The following spooky tutorial was submitted by artist Cindy Tevis. Enjoy!
What a better way to create Halloween décor than by digging something up and reviving it? (Dr. Frankenstein would be proud!) Take some of your old discarded items and bring them “back to life” with the following tutorial.
Making Your Vintage “Haunted” Clock
This old plastic barometer is about to become a vintage-syle Halloween clock. Find an old timepiece of your own at a garage sale or thrift shop (or look online for a starter piece):
After finding your treasure, you must disassemble the piece. I took the back off, and pulled all of the “barometer” coils, and such out. I found that I needed to replace the plexiglass, since it had a hole in it to allow the dial to stick out. This only cost a couple of dollars at the hardware store.
Choose Your Colors
Next I painted the entire surface orange. I usually do not use primers. Priming first makes the item appear
new, and I am going for an “old as the hills” look. Another option is “distress paint,” which gives a weathered, slightly haunted look.
For this project, I found a simple color scheme worked best for me. I chose three colors – orange, black and off-white.
Apply several coats of base color, and sand between each coat. If you are as impatient as I am (guilty as charged), you may use a hairdryer between coats to speed the drying time.
Make sure you allow the paint to cool before sanding, because warm paint will pull from the surface.
Sand the last coat rather roughly around the edges to remove paint in select spots, to age the piece. After achieving the desired result, you can begin to decorate your creation.
I was lucky to have the designs already raised on the surface of this clock. That made it much easier to decide how to detail it. If this is the case with your timepiece, take advantage of this in the following or a similar way:
I painted the raised areas in either black or white (as shown). I also painted in some bat silhouettes. You can create your own stencil by cutting out the shape of a bat you had traced, then placing the paper (not the cutout) on the clock. Then, simply paint! Easy, even for the novice painter.
Then I added the Halloween phrase “There is always time for Halloween.”
Finishing the Transformation
This clock face was painted on balsa wood, and a hole drilled in the center. You can use a printed image for the face, if you like.
Attach it with glue dots. Do not try to glue it completely down on the surface, or it WILL bubble. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a warped, distressed look, this effect along with your distress paint can be an eerily cool effect.
I myself ran into a slight problem when assembling this finished clock. Being a barometer in its first life, this clock had very little space between the face and the glass. There just wasn’t enough room for clock hands.
But I turned lemon into gristly demon blood…er, I turned lemon into lemonade in the following way (you too may run into glitches; use them to make your clock even cooler!):
I epoxy-glued square wood pieces on the edges of the surface that the face was going to lie over. This brought the face back enough to allow the hands to turn freely. I then reattached the original back
and voila! A very nice Halloween décor item for less than ten dollars
TIP: It is sometimes difficult for novice crafters to find designs to paint. Look up vintage Halloween images, or novelties online. You will find many ideas that way. You can trace around most images, and use them as silhouettes. A lot of royalty free vintage Halloween designs are available.
Do not be afraid to mess up, and do not try to paint too perfectly. Flaws are a charming addition to a primitive
style fold art painting. Start with simple designs, black cats, bats, and spiders are good.
My creature … I mean creation! It lives!
About the Author: My name is Cindy Tevis. I am a Halloween artist. I re-paint vintage décor in a style that I call “ShabbyHag”
You can find my art on ebay, under the ID “halloweenspirit01”
I also have a showcase blog here: http://www.shabbyhagdecor.blogspot.com
I also create Halloween poetry at http://www.idreamofhalloween.blogspot.com