Introduction: How to Make a Scary Wooden Fence Picket Skull
Runner Up in the
Halloween Decor Contest 2016
Trick and treat your neighbors with this scary wooden skull. Hang it on the fence close to the front door or hang it ON the front door to help greet your trick-or-treaters on Halloween. This project is fairly easy and inexpensive to make. All you need are a couple of power tools and wooden fence pickets to get stared
Step 1: Supplies
1) Fence Pickets - I used Red Cedar (5/8-in x 5-1/2-in x 6-ft) which are about $2.50 each. One picket makes one (1) skull head approximately 18" x 12" in size. You can make smaller skull heads by using smaller fence pickets (5/8 in. x 3-1/2 in. x 6 ft) which are about $1.50 each.
2) Skull pattern
4) Drill and drill bits
5) Eye protection
6) Wood dowel rods
7) Wood glue
Chain for hanging
Black shelf liner material
Step 2: Capture and Resize Skull Pattern
1) Click on skull pattern above and hit 'print scrn' on your keyboard then copy and paste it into Photoshop (or other photo editors). Resize the image so that the center portion is the size of your fence picket width; 5-1/2 inches for 5/8-in x 5-1/2-in x 6-ft pickets
Full pattern size is about 20'' X 20"
2) Save the file and take it to FedEx Kinkos (or other custom printing establishments) and have the pattern printed
Use the attached Photoshop (psd) file for printing. Just take this file to FedEx Kinkos and they can copy the pattern for printing. Pattern is for the 5-1/2-in wide pickets
FedEx Kinkos charges $0.75 a square foot to print so this should cost around $2.00
Step 3: Trace and Cut
1) Cut out the paper skull pattern and place each piece on the fence picket and trace around it with a black marker
2) Cut out all wood pieces with a jigsaw by following the black marker lines as a guide (make sure to use eye protection for this step)
NOTE : Cutting out the nose can be a bit tricky. I drilled a hole through the center of nose first to allow for the jigsaw blade. No worries if the nose doesn't look like the pattern. I messed up a few times and ended up making a triangular nose instead and it looked great.
Step 4: Skull Head Assembly
1) Draw 6 straight lines across the wood skull pieces with a pencil as noted in diagram
2) Using the jigsaw, cut the dowel rod into 1/2 inch size pieces
3) Using a drill, drill holes into the side of skull pieces about 1/4 inch deep using the pencil lines as guides. This will help keep the drill bit as straight as possible as you drill. This will also help ensure that the holes in both mating pieces line up during assembly
4) Starting with the left skull piece, fill the drilled holes with a small amount of wood glue and place a small dowel rod piece in each of the three holes
5) Fill the three left-center skull holes with glue and fit the two pieces together
6) Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the right skull and center-right skull pieces
NOTE: Drill bit and dowel rod sizes are dependent on wood thickness. Try to make drilled holes no larger that half the thickness of the wood
Step 5: Finished Fence Picket Skull
Here are pictures of the finished product. This one is approximately 18" X 12" in size.
It's a bit large but it looks great on the fence AND it's relatively inexpensive to make !!!
Step 6: Optional Ideas
If you want your skull to have black color (or any other color) behind the eyes, nose and mouth you can add black shelf liner material (or other materials) to the back. Just cut out the liner and screw it to the back. I also added chain to mine for hanging
Step 7: Other Fence Picket Skulls
Here are a few more Fence Picket Skulls that I made.
Some I left 'naked' (raw wood) and others I stained with wood stain.
I also found some old weathered fence pickets and made skulls out of them too.
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