can using warm water and a soft tooth brush.

Next, you’re going to soak the skull in 40% liquid peroxide. You can get this at beauty supply stores. It’s basically the developer you use for dying your hair. Regular peroxide from the pharmacy isn’t strong enough.

Skull cleaning

Then you’re going to soak it for as long as it takes. You want any grime, fatty deposits, and stains to dissolve or break away from the bone. This could take a few weeks depending on how dirty your bones are. There are other methods you can use, but peroxide and patience is the best for this kind of relatively clean skull. By that I mean no remaining flesh or hair on the bone. Jakes Bones is a really good resource for other methods and techniques. A great tip from Jake is to not get peroxide on the antlers or horns because “it looks rubbish”. So I obviously tried to avoid that.

I let the goat skull soak, covered with a tea towel, for about 2 weeks. I topped it off with warm water any time the liquid level got a little low. I was a little worried that it wasn’t going to be white enough, but I had to leave on a trip and didn’t want to leave it soaking unattended for too long. The problem with wet bones is that they can look brown or dark, so it’s sometimes hard to tell if you’re at the level of whiteness you want. Let dry and check it out. If it needs more time, just put it back in the bucket for a few days. When your skull is ready give it a quick rinse and remove any remaining debris. Let it dry in a sunny spot for a day or two.

Bone cleaning using peroxide

As you can see it dried nice and white.

Bone Cleaning with Peroxide Bone Cleaning with Peroxide Bone Cleaning with PeroxideNow you know what to do if you ever find a cool looking animal skeleton and want to try to use the bones for decor or art.

I went a little further and added a little copper leafing to mine by using Martha Stewart Crafts gilding products.

Gold leafing

I brushed gilding adhesive onto to the areas I wanted to cover. I didn’t go too far up the horn because it’s very porous and probably wouldn’t stick, plus I like the texture and natural color.

Let the adhesive dry a little to become tacky enough for the gilding sheets to stick to.

Copper leafing with Martha Stewart gilding products

Tip: These little gloves are great to prevent your fingers from sticking to and ruining your gilding sheets.

Cooper leafing with Martha Stewart gilding productsNext, just brush away any excess by using a soft bristled brush.

Gilding with Martha Stewart productsI like the texture and finish the copper leaf much more than paint.

DIY copper leafed skullCheck it out looking all snazzy on my bar cart.

DIY Guilded Skull. Bone cleaning and gilding tutorial.

DIY: Hand Painted Wooden Spoons

DIY Hand Painted Wooden Spoons

Sometimes I go shopping because I need something simple for the kitchen, like a pot holder or napkins, and I then I find myself getting frustrated because either everything is totally not what I’m looking for or just plain meh. Like these wooden spoons from IKEA. Borrring zzzzz. Cheap, but snoooozefest. I’ve seen cute wooden spoons in stores before, usually for like a million dollars, or at least more than I’ve been willing to spend on them. I knew I could totally DIY what I had in mind, so I did what any crafty betch would do…

HandPaintedWoodenSpoons

I dug into my collection of Martha Stewart Crafts products and grabbed my gold leaf pen.

This is so basic, you guys. Just tape off the handle and start painting however you want!

HandPaintedWoodenSpoons

I used Martha Stewart Craft paint in Camellia Pink and Wedding Cake white, Krylon gold leaf pen, and a good two coats of Martha Stewart’s high gloss decoupage to seal it all in. Just let dry thoroughly between coats. This decoupage is dishwasher safe and non-toxic so it’s perfect for kitcheware projects like this!

Hand Painted Wooden Spoons

Hand Painted Wooden Spoons Hand Painted Wooden SpoonsEasy peasy! Now you never have to let your serving and cooking spoons be boring again. Yay!