Friday, 9 October 2015

Spooky Spells

I LOVE Halloween but I haven't had a lot of time for Halloween makes this year. I have however found the time somehow to make this fun altered book box for the DecoArt Haunts Challenge!

Now, seeing as the judge is Mr Andy Skinner I obviously won't be in line to win! But still, having joined the fantabulous Helping Artist Programme at DecoArt, I wanted to take some time to experiment more with the DecoArt range of products and this seemed like an ideal opportunity for a good old play.

The box is covered with lightly scrunched tissue paper to give it a creased leathery look then coated with DecoArt Media Black Gesso - ONE coat my friends - this product is awesomeness in a pot. I then added some stringy fabric I got in the Halloween section at Wilko's and added more gesso over the top. I followed that with a light smearing of DecoArt Metallic Lustre in Silver Spark then Champagne Ice to bring out the textures of the tissue and string. The webs are die cut (Tim Holtz for Sizzix) in white card and given a wash of Payne's Grey paint from the Media line. I blended the edges of the webs into the background with more black gesso before highlighting some areas again with the Metallic Lustre in Silver Spark. My spiders are plastic kiddies ones given a coat of black gesso then a touch of Quin Gold Media paint.

Behind the aperture I added some book page covered in strips of mummy's bandage! The bandage is created with torn pieces of calico dyed with Distress Sprays in Antique Linen, Hickory Smoke and Tea Dye, then glued down in rows onto the book page. I love this!!!

My MDF skull (The MDF Man - he does the NEC show amongst others) is painted with white gesso to undercoat it before I slapped on a great load of DecoArt Media Crackle Paste with a palette knife. I varied the thickness to get an uneven crackle - the thicker paste gives bigger cracks. Cool or what? Only thing I don't like about this crackle is I need patience with it (patience I do not have in spades!) as this took a good 8 hours to dry properly (it was VERY thick). Worth it though, heh? When dry I covered the whole thing with DecoArt Antiquing Cream in grey. I didn't actually let it dry as per the instructions because I wanted the skull to have plenty of white remaining, so I wiped it straight back with a baby wipe so mostly it was left in the cracks. I then added black Antiquing Cream around the edges and under the eye sockets - again I didn't let it fully dry before removing the excess as I didn't want it too dark (I also didn't want to scrub too hard at the crackle as it can come off if you are very heavy-handed).

Finally (did you get this far? Well done!!!) I did some faux metal effects on this die cut bookplate and also on the metal corners and keyplate. This is black gesso, then DecoArt Sand Texture Paste, then DecoArt Metallic Gold paint, then more black gesso then Quin Gold - the latter two just applied in places with my finger. On the metal items, I used Metallic Lustre instead, adding it last after the Quin Gold rather than before. The brads are bashed with a hammer and then brushed with black gesso. Hard to see here but the insert in the bookplate is also distressed with Distress Sprays - same colours as used for the bandages.

Phew! Sorry that might be information overload!!

Thanks for visiting today! And if you want to learn more about DecoArt stuff I have just started out doing workshops in Bromsgrove (England) - info on my Facebook page.

Katy x


  1. Gorgeous, live the metal effects and that fabulous crackle . Love the fabric behind the skull too. Tracy x

  2. awesome Katy - that crackle looks fab! Hugs rachel xx

  3. nice and dark and moody.
    love the crackle on the skull. :)

  4. The crackled skull is totally fab! I also love your metal effects on the book plate too. A wonderful Halloween make! Julia x

  5. Very cool, Katy. You have really done some cool techniques here. Love the textures and dimension. Great crackle effect, too! Your finished postcard is awesome.

  6. Wow, Katy! What do you mean you wouldn't be in line to win???! I think you ARE! This is a fabulous book cover makeover! You've used all those products to the best ability...oh how I wish I had more of the DecoArt products! Your crackle on the skull in AMAZING--you must have put a n awesomely thick coat on...mine left such tiny cracks, as mine is super thin. It's hard to pick a favorite part about this, because it's all so awesome!

  7. Wow! Amazing Halloween project. Love the crackle texture. So cool!

  8. I agree with Sara, you are definitely in line to win just like everyone else. This project is fab! Thanks for joining the DecoArt Media Haunts Challenge :D