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DIY Sunflower Skulls – Super Simple Tutorial & Video

DIY Sunflower Skulls – Super Simple Tutorial & Video

DIY Sunflower skulls are a really fun project that you can create to add some Halloween spookiness to your front porch decor. What I love about this simple DIY project is that it can be as simple or as complex as you’d like it to be. You can finish it in half an hour or spend days painting away and adding lots of cool details to your sunflower skulls.

I also love that you can do this on a very large scale or a very small scale. In the video below, I created very large sunflower skulls for the front porch and also did a mini bouquet of skull flowers to display in the kitchen. The possibilities are endless.

The original idea for this Halloween DIY project came from the artist Beejay Oslon. You can check out his AMAZING version on Instagram @beejay.oslon_art. Thank you Beejay for sharing your art with the world.

Materials You Need

Click on the affiliate links in parenthesis to purchase online.

  • 3 Ashland Oversized Sunflower Stem (Michaels)
  • 3 Large Skull Heads (Family Dollar) or 6.5×4.25×4.6″ super-realistic skull head (Amazon)
  • 1 Sunflower Bouquet with 7 flowers (Amazon)
  • 2″ Skull Heads (pack of 12) (Amazon)
  • 3″ Skull Heads (pack of 6) (Amazon)
  • Brown Raffia (Amazon) or Excelsior (Michaels)
  • Hot Glue Gun (Amazon)
  • Micro cutter (Amazon) or something to cut the skulls in half

The cost for creating the 3 large sunflower skulls was around $80.
The small sunflower skull bouquet cost around $30.

Watch the Video

Step by Step Instructions

1- Gather your materials

Sunflowers, skulls, raffia and other materials gathered together

Just gather all of the materials from above so that you’re ready to go. You may want to plug in your hot glue gun so that it’s ready!

2- Remove the backs of the skulls

holding razorblade against plastic skull to remove the back

In order to secure the skulls to your sunflower heads, you’ll need to remove the backs of the heads. You can use just about anything you have to remove the backs of the skulls. It will really depend on the material that your skulls are made of. Mine were a soft plastic material so I was able to use a razor blade and even scissors for the smaller ones. A tool called a micro cutter is also handy for cutting plastic.

3- Paint the skulls (optional)

closeup of an instagram image of painted skulls on sunflower faces
Image from @beejay.olson_art on Instagram

You could definitely paint your skull heads to make them look really unique and realistic. I was pretty happy with the variety of skulls I purchased so I skipped this step.

The original artist of this project definitely painted his skulls and they look AMAZING. So, get creative here!

4- Glue the skulls onto the sunflowers

Hot glue gun gluing a bead of glue onto the back of a plastic skull with sunflowers behind

Use your hot glue gun to attach your skulls to the faces of the sunflowers. Make sure that you have you position the skulls correctly based on the way you’ll be displaying your sunflowers. You don’t want to have any upside down skulls! Or… maybe you do!

My larger skulls were super pliable, soft plastic so I was able to squeeze the skull heads and get them to fit perfectly onto the faces of the sunflowers. Honestly, I probably didn’t even NEED to glue them on. For these, I just ran a bead of hot glue around the face of the sunflower because I knew exactly where they would be positioned.

The plastic of the smaller skulls, however, was less pliable. So, for those I had to just position them on the sunflower faces and then use other materials to “nestle” them into the flower face. I ran the hot glue directly onto the halved skull for these so that all of the edges were secured.

Hold the skull heads in place until the hot glue dries.

5- Add finishing touches

gluing raffia around the edges of the skull head that's on the sunflower face.

After I glued the skulls onto the sunflowers, I added some chestnut colored excelsior around the edges of the skull to make it feel like it was nestled into the flower head rather than floating on top. Raffia or even twine are other materials you can use.

You can also get creative and use different materials. For the smaller bouquet, I thought that creepy little eye balls in the center of the sunflower heads would also look neat. I also saw some plastic baby doll heads at the store when I was picking up the smaller skull heads and I think those would look great too.

So, be creative and explore a range of different materials and possibilities! Most of all, have fun!

Follow my Halloween DIY Pinterest Board

Looking for more great ideas? Follow my DIY Halloween project Pinterest board for tasteful, classy, and super over-the-top spooky projects you can make for Halloween!

Wrapping up

This was a super easy and fun DIY project that anyone can do. I must say that for the effort this took, it was a really impressive result. I get lots and lots of comments on my spooky sunflower skulls!

If you liked this DIY project, you will also love my roundup of Halloween DIY Projects that showcases many more easy (and unique) Halloween DIY projects.

More DIY Projects You’ll Love

Closeup of plastic skulls glued onto sunflowers with text
Don’t forget to pin this post for later!
Halloween DIY Projects Roundup

Halloween DIY Projects Roundup

Call me crazy, but there’s something super fun about decorating your home with ugly and terrifying Halloween decorations! But, unfortunately a lot of decorations I see are just sooooooo cheesy. I mean, come on, we can do better than that!! So, today you’re in for a real treat because I’ve scoured the web for some awesome Halloween DIY projects that you can make this weekend!

