Tag: Airbrushing

DIY Witch Decor to Creep Out the Neighbors

I don’t know what it is, but I love the chance to get my creepy on with Halloween decor. I’m definitely not a ‘blow up’ decor user and prefer to take more of an authentic route. I’d love to have my own mini haunted house for trick or treaters at some point. If this resonants with you, then you’re at the right place. This witch head project was spurred by a broken skeleton figure. I’d already bought a styrofoam head, which I’d planned to use for a witch cauldron I was making. After some thought, I shifted gears and chose to use the head in another way. 

Witch Head Materials

  • Clay
  • Tissue Paper
  • Dowel
  • Paint
  • Wig
  • Witch’s Hat
  • Mod Podge
  • Styrofoam Head

Witch Head Construction

The styrofoam head came from Michaels, which had just one option. I used this clay recipe from The Kitchen Table Classroom for the nose and warts. 

I didn’t use glue or anything to adhere the clay to the face. Some of the warts did fall off, so I glued them back on with craft glue. 

I used my airbrush to paint the head and realized the styrofoam bumps were a problem. I didn’t like the look of them at all so had to come up with a way to try to hide them. 

Quick Fix

After some contemplation, I opted to cover the face with Mod Podge and some tissue paper. My thought was it would help to smooth out the bumpy texture.

After giving it another coat of paint with the air brush, it looked a bit better. I was keen on the wrinkles it gave the face. 

The Face Details

I painted the eyes with acrylic paint and layered over with glue to give it a glassy rounded look. While at a softball game, I found some stick like things I decided to glue on as eyelashes. My dog’s hair served as the eyebrows. It admittedly looked rough, so I used some purple fuzzy material to cover it up. 

After the fun of crafting was complete, I drilled a hole for my dowel and glued the dowel in it. The dowel fit right inside the hole of my broken skeleton body. 

The Final Look

With the simple addition of a black wig and a witch hat, this simple DIY witch decor was complete.

*This page contains affiliate links. This means if you use one of my links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Cathartic Crafting!

Affordable DIY Halloween Witch Cauldron

 

Bubble bubble toiling trouble. Holidays always get me excited for decorating. I think Halloween provides the best opportunity to try something new. This past Halloween, my mind was in over drive thinking about decorations I wanted to make. I really loved the bubbling cauldron look, so was excited to put my own spin on it. Follow along with this witch cauldron tutorial to make your own! 

 

Materials

Witch Cauldron

 

To save on the amount of spray foam needed, I cut a piece of cardboard to fit the inside rim of the cauldron. I usually have a stock of cardboard (supported by the increase in online purchases, thanks to the pandemic). As can be seen in the photo, small gaps are okay. I had to bend the cardboard in the middle a bit to get it into the inner rim. 

 

Paper Mache

My element of uniqueness was to hand a hand reaching out of the potion, which was scaling it back from the thought of using a styrofoam head sticking out as well. My first step was to create the hand using handy dandy paper mache. You are free to use whatever paper mache recipe floats your boat for this. I tend to go the easiest and cheapest route with a flour and water mixture. It admittedly isn’t quite as strong as a glue-based mix, but it certainly does the job. I used this same technique for my Candyland Lollipops for Christmas. Ultimate Paper Mache‘s site is a great source for recipes. There are five recipes here from which you can choose. After making the paste, cut or tear the newspaper into 1-inch strips.

If you have a willing volunteer, I’d definitely recommend using a hand that is not your own. I completed this on my left hand, so only had my right hand to do the work. Anyway, using the paper strips, dip them into the paper mache mixture and scrape off the excess. Wrap the paper mache strips around each finger and the rest of the hand. I recommend putting a solid layer all over.

It may be necessary to stuff it a bit to keep the shape while it dries.

Bubbling Potion

 

After using this “Great Stuff”, I definitely agree it’s great stuff. It could also be called “Super Easy” or “Crafting Gold”.  My 10 and 7 year olds enjoyed giving it a try. I started with spraying the base and spilling it over the sides. 

 

My little soccer player helped me out by holding the hand in place to look like it was reaching out of the cauldron. An argument could be made for the odd proportions, but I wasn’t worried about it. I guess I could have easily used one of my daughters’ hands. Live and learn. I sprayed the foam around the hand to get it to hold in place. With that, the bubbling was complete. 

 

Weather Protection

 

I was worried about the paper mache standing up to the weather outside, so I decided to use clay I made for another craft. To be honest, I shouldn’t have used this diy clay recipe and should have shifted to store bought clay. It was definitely a bit mistake on my part. It was too wet and loose, so it ended up making the paper mache hand soggy and saggy. I had to prop it up and use more clay than desired to give the saggy hand more shape. So, if anything, learn from my mistake and opt for the better store bought clay or maybe just a better recipe than I used that doesn’t included ingredients like baby oil. 

