Category Archives: Creepy Crafts

Pulsing Hearts & Bloody Arrows: Scary Valentine’s Day

Even if you don’t celebrate it, I’m sure you have an opinion about Valentine’s Day.  Love it or hate it (or just plain don’t care), if you have to do any kind of shopping, you just can’t avoid all those pink and red hearts, cupid cutouts, and chocolate, chocolate everywhere.

I fall in the category of “Hey, at least it breaks up the first quarter of the year with an event.”  I use to be one of those people that just thought it was made up and stupid, but I grew out of that because hating stuff for no good reason is just dumb.

Anyway, it’s a cutesy holiday, and while I have no problem being nice to my husband, cute just ain’t for me.  Romance movies? Blah.  No, thank you.

So what kind of creepy fun can you have for Valentine’s Day?  Well, of course, there are movies, and we can’t really talk about Valentine’s Day without mentioning THE scary movie of the holiday: My Bloody Valentine.

I own both the 1981 original and the 2009 remake starring none other than the elder Winchester, Jensen Ackles.

They’re both okay.

The original was creepy when I was a kid, and I really enjoyed the (SPOILER) twist at the end.   The remake was also fun, but it was also a little cheesy – probably because it’s made for 3D, and I didn’t watch it that way.  Lots of crazy stuff flying at the screens, which is cool, but it loses a little something in 2D.

If you haven’t seen either of them and want to hear the legend of Harry Warden, you should totally watch them now.  They aren’t the best horror movies, but they’re also not the worse.

And I will say, they’re much better than another Valentine’s Day horror movie I feel like I should mention: Valentine starring Denise Richards, David Boreanaz, and Katherine Heigl.  Very meh.

Aside from movies, you have a few other options.  Valentine’s Day cards can be made creepy with a few tweaks.  I made one a few years ago for my husband (I’ll post a pic if I can find it) that had Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride on the front with the words “Made for Each Other.”  Just because it’s not Halloween doesn’t mean you have to phone it in.

You can give your Valentine some cool flowers, like this black rose:

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Also, a bloody steak seems appropriate for the day.  And chocolate. Don’t forget about the chocolate.  That’s non-negotiable (unless you’re allergic and then you get a pass).

I hope everyone has a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

5 Ways to Use a Dollar Tree Skull

It’s no secret that I love Dollar Tree, and one of the reasons I love it so, so much for my Halloween shopping is that you can make so many of their items look more expensive with only a little bit of work.

Of all the Halloween items they carry, their skulls are my favorite.  I always pick up a few each year.  This year, just to help you out, I bought a few more than usual to play around with.  But with them being just a dollar, it was totally worth it.

5 Ways to Use a Dollar Tree Skull

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Processed with Snapseed 

1. Use metallic spray paint to make your skulls look at home in any chic Halloween setup.

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Processed with Snapseed.

2. Who doesn’t love a sugar skull?  Spray paint a skull white and go to town with multicolored sharpies, paint pens, stickers, and jewels.  It’ll look great at any Day of the Dead celebration.

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3. Transform a skull into a mini jack-o-lantern by carving it with a craft knife.   Insert a flameless tea light and – voila! – glowing skull!  You can even spray paint it orange for a faux skull pumpkin or other colors to match your decor.

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Processed with Snapseed.

4. Make your skull look gross and creepy – and much more like a high-end prop – by using the corpsing technique I outlined here.

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5. Grab a few items you probably already have on hand and make this cool hanging ghost.  Read the tutorial here.

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Processed with Snapseed.

SO. MUCH. FUN.  I hope you try out a few of these projects because you’ll be missing out if you don’t.  Let me know how your projects work out in the comments. Happy Haunting!

Reaper Madness: How to Make an Easy Floating Ghost

Nothing dresses up a yard at Halloween time more than a floating ghost.  Stores carry these guys plus floating zombies, monsters, and clowns, but they can get pretty pricey for some reason.  Luckily for you, these are crazy easy to make.  Please follow along, class.

First, as with all projects, you need to gather your materials.

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Processed with Snapseed.

For your floating ghost, you will need the following:

  • A plastic skull
  • Creepy cloth
  • String
  • A wire hanger
  • Foam pipe cover
  • Pliers
  • Box cutter (not pictured)
  • Duct tape (not pictured)

You can buy a skull and creepy cloth from Dollar Tree, so this project is not only easy; it’s insanely cheap.  The foam pipe cover is pretty inexpensive, too.  You can get a package at any hardware store for a couple of bucks.  They actually sell white foam cover, too, but for this project I went with the dark gray.

