Step 1: Supply List
Mini Skeletons (These usually can be found at dollar stores, I found these at Walgreens for only a little more money. At our dollar stores, you can get four mini skeles for $1, at Walgreens I got six mini skeles for $3.)
E6000 (Can be found in craft stores)
Petroleum Jelly (This is for the E6000)
Tape (Any kind will do, clear tape, masking tape, it doesn't matter)
Acrylic Paint (Black)
Your Imagination (Not Pictured)
Bases (For mounting the trophies, can be found in craft stores) Also see the "alternative bases" section.
In addition to the list above, for the Zombies you will need the following:
Acrylic Paint ("Peach")
Dolly Clothes or Scraps of Fabric
Alternative Bases - Caps from a glass bottle, black cardstock, and small stones for weight.
Step 2: Break (Well, Bend) Those Bones!
Figure out the pose you want to use for your skeleton, and glue those feet to the base. This year, I'm doing a zombie theme, so I found some good "shambler" poses online. I glued down the feet and taped them so they would hold their position while drying. I also bent the knee into position added a drop of glue and taped it so it would dry correctly.
Step 3: Alternative Bases (In Case You Have More Imagination Than Money.)
I took these skeletons apart at the hips, because I needed to get a better stance on the small surface, and glued them to the lid. Then I bent (not broke) the knees into position, added a drop of glue, and taped them into place to dry (not shown).
When my poses were set, I painted the bases black. Then, I went out to the yard and found some very small stones to put "under" the lids. I then traced a piece of cardstock around the base of the lid, put the stones inside the lid and glued the cardstock to the bottom. This gave it a little bit of weight.
Step 4: The Devil's in the Details
You'll want to paint the entire skeleton with black acrylic paint, then wipe off the top surfaces of your skeleton. (This will keep the paint in the hollows only. Notice the difference in the detail on the first and second pictures.)
Then, paint your base. Don't paint the base first. Your skellies may have trouble sticking to it.
When your base is dry, you can add clothes (if you so desire).
Step 5: Corpsing and Hair
Simply dip a disposable paint brush into your liquid latex and brush across your bones to give them sort of a connective tissue look. You can do several layers at once. If you're corpsing for a zombie, don't forget to add the little details, fill in the eyes and add a nose (you can "build" one out of liquid latex).
If you want to add hair, wait until your liquid latex has finished drying. You can use wig hair, or go to the dollar store and buy whatever "princess" hair is available for the little ones. There are "proper" ways to lay hair, in layers, these things are so small, I say just glue it on there. They are zombies after all, photo-ready perfection isn't really the first concern of the undead.
If you're adding blood/gore, this is the best recipe I've found. (In these zombie pictures, the blood and gore is toned down; in amount and colour, based on the projected age of the participants.)