Thursday, 27 October 2016

DIY Halloween Decor - Faux Insect Taxidermy Plaques

If you know me, you know I love bugs. Entomology fascinates me, I have a few pieces of antique and vintage insect taxidermy and quite a lot of insect themed homeware! I also spent several hours this past summer studying pictures of interesting beetles and painting them in watercolour, which I found so soothing and I love my mini canvas now!

Annnnway, if you know me you'll also know I LOVE Halloween, I mean, I love ll seasons and events, but Halloween is GREAT! and I've gone all out this year with nice, somewhat grown-up Halloween decorations that I will hopefully keep and reuse for years (vs the normal poundshop/ dollarstore tacky stuff - which I also love!)

One of the things I made this year were these faux insect taxidermy plaques, which are seriously simple to make and I think look so cool!

Here's what you'll need;

  • Wooden plaques in your chosen size - I used these which I got on eBay (I chose 3 diff shapes)
  • Black/ dark gray chalk paint - I used one I had which has great coverage and dries quickly
  • Plastic insects in your chosen size - again I got these on eBay
  • Gold spray paint - I used this Rustoleum one because i'd bought it for another project, but cheap spray paint will work as well!
  • All purpose glue or glue dots
  • String/ ribbon (depending on the plaques you have and how you want to hang them!)

Feel free to use whatever paints you already have too to keep costs down!

All in all this project will cost around £6 -£20 (depending on the paint you choose) as I already had the paints, it cost me £5.93!

 Step one - Paint your plaques

If you are using chalk paint like me, you won't need to prime your plaques at all (whoohoo!) just slap the paint on there, I made mine a bit patchy and textured on purpose to make it seem old and spooky. I also mixed more or less water with the paint and did a few coats in areas to get this effect, but feel free to be a neaty-pants if that how you are!

Step two - Spray those bugs!

If your insects have removable wings or other parts that you don't want to spray, remove them first, set your insects on an old piece of cardboard and spray away! Make sure to get the underneath of the insects too!

Allow to dry and stick any wings etc back on.

Step three - Arrange your insects

Figure out how you want to arrange the insects, play around with different shapes and sizes until you get a mix you like, then stick on! I used glue dots to start with but once I hung up the plaques the insects fell off. (Que me jumping at the giant gold spider suddenly hitting the floor :') )

Step four

Hang those bad boys up and admire your creepy crawly creation!

So simple and really cool huh? I just love them, and they aren't too 'out there' so really I could have them out all year round! But I think I'll keep them special for Halloween :)

If you make these for yourself please tag me on Instagram ( @lindzibun)  or feel free to comment and tell me how it went on this post!


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

DIY Halloween Decor - Painted Pumpkins

You will need;

  • PUMPKINS! - this will work on real pumpkins too, but I wanted to be able to keep and reuse mine in future halloweens so I used some polystyrene pumpkins and some paper mache pumpkins in various sizes.

I got most of these from Craftmill and some from a local craftshop. I was really pleased with the quality and price of these from craftmill and the delivery was pretty speedy too.

  • Paints -  whatever colours you like or whatever you have around, however I recommend using a mix of chalk paints (explained below) and metallic paints. Also see my note about spray paint below!

  • Paint brushes
  • A palette or something to mix paint on
  • Old cardboard/ cloth to protect your surfaces

Step one - Pick your paints!

One of the best things about this DIY is that you can paint the pumpkins ANY COLOUR YOU LIKE! I like orange pumpkins, but I LOVE white pumpkins, and we don't really see real ones much in Europe, so this was the main colour I wanted - white with gold accents. I also wanted to keep them a little traditional so I added a couple of orangey/ copper ones and of course a couple of pure gold ones!

Step two - Get painting! 

I already had all these paints, and I would 100% recommend using chalk paint for this DIY if you have some lying around, this meant that even though some of my pumpkins were polystyrene the paint pretty much went straight on, I did a couple of coats anyway for the effect I wanted, but one fairly watered down coat light coloured covered the pumpkin for starters!

I mixed the gold and copper paints with some peach or cream chalk paint too, to get different shades and textures. Basically just play around with paints and have fun!


Did you know this?? I did not ! Until I added a little spray of gold to the top of a couple of the already chalk painted polystyrene pumpkins and suddenly they started to melt! Luckily in this case the chalk paint stopped it totally ruining them and I think it actually added to the affect somewhat - but be careful!

As you can see I was doing this DIY at the same time as the DIY Faux Insect Taxidermy one!

Step four; display!

Depending on the sizes and shapes of pumpkins you've collected, your display could look anyway you like; one rule: pile those pumpkins up!

Here is my mantel before; lots of plants (some real some not) mercury glass, candles and a few quirky bits and bobs.
Also- my framed REAL flamingo feathers I collected in Barcelona Zoo!

This is between- me trying to figure out how I wanted the pumpkins to look, I set them all up there and I was a bit dissapointed to be honest! I'd expected more of a WOW factor, and they all seemed quite flat! solution?? BOOKS.

I have tons of cool old books, I collected them before my wedding thinking I might use them to display pots of flowers on on the tables but never got round to that. There are at least 3 different vintage copies of Alice in Wonderland there!

So I piled the books high, and popped the pumpkins on and added an antique candlestick, some (fake) candles and a couple of faux crows... and I LOVE how it turned out!

What do you think?

If you make these for yourself please tag me on instagram ( @lindzibun)  or feel free to comment and tell me how it went on this post!

Lindzi x