Friday 11 October 2013

Halloween - Witch Myrtle's Favorite Shelf (a tutorial)

Halloween is fast approaching, dear crafting friends and visitors!

Time to share my latest tutorial with you (and get you going on making your own for Halloween ;)!

And once again I have the great pleasure to tell you a bit more about Myrtle Twizzlethwaite, the young witch friend of Amealia, Prudence and Porticia from the flat sharing community (which I introduced to you on last Halloween).

You saw her travel case some weeks ago - a treasured heirloom from Myrtle's grandmother. Today I want to show you the special shelf on which Myrtle stores her most beloved items.

On the top shelf you can see the box that holds her most honorable prize - "The Golden Bat of Honour" - which is only awarded for outstanding witchcraft. Myrtle received it for using her grandmother's spell with which pumpkins can be turned into shopping baskets that hold limitless purchases without letting its bearer feel any of the weight.

 The snake oil advertisement was one of Myrtle's very first posters she had on her teenage witch room's wall and she has been keeping it ever since.

The skull gives witness to Myrtle's unforgettable Top3 win at the annual "Ingenious Skulls" contest, where young witches are encouraged to present modern innovative spells concepts. Myrtle presented her potatoe cutting spell that is not only an improvement to the ordinary potatoe peeling spell that generations of witches have been using for ages, but it also cuts the potatoes into spirals, which can be fried immediately (with a different spell of course)! As witches love curly fries, her spell was an odds-on favourite!

The potions collection contains "Glowing Termites", poisonous spider legs and a poison that causes its taker to grow an irremovable moustache. A widely feared poison - as it exposes its victim to ever lasting taunt and mockery!

Myrtle has never used it as she is very well aware of the disastrous consequences. The tiny bottle with the dangerous deep red liquid is an heirloom that has been handed down for generations with her family.

The tickets on Myrtle's shelf are beloved memorabilia from some wonderful witch balls she had been to. Nights, filled with dance, laugther and whispered spells of amusement.

The teaching-skeleton is a thing every witch gets during school and keeps for the rest of her life. Sweet memories of first shyly spoken spells are knotted to it and every witch keeps her skeleton tidy and dusted all the time!

But now let's head on to the tutorial!

For Myrtle's shelf I used:

DecoArt products:
- DecoArt Traditions acrylic paints: carbon black, medium white, raw umber,
- DecoArt Americana multi - surface satins: orange sherbet, iris, leprechaun
- DecoArt Weathered Wood Crackle Medium
- DecoArt Acrylic Gesso; white
- DecoArt Texture Crackle "light moccha"

Other Materials:
- a box with some compartments to alter (mine is from "Depot"'s Sale)
- skeleton and skulls from the dollar store
- spider confetti and glow in the dark ants (or whatever you want to fill your bottles with)
- a tiny bat (bought at the Museum Shop at the Natural Historical Museum in Vienna)
- a bat embellishment (Red Lead)
- tiny corked bottles (Ranger and Vaessen)
- tiny labels (7Gypsies)
- permantent black marker, black china ink pen
- a scrap of distressed paper (I had some left overs done in wrinkle-free technique a la Tim Holtz)
- glue, scissors, various brushes (for painting the box and for dry-brushing), palette knife
- two drops of purple Glimmer Mist, diluted with water (for the potion)
- ticket stamps (Red Lead)
- banner stamp (Unity Stamps) 
- potions label stamp (Inkadinkadoo)
- DI "black soot" and blending tool

1. If your skeleton is green as mine, you have to paint it: first, give it a coat of white acrylic gesso and let dry.

2. Let dry. In the meantime paint your box with carbon black acrylic colour.

3. Now's the time to dry-brush your white skeleton with "medium white" acrylic colour (a perfect bones colour, isn't it?).

3. As this won't take long to dry you can immediately apply the last coat by dry-brushing a mix of raw umber with (few!) carbon black onto your skeletton.

The transformation of the skeleton looked like this:

Steps 0, 1 and two.                                                                                                                                                    After step 3.