Tastefully Horrifying Halloween DIY projects

DIY Sunflower Skulls

3 artificial sunflowers laying on ground with plastic skull heads on two of the facts

These sunflower skulls are a surprisingly simple DIY project that you can create in less than an hour to add some Halloween spookiness to your front porch decor. You can even use this technique to make mini sunflower skull bouquets to decorate your home!

DIY Warty Pumpkins

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial

Warty pumpkins and gourds are so cool. Right? Something about the texture and the imperfections that make them desirable to buy. But… they can be expensive. A lot more expensive than a regular old pumpkin. And I have yet to see any “warty pumpkins” that are fake that you can bring out each year during the Halloween season.

So, I did some experimenting with a few different techniques and came up this with a really easy and fun way to make your own warty pumpkins. The kids can help too… they will love it.

DIY Potion Bottles

DIY Halloween Witch's Potion Bottles

These are a perfect fit for the Witch’s apothecary! Magia Mia takes old plastic medicine bottles and hot glue to make these amazing DIY potion bottles.

DIY Hanging Spider Sacks

DIY Halloween Hanging Spider Sacks

Use legs from a pair of white tights, some plastic spiders, and a baseball to make these beauties from Hello Paper Moon!

Boarded Up Windows

Halloween Decorating Idea: Board Up Your Windows

This idea is taken from a neighborhood Halloween post, but look how great these boarded up windows look? You could use some old pallets and nail them together and temporary attach to your actual window frames. Spooky.

Bloody Crime Scene Runner

DIY Halloween project Bloody Crime Scene Runner

Grab an old sheet or purchase a cheap floor runner. Using some red paint, you can create a murderous display of bloody feet entering your home. You can actually purchase this one right on Amazon.

Have dogs? How about some bloody pawprints too?

DIY Dancing Lawn Ghosts

DIY Halloween floating ghost ring

Make a ring-around-the-rosie scene of lawn ghosts! All you need to do is poke a Styrofoam ball through the top of a fence stake or dowel, stick it in the ground and cover with white fabric or cheesecloth. I love this because it has great visual impact, but it’s easy to store away after the season!

Life-Sized Cloaked Ghouls

DIY Halloween Projects: Life-Sized Cloaked Ghouls

Have some old Halloween costumes lying around? Why not use them as decorations?  Drape your old costume over a simple wooden stand (if it were me, I’d make a wood base, then use a 4×4 about 6′ tall, and screw a board into the 4×4 perpendicular around shoulder-height.  If you don’t have old costumes, you can still make these particular ghouls with some black fabric and a dropcloth from the big box store.

Follow my Halloween DIY Pinterest Board

Looking for more great ideas? Follow my DIY Halloween project Pinterest board for tasteful, classy, and super over-the-top spooky projects you can make for Halloween!

Wrapping Up

I love Halloween and I wish that I wasn’t old so that it wouldn’t be creepy for me to go trick-or-treating. But, these awesome Halloween DIY Projects are a great way for anyone to get into the fun, Halloween spirit. Don’t forget to buy some candy because after you’re done making all these projects you’ll need it. For all your trick-or-treaters… not for you!!!!

What are some other DIY Halloween projects you’ve made? I’d love to see your pictures and ideas!

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Collage of Halloween DIY Projects with text Horrifying Halloween DIY Projects

Don’t Forget To Pin This Post For Later!

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial

Warty pumpkins and gourds are so cool. Right? Something about the texture and the imperfections that make them desirable to buy. But… they can be expensive. A lot more expensive than a regular old pumpkin. And I have yet to see any “warty pumpkins” that are fake that you can bring out each year during the Halloween season. Maybe they are out there, but I haven’t seen them yet. So, I did some experimenting with a few different techniques and came up a with a really easy and fun way to make your own warty pumpkins. The kids can help too… they will love it.

Ready? Let’s do this!

DIY Warty Pumpkin Supplies

This is what you’ll need to make your super warty pumpkin!

  • A pumpkin – it can be real or fake (about $7). You may want to get a bunch of smaller pumpkins like these (about $17) instead… that would be fun too!
  • Paint. I used Folk Art chalk paint in sheepskin and rich black, but you can use whatever you have lying around. If you want your pumpkin to be orange and it already is orange, you’ll still need to find some orange paint — I’d recommend the “cinnamon” colored chalk paint for a nice pumpkin color (about $5).
  • Fast Mache (the super secret ingredient) – Fast Mache is made from 100% recycled paper, dries pretty fast, and unlike regular clays you don’t have to bake it or anything to set the “clay” (about $10-$15).
  • Annie Sloan wax — I used clear and black wax (optional) — the brand is also optional.
  • Amy Howard dust of ages (optional) — you can now get this at Ace Hardware.
  • Mixing bowl, paper towels, a plastic spoon, pencil

Average cost: around $20-$40 depending on supplies you already have at home. I’d recommend using what you have rather than buying expensive paints and finishes. I had everything at home to make these except the mache and the pumpkin.

