I have a small but beloved collection of vintage Halloween treat bags and paper decorations. There’s something so whimsical and happy about these retro graphics. When the folks from AC Moore Arts and Crafts Stores and Plaid Crafts asked me to make a pumpkin themed craft with this wooden marquee sign, I knew immediately that I wanted to make something with a vintage Halloween appeal.
Halloween Fun Facts: The original jack o’lanterns were made from turnips. Irish settlers brought their Celtic Samhain (their Halloween) traditions with them including the carved lanterns. Finding pumpkins more plentiful and easy to carve, they ditched the turnips and an American tradition was born. Though goblins, ghosts, witches, spiders, black cats, vampires, mummies, and devils abound this time of year, the carved pumpkin remains the iconic symbol of Halloween.
Here’s how to make a DIY Retro Pumpkin Marquee Sign of your own in a few simple steps. For the record, I’m not a fine artist and I’m an impatient crafter. If I can paint this, you can, trust me. Detail brushes and Apple Barrel paint make all of the difference.
You will need: (You can find everything you need to make this project at AC Moore Arts and Crafts Stores)
AC Moore Stores Snowman/Pumpkin Marquee Sign
Standard Mini Light Strand-20 Count
3″ wide Paper Mache Mini Witch Hat
2″ Striped Wired Halloween Ribbon
Apple Barrel Paints in: Gloss White, Black, Pumpkin Orange
1/2″ Flat Paint Brush
Mod Podge Detail Brushes (I used a small flat brush for teeth and larger sections, tiny pointed brush for detailed lines)
Fine grit sand paper
Step one: Smooth any rough areas with a fine grit sand paper. Paint front and back with orange paint. You will need 2-3 coats of orange paint.
Step two: Paint base of sign with black paint. You can use painter’s tape if you’re worried about getting any black on the orange. One coat of black gives full coverage.
Step three: Paint hat top and bottom with one coat of black paint.
Step four: Draw eyes, nose and mouth with teeth using a pencil. Use my faces as a guide. There is a bit of white on the edges of the eyes, nose and mouth for dimension. Make sure you draw those in. Start with the black paint and then add the white, the orange in the eyes is just left unpainted in a crescent moon shape.
You can see details of the three faces above. I added eyelashes as an afterthought. Use the small detail brushes for those and the white shading. Just take your time and go slowly, you can do it!
Step Five: Use a flat brush to add orange paint accents around edge of brim as shown. Hit the rim as well with the edge of the paintbrush so you see the color from the side.
Step Six: Make a bow with the wired ribbon. Cut a 5″ section of ribbon. Fold both ends to center as shown.
Step Seven: Cut a second piece of ribbon, wrap it around the center front and twist to secure in the back. Cut off excess ribbon tail.
Step Eight: Fluff ribbon ends to give them some dimension.
Step Nine: Use a ruler and a pencil to mark half inch segments around base of sign.
Step Ten: Use a larger flat brush to paint white stripes around base as shown.
Step Eleven: Trace and cut a 3″ circle of cardboard. I used an old box.
Step Twelve: Place cardboard inside of hat, paint black. Once it is dried, use a glue gun to secure it to the top of the sign.
Step Thirteen: Add the lights to the sign by sliding them inside of the pre-drilled holes. Plug in your creation and marvel at your wickedly crafty skills!
Stay tuned for more Halloween themed Cocktails, Cupcakes, and Crafts in the coming weeks. It’s about to get seriously spooky up in here. And if you’re looking for more Halloween inspiration, visit AC Moore Arts and Crafts Stores!