Saturday, October 22, 2011

halloween fun: glitter bats!

Our neighbours really go all out for Halloween; in order to keep up a bit, I made a garland of these cute glittery bats for our porch! Here's how I made them:

Download a picture of a bat stencil. Print it out and cut it out, then trace it onto your cardstock or cardboard (I had to use foam core because it was all we had on hand. I think a thin cardboard would be better.) You can use a white charcoal pencil if you are tracing it onto a dark surface, so that the outline shows up.

Cut out your stencilled bats. I made about 10 or 12, using an exacto-knife to cut them out.

Next, punch holes in the tips of the wings. I used a leather punch and a hammer, but a regular hole punch would probably be fine for thin cardboard. Also, you might want to paint your bats a dark colour - whatever colour you want them to be. Coloured glitter can only do so much to alter the colour of the material underneath.

Next brush a thin layer of elmer's glue all over the bat. Keep a cup of water on hand for soaking your brush if you need to step away. I used glue-all from the hardware store. Note: we are only glittering one side of the bat at a time!

Set your bat on some kind of drop cloth or mat to keep the glitter from going everywhere. I used a trash bag. Sprinkle glitter all over the bat. You definitely want to immediately glitter the bat after brushing it with glue - don't try to glue and then glitter three at once, as the glue will dry and then you'll have to start over.
Let your bats dry for a few hours. Afterward, I sprayed mine with a fixative designed to keep charcoal from smudging. I figured it would help keep the glitter together - and even better, it gave the parts of the bats where the glitter didn't stick (if I had a dry patch, for example) a bit of a sheen. Then I let them dry 24-48 hours before starting over again with the other side: glue, glitter, fix.

Link your bats together with a bit of wire (see the photo at the top of the page) and use a bit of wire to hang them.

Ta-dah! Cute, aren't they? We're carving pumpkins tonight, and I'll wrap our porch light with some orange cellophane or tissue paper before Halloween night, to give the porch a suitably spooky atmosphere. I had two bats leftover, so I might hang them with a bit of fishing line taped to the soffit. One more halloween post coming - my new costume!


Anonymous said...

You'd make a wonderful prop lady.

fleur_delicious said...

thanks, anonymous! Quite the compliment - I worked in the theatre for years (scenic painter, set construction, a hair stylist and costumer) - and I know what a jack-of-all-trades you have to be to do props! Are you in the theatre?

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that. The name's Rod. Yes, I own a scene shop that builds opera scenery and have worked in the trade for the past 40 years. I have enjoyed reading your material and watching your craft work. You'd have a good time in our shop, I think. Good scenic artists are always welcome, but the commute would be a killer.
How come you don't show your pictures on Flickr anymore?

fleur_delicious said...

Rod - don't know if it's too late (months later - gah, sorry) to respond. Haven't been posting because ... well, time, I guess. Getting a good photo in the autumn-winter-spring is hard, because the light dies so early, and that's the only time of the year I really dress - when I'm at the university. I went through a bit of a spell after hitting 30 and getting married and (boom!) putting on 20 lbs where I had to get all new clothes. And though I don't really look that different (no one will believe me), I do still feel like I'm figuring out how to dress a slightly differently shaped body. So while I have days where I pull it off, I have a lot of days that don't feel worthy of a photo. Maybe I should get my act back together this spring. =)

Building opera scenery sounds like a heck of a lot of fun - it's so much more over-the-top than straight plays.