Projects – Jack O’ Lantern Tree/Part II

The next step in the project is to attach a green floral wire to the back of each Jack O’ Lantern with a glue gun or other strong-bodied glue. First, I twirled the wire into a tight circle to give it more gripping area for gluing. Wire has more stability than string, and you can twist and manipulate the object you are hanging into the perfect position. I think I am going to cut away all the strings from my Christmas ornaments this year and replace them with green wire.

At this point I went outside and chose a nice branch from my crabapple tree. Any tree branch will do, but I especially liked the crabapple twig. It is sturdy, yet it has many little outcroppings of branchlets to hang the ornaments upon. A decorative, neutral colored urn was my container of choice.  Any medium-sized pot will work, a large coffee can, a beach bucket, etc. I filled the urn with potting soil, inserted my branch, firmed up the soil around it, and added a few decorative glass pebbles from the dollar store just for aesthetic appeal.

Now comes the fun part! I twisted each Jack O’ Lantern’s wire around a branch, and twirled the excess around a pencil to give it the look of a vining tendril.

I think the oyster shells look very happy in their new role of Jack O’ Lanterns.

Ta-da! My Jack O’ Lantern Halloween tree is finished. I can’t wait for my grandsons to see it today. One word of caution, find a place for the tree where it won’t jab or catch on someone’s clothing as they pass by…be especially careful not to put the tree at eye level when it is near a walkway. The only surprise in the project-making was the time involved. It took much longer to paint the oysters than I had estimated at the start of the project. Part I of this project can be found by clicking this link: Jack O’ Lantern Oysters/Part I

Happy October to you and yours!

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Projects – Jack O’ Lantern Tree/Part I

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am an incurable beachcomber. Recently, part of my shell collection has become a project for Halloween. I’ve seen oyster shells fashioned into Santa Claus ornaments with a bit of paint, and I imagined turning my shells into Jack O’ Lanterns. The shells are oblong and oval, much like a real pumpkin. They have a bumpy, lumpy, wavy surface, another commonality with a pumpkin.

I broke out my Folkart acrylic paints and a brush and began to paint my shells.

I  needed two coats of the paint, front and back.

After the orange paints were completely dry, I mixed two greens together on the same brush and painted a stem and some twirly vines down the side. I followed the curves and indentations in the shell to give the oyster Jack O’ Lantern a more natural look.

Here’s a photograph showing several of the pumpkins with stems and vines painted on.

I painted black eyes on one, and realized they looked flat and had no depth. To give the illusion of carving, I painted a raw sienna paint in the face pattern first. This gave an illusion of the inner color of the pumpkins. I wanted to have happy faces, rather than scary or spooky.

I found some happy faced pumpkin patterns to use as inspiration at this site. Happy-faced Jack O’ Lanterns

I added the black paint, being very careful to leave a bit of the raw sienna showing for the depth I wanted. The last touch was a white highlight on each Jack or Jill’s eyes.

The next step was a coat of glossy mod podge. Part II will be tomorrow’s post. Check back for the finished Jack O’ Lantern Halloween tree.

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