Thursday 14 September 2017



Greetings to all boys and "ghouls"!
Trick or Treat?  How about some tricks and techniques in creating this fun project?!

Barney the "Bird Brain" skeleton is forever immortalized on this whimsical Halloween Door Hanger. Pairing Andy Skinner's fabulous Skull and his ever popular Specimen stamps along with his newest Raven was the perfect combination for this project. 

This was a fun and easy project to do. 
Here are the supplies needed for this Halloween treat!

  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Burnt Sienna
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Paynes Grey
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Quinacridone Gold
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Yellow Oxide
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Pale Gold
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Gold
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Cadmium Red
  • DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paint - Primary Yellow
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Silver
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylics - Sour Apple
  • DecoArt Media Crackle Paste
  • DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze
  • DecoArt Media White Gesso
  • DecoArt Liquid Glass
  • Andy Skinner Whirlpool Stencil
  • Andy Skinner Skuldoggery Stamp Set
  • Andy Skinner Birds and Bones Stamp Set

  • Andy Skinner Industrial Elements 
  • Door Hanger
Miscellaneous Items

  • Stamping Paper
  • Black Embossing Powder
  • Heat Tool
  • Craft Mat
  • Paint Brushes
  • Scissors
  • Black Permament Ink Pen
  • White Permanent Ink Pen
  • Palette Knife
  • Scrap Chipboard
  • Wire and piece of chain
  • Miniature Light Bulb
  • Monocle
  • Black Permanent Ink
  • Clear Embossing Powder
  • Double Sided Tape or Glue
  • Adhesive Pop Dots
Before we get started, let me say this ... you can also use DecoArt's Media Fluid Acrylics paints on the project.  They are wonderful paints and I use them A LOT! But, I have been playing with the NEW Premium Acrylic Tube Paints and I totally LOVE THEM as well!  The colors are creamy, go on so beautifully, have a different finish and ... well, you need to try them! Now ... let's get started!

The first thing you do is stamp a couple of skulls onto a piece of stamping paper using Black Permanent Ink. Sprinkle with Clear Embossing Powder, remove excess powder and heat set the black skulls.  (I stamp a couple of them in case I need to start over when painting them).

Begin adding paint color to the image to make it more spooky and realistic.  The first layer applied is DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paints Titan Buff and Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide. 

The next layer of color was DecoArt Premium Acrylic Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide coupled with Burnt Sienna. See the difference already from the first photo?

Next layer was adding more spooky shadows with DecoArt Premium Titanium White mixed with Paynes Grey.

Finally, add a little DecoArt Premium Quinacridone Gold wash over the skull and heat set.  Then cut out the skull leaving just a hint of a border.  Run your finger with a bit of DecoArt Premium Acrylic Carbon Black around the cut edge of the skull.

 Stamp the raven just as you did the skull.  Add a wash of DecoArt Premium Quinacrieone Gold over the bird, heavier in some areas; especially the beak and feet.  Paint the eye with DecoArt Acrylic Sour Apple Paint.  Heat set.  Cut out around the bird, leaving a slight border and edge it with the Carbon Black paint; just like the skull.

Draw a jagged line across the skeleton's forehead with a Black Permanent Ink Pen and cut across it to open up the skull. Create "brain matter" on a piece of scrap stamping paper with a Permanent Black Ink Pen. Paint it with a mix of Decoart Premium Cadmium Red, Burnt Sienna and Titanium White. Cut it out and glue it in place behind the skull.  Then glue the bird in place, coming out of the skull. Set aside for now.

I did not have a Tando Creative Door Hanger and I was so mad because I love the shape of them!  So, I grabbed what I had in my stash but Tando Creative has two different styles of door hangers that would work perfectly!

First I covered the complete door hanger with DecoArt Media White Gesso and let is dry.  Then I scraped on a layer of DecoArt Media Crackle Paste and let it AIR DRY. When dry, I placed Andy Skinner's Whirlpool stencil over the door hanger and scraped another layer of DecoArt Crackle Paste through the stencil. Let AIR DRY. When dry, repeat this step for the top of the hanger.  **NOTE:  Be sure to wash the stencil immediately after use. The inset picture shows a close up of the lovely crackle you get with DecoArt Media Crackle Paste.

Create a "specimen" plaque for the door hanger. First paint over some stamping paper using a combination of DecoArt Premium Acrylic Yellow Oxide and Quinacridone Gold. Stamp onto the colored stamping paper using Black Permanent Ink. Then, just as was done on the skull and raven, sprinkle with Clear Embossing Powder and heat set. Cut around the specimen stamp and edge with Carbon Black. Use your finger and coat the specimen stamp with DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze. Let air dry. 

Create a background of the specimen stamp using a piece of scrap Chipboard. Paint it with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Silver. Lightly add some DecoArt Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black with your finger to "age" the silver. Heat set. Use glue or double sided tape to set the specimen plaque in place on the silver background.

Paint the door hanger background using a wash of DecoArt Premium Acrylic Paynes Grey.

Get that great Halloween orange in the background by mixing DecoArt Premium Acrylics Cadmium Red and Primary Yellow.  (I did not have any of the Premium Orange paints so I made my own!) Heat set.

For some fun and added depth, use a small paint brush and add first DecoArt Premium Acrylics Pale Gold followed by random areas of Gold over the embossed areas of the hanger. You can see the difference in the two gold colors above. Heat set.

Wrap wire around a Craft Knife or thin rod of some sort and glue or double sided tape them behind the bird's head.  Poke a hole through the metal bottom of the miniature light bulb and attach a squirrely wire to it. Glue or double sided tape behind the bird's head.

Write "BOO" on the skeleton's eye using a White Permanent Ink Pen and heat set. Add a chain to the monocle using a jump ring. Glue the monocle in place over the skeleton's eye using DecoArt Media Liquid Glass. Glue the skull in place on the door knocker. Also glue the end of the chain onto the door knocker using Liquid Glass. (That end will be underneath the specimen plaque.)  Attach the specimen plaque to the bottom of the hanger using Adhesive Pop Dots. 

Finally, add the "The Bird Brain" banner at the top of the knocker. It is glued in place. The banner was computer generated letters. The banner was colored using DecoArt Premium Yellow Oxide paint followed by smudges of DecoArt Premium Burnt Umber.  The two nuts on either side are from Tando Creations Industrial Elements Set. They were first painted with DecoArt Premium Acrylic Silver followed by a touch of Carbon Black and finally a light coat of Quinacridone Gold.

Easy, fun and a great Halloween decoration!  

Thanks for stopping by and have fun with this project!

About the Artist:  Candy Colwell


  1. Love this Candy such a fabulous Halloween project xxx

  2. Barney is such fun Candy, especially with the monocle but the bird is just out of this world fabulous with the lightbulb and curly wire. Such a wonderful Halloween project! xxx

  3. Great mix of techniques + sense of humor. This piece is wonderful!

  4. Love this Candy. Great tutorial too fabulous project xx

  5. Absolutely brilliant project Candy, so clever! Love him. Xxx

  6. Another fabulous project...clever, unique and inspiring as always.


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