October heralds the coming of long cold nights alive with firelight. As you prepare your homes for the glories of Samhain, why not craft some sequined skulls or a spangled hand of glory? Set on your mantle or tablescape, they will sparkle deliciously in the candlelight. The process is simple and delightfully addictive, and the result is positively witchy.
For this project, you will start with styrofoam skulls and hand. This year, foam shapes are everywhere in craft stores. I have seen skulls of every size, heads and torsos, eyeballs, bones, and spiders—all at reasonable prices. You will also need acrylic paint, a paintbrush, ribbon, large packages of short common pins or sequin pins, sequins of varying sizes, small seed beads, and a variety of baubles and embellishments as you desire.
Once you have gathered your supplies, paint your first skull in a color that matches your sequins. This is also a good time to paint the eye sockets and nasal cavity black. Let it dry completely. Next, use ribbon to section off different areas of the skull. In the images below, you will see that I used a narrow black ribbon to create a pentagram pattern on the back of the white skull (left) and wider red ribbon to create a cross pattern on the red skull (right). Simply lay the ribbon in place and pin it down as you go. You will only need a few pins to tack it down.
Once your ribbon design is in place, you are ready to start adding sequins. Simply take a pin, add a small bead, add a sequin (convex side up for smoother coverage), and push it gently into the foam shape. Now repeat this until you are happy with your design. While the process seems tedious, it is also strangely addictive and relaxing. Make one and you will make six. TRUST ME.
Your result might look something like this:
Follow the same simple techniques to cover other foam shapes. For example, I transformed this foam zombie hand into a sequined Hand of Glory. This took hours and the fingers were tedious, but the overall effect was worth the effort. Sequined items are very heavy once they are completed. To support my Hand of Glory, I mounted it on a small wooden board that I painted black.
For this one, I started with the foam skull and painted it gunmetal grey. I used black paint in the eye sockets and nose and made a thin black wash (more water than paint) to add detail and texture to the teeth. Once it was dry, I added round and star-shaped sequins, and alternated them with number charms.
Because how could you not? I painted the foam skull in a bone white acrylic paint. To make the bone look more realistic, mix a little brown paint into water until it leaves a tea-like stain when tested on paper. Add a little to the skull and wipe it down to get a stained effect. Next, paint the eyes and nasal cavities black. With brown paint, add Pinhead lines across the skull and insert pins at the junctures. Voila! Now you have a friendly reminder that “your flesh is killing your spirit.”
Leftover supplies? Dying to make more skulls, but your thumb is aching from pushing all of those pins? (That’s a thing, people. Try using a thimble.) Use your creativity and create some variants! I had a box of half-beads lying around, so I painted a skull black and got out the tacky glue. Working in sections, I glued plastic bubbles down and dried them with a hair dryer. I added section after section until I got the quirky fellow you see here.
Happy crafting, dear darklings!