Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How to Make Halloween Skull Towers Part 1

I haven't posted in a long time! I've been moving around a lot and sometimes my space is very limited which prevents me from crafting and baking/cooking or in the case of my last apartment, bug infested!  Ick! So obviously I had to stop baking cakes/cake pops! I have once again moved but for the first time in 5-6 years I am living in a house.  A large house, lol! I have more space than I know what to do with at the moment which means the craft and baking fairy idea has returned!

Halloween is my very favorite holiday. It's October so the weather a a bit cooler and my favorite color, orange, is in the stores in the form of fall leaves and pumpkins and my other favorite color, purple, is abundant as well. This year Halloween seems to have come and gone already in the stores. Lots of Christmas decor already out. I actually had a bit of a hard time finding decorations that I liked. Next year I'll know better and start hitting the stores in September for Halloween supplies!

I've broken this tutorial into two parts because you could make either a very large skull tower or a rather small skull tower.  The construction and materials needed are essentially the same, just different sizes and amounts are needed. Part One of this tutorial will assemble a small skull tower. Part two a large skull tower.

For a small skull tower you will need:

  • 4-5 small Styrofoam skulls (you can use plastic but you'll need a drill to make holes in them). I also say 4-5 because you'll have to decide how tall you want your tower or maybe your skulls are larger or smaller than mine!
  • a small black cauldron or a flowerpot painted black (or any other color you choose)
  • Floral foam
  • a long dowel rod
  • ribbon and/or tulle
  • Spanish moss
  • assorted fake flowers/foliage and creepy crawlers
  • brick/tile or some other medium to give your pot some weight
  • glue gun

I bought most of my supplies at my local dollar store.  I did have to go to my local hardware store for the dowel rod and the craft store for the floral foam although sometimes the dollar stores do carry these items. The broken tile was just hanging around my house being lazy. 

In your cauldron (or pot) place any material that your using to weigh down tower. You'll need to do this or it'll just tip over on you. Styrofoam and ribbon are very light. This doesn't have to weigh a ton but since mine were going to be outside exposed to the occasionally gusty wind I erred on the heavy side! Better too heavy than not heavy enough because once you have it assembled you cannot add more weight INSIDE of the bucket.

On top of my rubble I added some floral foam. this stuff is really easy to cut to shape of the pot. If you wanted to use canned foam to fill in the gaps (or even by itself) you could.  I found working with floral foam easier (and less messy!).

Next, carefully!, use your dowel rod to poke through your Styrofoam skulls.  Think about what angles and placement of skulls stacked on top of each other before placing holes*. Once you've poked your holes they're is no going back! As you can see I got a bit to aggressive with my hole poking.  I was able to cover up any gapingly large holes with ribbon and creepy crawlers later on. So holes/tears are kind of fixable. Broken skulls not so much!

Please note: If you are planning on having an unadorned top skull do not poke that dowel rod completely through it's head! If you go this route plan in advance! You'll need to measure your dowel rod and cut it before affixing it into the floral foam so that the rod doesn't stick out above the skull tower.

*Note: The skulls I purchased have led lights in them. If you use the same be mindful of dowel rod placement!

Insert your dowel rod into the floral foam and affix with a little hot glue.  Use more hot glue to affix Spanish moss around dowel rod to cover up the ugly green floral foam.

Start stacking your skulls. Once you have them placed how you want, use some hot glue to sturdy things up. You may want to leave a little gap between skulls to allow ribbon or tulle or even a strand of lights to wrapped around tower. Once skulls are placed and affixed securely you may need to trim away excess dowel rod. Use a good sharp pair of utility scissors, a small hand saw or if your lucky, a dremel tool to cut away excess rod.  You want the rod to be flush to top skull. 

To cover up where the dowel rod exits the top skull I glued a plastic spider. All hail the mighty glue gun!

You could also use flowers are some other bug or a bow even to cover that hole!

The next step is to use ribbon, tulle and artificial flowers to decorate your skulls and their container. This is the really fun part!  I just made sure to use a little hot glue to make sure everything would stay in place. If you didn't use light up skulls you could eve string some lights around it like a Christmas tree!

In Part 2 I'll show you how to make a larger version which you can see at the top of this photo collage:

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