Monday, 9 October 2017

The Scarecrow ~ Tim Holtz Halloween Inspiration Series 2017

Hello again...

I'm so happy to be here for the second time today because today is the day I'm sharing the first of many projects that I've made for Tim Holtz's Halloween Inspiration Series! I'm sure by now you've all noticed that Tim has been sharing projects from many talented designers, over on his Instagram and Facebook pages and for those who have missed week 1, you can catch up and see the first set of projects over on Tim's blog.

I've had so much fun creating all the projects I've made but I will admit, I'm so excited to finally be able to share this particular project with you The Scarecrow and friends ~ a freestanding, dimensional home decor piece that I created using a combination of Sizzix dies and idea-ology products from the recent Halloween release and if you stay with me until the end, there's also a little surprise with this project...

I think it's time to let you all know how I created this project, so grab a coffee, read along and I really hope you enjoy the creative process!
I started by getting all my die cut elements made and began with the pumpkins...

Die cut three of each of the pumpkins from chipboard using the Pumpkin Patch Bigz die.
To create one pumpkin, use the three separate chipboard shapes and glue them together, this creates a really substantial die cut, that will stand freely on it's own.
Cover the pumpkin die cut with a coat of gesso ~ for this project, you need to make sure the front looks as good as the back, so paint both the back and front as they will both be on show.

The reverse of the finished project
Heat dry, or dry naturally if you have time, before adding some colour and for this I started by applying 3 coats of Carved Pumpkin Distress Paint to the body of the pumpkins, front and back and on the stalk, I used Forest Moss Distress Paint. I allowed the paint to thoroughly dry between each coat.

Once happy with the coverage, I added some shading using Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge and Black Soot Distress Crayons. I started with Rusty Hinge, scribbling some colour randomly onto the surface of the pumpkin die cut and blending it out with my fingers. I then added shading with the darker colours, Vintage Photo first, followed by Black Soot. Finally, I used a small amount of gesso which I applied with my finger, just kissing the surface with the lightest of touches to create some highlights!
To complete each pumpkins, I used some paper wire which I coiled around the stalk.
Now for the star of the show, the scarecrow and for this I began by cutting one image from a piece of Distress Woodgrain Cardstock and two further images from thick black card, I used around 350gsm.
Using Black Soot Distress Paint, apply two coats of colour over the top of the woodgrain cardstock, allowing the paint to dry between each layer. I then added some highlights of Brushed Pewter Distress Paint around the edges, using my fingertips to blend the colour. Once the paint is dry, attach the woodgrain image to the second die cut piece, the thick black card ~ again this will create a really substantial die cut that won't bend or flop over when in place.

Taking the third die cut scarecrow, cut away the scarecrow leaving just the stand and the grass section, as seen below. At this stage, you will also need a stick ~ I used a BBQ skewer, broken down to size and then coloured with Black Soot. If you prefer though, you can leave the wooden skewer natural, either way looks perfect.
Attach the stick to the back of the solid die cut, using a line of wet glue to hold it in place. Also at this stage, add some foam pads along the bottom edge of the die cut.
Take the cutaway grass section and place this over the top of the foam. You now have your freestanding scarecrow which is ready for your project.
To complete the scarecrow, I attached a Halloween Typed Token, coloured the token with Antique Bronze Distress Paint and placed it onto his arm using a jump ring. I also added a Halloween Clipping Sticker ~ The End, to the base.
For the ravens, which can be seen below on the finished project ~ I used more of the thick black card and cut two die cuts per raven using the Feather & Raven Thinlits Die Set. To create each raven, I used foam pads placed between the die cuts which gave me a freestanding image.
By using a solid core black card as the backing, it will mean that you can reverse the raven and it will show black on the back and front of each die cut, so then you can have each of the birds looking in opposite directions, which is exactly how I placed them on the finished project.
You now have all your die cut pieces ready for this particular project... 2 pumpkins, one of each shape, 2 ravens, both facing opposite directions, and a freestanding scarecrow...
You'll also notice in the photo above, I have some cheesecloth or gauze which I will be using. For this, I cut the cheesecloth into two sections and then spritzed each piece with Distress Spray Stains. I used Pumice Stone and Antique Linen on the left and Antique Linen and Peeled Paint on the right hand section. I also cut a small piece of the cloth and tied this around the neck of my scarecrow, creating a scarf.
Now for the base of the project and for this, I used a piece of MDF that I bought in my local craft store. The base itself is 9.5" x 3.5" and if you can't get your hands on MDF, then a piece of wood or even thick chipboard, layered together would create the same look.

