DIY: FREE Halloween Art

A few weeks ago when I was looking for my Halloween decorations, I happened upon an image that inspired me to DIY a little Halloween art. You can look back at that post and see my inspiration here. As promised, I’m going to share how I made it so you can do the same!

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I looked at Wikimedia Commons and found a bunch of options. This one was my favorite. It looked aged and hand sketched like it actually had a scientific or medical purpose instead of just a picture of a skull. Intentional Art – I love that!

Skull aged WikimediaCommons

Here are a couple of my other favorites. I ended up searching both skulls and full skeletons.

Skull Wikimedia Options

The first option looked aged already but I wasn’t sure if it would look the same after I printed it, and the others were bright white. I decided they all needed a little doctoring {wait, I seriously didn’t say that to be funny}. Do you remember in grade school when you soaked paper in tea after you crumpled it up and smoothed it back out? Well that’s exactly what I did. I printed the image on a regular printer, soaked it in tea, crumpled it up, let it dry, and then framed it and hung it on the wall. Take a look:

What you need:

1. An image printed on regular white printer paper

2. A 9″x13″ pyrex baking dish, or other container that is at least the size of your paper and can hold hot liquid

3. Three to Four tea bags {any variety you have on hand is fine}

4. Hot water

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First things first – get your water hot. I used my tea kettle on the stove but you could just as easily heat some water in the microwave. It needs to be hot enough to release that beautiful color from the tea leaves in your tea bags, and the warmth of the water will also help the paper absorb the color.

Once your water is hot {but not boiling} pour it into your dish so that you have about an inch of liquid. The amount of water will vary depending on the size of your dish {and the size of your paper} but I used between 2.5 and 3 cups of water. Add your tea bags and dip them repeatedly so the tea leaves inside are fully saturated and plenty of the color is released. Then place your piece of paper in the water and use a utensil to make sure it is fully submerged – you don’t want it to just sit on top of the water. When I did this I used my finger but the water was pretty hot. Please make sure you don’t burn yourself!

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Now that the paper is fully covered in brown water, you can leave it alone or you can place the tea bags directly on top of the water. This will create a few spots of darker color when you remove the paper from the water – it’s completely optional but I like the effect because I want the end result to be imperfect and uneven.

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Let your paper soak in the water for a while. 30 minutes is probably long enough. The time will vary depending on what type of paper you use, how saturated the tea is, and how dark you want the result to be. I would suggest not leaving the paper in the tea for longer than an hour so the paper doesn’t get too soft.

When it’s time to remove your paper from the tea, use caution because the paper is delicate and will rip easily. Carefully transfer the paper to a flat surface for drying. I used a cookie sheet with two layers of paper towel on top. This helped to prevent a big mess and also absorbed some of the excess tea.

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If you want to take the aged look one step further, there’s one final optional step to this process. Take that piece of paper that I just told you to be super careful with, and crumble it up into a ball! Of course, you have to be even more careful when you open the paper back up.

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See how much more authentic that looks? Instant age!

Once your paper is completely dry, the only thing left to do is frame it and hang it on the wall. I used a simple black frame that I happened to have on hand. You can get the same one here. I figured a black frame would help the image stand out now that I made it all a bit darker. Plus it’s for Halloween and black is the obvious choice for the theme.

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt

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So there you have it, friends. A fun little Halloween DIY that will cost you nothing but your time and a few items you probably have on hand already. This is also a fun project to do with kids! If you try it for yourself, be sure to come back and let us all know how it turns out!

Catherine Calligraphy

 

 

 

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