Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Last Minute Halloween Project: “SPOOKY” Sign

October 29, 2010 by admin · Leave a Comment 

I’m a last minute decorator. Every year I see the note and huge reminder on my calendar to decorate for Halloween starting October first. And every year October flies by and I’m scrambling to decorate the weekend before Halloween if not the day of. And every year I swear I will decorate next year on October first so that I can enjoy my fun decorations for the entire month; not a week. This year wasn’t any different than any other year and I’m back to square one with promising myself to be more on the ball next year. Something tell’s me the cycle will not change, but I can always hope right?

So here’s a fun, less-than-an-hour project for you to do on Halloween weekend!

supplies Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign


– Cardboard (cereal boxes with thinner walls works perfect)
– Black Paint or even Chalkboard Paint
– Jute Twine (any length of: rope, ribbon, twine, etc. you feel like using)
– Chalk or White Paint
– Ruler
– Box-Cutter or Xacto Blade
– Heavy Duty Paper Cutter (optional, will make it easier)
– Corner Cutter (scrapbooking punch-out / optional)


I decided to make the word, “S-P-O-O-K-Y”. Figure out what word you want and plan for a cardboard panel for each letter. I got exactly six panels measuring 6″x7″ out of one bulk-size Rice Krispies box.

boxes Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

1. Gather some Boxes about the same weight and texture of each other in case you need more than one box for supplies.

boxes2 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

boxes3 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

2. To get the most out of your cardboard supply, find the seams on your box and pull it open so that the box can lay flat. With a box-cutter or xacto blade cut all the wings off the box on the seams. Try to cut them diectly on the seams carefully. Cutting on the interior helps.

boexes4 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

boxes5 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

3. Now you should have four larger panels to work with. It might be easier at this step to figure out how to get the best coverage from your cardboard pieces by making a paper template for layout tracing. I made mine 6″x7″. You can roughly trace your template over all the pieces to get an idea. I then made sure all the edges were also trimmed with the paper cutter as it provided a much straighter/sharper edge than the Box Cutter – keep that in mind before tracing all your templates out, leave room for trimming if you can.

panel 1 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

panel 2 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

4. Get out your corner puncher if you want to add a little something to the shape. I think it adds a nice finished touch. Be sure to test it out on a scrap piece of the same cardboard – this cardboard was almost too thick. I had to make sure to line the corner up real well in order to get a clean punch. Figure out what works best on a scrap piece before working on your panels. Now we have some a nice finish with rounded corners.

panel 3 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

panel 4 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

5. Let’s get the holes punched for our twine. To get the holes even on each panel, use a ruler and pencil. Line the ruler across each panel and mark the same points. I measured 1/2″ from the top on each and marked spots 2 3/4″ and 3 1/4″ (I think I would have liked 2 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ better though). Either way, this will make sure each panel is the same for the hole punches. Punch the spots marked on all your panels.

panel 5 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

panel 6 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

6. It’s time to paint! I used Chalkboard Paint (cheaper if you buy it by the quart at a paint store or Wal*Mart. About $12). I just used a mini-roller and a paper plate. Honestly, after finishing this project, I think that a flat black acrylic paint would also work just fine too. Since we are not making these to continually use as chalkboards – but as a decorative piece. As you paint and they dry, the carboard may start to bow or “curl” – I would suggest letting them completely dry, at least an hour, then stack them and put a heavy object on them overnight or a few hours to flatten them back out. Don’t do this too soon after painting or the paint will stick to the backs and come off a bit. You might try putting a piece of wax paper between each one too.

panel 7 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

7. While your paint is drying, you can work on what type of font you want. If you really want something from the computer you can print the letters out to size and use transfer paper to apply it to your panels – then trace the transferred lettering in chalk. I freehanded mine from my brain and kept it simple.

panel 8 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

8. When your panels are dry (and flat if needed), apply your chalk lettering. TIP: If you don’t want it to rub off (like if you are putting this where people may rub on it or touch it, you can spray them with a sealant or hair spray (aerosol spray will provide an even coat). It will also sharpen up the blacks more so make sure you do an even coat on each surface.

panel 9 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

9. Let’s get this thing strung up! I used a FINE JUTE cord (found at Fred Meyer’s Hardware area – West Coast), not the thicker stuff found in the gardening sections. I’m sure most hardware and/or gardening sections carry this too. It’s not as thick as the gardening Jute. I measured roughly 3-yards (or 9ft) – it will depend on your space and size of your panels. Using a large-eyed needle, thread your twine through and string them all back to front so the it shows the twine across the front. I didn’t knot any of the panels in place – you don’t need to with the twine (plus I used a small hole punch. Either way, wait until you hang it to make knots so that you can visually lay it out in your space.

finished Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign

10. Assemble your panels evenly after you tie it up. If you used a ribbon and they are sliding around make a knot in the front between each hole-punch to hold each one in place. NOW YOUR FINISHED!  I was going to use some clear push pins but my sign fit right between two sconces and since it’s a holiday decoration, I just tied it loosely to them. I’m thinking of hanging some bats and spiders from the ceiling above my sign.

 Last Minute Halloween Project: SPOOKY Sign
Source: Color + Design Blog by COLOURlovers / Feed

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