After you’ve gathered your items, you need to make holes in the top and bottom of your skull.  Cut a small hole in the top and one that’s a little larger in the bottom.  You won’t be able to see them when you’re finished, so don’t worry about being exactly even.

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Next up, it’s time to make the shoulders (yes, your ghost will have shoulders) and attach it to the head.   My wire hanger was one with the cardboard middles, so I’d recommend using the same kind.  If you only have a full wire hanger, you’ll need to untwist the hanger and shape it so you have a hook in the middle.

Straighten out the sides of your hanger to make the shoulders of your ghost.

Add the foam pipe to the shoulders on each side and secure in the middle with duct tape.  Use outdoor duct tape for the best results.  That stuff works miracles.

imageTie your string together to make a circle, and thread it through the bottom of your head up through the top hole or vice versa.  Take the hook of the hanger and thread it through the string from the bottom hole.

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After you hook the string, pull it through to secure your ghost.  Add a few small pieces of duct tape to the top hole to keep the string from dropping through.  When you’re finished, it will look like this:

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Your last step is adding the creepy cloth.  Just drape it over the ghost’s shoulders and head, threading the string through a hole in the cloth to secure it.  You can add as much or as little as you want depending on how transparent you want your ghost to be.

Tada!!!  Your ghost is finished!

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Processed with Snapseed.

Doesn’t he look cool?  It was so easy that I plan on making a few more.

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So there you go.  You just made a cool decoration for your yard.  And the beauty of this little project is that you can change it up quite easily.  You can do all sorts of variations to make different kinds of ghosts or other types of monsters.  Paint the head with glow paint.  Use a foam head with a mask.  Add lights.  Use cheesecloth instead of creepy cloth.  Add hands.  Use longer, stronger wire to make a gigantic creature.  There are so many possibilities.  Not to go self-help on you, but the only thing limiting yourself is you.

I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy tutorial.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message through the contact page.  Happy Haunting!

Corpsing A Skeleton: An Easy Guide

I just discovered my favorite Halloween DIY project today: corpsing a skeleton.  I’d been hesitant to try it before because I’d only seen tutorials that used sticky adhesive or latex, and I’m cheap enough to not want to “mess up” one of my skeletons.  But after finding a tutorial online that only involved plastic sheeting, a heat gun, and some stain and realizing that I can pick up a new skeleton any time I need, I decided to try it out.

It’s way simpler than I thought it would be, and I love the results.  If you have a skull or skeleton or even just a bone lying around, you should seriously think about giving corpsing a try.

First off, let’s talk supplies.

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Processed with Snapseed.

To corpse a skeleton or skeleton part, you need the following:

  • Skeleton/skull/bone
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Heat gun
  • Spray adhesive (optional)
  • Varnish (assorted colors)
  • Box cutter/scissors
  • Rubber gloves

Speaking of heat guns, just look at this beauty I picked up this weekend, care of a well-timed gift card to Lowe’s from my husband.  He’s a good man.

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I’m going to go through this step-by-step as if you’re doing a full skeleton, but you can use the technique for whatever part your corpsing.

If you opt to use spray adhesive (and I highly recommend that you do), lightly spray the torso of your skeleton.  Cut a section of drop cloth to the length of the torso, and start wrapping.  You can wrap the full plastic around the torso at one time, or you can wrap in sections.

After you’ve wrapped the torso of your skeleton, it’s time to break out the heat gun.  Focus the heat gun on the plastic, making sure not to stay in one area too long (you don’t want to melt your skeleton).  You should also focus the heat on different sections of your plastic to melt holes strategically around your skeleton.  Corpses don’t rot neatly (I should know), and you don’t want your nasty guy looking too Martha Stewart perfect.  Play around with it.  If you don’t like what you see, add more plastic, and melt it again.

Repeat on each section of the skeleton.  I recommend going in the following order:

  1. Torso
  2. Arms
  3. Legs
  4. Pelvis (overlapping the legs)
  5. Shoulders (overlapping the torso and arms)
  6. Neck
  7. Skull

This is what your skeleton should look like after torso and arms wrapped and shrunk.

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Processed with Snapseed.

For the hands and feet, you need to use your box cutter or scissors to cut the plastic around the fingers and toes.  Then, shrink the cut plastic around the smaller bones.

When adding plastic to your skull, it’s much harder to wrap like the other areas, so this is where the spray adhesive really comes in handy.  Take smaller squares of the plastic and spray lightly with the adhesive.  Smash the sprayed plastic on the skull without keeping it straight.  It looks best when it isn’t perfectly flat.  Add heat, and when it looks right to you, you’re finished.