Unfortunately,  I'd created this project before I knew I was doing this tutorial but I'm going to do my best to explain this part for you and these are the products I used to create the mossy, textured base!

To begin with, I applied a layer of gesso to the mdf. Once dry, I used a palette knife to apply a good layer of Grit Paste directly onto the gessoed surface and allowed this to harden and set before moving onto the next stage and applying the paint.

Once the paste is dry, (and you can use a heat tool to dry the paste if you choose but only on a very gentle heat setting and don't allow the heat to concentrate on any area too long as it paste will bubble), use a paint brush to apply a layer of Pumice Stone paint to the grit surface. Dry thoroughly and then using a sponge, start to layer the paints by dipping the sponge into each of the paint colours and just pouncing the sponge in a dabbing motion, over the top of the paste. Continue doing this until your happy with the colour and remember, don't overwork the paint as this will just create a very sludgy look to your base, which is not what we're looking for!
Once the paint is dry, I added a little more depth of colour using the Walnut Stain and Black Soot Distress crayons which I just applied to areas of the base, blending out the colour with a semi dry baby wipe.

We're now have everything ready to go and all you need to do is assemble the die cut elements,  combining them with idea-ology pieces.

To build the scene, I started by attaching the two colours of cheesecloth directly over the base, but allowing some of the texture to show through.

I then attached the two pumpkins towards the back of the textured base, using a hot glue gun and attaching them with a very thin line of glue. Attach the scarecrow in the foreground, again adhering him into place with a hot glue gun and add the ravens, attaching one on the left hand side, and the second on top of the pumpkin.
To complete the scene, I added dried moss and sisal fibres, both bought from a local florists, some pumpkin pieces and some broken twigs from my garden. I just placed all of these embellishments to look as if they've been abandoned and left in the spooky field.

I also added some boneyard findings, tucked into the base of the scarecrow....
...and as a final embellishment, I hung a spider from the pumpkin, attaching him with a loop of invisible thread.
So, that completes this project and I hope you've been inspired by the techniques I've used to make this 3D home decor piece come to life and as I mentioned at the beginning, the final surprise to this lights up and the little battery operated tea lights the I've placed behind it will shine through the pumpkins and create a very special piece for Halloween!
Thank you so much to Tim and Paula for inviting me along on this journey and to Mario for all the work he does and thank YOU so much for popping by today! I will be back here to share all the other projects I've created for Tim, so keep checking and hope you enjoy the inspiration from everyone who has been working so hard on this series!
Love Emma x

Cheesecloth, mdf base, moss, sisal fibres and battery operated tea lights from my own stash


  1. Oh my darlin' you killing me !! This is AWESOME . I love what you did . I just got the pumpkin die Friday... I might have to have some Halloween play time THIS WEEK :) !!

  2. Love, love, love this one!! How do you do it every week? Every piece is perfection!

  3. Emma, I adore your scarecrow and friends! Thanks for the step out. Your surprise was worth the wait.

  4. What an awesome Halloween decor! I can't believe how you can come up to so many nice projects! Thanks for the tutorial and inspiration!

  5. Awesome! As always another piece of art. Love it!

  6. This looks even more amazing lit up! Love how you really made the die cuts stand on their own, I am going to try this with my witch and hope it goes even a fraction as well as your wonderful project! Thank you for sharing your talents

  7. Oh Emma ya killing me with your creativity! (In a good way of course ;) ) . This is yet another Incredible piece of halloween art. There really is nothing escapes those creative fingers of yours , not to mention your creative mind! I have nothing but LOVE and lots of it for your work .
    big hugs x

  8. Awn Emma this is fantabulosa!!! I am so impressed

  9. Fantastic project. Thanks so much for sharing it and including the tutorial... It always motivates me to buy products when I can replicate something that I've seen and gotten some idea of how to actually create it!


Thank you for all your comments and messages, they are all appreciated and I hope you'll come back and visit again soon...
Emma ~xx

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