Thursday, October 19, 2017

Coffin King ~ Mr. Skelly

I get tons of inspiration from wandering around my local Dollar Tree, especially during this time of year.  I have been buying up the skeleton garland that they sell.  It's made up of four skeletons, 6 inches tall, attached to each other with burlap twine.  This year I also found some coffin shaped boxes and they had them in two sizes! I bought up a bunch of them since you never know if the store will get more stock, or ever carry them again.  Now, this is a fairly long post, so settle in!

What I Used to Make my Coffin King:
Coffin Box - Dollar Tree
Skeleton - Dollar Tree
Spanish Moss - Dollar Tree
Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous Simple Sayings, #CMS155
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Distress Ink in Tones of Brown
White Card  for Banner
Banner Cut from Silhouette Cameo
Tim Holtz/Ideology Skulls
Tim Holtz/Ideology Boneyard Bones
Tim Holtz/Ideology Wishbones
Tim Holtz/Ideology Pumpkin Pieces
Tim Holtz/Ideology Brooms
Tim Holtz/Ideology Spider Charm
Krylon Leafing Pen in Silver

Everything else is from my stash:
Dresden, Jewelry Dangle, Gems, Masking Tape, Brads, Plastic Cats, Iridescent Black Enamel Dots, Wooden Letters, White Silk Fabric Scrap and the Checkered Black & Orange Ribbon.
Color the Tape

Before I get into the making of the actual design, I wanted to share how I made the hinges.  They aren't a huge part of this piece, but I think something like this can come in handy when looking for an unusual little something for your project or card.

How I Made the Hinges: I initially wanted to be able to open and close the coffin, but, after designing the piece, it became obvious that keeping the coffin open all the time was a better way to go.  I am proud of the hinges, so I decided to do a tutorial on how I made them.  First step is putting a strip of masking tape onto some cardstock and coloring it.  I used all kinds of brown inks to color this tape and I didn't write down exactly which ones I used (sorry!) but I did use Distress Inks in tones of brown.  As soon as the ink is dry on the tape, scrunch it up to give it the cracks like you'd find on real leather that's rather old.

I then cut the tape into strips.  The tape may naturally start to separate from the cardstock, which is perfect, since you want to have the tape be pliable.  If you have to, just grab a corner of the cardstock and pull it.  This will leave a nice backing on the tape.  Then take a nice dark brown ink and edge the strips.  This will remove any of the stark white that is left from the cardstock.  You can refer to the picture above where I laid out the basic steps.  You can also make this leather-look for a fabulous background - just don't cut the tape into strips!  Another technique is covering a piece of cardstock with ripped pieces of masking tape, then coloring it with inks to make it look like leather.  The last thing I did with the hinges was glue on some small black brads and then attached them to the painted coffin.

How I Made the Coffin King:

First, I roughly sanded the coffin since it had that shiny coating on it. After coating the coffin with gesso and having the coffin dry, I  painted it with black acrylic paint, dry brushing some brown around the outside to make it look like wood. I repeated the steps with the inside of the coffin but just used the black paint.  While the coffin was drying, I worked on the skeleton.  I glued some black gems into his eye sockets, sized his crown out of Dresden, and went into my stash for his cape.  I had gotten some fabric books from a furniture store (and some great wall paper books) filled with fabrics and patterns they no longer offered and that's where I
found his cape.  It was already cut with pinking shears  on one side, so that was perfect for the part of his cape that wrapped around his neck.  All I did was use a rubber band to keep the cape's shape and placement while the glue was drying.  I literally wrapped it around his neck but no worries since he'd already seen better days!  I colored the Dresden with a silver leafing pen (it was originally gold colored) and glued that onto his head.  Lastly, I made his staff (scepter?) out of an old jewelry 
dangle I had lying about; I colored it silver with the leafing pen and glued a clear gemstone to the top.  I adhered that to his left hand.  Every king needs a

staff; preferably both kinds {wink.}

Setting the skeleton aside, the coffin was dry so I filled the bottom with some Spanish moss.  That was one of the messiest parts, having never dealt with moss before I had NO idea that it would get everywhere.  It did.  And my four fabulous felines would have loved to help me clean it up, but I did it myself knowing they'd also be throwing it up for days!  Once the moss was dry, I set Mr. Skelly onto the moss and let him settle in.