Next is my favorite part of any project: making it pretty!

Using a foam brush, dab whatever color of stain you’re using to the plastic on your skeleton.  You can use any combo of colors you want.  I went with a red and dark brown combo because I wanted my corpse to have that human-jerky look.

After dabbing color on a section, use a paper towel to smear and spread the stain around to hide any brush marks and blend your colors.  When you’re finished and the stain is dry, dry-brush the full skeleton to highlight the sinewy effect of the melted plastic.  I used a moss green here, and I really liked the result.

These are some other color combos you can use:

  • Bloody corpse: red stain with a little black stain added; bright red dry-brushing
  • Toxic corpse: green, gray, and black stains; lime green dry-brushing
  • Buried corpse: light tan and brown stains; black dry-brushing
  • Burnt corpse: dark brown and black stains with red highlights; orange dry-brushing
  • Moldy corpse: green, brown, and tan stains; light green/blue dry-brushing

Play around with it.  There are so many different kinds of paints and stains out there that you can get any look you want.

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And here’s a close-up of my guy.  The pic really doesn’t do him justice.  He’s much better in person, and I’ve already gotten quite a few compliments.

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I really hope my newfound corpsing enthusiasm takes some of the trepidation out of corpsing your own props.  I also had a little fun corpsing a Dollar Tree skull, but I’m saving that for another post.  Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or just send me a pic of your project!

DIY Giant Spiderweb

We’re now 6 days into October, so I hope everyone’s Halloween decorating is going well.  I had a full Saturday putting out all of my yard decs, and I feel a little more complete now.  Halloween-time just does that to me.

I’m sure there are some of you out there that feel like you need a little more oomph to your yard, so I thought I’d give a quick tutorial for a simple project that makes a big impact: a DIY giant spiderweb.

Surprised?  You shouldn’t be. That’s the post title.  Keep up.

So for this little project, all you need are a few simple items.

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Processed with Snapseed.

As you see in the pic above, you need a good length of clothesline, a few yard stakes, and scissors.  They’re not pictured, but you also need some nails to attach the cobweb to your house.

You basically want to make a six-pointed star with your nails and stakes, with the nails for the top three points and the stakes for the bottom three.  If you’d rather use hooks to attach the web base to your house, that would work, too.

The bottom side point stakes should be positioned a little behind and several feet away from the bottom point stake to ensure you get a good shape to your web.  If you position it too closely, your cobweb could turn out looking a little square.

Optional: If you feel so inclined and your circumstances allow it, you can make an eight-pointed star by using an extra string of clothesline  and a few more nails/stakes.  I think a six-pointed star is sufficient, but you can do this if you want.

After you have your nails and stakes positioned, take an end of the clothesline and tie it to your first nail.  String the clothesline to the stake, tie it off, and repeat it with the side points, crossing over the center string.

To make the rest of the web, start with the center ring.  Tie an end of the clothesline to the center line.  Then, you’ll just wind your rope around each line until you get back to the center line.  See the pic below:

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Processed with Snapseed.

Doesn’t look to hard, does it?

And that’s really all you have to do. Rinse and repeat until you get the size of web that you want.  If you want to make sure your strings don’t sag, you can put a drop of glue where you wind the clothesline around itself, but I’ve never had a problem without it.

To make it even better, add a skeleton or body to the center of your web.  My mother-in-law had a few large spiders on hand when I made this web for her last year, so it really made an impact.

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There you have it.  It’s such an easy project to do, and as you can tell, it gives you a big bang for your buck.  I hope you try it out.

Easy DIY Window Monster

Halloween is creeping toward us, and I am FUH-REAKING out because I haven’t started on my projects yet.  Yes, I have 102 days left as of the date of this post, but I have A LOT planned this year.

I’ll be posting more-involved DIY projects throughout the Halloween season, but since we have a little over 100 days until the big day, I thought I’d just post a quick little project I whipped up a few Halloweens back.

Three Septembers ago (a Friday the 13th actually), we moved from an apartment into a small house.  Moving is a lot of work, so I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for Halloween that year.  I set out my cemetery and hung up some ghosts and goblins.  I really wanted to do more, but I just didn’t have a lot of time (or money – buying a house is expensive).  I was proud of my little cemetery, but I thought my house was missing something.

We have a big double window by our front door, so I decided to dress it up a bit.  BUT…I didn’t want to spend any money.  Luckily for me, I’ve got a creative mind.  I had some black, easy-peel contact paper – the kind that doesn’t stick too much.  I cut out some eyes and teeth, stuck them to the window, and – VOILA! – window monster.

