Introduction: Scarecrow to Skull Kid: Dollar Store Repaint
This past Fall, I was perusing my dollar store's selection of solar wigglies (which I assume is the proper name for the category of dancing daisies and swaying hula dancers that occasionally adorn the dashboards of highschoolers and the elderly) when I found an adorable little scarecrow shaking on the shelf. With a little paint, time, and craftiness, I knew I could transform the little scarecrow man into a creep-tastic Skull Kid from Zelda. I also knew that my lil' bro bro would probably like to have a wiggly Skull Kid to adorn his super-professional desk at his super-adult career. All gamer grown-ups need a daily reminder of romping through the lost woods following the tune of a crazed forest child, don't they?
If you manage to score one of these seasonal scarecrow wigglies from the dollar store, this little buckaroo project is a fun and easy repaint perfect for any Zelda fan.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
- Destruction Implements (screwdriver, awl, hammer, whatever you have around that is pokey and awesome)
- Craft Knife
- Dremel with small sanding attachment (optional)
- Solar Dancing Scarecrow (from Dollar Tree)
- Acrylic Paints
- Masking Tape
- Cardstock in fall colors
- Four Jump Rings
- Scrap Leather Cord
- Acrylic Gesso
- Scotch Tape
- Tacky Glue
- White Gel Pen
- Thin Marker
Step 2: Disassemble and Prep
The scarecrow is made up of three main wiggle parts: the head, the body, and the shoes. The head and body are split with a seam down the sides, and the shoes are attached to the base with straight plastic pegs. There is a black plastic pole that runs through the center of the scarecrow to which each piece is attached; the pole moves when sun hits the solar panel, making the scarecrow dance.
Using your various tools of destruction, gently pry apart the head of the scarecrow along the seams of the plastic. The head is held together by small plastic pegs and sockets. They are relatively durable, but be careful to pop the pegs out as straight as possible so that they do not bend.
The front of the head will come off easily; the back of the head is attached to the central pole. Unhook it carefully and set aside.
Just like the head, the body is also attached with small pegs and sockets. Pry apart along the seams. The back of the body is attached to the central pole by two small pegs; pull the back straight out and set aside.
The scarecrow's shoes are attached with pegs straight down into the red base. Pry each shoe up from the base.
In order to paint the plastic, we need to create a surface that paint will stick to without easily scratching off. Using either sandpaper or a Dremel-like tool, generously rough up the surface of each piece. Grind down the scarecrow's triangle nose so that the whole face is one big, smooth surface.
Step 3: Background Painting
Paint all your scratched-up body parts and shoes with three coats of gesso. After each coat, lightly sand the surface before adding the next coat. Sand lightly after your final coat is dry.
Paint the shirt, shoes, and hat a dark leathery-brown color.
Paint the face, ears, legs, and hands underwater-zombie-flesh blue. Using a picture of the Skull Kid as your guide, paint the neck/chest/back area on the top of the shirt blue to create the collar of the shirt.
You can ignore the "hair" sticking down from the bottom of the hat for now--I ended up just cutting all of it off except for the small section that attaches to the wiggle pole.
Lightly sketch out the eyes and mouth on the face with a pencil. With reference picture in hand, paint the light blue skin details on the face and legs.
Paint the black background for the eyes, mouth, and nose on the face.
Add leathery details to the hat, tunic, and shoes with light brown paint. As you are painting, gently reattach the head to make sure your details flow around the entire piece. Do the same with the body and shoes.
Step 4: Detail Painting
Paint the inside of the eyes orange, and fade into yellow at the center of the eyes. Paint red, yellow, and dark green stripes on the underside of the hat.
With a teensy-tiny brush, paint the black and white centers of the eyes. Add creepy white teeth to the mouth.
Using a lighter, heat the end of a pin until red-hot. Pierce each ear twice with the hot needle.
Step 5: Reassemble
Working from shoes-up, reassemble the little guy. Drybrush with dark gray over the whole body, shoes, and hat, avoiding the face.
At this point I realized the hair was super ugly, so I cut it off along the hat line using a heated craft knife. Take all the pieces back off the base. Making tape over the solar panel, sand the base, and paint it dark green. Once dry, reassemble the skull kid onto the base, carefully interlocking the head with the body and the body with the pole as you go. Make that skully dance!
Step 6: Add the Details and Take It Outside!
Now is when the little guy really starts to come to life!
On small scraps of green and red cardstock, draw several leaf veins and cut them out.Sketch out a rough, thick "U" shape on some brown cardstock and cut into small sections. These will be the wooden beads for Skull Kid's necklace. Draw intricate wood grain on each piece with a thin marker. Using the white gel pen, make small rectangles inside of each bead. I made a whole bunch of these little "beads" papers, but I ended up only needed to use four. How many you need will depend on the size you think will look best on your Skull Kid; I wanted the necklace to cover most of the tunic, so I made my beads quite large.
Place each bead face-down onto a piece of scotch tape. Cut around each bead, leaving an extra length of tape at the top of each bead. Attach each bead to a short length of leather cord by folding the tape over the cord and sticking it around to the back of the bead. Glue a leaf to the bottom of each bead, alternating colors across the necklace. Once the glue is dry and you are happy with the necklace, tie the cord around Skully's neck.
Cut a length of flat leather cord to go around the base of the hat. Glue leaves in alternating colors to the back of the leather. Once dry, glue the leather to the hat.Loop a jump ring through each of the pierced holes in Skull Kid's ears.
You're done! Take your new little friend out into the sunshine and watch him dance away the hours.