Thursday, October 16, 2014

Easy Watercolor Skull Pennants

by Sarah Trumpp

I love Halloween.  I love it like Joanie Loves Chachi, probably even more since Scott Baio isn't involved.  If you love Halloween like I do, this is a perfectly simple decoration that is shockingly easy to make.

My cousin's kitchen is adorned with Tibetan prayer flags, and I decided she needed some skulls.  Hey, it's not every day that I get to decorate other people's houses!

I started with watercolor paper cut into 5 x 3-inch rectangles and then cut those into long triangles.  I sketched very simple skull shapes in water-soluble pencil.  Wonky eyes?  Uneven chins?  Perfect!

 I used a very wet watercolor wash for the background, starting with plain water and then dropping the color down in random places, letting it run as it pleased.

While the paint was still very wet, I covered it with Kosher salt.

The salt absorbs the pigment and leaves very cool random patterns once it dries.  Let it dry completely and scrape it off using an old credit card or the edge of a piece of watercolor paper like I did.

After I tried to see my future in dried watercolor blotches (and failed miserably, I might add), I shaded the skull with diluted India ink.  I have never found a black watercolor that doesn't make me want to gouge my own eyes out, so I use ink for blacks.

I used very wet watercolor loaded onto a brush and gave my pennants some splatters for added texture:

Once that dried, I used a 01 Micron to give the skulls some definition and decoration.

To string them all together, I used Perle Cotton on a ridiculously long needle (you can use a shorter needle - I just happened to have a dollmaker's needle in my backpack with all of my clothes.  Why I decided to bring a dollmaker's needle on a 3000-mile road trip is beyond my own comprehension).  I started by poking a hole through the front...

and then brought the thread around the back and poked it back through.

Once I decided how far apart I wanted them (about 6 inches), I locked them in place by making tiny cuts by each hole (being extra careful not to actually cut all the way to the hole)..

and then brought the thread through the notch, pulling it tight to lock it in place!

I hung the pennants over my cousin's sink using simple scotch tape.  I'm sure she'll find a more permanent solution - she's smart like that. ;)

These skull-themed pennants are a great way to bring the Halloween spirit into your home or the home of unsuspecting family members whether it's October or June!

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