Skeletons are pretty popular with Halloween and wreaths are starting to become more popular with the holiday. Last year, I really wanted to make a skeleton wreath, but issues finding a skeleton had me giving up the idea. This year I decided to go for it and I just love how it came out.
Step 1: Supplies
I have a lot of notes to go with my supplies.
- Skeleton/Skeleton Pieces - (this skeleton was $33 when I bought it, but it looks like it has gone down in price since!) - pay attention to size if you buy online, you could think you are getting a full-size skeleton and actually get a mini one.
- Glue - I used hot glue (not pictured) because it dries fast and worked with the hard plastic of my skeleton, pay attention to what your skeleton is made of when deciding what to use.
- Cheesecloth or black tulle - or if you buy the same skeleton as me, you could tear/cut up the mesh bag that the pieces come in and use that
- Black acrylic paint or black dye - for the cheesecloth (I used paint because I had it and I didn't want to buy dye when I only needed a little bit)
- Wreath hanger or something to hang your wreath up with when you are done
I decided to decorate my wreath with black cheesecloth just to give it an extra touch so it wouldn't seem too plain. If you want a really creepy wreath, you could flick red paint on cheesecloth and use that on the wreath instead (so it looks like bloody, torn cloth).
Step 2: Dye Your Cheesecloth
If you are going to use dyed cheesecloth, get that done right away so it can dry.
I mixed some acrylic paint with water in a plastic cup. Then, submerge the cheesecloth in the paint water. Add more water or paint if you need it (I ended up adding more water than you can see in the cup there).
Carefully wring out the cheesecloth and hang it somewhere to dry that it won't dye anything.
If you do wring it out like me, you may want to wear disposable gloves. I ended up getting black under my fingernails that wouldn't come off for a while.
Step 3: Figure Out Layout
While your cheesecloth is drying, it is time to get your skeleton wreath assembled.
Before you start gluing, look at the skeleton pieces you have (or if you have a full skeleton, you need to take it apart so you have the individual bones). Layout your pieces in a design you like.
To help you along, I started with the biggest bones, then added smaller ones as I went, and lastly added fancy bones (like hands and feet). I purposefully decided to have the head on top, then the hands (like they are hugging the wreath), and the feet on the bottom.
Take into consideration where you want the skull. I ended up having mine just on top of the wreath. You can also have it on the bottom, or on the top or bottom as part of the wreath (rather than outside the circle of the wreath).
Step 4: Glue Skeleton Pieces Together
Time to glue it together!
I just took pictures as I went to show you how my layers were. Something you should keep in mind is "weaving" your bones as you get farther along otherwise the bones may look too "stacked."
My hands and feet went on second to last followed by the skull. I wanted the skull to sit right, so I held the wreath up as I glued it on. Make sure you give your glue time to dry (this is why a hot glue gun can be very good to use).
After you are done, I suggest flipping the whole wreath over and adding more glue to where the bones meet. I paid specific attention to the bigger bones as they were the ones really holding the shape of the wreath together. Just fill in any gaps you see or just add additional glue for strength. Don't go too crazy because you don't want it to show, but you don't want it to fall apart either when it is hanging outside.
Step 5: Add Cheesecloth/yulle
Once your cheesecloth is dry and your skeleton wreath is glued together, you can add the cheesecloth to the wreath.
I took the big piece I dyed and cut/tore it into about 3 pieces. Once you have smaller pieces, keep tearing at it so it looks old and worn (a skeleton isn't going to wear nice, new cheesecloth after all).
Weave it through the bones and when you have it how you want it, tack it down with glue. You don't need to saturate it with glue, it is very lightweight and all you need to do is tack down parts along the wreath. The ends of the cheesecloth are the most important and, as you can see on the left of the last image, I left some hanging off so I had to make sure it was tacked where it was hanging from.
Step 6: Done
Look at that awesome wreath! I'm so proud of it.
Step 7: Hang It Up!
My door is kind of weird, so the one other time I had a wreath I hung it on my gate door. I just used brown ribbon because that's what I could find at the time I was doing the pictures, but because of where I am hanging it, I will probably use twine (when I find it).
In case you were wondering, all spider webs are au natural.