Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Skull

Ha! Whoever thought I'd have a post entitled "My Skull"? Or who would've thought that I'd say such things as "I've got to go outside to take photos of my skull"?

Obviously, it's not the skull that holds my (putative) brains, eyeballs, teeth, etc. It's a styrofoam skull from Michaels. It was cute, but screamed to be decorated.

So I listened.

Close up #1:

Close up #2:

Close up #3:

I cut Flashing Tape (foil tape used for something or another by Flashers) into 2" pieces and ran some through my Big Kick in a Steampunk Parts Vintaj Embossing Folder, a Honeycomb Texture Fades Embossing Folder, a Cuttlebug Clockworks Embossing Folder, and a Cuttlebug Spots N Dots Embossing folder.

I added additional texture to these foil strips using a Tonic Craft Scratcher, a wheelie sewing thing, and a ballpoint pen.

The embossed and distressed tape was then layered onto the skull and pressed into place. When I was happy with the coverage, I scratched the tape up some more, then painted it with a Black Paint Dabber. I immediately wiped it off, which left black paint in the recessed areas. I added another coat of paint, repeated the process, then let it dry. When I came back to it, I sanded the paint off in various places using the Vintaj Metal Refining Block.

The next step was to cover a piece of plain Grungeboard with Flashing Tape. Sadly, I ran out and had to go to Home Depot to get more. Thankfully, there were no flashers in the aisle with the Flashing Tape. I did discover that it comes in a variety of widths, which was good to know. I finished taping the Grungeboard, then die cut a Weathered Clock from it and a mess of Mini Gears. These were pounded within an inch of their lives with Tim's Texturizing hammer. They were also scratched up a bunch. When I was pleased with the level of distressed texture, I used alcohol inks to add some color to them.

Then I tried to attach the gears to the clock using a variety of glues. None worked, so I got out my hot glue gun (a gift from my dear friend Alison) and was thrilled to find that it worked. So, I glued the gears to the clock, then glued the clock to the skull. Small red paper roses were hot glued to the eye sockets to add some color and more texture to the piece. Since I'm still a relative glue-gun novice, I ended up with a lot of strands of hot glue, but I decided that they added to the look and kept 'em.

The skull came with a hook on the top, so I added a bit of metallic floss and called it done!


  1. This is the most awesome skull I've ever seen!

  2. Oh, Kathi, I am so glad you listened to the skull, but I am so disappointed that there were no flashers at Home Depot for you to check out! LOL!
    You did an absolutely fantabulous job of decorating this skull! OMGoodness! I love him! You should make and sell these. (Or perhaps not, because of how much work he took! I say he, because this definitely looks male!) :^) Love it!
    Hugs, Penny

  3. Now that is a cool project! You'd never be able to tell that it started out as a plain Styrofoam piece. Awesome


  4. OMG! These are outrageous! Love, love, love it!

  5. SPECTACULAR!!! This is amazing! I'm so gonna lift this technique/look! LOVE it!

  6. Fabulous project, Kathi! Very cool and creative design!

  7. Awesome skull Kathi! I love it!

  8. OH......MY......GOSH!!! This is amazing and STUNNING! You have created one of the most beautiful skulls I have EVER seen, EVER!!! WOW!!! I hope you had as much fun making this as it sounds like :)

    "flashers in the aisle" roflol!!

    Truly, truly gorgeous and should be in published work someplace!!!

  9. Wow, spectacular decorating, so very ornate! Love what you did but not sure I would consider a skull as cute!!!

  10. Wowzers!! This is just totally awesome! What a lot of work, but really worth it. Fabulous project.

  11. Kathi this is awesome! How creative to use the flashing tape and love the red roses in the eyes. Great idea!

  12. This is one of the most beautiful altered skulls I've ever seen.Incredible!

    After you embossed the tape, how did you manage to attach it and distress it without flattening the embossing? Whenever I try anything similar I always end up ruining the effect cause it smooths right out.

    Love this. You are AMAZING! I hope you enter it into some local contests - I always send stuff like this to the State Fair.