 

 

Using my airbrush, I painted the bubbling potion a lime green and gave it a second coat with darker green. I used my dremel to give the hand a more realistic look. Then, painted the hand and called it a day. To make this project even easier, you could quite honestly use a store bought Halloween hand. The path is yours to choose as far as how much DIY you want to do. 

 

Can Mistakes Be a Threat to Your Mental Health?

“Most people don’t like to make mistakes, but some people are more sensitive to errors than others, and that can make them more prone to anxiety…”

Greg Hajcak Proudfit, associate professor of psychology at Stony Brook University

 

I’m like anyone else and don’t care for making mistakes, especially when it effects my end results. I was kicking myself when I used the clay that I already had concerns. Sometimes, apathy and laziness get the best of me when I just want to knock things off my too long list of to dos. Apparently, there’s a region of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex that is stimulated by the recognition of mistakes and when it’s stimulated, the increase in activity is called error-related negativity (ERN). I found this particular paragraph from When Mistakes Are a Threat to Mental Health pretty interesting, 

“What makes some people prone to higher ERNs and therefore anxiety? The ERN is somewhat heritable; for instance, healthy individuals who have immediate family members with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder tend to have a larger ERN. But situational factors also affect ERN. In lab studies, Proudfit has shown that it’s possible to induce a higher ERN by “punishing” participants for errors, for example by playing a very loud and aggravating sound after the participant makes a mistake.”

I think it’s definitely something to keep in mind when considering how you respond to your own mistakes and the mistakes of others, particularly children. As the article goes on to describe, hostile responses to mistakes can increase the ERN tendency, which will lead to higher anxiety levels. Give yourself and others grace for those mistakes. If they can be overcome, then there’s always a lesson to use for the next time. 

 

*This page contains affiliate links. This means if you use one of my links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Cathartic Crafting!

Unique Rainbow Ceiling Fan Revamp for your Color Loving Kids

My daughter’s love of rainbows started when she was 2 years old. One of our favorite videos of her entails her proclaiming, “This is the most beautiful cake in the world, mom!!” as she looked at a rainbow cake in a board book. I couldn’t get out of that particular weekend without making her a replica of that rainbow cake. For her 10th birthday, I gave her a rainbow room makeover. After our recent move, we had another opportunity to go on a rainbow room adventure. We started with an easy rainbow ceiling fan.

Her fan is the same one in my parents’ kitchen. It has reversible fan blades, so I didn’t feel so bad about devoting this side to the rainbow update. 

Spray Paint Base

I knew that I was going to try spray painting, so I started with giving the brown a coat of white spray paint. I think any kind of spray paint would do.

After a quick drying session, it was time to use the air brush for a cheap win. If an airbrush isn’t at the ready in your craft space, a paint brush will certainly do. I liked the prospect of a lighter and even color. 

I used watered-down acrylic paints for my airbrush. Given airbrushing is pretty new to me, I haven’t quite perfected my airbrush technique. Things when alright until I got to yellow. I don’t think I made the yellow thin enough because it started to get difficult to spray. What should have been a quick task, ended up being a frustrating one. And such is life. 

To touch up a little of the splatter spots, I used a paper towel dipped in the watered-down acrylic paint. With a bit of blotting, it was ready to go back on the ceiling. I do the watered-down paint as a cost-saving method but I think I may opt to see the difference in purchased airbrush paints. 

Rainbow Ceiling Fan

The fantastic thing about the rainbow fan blades is that when it’s spinning, the circular rainbow really comes together. My rainbow lover was thrilled with the end result! Having physical spaces that you love definitely helps your mental space. When your stressed by your physical space, it’s going to be difficult to keep your mental space right.

Mental Health Awareness

It’s not just adults who suffer from mental health issues, children can struggle with it in much the same ways. It’s important to check in and keep a pulse on how they are doing and handling all the “new” ways of life.  On Our Sleeves is a Movement for Children’s Mental Health. It provides evidence-based resources to help kids cope during this challenging time, provided by the experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. 

A rainbow is often a sign of hope, the beauty after the storm, a pot of gold and good fortune at the rainbow’s end. For many, a rainbow carries a personal symbolic meaning–representing inclusivity and diversity, an all-embracing image of love and friendship.

For others, a rainbow might not mean good fortune and beauty, but something far off. The pot of gold isn’t there, or the love and friendship is there for others but not for them. Somewhere over the rainbow is far, far away. What does the rainbow mean to you? Share using #OnOurSleeves.

