Unbelievable that it´s soon Halloween again! Today I am showing you how to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids.
I don´t know about you, but I love Halloween even though for us it´s an imported holiday! Before the best time of the year used to be carnival. Everyone get´s dressed up, is in a good mood and we kids got tons of sweets. It´s a whole week of fun, normally starting with the women having their day, storming the town halls and taking over the regime. If you ever go to Germany on carnival Thursday as a man: do not wear a good tie, because it will be cut off! Men usually wear either their oldest ties or the ones they got as a present and don´t like at all. The same day, we kids went from house to house singing and getting our bags filled with sweets. Then there are the street parades where they throw sweets, flowers for the women and some hand out hot red wine to the adults to warm up…
Then I moved to Spain and carnival here is totally different. Here it´s more like you see it on TV from Rio. It´s warmer, people can show more skin when dressing up and the only ones dancing are the ones taking part in the parade. And no sweets, they throw confetti instead. At least confetti doesn´t hurt when you get it on your head… But here, through a lot of British residents, Halloween get´s celebrated. And when my son started pre-school we got dressed up and joined others to go through the streets…
Back to subject. I didn´t want to write about carnival and Halloween, but how you can make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids!
Make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids
- A wooden slat (if possible reclaimed), big enough for you to write and decorate;
- Wood stain dark; use one that is safe for earth and pets
- Acrylic paint: Black, red, white and green;
- An old piece of cloth and gloves;
- A piece of white chalk; optional
- Artist brushes;
- A few bits of inlet of an old cushion or cotton wool;
- Liquid glue or glue gun and glue;
- 2 screws, if your slat doesn´t have nails in like mine and
- String or cable.
- Optional to hang it outside: clear wood sealant.
How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids – step by step
I found this lovely, but very dirty piece by the bins and decided to take it home. We wanted to make some Halloween decorations for this year anyway, so this was ideal.
Looking at the slat, it had nails in which looked quite nice from the front, so I decided to just hammer them down instead of taking them out. This way, there was no need to put screws in at the back either and I could use the nails to attach the cable.
My piece was extremely dirty, so I had to give it an extremely good rub down. Even if your wood looks much better, still sand it and then clean all the dust off before starting with the next step.
I wanted to try something new with this sign, so I got an old cloth, the wood stain and the black acrylic paint out and covered the table with an old bed sheet. Next, I put some of the paint into a big bottle top, dipped the cloth into the stain and then into the paint.
Now apply both with the cloth onto the wood in a circular motion. This way, you get an uneven coat of the colours over the wood you couldn´t achieve with a paint brush, which makes it look much better. Best, If you use a glove while doing this! I don´t like gloves, so I had stains under my fingernails for a few days after…
One other good side effect of this painting technique is that you don´t have to wait too long until you can continue, so your Halloween sign can be done in a day. Take the piece of chalk and pre-write the word Halloween to see if you are happy with the way it looks.
Then go over the chalk with the red paint. Apply at least 2 to 3 coats. The shaky lines make it look a bit more spooky.
The decorating is totally down to your own and your kids imagination. We decided to add red scratch marks, green eyes and black bats. Last add the white lines to make everything stand out more and add a 3D effect.
Before we added the smaller details, I took out the inlet of an old cushion that I stored to make a new cushion one day or maybe use for padding furniture. If you don´t have any, just go in the bathroom and get out your cotton wool. I took a few pieces, spread them and then glued them onto the wood. We used normal glue, as this way my son could glue them hisself. Plus, It´s staying inside, so it was not important that it will stick for extremely long. If you have and want to put it outside, better use a hot glue gun.
Staying with this: if you want your sign to be outside, do the above step last! Once you are happy with the painting and the details, then apply a coat of the sealant. Let everything dry and then add the “spider webs”.
You are nearly there!
The only thing left now is to screw the screws into the back, attach the string and hang it up! Voila: you have just managed to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids.