"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Halloween Shadowbox & Lots of Eye Candy!

While the kids spent the last five mornings in Vacation Bible School, I cooled off inside and worked on my newest project - a Halloween Shadowbox.

With 12 rooms to fill, I had lots to think about and I'm very happy with the results. So many handmade and vintage smalls decorate this piece and the best part is, the only money I spent was on the old house. Everything else came from my stash.
Soooo......after spraying the house with black paint, I got started.

I tried to get lots of close-ups and pics for you.

On the left side of the attic is a flocked black cat, haystack, pumpkin and white mouse. I used these mice throughout the house as little accent pieces. They also worked as great splashes of color against the dark black house.

On the other side of the attic is a poor woman frightened in her shower. Originally, I thought of the movie, "Psycho" when I made this, but then added a tiny mouse to scare her.

Remember "Caspar the Friendly Ghost"? I cut out some old playing cards of Spooky and Wendy, the good little witch.

OK, I think I had most the fun making this Graveyard Wedding. First, I took a vintage wedding couple cake topper and painted them to look like skeletons. I also changed the woman's wedding dress to an olive green and repainted her flowers from pink to orange and black.

In the background, I painted and glittered a moon and added 2 gravestones, Spanish moss, old orange flowers, and wedding bells. For added visual interest, I added twigs to resemble trees.

I was obsessed with details during this project. Even the groom's top hat is decorated with a teeny weeny orange band.

Look! I caught a witch! Years ago, I dug this bottle up on the grounds of a boarding school where I used to work. I added other tiny bottles and metal candlestick to give the feel of a science lab or witch's shelf full of her potions.

An olive green bead acts as a cork so our little witch won't have any ideas of escaping.

What's Halloween without a trick-or-treater? He's made out of paperclay and the mold of an antique bisque doll from Germany. The actual doll is missing a leg, but I was able to improvise and make him another.

I have NO idea what old game these domino-like pieces came from, but I found a whole bag at the Sr. Citizen Center for under $1.00. I knew they'd come in handy! Under each letter was an indented circle. No idea why, but I filled them with 2 old fabric orange buttons. And while I was at it, drew little faces on them so they resembled jack o'lanterns.

Behind our little devil is skeleton scrap paper and a card that looks like it should say, "Bingo" but instead says, "Candy."

Who doesn't love bottle brush trees? I dyed this one orange, sprinkled it with orange glitter, and added a mini skeleton to decorate it. A paperclay pumpkin and old rusted key help finish the look.

Toil and Trouble!

I printed out an antique cabinet card of a not-so-happy Victorian woman, added a sparkly purple hat, green make-up and rhinestone brooch to make witch. Another bottle that I dug up stands next to her while a mouse looks at her potion.

Is this the sa-weetest witch?! I've been collecting vintage images for a year or so now and am always attracted to these sweet faces. I used orange crepe paper at top and old Scrabble pieces below. The Scrabble pieces are NOT grunged to look old. They really are that old and that's all natural aging!

I bought two Vintage Halloween Images CDs on Ebay. If you're interested in getting them for yourself, there are a nice amount to choose from. I think Etsy sells them too.

Copying a sweet owl from a vintage Halloween card Elizabeth, from BlueBird Papercrafts sent me, I was able to make this little vignette. The owl sits on top of a branch, while a white mouse looks on. Far in the distance, a witch is in flight.

Why did this happen? The picture is fine in my pictures file. Hmmm....a Halloween mystery?

This is actually a Santa figurine that I repainted to look like a wizard.

And last is a scared little boy peaking out from behind a gravestone at a laughing jack o'lantern. Instead of green moss, I used the orange for a different effect.

That's about all the explanations....just some more pics....

I recently bought some old chess pieces thinking I could use them for altered art. These black knights stand erect on both sides of the house as if protecting it.


  1. i love love love this!!!!
    you did an awesome job with it!
    made me smile..!!!!

  2. So much to see! I have saved some of my empty houses from tomorrow yard sale for making these. I call t hem "Borrower Boxes" after Mary Norton's classic series of children's books, The Borrowers, about little people who "borrow" small household things from the "human beans" to re-purpose for themselves in small scale living. I will be posting about that with my favorite old piece I did - plus new ones created in my re-purposed office/studio. Post on that coming soon!

  3. Great job! I'll bet you had so much fun. I especially love how you changed Santa and the bride and groom!

  4. I'll tell you what...when Jill gets out of her funk and decides to create...the whole world needs to sit up and take a peek.
    That is so fun Jill! Once upon a time I had a traveling craft show and I made these type of shadow boxes with themes too. I have to send my friend Nico to your work, she is a miniature collector and she will howl to the moon when she sees this.

    I have mailed off a letter to you. It's just the real Jack, talking to the real Jill. I've had some trouble brewing, thought I would share, for some prayer!

    Love you and happy Sunday. Len and I are going on a date. Daughter is dog sitting so we can fly to the moon if we want to.

    Have you ever been to my shared blog called Nowhere Jill? If interested go to: Linktonowhereland.blogspot.com

  5. Very Creative ! Casper & Wendy were some of my favorite cartoons when I was younger.
    Love & Blesings

  6. So cute and looks like it probably took you forever! Love it!!

  7. Absolutely darling!!!
    I really like the graveyard scene, but I my favorite is the wizard. I love how you repurposed Santa!

  8. OH YAY MY JILL IS BACK!! You really rocked this Halloween house out Jill!! I just love it so much!!! and you too! Keep that mojo going!! Love ya, XO Aunt Frannie!!!

  9. It is official. You are a genius! My favorite, and the one I'm going to put in my own book of ideas so I do not forget it, is painting a Santa to look like a wizard. How many Santas do I have in a box out in the garage? Hundreds probably. I could never pass one up because they're all slightly different. I have no idea what I was going to do with them, but now I know what I'm doing to do with at least one of them. I can fashion a rim to glue on the bottom of the hat for even more effect. Perhaps clip off the ball at the top of the hat. Lots can be done. You've so motivated me. You're so ...... ingenious. Where do you get these ideas? I know where I get mine. From you!!!!! You are my MUSE! patsye

  10. Thanks Patsye!

    My ideas come from all sorts of places. Things just *pop* into my mind and my muse takes control!

  11. Oh My Gosh Jill! This is such a fantastic way to get in the Halloween spirit! All the little details are wonderful! I especially like the little girl peeking out and seeing a mouse. Wow! I am so late in passing along a VERY BIG thank you for the paper doll magnet! The reason being is that I let my little neighbor girl open the package as we sat on my front porch. I can't tell you how many of my wonderful things have ended up in her house because of this! By oh my gosh again, what a cute idea, and how perfect for a little girl! I showed her how to make clothes to go over the adorable bluebird dress, and she has been very busily dressing her doll. I am so glad you covered the artwork as she is using tape to attach her clothes. Great idea! Thank you again so much for thinking of me! Elizabeth

  12. Hi Jill!So happy I came by for a visit.Amazing that you had all those little goodies at home already.I miss visiting you.I will promise to come by more often.I love every thing you create ,so glad you are getting in the fall mood.When I was raising my girls that was my fave time of the year,beside Christmas.Now fall makes me a little o.k. sometimes alot Meloncoly for those school years of raising my little girls.Now I have to stop!I'm making myself sad:)The Lord continue to bless all of you & mine too. Denise