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.


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.


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!


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.


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!!


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.


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


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.


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!


It sure doesn’t FEEL like it’s the end of summer, with daytime temperatures still reaching the upper 90’s; but it IS Labor Day Weekend, and the unofficial end of summer . . . which means it’s time for the

Stars Antique Malls End of Summer SALE.

As it always is for the store-wide sales at Stars, each vendor sets their own discount amount for their booth; and I ALWAYS offer 50% off everything in my booth during the sales.

I just stocked all my Halloween goods too!  Yes, they are all 50% off too!


Unique faux pumpkins; some pale blue ones and silver glitter.  The white ones are BIG.  The one sitting on top of an urn is coated with a ‘sugar glitter’.  The GINORMOUS one, sitting on the chair, is painted with ‘fairy dust’, that sparkly iridescent glitter.   It is seriously the biggest faux pumpkin that I have ever seen.  I cannot even reach my arms all the way around it!

The sale runs Friday – Monday, September 1-4; 11am – 6pm.

Ugliest Trunk EVER!

Honestly, I think this is the ugliest little trunk that I have EVER seen!!


The latch is missing and I have NO IDEA what the ‘significance’ of the paint job is?!?!  Perhaps a Halloween decoration or party prop?  I really only looked at the price tag to see how much they were trying to get for it; and have a good laugh if it was more than a couple of dollars.


It WAS just a couple of dollars and the ‘innards’ were decent; so I bought it.  It’s good to challenge myself every so often.

First off I filled the holes from the missing latch with wood filler, then sanded that spot smooth.  I painted it aqua, then distressed it a bit.


It needs ‘something’ . . . . . but I wasn’t sure just what.  When that happens I just start digging through my boxes of supplies in search of inspiration.


This bird themed paper napkin was perfect.  Since a few tiny spots of the original red paint showed through when I distressed it; the little bit of red in the napkin tied it in nicely.  I applied it using ModPodge.

I didn’t cover the back with the napkin because the hinges were in the way.  NOW, what to do to take the place of the missing latch at the front???  I have some cute little padlocks and keys, but they didn’t ‘feel right’ with the birds.


Ah-HA!!!  Another perfect use for one of the aqua ceramic roses I have!  I drilled a little pilot hole (remember these are actually push pins so they have a tack on the back) and glued in on with some e6000.


Not bad!  Not bad at all.

It sold within a DAY of when I took it to my booth at Stars!

I had restocked my booth last Tuesday, in preparation for the five-day sale, Thursday – Monday.  Had to go back in on both Friday and Saturday mornings because large items had sold and my booth was a MESS!

ALL of the above pieces sold last week, as of Saturday. (Lots of small stuff sold too, I just can’t show it all!)   I’m very curious to see what my booth looks like when I go in tomorrow, after 3 more days of the sale!

I took a few new pieces in with me on Saturday, just to fill the empty spots.  Some of it may be coming back home with me.

Like this chest of drawers.  It’s a REALLY nice piece; even the INSIDES of the drawers are painted!!  It doesn’t NEED a make-over . . .  but it really doesn’t ‘go with’ the color palette I have in my booth.  I really LIKE this color’s used on it too.  So, I figured I’d give it a chance to sell ‘as is’.  You never know!!

And this little metal folding shelf, which I was going to re-paint.  But it kind of ‘works’ with the colors of the chest, so I went ahead and brought it in ‘for now’.

I have a carload of furniture pieces to take in tomorrow.  I have a feeling I’m going to be spending quite a few hours working on rearranging my booth tomorrow.  I’ll wait to restock ‘smalls’ for when I have less big stuff to haul and move.

If you want to be sure you are notified of ALL Stars sales and special events; sign up for their email list via their website.  They do NOT share the email addresses with anyone!!  You can also follow Stars on Facebook  and Instagram.

It was ‘one of those days’ . . .

You know, one of those days when everything seems to go wrong! I was stocking my booth at Stars and not even TWO minutes in, I dropped and broke an item. Not even five minutes later, I dropped and broke something ELSE! I should have just turned around and gone home at that point.

