Monday, October 20, 2014


Who doesn't?

That's why I figured I would once again show you guys out there in Blogland my steps for making our Halloween party costume trophies!

Last year, I gave a tutorial on how to create skull based trophies. The year before that, our skeleton trophies were my first attempt at DIY prizes for our little party. This year, though, I decided to go even In fact, there was no running theme between them aside from the color gold.

I started by making a couple of purchases at Michaels that I thought would be good bases for each trophy. First, I worked on the Best Couples costume. I found these two molded-clay skeleton hands for $3 each. I liked the idea of them holding on to each other in a helpful way. I played around with how they should be arranged until I ended up with this configuration.

You can see where I placed some hot glue in the thumb joint where they meet. I only found out later that the hot glue didn't really bond with them, so it fell off. Super glue worked perfectly and resolved this problem fast.

The second category I worked on was for Best Overall. I decided to go a little 'creepy Indiana Jones-type idol' style with this. I found a foam skull, plastic skeleton hands, and a base that I thought would do the trick.

I attached the first three hands to the base using hot glue (which this time held with no issues).

I then continued attaching more hands to create a sort of nest for the skull to sit in.

Being sure to add glue at all of the points of connection with the hands, I then attached the skull.

Since I had some hands left over, I gave this guy a nice high hand-bone collar in the back. I just made sure to use minimal hot glue at strategic points to give it stability.

I was ready to start painting. My other two trophies needed paint before they could be assembled. The mask is for Sexiest Costume and the pumpkin is for the Geekiest.

I know that I have touted the use of spray primer on many of my spray paint projects...but I am going to say it again...USE A PRIMER. In this case, I would especially recommend it because you are painting all kinds of different materials and it will make your gold paint much more saturated.

The difference between not using a primer and using a primer is painting over different shades of brown on the Best Overall trophy vs getting to paint essentially a blank slate. It makes a world of difference.

Once I had given the primer ample time to dry, I was finally able to start in with the gold spray paint. I use Rustoleum Metallic Finish Gold. After three years of making gold trophies (Three years in a row, four trophies per year, two coats do the math), my can has finally run out of paint. That's not a bad investment is you decided you want to make this a yearly project.

I started with a light coat, then another to finish up the Geekiest, Best Overall, and Couples. I made sure (especially with the Couples) to turn the trophy over in order to really cover all the nooks and crannies. Here it is in the process.

Everything was given another couple of hours to dry. I was then able to start working on the Sexiest trophy. The inside of the mask was gold, but the outside was left white for decoration. This is just a $2 mask from Michaels.

I liked the sort of chalky look of the primer, so I was able to start in with the details. I began by penciling in my design. If you need inspiration for a sugar skull paint job, there is a lot of inspiration on the interwebs.

Using some craft paint and small craft brushes, I just covered my lines in my chosen colors. My biggest concern was just getting the design bold enough at this point.

Using more hot glue (because my life is held together by it, honestly), I applied rhinestones. I have decently sized nails, so they were a little tricky to apply. Don't add too much glue at one time before you're ready because it will harden before you can apply half of these small gems.

At Target, they sell pumpkin glasses, which are kind of reflective and cute. I purchased the pack they came in, chose the classic nerd specs, added a little ribbon to the center as tape, then added it to this adorable gold hunk.

They all turned out great! Everyone was super stoked to have won them and I even had one Instagramed at the party because the winner was so excited!

Geekiest Costume:

Sexiest Costume:

Best Couples Costume:

Best Overall Costume:

What worked out the best was the spray paint eating through the foam, leaving a creepy, melted look to the skull.

I really loved the trophies this year, but even more, I loved being able to give them to the winners. Here is a big chunk of the people that showed up, including our winners!

Geekiest: A Brony
Sexiest: A Moulin Rouge Dancer
Couples: Finn in pajamas and Fiona from Adventure Time
Best: Death (Who couldn't drink unless he had a straw because of his mask. Dedication!)

Do you have any big Halloween plans? I've got even more updates for later this week on how we tricked out the house (on a tight budget). Stay tuned!

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