When we first learned that we would be in charge of Erstwilder’s upcoming Halloween collections, we all knew it’s time to go all out and embrace our inner witch. We wanted to do justice to the collection and not make it look like we rolled into the discount aisle of the Halloween store so that meant we had to come up with some solid concepts. To Pinterest! After browsing some vintage images, illustrations by Sveta Shubina and our own ideas, we came up with our different sets and made what seemed like a never-ending to-do list.
Making a Cauldron
This would be the biggest and most time-consuming thing to make and although we had an idea, we now had to physically make the item. We wanted a cauldron that was big enough to pose next to and possible sit/stand inside. Getting something custom made was out of the question so we hit up the junkyard to see what we could find and we found a chicken feed storage drum, a pool sand filter and half a pool sand filter. Once we weighed up the pro’s and con’s of each base, it was the half pool sand filter that won as it was already cut open, around the same size but best of all, FREE!
After two simple coats of black matte spray paint, I cut open two pool noodles and covered the edges to give the cauldron that ‘pot like’ look (I had to cut the noodles to size so there was a little gap where the joints met but it wasn’t too bad). I painted the noodles in two coats of black acrylic paint and let it dry overnight.
As for finishing touches, I found some gate handles and bun feet at Bunnings. I gave the handles a thin coating of the copper leaf just to give it some shine and painted the bun feet in black acrylic. I decided to also give the bun feet a layer of the copper leaf to match the handles. I attached the feet and handles with some screws and the cauldron was ready.
The cauldron took me the best part of a day and it was mostly drying time. We would have loved to add cast iron looking claw feet but they were way out of our budget and we only had a couple days to get it all to put together. We were very lucky to find the old sand filter already cut up and whilst painting it, I was glad it had dents and scratches as it added to the witchy feel.
This was a really quick and easy prop to make but it required a fair amount of drying time. I started with an old cookbook from the ’80s and after protecting the inner pages with junk mail, gave the outside a coat of black matte acrylic. I purchased some stick-on letters from the scrapbooking section of Spotlight and I doubled up the letters on top of each other so they stood up quite tall. If you are thinking of making your own, you can write anything you want; I was going to write MonMon’s Grimoire but it was just too many letters and I didn’t want to buy multiple sheets of stickers so I stuck with ‘Spells’.
When the paint dried (feel free to use the hairdryer if necessary). I stuck the letters on and gave them a quick lick of black acrylic. Now I wanted the book to look old and covered in a creepy leather so to ad texture I mixed equal parts of water, black acrylic paint and PVA glue in a container and made a liquidy paste. I put a sheet of black crepe paper over the book and using my paste and a paintbrush applied the concoction onto the crepe and let it sink into the front cover of the book. Because crepe paper has some stretch to it, when made wet, you can use your paintbrush to really wrap it around the lettering which is why by making the letters tall, they really stood out. I coated the entire front of the book, waited for it to dry and then coated the back. Once it was dry, I cut off the excess crepe paper leaving an inch and a half border around the book. I then simply taped the excess to the inside of the book just like you would when using the contact on school books (does anyone still do that now? Or am I showing my age? Back in my day!!!)
To add finishing touches I got some scrapbooking corner embellishments and an owl pendant which I coated in copper and scratched some of the copper leaf off to make it look a bit weathered. As for the lettering, using a simple gold ink pen, I just added to the letting to make it stand out just a bit more. If you plan on making your own spooky book, you can add whatever you want to embellish; ribbons, pendants, crystals, butterfly wings, or paint some sigils and symbols on the front if you don’t want writing. Using cardboard, you can create whatever symbol you want to put underneath the crepe paper by cutting out layers of the symbols you want and stacking them underneath the crepe paper. Have some fun with it!
If you’d like to see our props in the shoot as well as the Erstwilder products, go here and here.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way.