Sunday, 6 September 2015

Have a Frightfully Spooky Halloween! - a DecoArt Mixed Media Halloween Tutorial

Servus and welcome to my first Halloween project (including a detailed mixed media tutorial) for this year!

This project was mainly created for the first and fab Mixed Media Halloween "Haunts" challenge hosted by DecoArt Mixed Media, featuring a lot of awesome projects by the DT and offering two huge prize packages for two winners who will be chosen from all the entries by Mr. Skinner himself! So don't miss it!


So for today I want to show you how to do some layering with some of my all time favourite Halloween die cuts and use them alongside some of the DecoArt media products and paints to create a lot of depth and spooky-ness.

For my project I used:

- a 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches (17x17cm) square piece of left over heavy cardboard
- Sizzix Alterations dies: Rickety House, (On the Edge die) Graveyard, Bewitching Hour (the bat only)
- Spellbinders Shapeabilities die: Cherry Blossoms
- Sizzix Big Shot
- DecoArt media fluid acrylics: Titan Buff, Burnt Umber, Dark Grey Value 3, Quinacridone Violet, Green Gold, Cadmium Orange Hue, Carbon Black
- DecoArt media Matte Medium
- DecoArt media clear Crackle Glaze
- DecoArt media black Gesso
- DecoArt media Antiquing Cream Titanium White
- black archival stamping ink
- Stampendous cling stamp from the Andy Skinner "Industrial" set
- spider web and spider clear stamp
- word stickers
- colour copy of an old portrait photography
- scraps from an old dictionary page
- small palette knife
- ultra fine tip black Faber Castell china ink pen
- "black soot" Distress marker
- soft wide flat brush
- baby wipes
- scissors
- heavy black card

Here we go! (for a larger view simply click on the images)

First I die cut my house, graveyard, bat and branches from black, heavy card and fussy cut my witch portrait.

For her hat I first drew a rough sketch on some white paper and cut that to size and into shape until I was content. Then I simply traced the outlines to transfer the shape to some black heavy card.

Next I made sure all my cut out parts found their proper spots on my square piece of card.

I wanted the die cut elements to kind of form a "frame" with a slight shadow-box-like effect (due to some overlaps here and there) so the focus would be drawn to the centre and the portrait of my witch.

Once I was content with the arrangement, I removed the pieces and gave my substrate a thorough coat of black Gesso.

After it had dried, I glued all the cut out pieces and some torn dictionary page scraps in place with Matte Medium and made sure I also covered the fronts and whole piece with a thin layer of it.

Then I started adding various washes of Titan Buff, Burnt Umber, Dark Grey Val. 3 and Quinacridone Violet in that exact order (sparing the area with the witch in the centre).

Next I added some Gold Green here and there, dabbing off any excess with a baby wipe where I had added too much. I also made sure that the portrait and hat stayed clean of any paint during the whole painting process. As I had covered everything with the Matte Medium before, wiping off and removing any paint was easy and still possible.

I stamped some texture onto the gravestones. Because they were the topmost layer of die cuts, the rubber stamp would not reach the  layers at the lower levels. I just had to make sure I fixed the cling stamp to an acrylic bloc so it stayed flat during the stamping process.

Then I applied a thin coat of Crackle Glaze to the hat (using a soft brush) and let it dry naturally. (sorry, forgot to do a picture of this step).

In the meantime I scraped on a little black Gesso with a small palette knife to blend in the glued on dictionary page scraps and other elements with the background.

 By now the Crackle Glaze I had applied to the hat had dried - so I gave it a coat of white Antiquing Cream to make the cracks visible. Make sure you let the Antiquing Cream dry before you start wiping the excess off with a lightly damp cloth - otherwise you will also remove most of it again from the crevices!

Now it was time to add a little stamping (spiders and webs) and then shade in all the glued on elements to make them pop a bit more from the background (and also to add more depth). I found that drawing outlines with the brush tip of my black soot Distress marker and then smudging them with my fingertip works best and fastest. But this only works on a surface that has been sealed before (either with Matte Medium or matte Decou-Page) and therefore isn't absorbant anymore!

 I added a sentiment that was cut into single word tiles and glued on with Matte Medium.

I also made sure they all were covered well with the Matte Medium, so I could do the shading-around (= drawing and smudging) with the Distress marker.

For a finishing touch I needed a visual frame, so I dabbed and smudged on some Cadmium Orange Hue with my fingers and let dry.

Next I did the same with some Carbon Black paint, making sure I didn't cover up too much of the orange paint.

I drew thin outlines around the word tiles and my painting's edges with an ultra fine tip china ink pen:

As I was missing some small dashes of a brighter colour (for contrast) I dabbed and smudged on some more Gold Green with my fingertips until I was content with the look of my project. Done!

I hope you like it and are having a lot of fun creating for Halloween too!!!

Hugs and happy crafting,


  1. This is awesome - thanks for sharing the great instructions and photos. I love the colour palette - fantastic spooky work with out being too dark and heavy in colour. Love it!..... Gill x :)

  2. A fabulous project Claudia, I love it and have pinned it. xxx

  3. Schaurig schön, ich mag den Mooseffekt besonders. Ich hoffe, du hattest beim Halloween basteln am WE genauso viel Spaß wie ich :-) Angenehmen Wochenstart wünscht dir Kerstin

  4. Fabulous spooky creation Claudia and amazing techniques with your media paints.
    Julie x

  5. Oh Claudia--I LOVE THIS!!! Your tutorial is fabulous and I so appreciate the time you take to show us your process. I love the paint colors you're using-especially the green gold (that's going on the newest wish list!) and I love how you created a frame with applying paint to the perimeter. You're a creative genius, Claudia!! XOXO-Shari

  6. Wow!!!This piece is fantastic! your tutorial is wonderful and helpful! Great great Halloween work! barbarauyaya

  7. Pretty cool Claudia!! thank you for sharing your steps!

  8. Awesome sauce spooktacular design! I love how you used the black cardstock and showed your process. Genius work on the witch hat, looks like it could be a die cut! You work so well with the DecoArt products. Fantabulous! Hugz. ~Niki

  9. WOW!!! I love it...super schön...genau mein Ding!!!
    Liebe Grüße

  10. Just pinned this, it is fabulous Claudia! x

  11. Claudia, das ist einfach fabelhaft! Ich liebe die Idee, die Vintage Dame mit einem Hexenhut auszustatten! Deine Farbgestaltung ist phenomenal.
    Liebe Grüße

  12. Fabulous project love the colours, perfect for Halloween and I love the shadows and smudging and the crackle in the hat. Tracy x

  13. AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! Thanks for the step by step too. Karen.x

  14. Wonderful project and inspiration Claudia!! Love it!!

  15. This is such a cool piece. Great tutorial and inspiration.

  16. A truly inspiring ghostly steampunk and a great tutorial. Love all your creative details on your project.
    Hugs, Susan

  17. Again, Wow! I have to say this is my favorite Halloween piece so far! Just amazing depth and color! You have sold me on everyone of those colors! Thank you for a wonderful tutorial!

  18. I could read your tutorial at last Claudia, and it was really fantastic!!!!
    I LOVE this fabulous Halloween creation and scene with this great face image and the die-cuts (and what die-cuts... also among my faves!!! Some I have, and some I'm jealous to not have yet haha!)
    Thank you for the great work and tutorial. Hugs and bises, Coco xxx


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