Saturday, July 24, 2010

Time to prepare for Halloween

Halloween is my favorite decorating holiday of the year. Ever since the time I was a child trick-or-treating and came across a neighbor's yard decorated like a cemetery I was smitten. In my growing up years (and beyond) it was one of my dreams to have a house with a front yard in a neighborhood where I could decorate and people would come by the house on Halloween. Now I have that yard, and I decorate it. Every year I work to make it a little better.

It takes months of preparation, working intermittently when I am not at work or doing other things, to make more decorations. In 2008 I made some tall skinny crosses for a graveyard. They look great, come apart for easy storage, and are useful for a variety of Halloween themes.

How I made them:

I used inexpensive 1 x 2 inch lumber, cut the pieces to desired lengths for the cross shapes, then used a dado blade in a table saw to quickly cut lap joints. I allowed some slop in the joints to account for the space taken by the paint.

To get the aged look I first painted all the wood black. Then I painted it with a crackle glaze I purchased at the hardware store in the paint department. Finally I painted the wood with a very light gray paint. White paint would have been too bright for the aged look I was attempting but the grey appears to be white but is not too bright.

In the picture below I have three pieces of wood. One is black with the clear crackle glaze, the middle piece is wood that had just been painted with the light gray but has not started to crackle, and the third piece is a piece that has been painted and partially dried and crackled.

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