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Ain’t it fun?  It took hardly any time at all, but it added a bunch of Halloween flava.  Kids loved it, and with it backlit from behind with a low lamp, it showed up great.

What kinds of fun projects do you foresee for your Halloween festivities?  You better start planning now!  I know I am.

DIY Dollhouse of Horrors: Part 3

Another DIY Wednesday calls for yet another installment of…

The Dollhouse of Horrors!

If you haven’t read parts 1 or 2, click on the links.

Outfitting a haunted dollhouse with creepy items is no small task (Yes, that was a pun. Deal with it).   There just aren’t that many creepy minis for sale out there.  Well, at least not any that don’t cost a buttload.  A ‘buttload’ in this case means ‘more than I’m willing to pay for something I can make myself.’

Anyway, I enjoy playing with clay and getting my hands dirty, so I decided to craft some myself.  I started with some easy headstones, pumpkins, body parts, and a land/sea monster:

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And then I decided to look to the movies and other scary things for inspiration.  I thought it would be cool to just have little nods to the classics out there and some of my favorites.

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I made Jack Skellington’s head, a clay hook that reminded me of Candyman, some red ball candy to honor One Missed Call, the Necronomicon, an ear of corn for the fridge from Children of the Corn, and other little things.  I also spruced up a few items I already had.  An axe got a little bloodier, a pie got a little blood-action, too (Sweeney Todd, anyone?), and an errant Polly Pocket got painted to look like Chucky.

And just for the record, here’s a picture of my dirty hands:

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So much fun.

Next DIY Wednesday’s post will feature the inner decor of the house.  Check back to see the progress!

DIY Dollhouse of Horrors: Part 2

Well, it’s another DIY Wednesday, and I’m sure you were waiting on pins and needles for the next installment of…

THE DOLLHOUSE OF HORRORS!!!

I wrote about why I decided to make a haunted dollhouse and the planning stage in the previous DIY Wednesday blog post, so if you haven’t read that yet, go here.  

After the planning stage, the only thing left to do was buy the actual dollhouse kit.  I waited for a 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon (believe it or not, they didn’t always come every week back in 2009) and off I went to my favorite craft store where I bought this:

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I won’t lie.  I was really excited to get this thing, but when I opened the box and saw all the little parts, I was a bit overwhelmed.  If you decide to build your own dollhouse, don’t fret.  Just follow the instructions, and you’ll be fine.

Even though I got a case of the ‘Uh Ohs’ after I saw the contents, I still couldn’t wait to get started.  I like to be completely prepared before I start a project, so I made sure I had all the necessary materials for construction before I jumped in, including:

  • Wood glue,
  • Painter’s tape,
  • A craft knife,
  • Sand paper,
  • A ruler,
  • Measuring tape, and
  • A pencil.

Then, the fun began.

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Sadly, I don’t have many pictures of the actual construction process, but you can see from the pic above that there was a lot of gluing and drying time involved.  It wasn’t too hard to do after I got started; it just took a lot of time and patience.   It was just like a big puzzle. So. Much. Fun.

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There were also a lot of little parts that were easier to paint before I glued them to the house.  I went with a dark purple and gray color scheme because I wanted it to be really dark, but I didn’t want it to be black.  Plus, purple is one of the primary Halloween colors.  It just felt right, you know?

Here’s a pic of the painted house waiting for a roof:

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And here’s a pic during roof construction:

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And then another of the house with the roof completely on:

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And…drumroll please…here’s the finished house!

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Well, almost finished.  And you can see the plywood “yard” I put the house on.  I ended up gluing the base of the house to the wood so it would be a little sturdier.

I enjoyed building the house, but my favorite part was decorating it!  That part is still in progress, so be sure to check back on the next DIY Wednesday for another installment of…

THE DOLLHOUSE OF HORRORS!!!

DIY Dollhouse of Horrors: Part 1

I have a confession: I love miniatures.  I always have.  My nana had a cool dollhouse at her place when I was a little kid, and that’s where my love of little things started.  Sadly, when she moved from her house to an apartment, the dollhouse was moved, suffered water damage, and had to go.

Cue the Sarah McLachlan music and sad puppy eyes.

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But I rallied.  I coped.  I turned to Polly Pockets for comfort and never looked back.  Except I did.  I was lying in bed one night – as a full-grown adult, I might add – and for some reason, thoughts of my old dollhouse popped in my head. I thought to myself, “I really miss all the mini things. It sucks that my dollhouse was ruined.”  Then, I asked myself, “Who says I can’t have one now?”

