Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Spooky Skeleton Canvas For Halloween

This is my spooky Halloween skeleton canvas.  I created it with the Flying Unicorns Oct Mixed Art kit.

From the beginner to the avid mixed media artist our Mixed Art add on kit will surely please you. Our Mixed Art kit will always come with a canvas and mixed media art supplies to advance your skills as an artist.

When I am making a canvas with dimensional pieces that are fragile, I try my best to secure those  pieces.  For example in this canvas, my skeletons need to be tied on to the canvas some how and not just glued.  I can't rely on glue.  And I never use hot glue for these types of projects.  Hot glue will be great for one season.  Then next year you'll go to pull the spooky canvas back out and your skeletons will be no where in sight.  Zombies you say? pfffft.  If only!  No, they are sitting at the bottom of the storage box, or fell off and landed on some other seasonal decoration.  No worries because you'll probably find them hanging off a Christmas wreath.   The hot glue just isn't durable.   


So How did I Make My Canvas?

So this is what I did with my canvas.  I flipped it over and used the reverse side as a sort of shadow box. 

Step 1.  I painted it black.  I used Prima's Chalkboard paint in black because I did not want a shiny gloss finish and I really love the coverage this paint has when I use it. Any black acrylic will do or even black gesso. 

Step 2.  I added some blue acrylic paint to the canvas for blue highlights. 

Step 3.  The kit comes with some wonderful crackle paint so I loaded one side at a time and let it dry overnight.  I ended up pouring the DecoArt Crackle Medium onto my canvas instead of painting it on.  The medium is self leveling meaning there is really no need to spread it to even it out.  I used a palette knife to move it around on the canvas but just let it even out on it's own.  I also used it quite thickly.  A thick covering provides the best crackle effect. 

I needed to do this step over the course of a few days because I also did all the edges.  I'd apply the crackle to an edge and then let it dry overnight before I could apply the crackle to a different edge. 

What I am really trying to say is that you can't use the crackle medium if you are in a hurry to finish a project.  You wont get the results you want and you'll be unhappy and frustrated.  
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Step 4. After totally dry,  I grabbed the jar of Texturz - Mari-Gold Digger that came in the kit and rubbed it into the cracks on the canvas - just here and there, not all over the entire canvas. 

Step 5. I wanted some accents in purple and gold so I grabbed 13Arts Acrylic Paint  in Old Gold and Vivid Violet and rubbed those into some cracks as well. Why 13Arts paints?  Great question.  This paint has a nice shimmery quality and a sort of iridescence.  I thought it would really pop against the black crackle and it did.  I was quite pleased. 

You can really see the effect in the photo below.  It adds a cool texture to the canvas with little pops of color. 

Step 6.  I wanted to prepare for a banner so I used hemp and stapled the hemp cord to the canvas.  One end of the hemp was stapled to the front of the canvas ( with a lot of string left dangling to be used later to attach my skeleton) and the left end of the hemp was stapled to the back of the canvas.  I added my Graphic45 Banner  - Rare Oddities collection -after the hemp was securely in place.  This way I could control how the banner pieces rested instead of fighting with them as I was installing the banner.  That's just a royal pain.  I also decorated the banner at this point.

Step 7. I used the long dangling end piece in step 6 to tie the top skeleton to thew canvas.  He is never ever going to stay up there no matter how much glue you add - just not happenin.  So be creative with staples and twine /hemp /string.  The is the only way you will make this more durable and the easiest way in my opinion. 

If you look closely to the skeleton's leg, you'll see it's wrapped in hemp.  From there, I snaked the hemp through the torso of the skeleton and stapled the hemp to the top of the canvas right behind him near his buttocks. You can't even tell from the photo.  That's how nicely this technique is- it's so inconspicuous.   OK honestly, I added the staple FIRST before the skeleton was set in place and pried the staple up a little so I could thread the string through it.  Then I sat the skeleton on top and tied it down tightly.  That is the easier way.  No fighting with the skeleton if you add the staple first.  

You'll need to have a pliers or knife handy to pry the staple up a bit. 

Then to finally secure in place, I wrapped the string around the skeletons right arm and stapled the twine in the back of the canvas.  He's on there for life...not his life, but mine.  

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Step 8.  I also needed to tie these two little hooligans onto my canvas as well to secure them forever.  I made a few staples here and there in all the places I mapped out.  I pried up the staple with my pliers and threaded the hemp through the staples and then through the skeletons.  They are tied together forever so I hope they get along.  

Step 9. I decorated the banner pieces after they were placed on the banner and added creepy cheesecloth to cover up the staples and continued to decorate my canvas till completion.  

so do not delay in getting yours!

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Contents of the Mixed Art Kit: 6x12 Canvas, Watercolor Paint Set x12, Prima Stencil 582883, Deco Art Crackle,13@rts chalk sap green, Texturez Marigold Digger, 13@rts old gold , 13@rts silver beads, Inklingz Miner Miner, Black Gesso 13@rts.

Products Used:
Flying Unicorn Mixed Art Kit - Oct
Darice - Squangles canvas - 5.5in x 12 in
Texturz - Mari-Gold Digger
13Arts Ayeda Acrylic Paint - Old Gold, Violet
Prima Black Chalkboard Paint
Tim Holtz Corked Vials TH92899
Graphic 45 Rare Oddities Collection -
Prima Soprano Purple Flowers 561697
Prima Soprano Orange Flowers 559113
DoveCraft - Bohemian Gems DCDOT003
DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze
Floral Berries
Hemp cord

Thank for stopping by!!!


  1. Wow - another awesome Halloween scene - it's so wonderful! Love the crackling - looks perfect! And, thanks for sharing your tutorial!

  2. This is an awesome canvas and you cracked me up with your comment about tying the skeletons together (hope that they get along)! You are hilarious!