Halloween is a’comin

And I’m working on getting ready. I love this time of year and if you’ve been reading my blog for long, you’ve probably noticed that I have a tendency to lean toward things that are slightly dark, macabre, and in general spooky and I don’t just do it for Halloween, I do it year round. Last year we spent a lot of time getting ready for the big Halloween party, but with my husband out of state (as he usually is this time of year) I had too much time on my hands and not enough to keep me busy. This year is slightly different. My sweetie is working out of town, but only over in Saint Louis, so he’s home every weekend which means I’m not as lonely. Add to that the fact that I’m busy with my college classes and you end up with a girl who although stoked about the holiday season ahead, is not as desperate for random stuff to occupy her time.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been busy in my own little way however. This year’s costume is going to be based on the costumes of the show Spartacus that I’ve been watching a little at a time on Netflix. I love Lucy Lawless’ costuming and since the J’s are a little older (and being exposed to the Ren Fest which means they’re not as sheltered) I’m not as concerned about keeping my costumes as G-rated which for me is nice.

Today I’m going to share a project I’m working on that’s not quite finished. This isn’t a tutorial because I don’t have step by step pictures, but its pretty straight forward so I think if you’re crafty, you shouldn’t have much trouble recreating this.

The project for today is haunted banners and pennants.

The end result will look something like this

The materials are simple.

I used a canvas tarp from a hardware store (Harbor Freight if you’re interested), and acrylic paints. I also used a candle to burn the edges for that aged tattered look, but that’s up to you and your inner pyro.

  1. Cut your tarp section to the size you want it. I made a large banner that is still in the works and but for this pennant, I cut off a section about 10 inches wide by 20 inches long give or take a bit. Don’t worry about how straight and pretty your edges are because you want it to look old and beat up. You could even pull out threads to fray the edges if you don’t plan on burning it.
  2. Cut the bottom edge of your pennant into a jagged line to give it that ‘I’ve been hanging in a rotten and moldering old castle for the last 100 years’ look.
  3. This is where the burning comes in. If you’re not comfortable with this step, skip it and leave your edges alone for now. If you are burning the edges, I find that carefully running the edge back and forth through a flame til it catches on fire and then immediately using the fabric to smother the flames works well for me. This is dangerous (you’re playing with fire after all) so I also keep a large bowl of water right at next to me in case things get too out of hand. Once you’ve got three sides burned (left, right, and bottom) you’re ready for paint.
  4. I was having a very hard time deciding what to do for this pennant. I thought about having it say ‘Spooky’ and there’s nothing wrong with words like ‘Boo’ or ‘Stay out’ but I also thought about the fact that if this really WERE a pennant from an old castle, it wouldn’t say ‘Spooky’ on it and I’m a stickler about that kind of stuff. So instead I scoured through my collection of Halloween magazines and found my inspiration in last year’s Martha Stewart Halloween magazine. It was a title for an article about 13 Ghastly something or others and the typeface was perfect. You don’t have to go that route. You can look for free fonts (I like dafont.com) and find awesome creepy fonts or freehand it. I looked at the picture and drew it out as best I could. Its up to you how you do this step.
  5. Paint. Fill in the outline of your numbers, letters, or creepy skull. I used just basic black for this step.At this point it should look something like this.
  6. Now add your details. I painted my hand with a mixture of red and brown paint and then smeared it down one side of the pennant to look like a bloody hand print. I brushed the same red brown along the right edges of the numbers to give them a shadowed look and added green and white to the left edges to add more depth. Paint on some blood splatters and you’re set with the painting unless you didn’t burn the edges. If you still want the blackened charred look without the danger of fire, use a mix of black and brown paint to darken the edges of your pennant. This will have the added bonus of sealing the edges a bit which is nice.
  7. Finally you’ll want to make a pocket at the top of the pennant for hanging or you can fold the top edge over and tack it to the walls if you want to go the no sew route.

Like I said- not the best visual tutorial, but its pretty simple and the end result is pretty cool.

If you want to see more awesome Halloween ideas, check out Sawdust and Paper Scraps for her Halloween link party!

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3 thoughts on “Halloween is a’comin

  1. What a cool project and I like the font. Checking out that site for sure. Thanks for linking up and sharing. I’d love to see this hanging somewhere. Do you have somewhere in mind?

    • Thank you! I’m not sure where this is going to go. We have a big Halloween party every year and I plan to make this part of the decorating scheme but I’m not sure how yet. I have a giant ‘Beware’ banner that’s in the works as well and I think that will probably be hung in the entrance so I may make a second one of these pennants to hang opposite and go for the whole symmetry thing.

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