Not a damn soul.

I really didn’t care that I was 25 and wanted a dollhouse. You don’t have to be a kid to have toys.  Growing up is for suckers, anyway.

Since you’re reading this blog, you probably know my dollhouse didn’t turn out all cutesy with gingham curtains, floral-patterned wallpaper, and antique furniture.  A haunted dollhouse was what I wanted – one with ghosts, blood, pumpkins, madNESS, MAYHEM, HUMAN SACRIFICE, DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER! MASS HYSTERIA!

What can I say?  I was excited.

My haunted dollhouse journey began with a plan.  I found the kit I wanted from Hobby Lobby (where else?).

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Ain’t it pretty?  I liked that this one had three stories and an extra attic because what’s scarier than an attic?

Yeah, a basement.  I know.  Don’t be a smartass.

Anyway, I was bored one Sunday and wanted to create a plan of action, so I converted the pictures to coloring book format and had a little forgotten fun with my markers and crayons.  These pics aren’t in color, but I didn’t have access to a color scanner at the time, so just use your imagination.

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I planned on putting the whole thing on plywood because a cemetery seemed like a necessity.  The inside was a little harder to plan out on paper because I knew it was going to be more of a make-it-up-as-I-go thing.  The planning stage was a lot of fun but not as much as actually building the house.  But we’ll go into that next time.

Tune in on the next DIY Wednesday for the next installment of “The Tale of the Haunted Dollhouse.”  You’ll be glad you did.

Project Scarecrow: A Song of Paper and Glue

It’s time for another DIY Wednesday!  Since I shared my love of PVC pipe last time, this week I thought I’d talk about another one of my favorite project materials: Papier Mache.

When my love of Halloween prop DIY began, I ate up everything I could online.  There are so many awesome Halloween blogs out there with so many great projects that I felt a little overwhelmed but so excited about the possibilities.  Although I looked at every Halloween blog I could find, my three favorites for inspiration were (and are) Stolloween, Pumpkinrot, and Spookyblue.

I fell in love with all the cool, creepy props the artists had made, especially the scarecrows.  I liked the scarecrows so much in fact that I decided I would try to make one, too.

One of the first steps when doing a papier mache project is to create a base.  This could be a number of things, whatever you can use to create the shape you want.  I wanted to make a large pumpkin head, so I used a large plastic grocery bag filled with newspaper.  To get the pumpkin ridges, I used masking tape to create the right shape, and for the stem, I used a rolled up piece of a magazine secured with masking tape.

Like so.
Like so.

After the base has been made, it’s time to make the glue.  There are so many recipes for this stuff online.  Choose whichever one works best for you.  For mine, I mixed flour and water at a ratio of 1 to 4, and then added some white Elmer’s glue and some liquid starch because I read that it would help the mixture adhere to the paper more easily and create a stronger hold.

Next, it’s time to get messy.

Take strips of shredded newspaper and dip them in the glue mixture. After they’re completely covered, start laying them over your base, making sure to create a thin layer over the entire thing and allowing it to dry a bit before adding a new layer.  It’s best to do multiple layers for a stronger prop.  I think I used about seven layers for my scarecrow head, but you could do more or less depending on what you’re going to be doing with the prop.

Next up is the detail work.  After my scarecrow head dried, I removed the newspaper and bag from a hole in the bottom.   You can use your own judgment to decide whether or not you need to do this step.  If you’re not going to cut into your prop, you can probably skip it.  Since my scarecrow wouldn’t be scary without a creepy face, I drew an outline on the form and then carefully cut out the mouth, nose, and eyes with a craft knife.

For the finishing touches, I used spray paint and dry brushing to give my scarecrow head some color and creepiness.  Pieces of dried cane from my husband’s grandmother were used to make the scarecrow body, fastened together in a T-shape with tape and twine.  Lastly, I draped some creepy cloth over the arms to flesh it out a bit.

Voila!  Scarecrow.

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Sure.  It might not be the fantastic creations of Spookyblue and Pumpkinrot, but although it might not measure up to those guys, I was pretty damn pleased with the final product.  Plus, it was my first attempt, and practice makes perfect.  I even got compliments from the trick-or-treaters that came to the house.  I call that a success.

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I’m already looking forward to making some new creepy things this year. There aren’t many days left until Halloween, so I better start planning now.  What about you?  Are you planning on any cool props this year?  I’d love to hear about your creations in the comments!