Process for making your warty pumpkin

Find some inspiration photos

By the way, it helps if you have an “inspiration photo” of a warty pumpkin you like, so you can try to make it look similar. Here are some cool warty pumpkins and gourds I used as inspiration photos to make my own. Aren’t they so cool?

Paint Your Pumpkin(s)

Paint your pumpkins
Paint your pumpkins a base color.

Once you’ve found some inspiration, paint your pumpkin the color you want it to be when it’s finished. It will be easier if you paint it now so that you don’t have to get into all the nooks and crannies later when you have the mache on it. Let the paint dry completely.

If you want the pumpkin to be orange, you can probably skip this step.

Mix up your paper mache

Next, you’re going to mix up your mache and get to work. Use the “medium consistency” recipe on the box (3 parts mache to 1 part water).

Stick your mache warts to the pumpkin

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
Stick your paper mache warts onto your pumpkin.

Once your mache is mixed you just need to stick pieces of it onto your pumpkin. Getting the paper mache mix just right is important to having success.

The first time around I added too much water and the mache was really stringy. If this happens to you, just roll the mache in your hands to make balls and logs and stick them on your pumpkin.

If you have children to help you this is the time. They will love to play in this stuff and help you to roll the mache. And, it’s all paper and water so when you are done the wash-up is pretty easy. It does dry out your hands a bit though.

Make warts on top of your warts

Once I got enough warts on my pumpkin, I started to take little pieces of the mache and plopped smaller balls/warts onto the other warts I already put on. It adds depth and makes it look more real if you do this.

Techniques to make the warts look real

Ok once your pumpkin is thoroughly wartified you may need to smooth out the warts a bit to make them look natural. Here’s a few ways you can do this:

Stick paper mache to pumpkin
Stick your paper mache “warts” to the pumpkin. The back of a plastic spoon helps to set them into place.

Plastic spoon: Use the back of a plastic spoon dipped in water to form nicer warts (lol). I used the edge of the spoon to break some of the warts into separate pieces, too.

DIY Warty pumpkin tutorial
Use a damp paper towel to make your warts stick to the pumpkin without sticking to you.

Damp paper towel: Take a damp paper towel and press on all the warts to make sure they will stick. This also helps to make them smoother and less stringy/wild.

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
The back of a pencil wrapped in a damp paper towel is great for making divets and depressions.

Back of pencil: Another technique you can try is using the back of a pencil wrapped in a damp paper towel to make some divets and depressions in the warts.

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
I tried using hot glue but this was quite stringy and I didn’t like the effect.

Hot glue: I tried to make a warty pumpkin from just the hot glue gun and I didn’t like the way it was coming out. They really didn’t have any depth and some of the hot glue melted down the pumpkin. I would recommend skipping the hot glue and just using the paper mache. If you do end up trying the hot glue make sure you pull all the strings off before they dry. And, use it sparingly to add some extra warts. Basically don’t do what I did… it doesn’t work.

Satisfied? Ok great. Let the mache dry completely. This depends on your water/mache mix. It may be a few hours or even a day or two.

Repaint your pumpkin with the base color

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
Once you’ve added enough warts and they’ve dried, repaint your pumpkin using the base color from the first step.

After the mache is dry, paint your warty pumpkin with the base color making sure you cover up all the mache and anything you missed the first time around.

Finish off your warty pumpkin with creative details

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
I used black wax over chalk paint and Amy Howard’s “Dust of Ages” product to bring out the details of my pumpkin warts.

Since I used chalk paint, I applied Annie Sloan clear and black wax… and a really cool product called “Dust of Ages” by Amy Howard. I put the wax and dust of ages into all the nooks and crannies and along the edges of the warts to add more depth and dimension. This step is optional.

If you don’t use chalk paint or want to use what you have on hand, you can also mix up a slightly darker color of paint and add it to the nooks and crannies of your pumpkin and warts.

You can also get creative and paint your warts all different colors!

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
My finished warty pumpkins.

And there you have it. Super easy and fun! Since I used fake pumpkins I’ll be able to bring these bad boys out every year instead of having to buy them.

Wrapping Up

This DIY Warty pumpkin tutorial is super easy and fun… and you can get the kids involved. Just paint your pumpkin and then mix up your paper mache.

Roll the mache into wart shapes and glop them onto the pumpkin. After that you add additional warts on top of the warts for more depth. I used the back of a spoon to smooth out the mache a bit and divide some larger warts into smaller ones.

Then, I used a damp paper towel and lightly pushed on the mache to smooth it out even more and make sure it was sticking everywhere. This was the key to getting that stringy stuff out. Pushing the back of a pencil wrapped in a damp paper towel will add some divets and depressions to your warts.

Once it’s all dry you can recoat your pumpkin with paint and decorate until your heart is content.

I’d love to see what you came up with, let me know what you’ve done to make your pumpkins extra warty. -Amy

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DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
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