Meanwhile, I decided what I was going to use to decorate the 
inside of the coffin lid.  I used a bunch of Tim Holtz' new and old Idea-ology products, as well as a bunch from my stash.  Here are some close ups of the coffin lid {remember if you want to see these pictures bigger, just right click on them with your mouse}.

I had both the small Scrabble-like tiles and the grey kitten in my stash.  You can also see one of the iridescent black dots.

This cute little black kitty was also a stash item.  She resides at the top of the coffin, atop the banner that reads Happy Halloween.

In this picture of the bottom of the coffin you can see Mr. Skelly standing on one of Tim's pumpkins, and along side him is an Idea-ology skull, spider and broom.  This is also a good picture of the hinges.  Above and next to the broom is where the wishbone and boneyard bone are intertwined.

Here is another look at the finished product.  I always make at least one 3D Halloween project.  This year has been a bit busier than usual for me but, who knows? Halloween isn't here yet!
I hope you enjoyed my tutorial.  Have you made anything 3D for Halloween or the upcoming holiday?  I have SO many ideas for ornaments I have to start writing them down; I can't sleep through all the noise my brain makes putting them together in my head!

I also wanted to mention a small giveaway I am having on my blog:
Im having a small drawing on my blog.  All you need to do is click onto this post, chose the costume you like best & when I get 75 costume comments, Ill draw a random winner.  Open Internationally! Please feel free to share!
EXPIRES Nov, 1. 2017

Thanks for reading this far down; I know it was a long post! Hope to see you at my giveaway! Happy Halloween! Christi
I am thrilled to add Coffin King to the following challenges:
Altered Eclectics - Oct. Challenge, Anything Goes
Frilly & Funkie - 'Tis Near Halloween (#2)
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - Oct. Challenge
Craft-DeeBowz - Anything Goes w/ Handmade Bow
Eclectic Ellapu - Oct. Challenge, Dark/Scary 
Naughty or Nice - #44, Something Spooky
An Inky Mess - #14, Just For Fun


  1. Love it!
    its awesome!
    love halloween projects very much!

  2. This is incredible! What you can do with a few dollar store items, some stash, and a whole lot of creativity! So much fun. Thanks for joining us at Naughty or Nice Challenges!

  3. Super cute!!! Thank you for joining us at Eclectic Ellapu, good luck!!! Amy DT

  4. Super cute!!! Thank you for joining us at NoN, good luck!!! Amy DT

  5. Thanks for joining us at Naughty or Nice Challenges, your piece is fabulous and kinda creepy! Jo x

  6. I am so delighted by your coffin and every single detail! Thank you for sharing your steps--a great idea on the hinges! And thank you, too, for sharing your creativity with us at Frilly and Funkie for my Halloween challenge! Hugs! Sara Emily

  7. This is just amazing! Thank you so much for sharing how you made it x

  8. Such a wonderful creation - so much fun and I can see all those little fingers and eyes looking and looking and oohing and aahing over for ages. Happy Halloween and thanks for sharing with us at Eclectic Ellapu!

  9. This is a wonderful piece and definitely looks like you put some time into it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Awesome project. I love the design of this. Thanks for joining us at Craft-Dee BowZ! --Gail

  11. Great design and thanks for sharing the details. We are so pleased that you shared in our challenge at Frilly and Funkie. Hugs, Autumn

  12. Fabulous Halloween project. I love browsing the dollar store too - so many great finds at a great price. Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie.

  13. Girl, this is awesome!!! Great detail, concept, and construction. Thank you for the walk-through. Super, super nice work! Thank you for sharing your project with us at Eclectic Ellapu. Good luck in the challenge.

  14. Great Halloween mixed media project. Great details and colours. Thank you for joining us at Altered Eclectics this month. Hope to see you back here again soon. Judy DT


Thank you so much for your comments! I read each and every one :)