Halloween Things ‘on a stick’

I’m really not sure WHAT these things are called.  I’ve also seen ‘snowmen on a stick’, so I guess it’s okay to just call the Halloween things that too.

I just added these to my booth at Stars, along with the reproduction JOL and black cat baskets.

The original Halloween JOL baskets were made of JUST paper mache.  I used glass votive holders and ivy bowls, covered with multiple layers of paper mache for mine.  Easier to get a nice round shape that way.  The chenille handles are glued to the inside using e6000.

For the paper mache, you can use strips of newspaper, or any fairly pliable paper.  I used tacky glue to adhere my first layer of paper to the glass; then for all the additional layers of paper, liquid laundry starch.  After 3-4 layers of paper are completely dry, sand down any pumps or wrinkles; then add a couple of payers of tissue paper strips (again using the starch).  Once dry, sand again before painting.

For the ‘stuff on a stick, start with a styrofoam or dynalite ball.  I was using up what I had on hand, which was styro.  Poke a hole with your painted dowel, remove dowel and fill hole with tacky glue and reinsert dowel; let dry before you start covering your ball.  You’ll be holding onto it by the dowel as you add the layers of mache, so you want it in there nice and firmly, glue completely dry.

I save the newsprint paper that they use to wrap fragile things at stores with for my paper mache.  If using styrofoam (as I did for these) glue will not adhere to the styro.  And don’t bother buying that special styrofoam glue.  It doesn’t work!!  So, how do you get your first layer of paper to stick???  Cut nice and narrow and extra loooooooooong strips of your paper for the first layer.  You want one piece to fit completely around your styrofoam ball, and you are basically ‘encasing’ the ball with the paper strips that are glued to EACH OTHER.

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I lay out 3 -4 strips of my long paper and put a strip of tacky glue right down the center.  Then wrap the glued strips around your ball.  Keep gluing on strips until you ball is mostly covered, a few slight gaps is fine.  Next start adding your wider and shorter strips of paper using the starch.  3-4 layers, once dry, sand away and bumps and lines.  Then just as with the buckets, add a couple of final layers or tissue paper with starch.  Another sanding before painting.  Place your ball on the stick in a vase to dry.

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For my spider and ghost, I decided to use google eyes, glued in place with e6000.  Then I painted on the rest of the features.

For the spiders legs I used doubled over chenille stems.  Poked nice deep holes on each side where I wanted the legs to go with a skinny screwdriver, filled the holes with tacky glue, then inserted the chenille.  Those adorable funky little hats??  Made from melted styrofoam cups, painted black!

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You can find the ‘how to’ for the hats on Pinterest.  I’ve found that the ones that I make tend to mostly turn out with a very crumpled rim, like on the spider and ghost.  The one on the JOL above came out with a nice FLAT rim, but that was the ONLY one that turned out like that.  WARNING: the styro hats will be very BRITTLE and chip easiily.

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The above Punkin Head boy was made using an actual little fake pumpkin!  I just added a few layers of mache, then proceeded as usual.  Since this guy had a stem on top, he didn’t need a hat.  For his eyes I used painted thumb tacks!  (add a dab of glue before pushing them in place.) Oh, and I do add a coat of matte varnish when completely done.

After I got all of those done, I decided I wanted to tackle a BIG bucket; but I’m really TRYING to not spend any $$ on supplies right now, and use up what I have on hand.  So I made the big black bucket completely from scratch!

And, yes, I KNOW he looks more like a PIG than a cat!!  Gimme a break.  It’s my first try!!

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I used this glass hurricane lantern as a base for my bucket form.  I covered it with plastic food wrap, then added 2 layers of paper strips using mod podge as my wetting agent.  I wanted something a little sturdier than the starch for the first layers since I was going to have to remove it from the glass once dry.

I was really, REALLY hoping that the removal process would be easy.  HA!  I cut down one side and tried to peel the dried mache away from the glass,  NOPE.  It was too stiff to budge.  So I cut down the other side two, thinking that I’d be able to pull both sides away and keep the bottom in tact.  ALMOST!  The sides pulled away fairly easily, but the bottom cracked in several places.  Oh well, I can repair it.

So, my next step was of course to patch up the bottom and sides with strips of mache.  I used tacky glue on a few strips first (sort of like band aids!) to hold the sides and bottom together while I added the layers of paper, using the starch now.

Before my mache got too thick, i cut slits where I wanted the ears placed.  (In hindsight, I should have put the ears higher!)  I cut the ears out of an old cereal box and left enough extra length so that I could fold about 1/2″ at the base.  Inserted the base into the slit, put tacky glue on the folded tab and held it in place until it dried flat.  (tacky glue dries well enough to hold in about 5 minutes.)  Once both ears were in place, I started adding the layers of paper dipped in starch.

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Once completely dry, mark spots on the sides for your handle holes with a pencil, and drill holes.

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Second mistake I made on this was to glue on the nose/whiskers BEFORE I painted on the eyes and mouth.  I glued them on with e6000, so there was NO way to re-position them once I realized my mistake.  It really should have been higher.  I made the nose out of FIMO, and inserted some thin craft wire through it before baking it, for the whiskers.

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Painted black, inside and out, eyes and mouth painted on; a coat of varnish to finish.  A ‘rebar tie wire’ handle and a big orange bow and it’s done.  I guess her name should be Miss Piggy?!?!

Stop by my booth at Stars, for these and lots more Fall and Halloween decor!

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. It looks like a kitty to me! Weird ugly and very appropriate for Halloween.


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