Then the vendor across from me dropped and broke something . . . and I LAUGHED! sheesh. I explained that I had the ‘dropsies’ and had already broken two items.  I was just putting out a darling porcelain doll.  I hadn’t even taken pictures of the doll yet.  I turned to grab my camera and CRASH!  A customer had reached for an item next to the doll and knocked the doll to the ground, breaking her head!
P1220582Poor Dolly.  And she was such a cute doll too.  (WAS being the operative word!)

P1220581And this is what she looked like when I took her back home.  To do WHAT with her, I had no idea!  I just couldn’t throw here away .. . . not yet anyhow.

P1220583Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe I’ll happen upon a porcelain doll head one of these days and can fix her up.  But I’m still really TRYING to ‘de-clutter’ and only keep items that I can personally use (or collect!) or can sell.  If it doesn’t fit either of those, I have to get rid of (donate) it.

She sat in my living room for a couple of days as I pondered her fate while sorting through my Halloween product and supplies.  Hmmmmm????  I wonder what it would look like if I attached this little skull to her???

P1220668Not really ‘my style’ at all, but I do see a lot of these ‘creepy baby dolls’ around this time of year; so why not?

P1220667It she does sell, great!  If not, I’ll donate her like I would have had to do anyhow.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained; right?

P1220703She has gone to my booth at Stars, along with lots more Halloween goodies.

Here’s a peek at some more of the Halloween decor.

























Birds of a feather . . .

P1080494But these two ‘thrift store bought’ birds are NOT going to flock together!

10.1.13 pics 009The white one was a salt shaker, so to hide the holes on top if it’s head, I globbed on a bit of spackling.  Then I noticed this other salt shaker and how perfectly sized they were for each other!

10.1.13 pics 010I glued them together with e6000 and let the glue cure overnight.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 010

Once the glue was set, I spackled the base also and let that dry.  The top and base were both slightly different shades of white, so I spray painted the whole thing to make it cohesive, and, of course, added a crown!

10.13.13 botj malls projects 100

This ‘pre-crown’ picture shows how petite this little guy is.  Will probably save him for spring.

10.1.13 pics 011I was in ‘Halloween mode’ by the time I got to the other bird, so it got painted black.

10.7.13 stars etsy projects 083

Gave the bird a sheet music paper crown and glued him atop a little wood box (opening facing to the back); dug through my stash of Halloween embellishments to find this head stone shaped one to glue to the front of the box and added a little glittered spider.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 106It’s quite petite, as you can see here in my space at Stars.


HALLOWEEN & CHRISTMAS stuff now in my etsy shop

Halloween and Christmas goodies now available in  my etsy shop:

9.12.12 etsy finds 058MOST of the Halloween stuff is listed in ‘lots’.  More bang for your buck and less shipping cost!

9.12.12 etsy finds 070

9.12.12 etsy finds 088

9.12.12 etsy finds 044

9.12.12 etsy finds 038

9.29.12 etsy projects 051

10.30.12 etsy 001

12.2.12 DT finds etsy 061Just to show you a few.  Hop on over to my etsy shop  to see everything!

Skulls on a stick

Got these glitter skulls in the ‘dollar spot’ (that area in the front with all the cheap seasonal stuff) at the same time that I got the glitter owls.  Again, NOT my favorite colors, but there were no other options.  These are about ‘life size’.

Dollar Tree used to always carry smaller ones, like this; but not for the last couple of years.  I found these at Home Goods. They have a loop on top of the head to be used as ornaments.   So what am I going to DO with them?

I made ‘skulls on a stick’ (candle holder actually!)  These are two of the smaller ones.  I cut off the hangers, then glued the skulls to the painted wood candle holders.  Let the glue dry overnight before embellishing.

I grabbed some little vintage sheet music crowns from my stash*; these had clear glitter on them.

*I almost NEVER make the crowns ‘as I need them’.  Rather, it’s something I work on while I watch TV at night.  So I always have a ‘stash’ of crowns, ready to use whenever I need one.

The BAT on that crown is actually a little BUTTON!  Pretty cute, eh?

Got these big bags of bat and spider buttons at JoAnn’s during their big coupon sale.

The spiders are TOO cute!  (and I HATE spiders! )

On this crown I glued on a sticker.  NOT an easy task to a GLITTERED surface!

The stuff around the necks of these is actually a pony tail holder!  I found some at DT and some at Target; with the Halloween theme sheer ribbon already on them,  I just added a little more ribbon to fill them out a bit more.