On Our Sleeves

For other creative activities to expand your mind and relationships, check out Crafting a Calming Corner to Assuage Parent and Child, How to Throw a Magical Harry Potter Party, Budget-Friendly DIY Monster Book of Monsters from Harry Potter or The Ultimate Cardboard Gingerbread House for Christmas Crazed Kids.

*This page contains affiliate links. This means if you use one of my links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Cathartic Crafting!

Spooky Tree Test Tube Holder for a Unique Apothecary

Troll boogers! Snail Slime! Dragon’s Blood! These are three of the Halloween test tubes I’ve for years as part of my Halloween Apothecary. They have been without a stand for years. This month I decided I was going to finally make a science-esk one out of wood. I was still hesitant because it felt too mundane. In the age of Pinterest, it feels pretty darn difficult to come up with something different. Sometimes, I feel stunted by thinking I can’t come up with anything unique. After some contemplation during a drive, I decided to make a spooky tree with curved limbs. Here’s the quick and easy rundown on this spooky tree test tube holder for any are looking to stray from the normal.

Materials: 

  • Wire
  • Wire Cutters
  • Clay
  • Paint
  • Airbrush (if you’ve got it)

For a reason I can’t remember, I’ve had two spools of this wire for years. I’ve used it for several random occasions on other craft ideas. It’s really what inspired me to craft this tree and provide stability. 

All my three daughters all being in fall sports. Sometimes, crafting boils down to finding a way to build in time around events on our schedule. My eldest had a fastpitch doubleheader an hour away from home. I took along my materials to get started on this quick Halloween decor. While the team warmed up for an hour, I worked on my tree in the parking lot.


Building the Base

 

First, I cut 6 wires of similar lengths. Then, I twisted two wires together to start forming the trunk. I added one each additional wire by twisting it around the base and leaving the ‘root’ for the stand and free limbs at the top. I finished it off by twisting two additional wires around the trunk to form curved limbs the would serve to hold the test tubes. Literally, a 10-minute step.

 

Clay for the Tree Test Tube Holder

I had already been making air-dry clay for another project, so I could easily use it for this project. I found this easy DIY air dry recipe from Kitchen Table Classroom to make porcelain clay. It was simple to make from ingredients in the kitchen but admittedly was not as good for what I needed the clay to do. I only used it for the base. I tried another porcelain clay recipe from Natural Earth Paint using only three cheap ingredients; cornstarch, baking soda, and water. This clay was a bit better but still quite loose/limp. 

 

I pressed the clay around all the metal limbs as best I could, adding free-standing clay limbs as I went. Molding the clay for this was unfortunately an example of one of those times when crafting can cause me more stress than alleviating it. I’ll just leave it at being highly perturbed by the difficulties of trying to get the limp clay to stay put. If I were to do it again, I would buy polymer clay from Michaels.  After letting it dry for a day, I started airbrushing.

Airbrushing Zen

 

 

While I completed the many layers of airbrushing in shades of brown, I was mentally focused on the stress I had been feeling around politics and the impending elections. I felt consumed by the emotions generated by the garbage being shared by people I was connected with on Facebook, some of them being relatives. As I slowly watched the paint spray out of the airbrush, I was contemplating how I could make positive steps to shifting others’ views in a positive way. We’ve been doing a fair bit of personal bias assessment as work, so it’s been fully present in my mind to assess if I’m being objective in my views. In fully trying to understand my own thoughts and feelings and contemplate the perspective of others, I couldn’t come to grips with the lies and delusions others allow themselves to believe.

 

Public service announcement on Political Stress

 

To sum it all up, I was feeling oppressive levels of stress around these unending thoughts. After doing a quick Google, I found quite a lot of references to political/election stress syndrome. Even thinking about it now makes my chest tighten. I quite liked this description I found.

Under stress, the Toddler brain (emotional, all-or-nothing, “Mine! No!”) hijacks the Adult brain, impairing its ability to take other perspectives, weigh evidence, see nuance, plan for the future, and create value and meaning. The Toddler brain is highly susceptible to emotional contagion; toddlers take on whatever negative emotions are around them, as any parent who has been tense or irritable near one can attest…

Part of my election stress disorder may be due to the fact that I’m vastly overworked. … Political campaigns set the web of emotion ablaze with negativity.

Psychology Today

If this resonates with you, there are a variety of things to try to combat the feelings. I’ve chosen to focus on the things I can control, to find my Zen in crafting, and to stay away from the offending sources. Although, over the last week I’ve also been immersed in a sea of stressful work deadlines, the political stress remains at bay. 

Back to this Test Tube Holder

I finished it off with a dark brown touch up around bends in the limbs and the roots. I put it with the rest of my Halloween apothecary set up and called it a day. If you are looking for another easy craft to take your mind to another level, try out these apothecary bottles! Happy haunting to you and yours!

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