Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How to Make Halloween Skull Towers Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my skull tower tutorial. This tutorial can stand alone but if you think I may have missed a step you may want to check out part 1 here. If you can't find your answer there of in this tutorial feel free to leave me a comment with your question and I'll try to answer your question as best I can!

The primary reason I broke up this tutorial into two parts for what amounts to essentially the same project is because that is how I roll.  There are some minor difference: larger items, how to attach the light sets and I use a can of foam spray. It honestly isn't much different then the small tower though!

For a large skull tower you will need:

  • 4-5 large 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 large plastic black cauldron or a flowerpot 
  • floral foam
  • spray foam
  • a long dowel rod (a larger diameter than you used for the small tower) (not pictured)
  • ribbon and/or tulle
  • Spanish moss
  • assorted fake flowers/foliage and creepy crawlers
  • paving stone or rock or some other medium to give your pot some weight
  • glue gun (not pictured)
*You'll notice in my pictures I also have used a Styrofoam pumpkin. One of my glitter skulls ran away and when I went to the store all the other skulls had run away as well. I hear they went to Cancun for vacation. The pumpkin kindly volunteered to take the AWOL skull's place and doesn't she look great?!

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,spray foam, brick paver and the craft store for the floral foam but look around your dollar store because sometimes they do carry these items! 

The flower pot I found at Big Lots. I was looking for an extra large cauldron but the flowerpot is made of plastic and looks fantastic.  The final product makes me wish I could have found more glitter skulls to make another one. These would look so great as matching pairs by the entrance of the house!

In your cauldron (or pot) place any material that your using to weigh down the 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.

Since the flower pot I bought was so large I needed to add some filler before adding my floral foam. After placing my paving stone in the bottom of the pot (pic 1), I crumpled up some plastic shopping bags and placed them around the stoner and on top of the stone (pic 2). I then used the spray foam to cover the paving stone and the shopping bags (pic 3). 

Please be very careful using spray foam. Use in a well ventilated area (like outside!) and be careful none of it gets on you, your clothes, or your expensive camera (obviously I'm speaking from experience here!). 

After letting the spray harden over a couple hours I then added my floral foam (pic 4) I cut it to fit and used the scraps to kid of wedge everything solid. You could also use hot glue or try to get the floral foam into the foam before it is too set.

After measuring how high my skull tower would be completely assembled, I cut my dowel rod. You want the rod to fit onto your top skull with out poking out of the skull completely!

Before gluing the dowel rod into my floral foam I used it to poke my holes into my skulls. Mine look a bit messy due to the glitter coating chipping off.  These mess ups are hidden when completely assembled. If you make a boo-boo that isn't cover once the skulls are stack, get creative!  Use a flower or ribbon or something to cover it up. If it's just a small chip you could even use a little paint to repair. Just be careful and not completely destroy your skull.. It is Styrofoam after all. If you are the Incredible Hulk you may want to have some one more delicate do this step for you. 

Before adding the skulls (or at least before adding them permanently, use some Spanish moss to cover up that ugly floral foam!

Once you have your skulls stacked the way you want them, use a little hot glue to make sure they are not lose on that dowel rod. Unless spinning skulls are your thing? You could also use some tulle or ribbon in between each skull before permanently gluing everything done. Just remember once it is glued it's not moving!

To attach a strand of lights I used some floral wire that I stole off one my fake flowers (from the trimmed stems). I folded the wire into a u-shape to make a fastener and then used it to tack the light strand in place. I wasn't sure if just hot glue alone would do the job but I did add a dollop of the hot glue after I pushed the fastener into the skull.

Prior to attaching the lights I used some purple tulle in between the skulls. I added the lights and then added some ribbon butterflies and a super cute feathered owl to my skull stack. This is the really fun part!  Decorate however you like. I think a huge wired ribbon bow could be cute in front of the flower pot urn!

Don't forget to add some creepy eyeball roses or other fake foliage in the bottom to cover up that ugly floral foam too.

So there you have it!  A super adorably creepy skull tower!  This project is relatively cheap too!  Lots of the decorative items came from the dollar store and were used for multiple projects. The urn was the most expensive item bought for this project but it was just too perfect to pass up! I only spent $20 on it at Big Lots. I'm sure you could find one for less if you live up north and catch a summer clearance sale. I live in central Florida so gardening a year round thing so it's hard to find flower pots on sale at times.

Happy Halloween!

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