For the bigger skulls, these were the only candle holders I had to use.  A bit too tall and skinny for the weight of the skulls, so I added the extra wood base to keep them from toppling over.  Again, I glued the skulls to the sticks and let the glue set up overnight before working on my embellishments.

Same thing as on the small ones for the neck.  If you can’t find the pony tail holders, you can easily make your own using plain pony tail holders, rubber bands or just string!  Cut your strips of different ribbons in slightly varying lengths, then just tie them onto your band or string.   Slip on or tie on your finished piece!

Yes, I have a stash of the bigger crowns ready-made too!  These are big enough to fit MY head.  Just added embellishments.  For this one a scrapbook sticker and a border.

A big cardboard spider and lots of the little spider buttons glued on this one.

And a glittery peel-n-stick border on this one.  

The border didn’t quite reach all the way around the crown.  Just be sure that if you do have a ‘bare spot’ that it’s centered in the back.

I was kind of feeling like I should have added ‘something’ to the candlestick just below the collar.  A tag maybe?  I couldn’t decide what to do, so I left well enough alone!

ALL of these skulls shown are for sale in my booth at Stars.

LOTS of other Halloween decor too!

Final Halloween inspirations for 2011

As I already mentioned, I packed away all my Halloween and fall supplies a couple of weeks ago, and am working feverishly on Christmas stuff at this point in time.  Losing an entire week of ‘production time’ from that bee sting really put me in ‘panic mode’ to get ready for the upcoming show.  And in all the hoopla I forgot to post pictures of the last batch of Halloween decorated bottles I did.  So, here ya go!

Craft store packaged labels, Dollar Tree skulls glued on top (using e6000 adhesive) and skull and crossbones cut from a border piece.

Old spice jars with spray painted lids.

Spice jars with stained paper added behind the labels.


Stained paper glued and tied around the tops of bottles.  Little skeleton came from a Dollar Tree garland that I cut apart.








Don’t miss the SALE at Stars this Saturday and Sunday. 

I’m offering 20% off all regular priced items during the sale.

Glittered witch hats

I know you you can buy the unfinished paper mache witch hats at craft stores, but that’s too EASY for me!  And a tad pricey when I am trying to make stuff to sell at a mall when I pay rent and commission, and need to make a little profit!  Time to put on my thinking cap and come up with some creative and inexpensive way to make some witch hats.


I hunted through my ‘favorite store’ for a reasonable facimile of a witch hat and headed home to create a new masterpiece.  I completely covered them with glitter, and added some ‘eyelash yarn’ around the rim. 

To keep my selling price ‘reasonable’ I decided to make them about 1/2 size.  The BIG witch hats are great, but can get pricey and are hard to store away because the take up so much space.

 I’m quite pleased with the outcome!  You’ll NEVER guess what materilas I repurposed to make the hat!!  And you’ll have to pop over to my

Dollar Diva blog to see.


I’ll be selling the finished hats at Stars for $9.00


Skull on a stick

I’ve been waiting and WAITING for these glitter skeleton skulls to come in at the dollar store so I could make some more ‘skulls on a stick’ for this year:

The aforementioned waiting has been to no avail.  NO glitter skulls came in this year.  sigh.

But I did find these hollow plastic skulls that I had stashed away last year, to so something similar with.

Since these skulls are a heavier, hollow plastic (as opposed to the others that were solid styrofoam) I couldn’t just ‘poke a stick in them’ as I had done previously.  Plus, the ones from last year proved difficult to display.  Had to put them in a bud vase, which worked ‘okay’ but they kind of tilted forward too much.

Keeping that ‘design flaw’ in mind, I searched through my stash to see what ELSE I could use as a stick that might ‘stand on it’s own’.  Taper candle sticks should do the trick!  And I just happened to have three of them already painted black!  I glued the skulls to the candle holders with e6000. 

Click here to see how I made the ones from last year

I glued some light blue rhinestones in all the eye sockets; added some fluff and frills around the necks, and gave them each their own unique head dress.  This one a mini black top hat.  One with a little black pipe cleaner tiara.  And the other with a tiara attached to a paper crown.  (the silver plastic tiara I used was actually a HAIR COMB, that I broke the comb off of, and glued to the paper crown).

All three of these lovelies have gone to my space at Stars.  Last time I checked, 2 of them had already sold.