We have all collected trinkets and other small objects at this time of the year but have no way of showing them off. I, too, have many small Halloween treasures that I wanted to display, but I had to find a way to do it without making new toys for the cats or toddlers. Anyone with either knows what I’m talking about! At that moment of despair, I came up with a fun way to display some goodies in an easy, inexpensive, unusual way – mini wooden hutches that hang on the wall, sit on a table or on a shelf. Let’s get started, and I’ll show you what I‘m talking about.
One Hutch Of An Idea
I found these great mini hutches at Michaels for only .99 cents, and I raked in a handful into my waiting cart. They are the perfect size for some of my smaller collectibles or miniature Halloween goodies. Some of the items I’d like to display are from mammoth collections like Spooky Town, but I can’t afford the full town and have no surface large enough to display it if I could. So over the years, I’ve purchased bits of Jack-o-lanterns, gargoyle fences and other odds and ends from that and other collections. They look cute sitting by themselves on a table but again–their small size makes them perfect for my cats to knock them off or – worse – eat them! These hutches are ideal for this purpose, so I grabbed my paints and got started.
- Acrylic paints and several sizes of brushes
- Small paint tray
- 100 grit sandpaper
- A small, clean soft rag
- Hangers for the back – 3M easy tabs will be fine
- Ultra Fine Black Sharpie or in other colors
- Wax or office tack to temporally attach your items to the hutch
- Glue if items will be permanent
- Treasures to fill them with
Take a small square of 100 grit sandpaper and lightly sand all areas of the hutch. Take a clean, soft rag and wipe off all the areas you’ve sanded and make sure to not get the dust in your paints.
Ready To Paint, Folk Art Style
Get a larger brush and apply the base coat to the hutch. You may have to give it two coats if you are using a lighter color. Let it dry.
Now you’re ready to paint the contrasting color or colors. Let each stage dry before you start the important part – adding details. This is where you start using your Folk Art style of painting because it’s all freehand. When you paint freehand, there are going to be areas that won’t be a perfect mirror of the rest of the design. So relax and realize that you’re not going to have perfect strokes every time and just enjoy the process. If you should have an area you don’t like – no problem. Just paint over it and start again! The only thing that’s really important is you’re painting a one-of-a-kind display that you can do!
I personally like to do dots and dashes in several different colors. My daughter drew the spiders on all three pieces with an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie because it’s so much easier to use a Sharpie than a paint brush for such small details. You can put skeletons on all the corners, draw/paint Jack-o-lanterns or, of course, bats. Just play with your project or sketch out your ideas before you paint if you think it would give you more confidence. But just get started!
Ready To Fill
This is the part I love the most – filling the hutches with my goodies! Get a small ball of wax (a little goes a long way), dab it on the bottom of your collectable and press it in or on the hutch where you want it. Fill up your goodies until you are happy with the way it looks, and you’re done! This is the first time I can enjoy the little treat buckets and Jack-o-lanterns and display them for others to see.