4. Apply DecoArt Weathered Wood Crackle Medium to the outsides, the front edge and the upper sides of the shelves of the box. Let touch dry.

5. Paint with various acrylic colours as you please. I used leprechaun multi-surface satin for the outsides and edges, Traditions medium white for the upper shelf and orange sherbet multi-surface satin for the lower left shelf. The lower right compartment was given a coat of DecoArt Texture Crackle "light moccha" (for which I used a palette knife).

6. After the Texture Crackle had dried, I rubbed in some Distress ink "black soot" with a piece of blending foam and whiped back the excess. I also blended all the edges of the shelf with DI "black soot" for more contrast and depth.

7. Then I partially coated the backs of the compartments with DecoArt Weathered Wood Crackle Medium. I applied the medium with irregular brushstrokes only at the center of the areas and left a surrounding "frame" of about a finger's width uncovered - this makes the crackles "fade out" into the surface, which creates a lovely dark kind of "frame". You can see it in the picture:

8. Now you are done with your box. After all has dried you can fill the shelves with whatever you are up to. First I stamped a banner with black jet archival ink onto a piece of scrap which I had sprinkled and sprayed with some orange and purple Glimmer Mists. I cut it out and glued it to the shelf.

9. Then I glued the skeleton and the tiny bat into place.

10. Fill the shelf: 

I stamped some tickets and labels for further embellishment onto a piece of left over white card that I had previously treated with the Tim Holtz "wrinkle free distress technique" (see picture below), but you can of course use whatever scraps or labels you have. 

Here's what I used:

11. I created the "Ingenious Skulls" trophy by using a permanent marker on a plastic skull from the dollar store.

12. For the "Bat of Honour"- award I altered a tiny cardboard box that once held a brooch by glueing a self made label on it. On the inside there's red paint, a piece of green felt and the gold bat embellishment.

13. I filled three tiny bottles with tiny spider confetti,  glow-in-the-dark plastic ants and two drops of purple Glimmer Mist which I diluted with some water. I embellished them with self adhesive labels. 

Wallaaah!! You're done! I hope you like Myrtle's treasures and her shelf and will have a lot of fun creating your own!!!! 

Hugs and happy Halloween crafting!

die amelie xx

PS: I enter this altered wooden shelf to the october challenge "Alter Something" at The Artistic Stamper
and to Country View Challenges "Something Spooky" october challenge.


  1. Totally Cool! Wow Claudia this such such an outstanding work of art!!! Visiting your Blog is always an eye candy! THAHNK you for sharing your adorable Projects!!!
    xoxo SanDee1899

  2. großartiges Projekt und tolle Anleitung liebe Claudia!

  3. Absolutely fabulous Claudia, great step by step and such an imaginative piece, love it!!!

  4. Cool, ein toller Blickfang. Das Grün ist der Hammer.

  5. Boah sieht das toll aus!! Wahnsinn!!

  6. Wow Claudia, this is fabulous and right up my street, I love Halloween! So much detail - love the way you have done the skeleton and the 'bat award' is just fantastic. LOVE this piece so much! Hugs, Anne x PS - great step-by-step too.

  7. Genial!!!! Wieder so ein Meisterwerk!!!! Wirklich klasse!!!!


  8. Wow - Myrtle has quite the collection of spooky bits and bobs! Wonderful work on the skeleton - the decayed bones look so cool. And I see the badge is up, so the announcement must have been made - yay!!
    Alison xx

  9. Really rocking the DecoArt goodies there. and the weathered wood never fails. I love your spooky creation. totally awesome. thanks for linking it to "The Artistic Stamper" challenge.

  10. This is fabulous! Thank you for joining in The Artistic Stamper challenge

  11. Hi Claudia, this is a fabulpus Halloween project with great colours, textures and imagery. Thank you for linking to Country View Challenges 'Something Spooky' theme.
    hugs {brenda} x0x


Thank you so much for your visit and especially for taking the time to leave me a short comment! This is highly appreciated! xxx