Looking for fun mixed-media Halloween projects to create? You’ve come to the right place! When we asked readers to make fall holiday-themed works of mixed-media art for a “Skeletons in Your Closet” challenge to feature in our September/October 2009 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, we didn’t know what to expect. Crispy leaves and plump pumpkins? Or dancing bones and grimacing jack-o’-lanterns? Art as sweet as Halloween candy or as spiritual as the Day of the Dead? We got all of that — and a few closets, too! Here are some of our favorite submissions to inspire your own Halloween projects this year.
“Skeletons in Your Closet” Lani Robertson • Kit Carson, CO
“My project started with a search for ‘Skeletons in Your Closet’ sayings on the Internet. After finding the perfect one, I constructed a little closet out of book board. I then selected coordinating paper and typed the text on my vintage typewriter. I found an image of a skeleton, printed it out, and glued a piece of book board to the back to give it some added dimension. Lastly, I added some sparkle to the piece with some German glass glitter, sealed the piece, put a piece of glass on the front, and soldered.”
2½” × 3″ soldered shadow box.
“Bad to the Bone” Kristen Beason • Hudson, OH
“I’m always drawn to creating skeletons because it seems that people like bad-boy skeletons! This fella is full of vices and the dangling cigarette is probably a moot point. I think he’s running to find a pair of dice…snake eyes!”
Thin wood; paper clay, wire. 8″ long
“Bride and Groom” Jeane Frizzell • Peoria, AZ
“Brides and grooms are my favorite Dia de los Muertos images, and I knew I needed to have a skeleton in a sombrero. I can’t get enough of making these plushies.”
Small plushies 9″; tall ones 13″.
“Halloween Spegg-tacular” Lynette Fisk • Pleasant Hill, MO
“I was working on a way to cover eggshells with clay for an Easter tree, and then started thinking about a seasonal tree that could change with eggs for various seasons. The pumpkin and spider eggs were the result. I have plans for more—black with translucent ghosts, bats, bones, etc. Then there are 4th of July eggs, turkey eggs for November, and on and on…”
2 1/4″ × 1 3/4″
“Skeletons in Your Closet” Michele DeHate • Santa Rosa, CA
“This black felt teddy bear has sugar skulls, pirate skulls, birds, and flowers appliquéd to his front. On his belly is a door frame and door. The door opens to show a full skeleton printed on vellum. The front of the door has a pirate skull and a pink bird, as well as two hinges and a vintage keyhole.”
“No Wire Hangers…EVER” Kristen Beason • Hudson, OH
“I wanted to do something fun to capture the spirit of the reader challenge. What is scarier than Joan Crawford yelling this phrase to a child? They are a couple of cheeky skeletons just hanging out in someone’s closet.”
Thin wood; metal brads, black cardstock, wire; papier-mâché. 8″ long
“Mr. Harrington’s Transition to the Spirit World was a Short One” Andrea Manard • Memphis, TN
“From the black wreath with the zombie bride and groom on our front door to the fake human heart packed by the ‘cannibal meat market’ my son hides in the freezer, the Halloween decorations in our house definitely lean toward the creepy rather than the cute. Creepiest of all, at least to me, is the concept of the ghost. Ghosts are never content. They are always hanging around because of some unresolved issue, scaring the living in the process. I tried capturing that creepiness in these pieces. The first shows a very distinct man, happily living his life. In the second, he is meeting his unfortunate end, his essence a mere shadow, leaving his earthly bones visible. In the last, he is a specter of his former self, ready to start working out those unresolved issues and to terrify the rest of us.”
Three 4″ × 5″ canvas boards
“Edgar’s Storage Closet is Full” Cathy Rylander • Bryan, TX
“Piled in the hallway are reminders of some of Poe’s stories and poems. The cat, the portraits, and the seashell are altered found objects; I made everything else. I was inspired by three things: my affection for Poe’s writings, the found board from a fence, and the postage stamp of Poe.”
8″ × 10″ × 3″ diorama
“Spooky Elegance” Theresa Hackworth • Redding, CT
“My table art stems from an interest in mid-century modern tablescapes and my collection of vintage dishes. Recently, I’ve discovered the wonderful world of British contemporary floral art. So, I’m often thinking about the juxtaposition of these old and new design ideas. This tablescape was made with vintage jewelry findings, artificial branches, old celluloid roses with leaves, upholstery trim, and a sparkly frog. It is held together with wire, pins, and glue. The napkin rings are vintage belt buckles covered with vintage plastic flower findings, rhinestones, old pearls, and a black owl. The owls and the cream-and-black color scheme unify these one-of-a-kind pieces. The buckle art can be unpinned like a brooch and double as memorable party favors, allowing the wool rings to be used for next year’s dinner.”
“Skeleton Bunnies” Debb George • Williams, IN
“What do you get when you mix Halloween and Easter? You get Skeleton Bunnies: pretty, little white‑and-black skeletons ready for their own holiday. She thinks she’s a diva bunny with her feather cape and rhinestone necklace. He is a cutie with his two buck teeth and a hat. They’d be glad to come and visit you. Just ask and they’ll hop right over.”
7 1/2″ tall
“Skeleton Sleuths” Susan Eisaman Gowan • Aurora, CO
“Combining some of my favorite themes—Nancy Drew mysteries, Day of the Dead, and creative recycling—I made these Calaveras from pill bottles, holiday lights packaging, sock hangers, pens, and toothbrushes. I hand knitted their clothing, made their chili pepper jewelry from recycled earrings, and hung them from an old coat hanger. The three friends are ready to go sleuthing in a dark closet, with Nancy carrying a magnifying glass, George holding a flashlight, and Bess clutching a key.”
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