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Holiday Blizzard: Halloween Charm

By: Bea Rosenleaf, Outfitter

I belong to a mixed-media group where I've participated in a year-long mixed media swap. September's project was particularly challenging: create a Halloween charm. First, I've never made a charm and second, I don't own any Halloween stamps or other craft goodies. What was I going to do?

Today I'm going to share the project I created using several different techniques and mediums.  I think the charm and holder came out spookily amazing!  Tell me what you think!

Techniques used:  Soot Stamping, Second Generation Stamping, Shrink Plastic, creating easy Jewelry and Highlighting with Glitter.

Tree with birds (Local King Rubber Stamps)
Skeletons set (Mrs. O'Leary's Stamps)
Life (Technique Tuesday)
Dance with your spirit (The Angel Co.)
White Glossy Cardstock (unknown), cut into quarter pieces
Black cardstock (American Craft)
Orange cardstock (unknown)
Onyx Black Memories ink pad (Tsukineko)
Black StazOn ink pad (Tsukineko)
L'Mour Red Palette ink pad (Stewart Superior)
Glue pad (Tsukineko)
Red and Silver ultra fine glitter (unknown)
Expressions Cricut (Provo Craft)
Cricut Cartridges: (Provo Craft)
     George Basic Shapes
     October 31st
White pen
Black shrink plastic (unknown)
Orange sticky-backed jewels (Michael's)
Tim Holtz Ide-ology Fragment charms (Advantus)
Jump ring jewelry finding (Michael's)
Sticker maker machine or refill cartridge (Xyron)
Clear Matte Fixative, low odor (Krylon)
Hole punch
Orange ribbon

Important Safety Issue:  You will be working with fire!  So have water handy in case your paper catches on fire. Also, have a piece of scrap paper on your work surface to catch the wax drops. (A craft sheet will work as well.)


Create the soot background:

  1. Light the candle and hold in one hand while holding the glossy white cardstock piece in the other hand. (Note: You may want to use a pair of long-handled tweezers or an alligator clip to keep your fingers away from the flame.)
  2. Hold the glossy cardstock with the gloss side down at an angle and put over the flame of the candle. Don't hold the piece in one steady position, but move around the flame. When you see black smoke, you know you are doing it right!
  3. Continue to run the piece over the flame until you get the look you like. You may need to practice a bit.  When you like the look of the surface, blow out the candle and set aside.
  4. Carefully set down the background making sure you don't touch it. The soot surface will easily mar.
  5. Take your stamp image and stamp it firmly on the surface and lift straight up.  The stamp will remove the soot and leave behind the image. Pretty cool, eh?
  6. If you want to stamp more images, just be sure to clean your stamp off before each impression.
  7. When you are finished creating your background, you will need to spray it with a fixative. I use Krylon's Low Odor Matte Finish.  Let it dry thoroughly before handling.

Is your background spooky looking?  Since my charm is relatively small, I just used the medium size skeleton and stamped one image. But I can see in my mind a whole spooky scene with skeletons and ghosts, or a haunted house.

Create the charm:

  1. The fragment charms come in a package of multiple sizes and shapes. Pick one that you want to use...I used a medium sized tag shape for my charm.
  2. Place the charm over a portion of the stamped soot image you want to appear on your charm and trace around it with a pencil.  Trim on the inside of the outline with scissors.
  3. Optional:  Place a dot of Red Liquid Pearls on the skeleton for a spooky eye! Let dry before proceeding.
  4. Place glossy accents, or like product) over your stamped image and place the fragment charm on top. Burnish the back of the cardstock to adhere well to the charm piece. Let dry for several minutes.
  5. Trace the charm out on a piece of black cardstock and trim as above. Adhere this piece to the back of the charm to cover up the white.
  6. Optional:  I added wiggle eyes to simulate a ghost, and wrote "Boo" with a white pen.  You will also notice that I signed my charm with my initials.
  7. Stamp the word "Life" on the front of the charm with the Black StazOn ink and let dry.
  8. Attach an orange jewel to add a little bling to the charm. Then attach the jump ring.

Easy-peasy!!!  And I just love that skeleton!

I couldn't stop with just the charm. I felt my swap buddies should have their special charm showcased in a cute display card. So I came up with the following gate-fold card.

Create the Gate-fold Card:

  1. Cut orange cardstock to 8.5" x 5.5", score at 2.375" from the end on the left side and again on the right side and fold to create the "gate."
  2. Use black ink to stamp the tree and two skeletons on the inside flaps. I also stamped portions of the tree along the bottom using a "second generation" stamp technique.  That just means you continue stamping the image without reinking. Generally you can get two or three additional lighter images from one inking.  This technique adds depth to your images.
  3. Cut out the tombstones from black cardstock using the October 31st cartridge.
  4. Cut out a yellow circle from the George Basic Shapes cartridge.
  5. Optional: Using the glue pad, just touch portions of the tombstones onto the surface and then sprinkle with the silver glitter. I wanted to simulate moonlight reflecting on the stones.  If you want, this would be a good time to write something on the tombstones.
  6. Place the tombstones and moon (yellow circle) on the card, positioning where you would like them.  Ink the skeletons (I used the medium and small skeletons), carefully lift up the tombstone and stamp so they appear behind the tombsone but on top of the moon.  Adhere the tombstones.
  7. Punch a hole in the moon, attach the charm using the orange ribbon. Adhere the moon, making sure to line up the skeleton image.
  8. Cut out the raven using the October 31st cartridge from the black shrink plastic.  Shrink according to the manufacturer's directions. I used my craft toaster oven set at 350 degrees.  Make sure you check the manufacturer's directions, they will generally tell you the approximate amount the plastic will shrink, base that knowledge on the size you cut the raven out.  Set the raven aside for the moment.
  9. Cut out the Gate from the October 31st cartridge, I cut at 5.5". Then cut out the word "Beware" at .75".
  10. Using the Xyron refill cartridge (or a Xyron if you have one), place the words face down on the adhesive. I don't have a Xyron machine, so I just cover whatever I'm placing the adhesive on with the protective clear cover and cut off the roll. Then I use a bone folder to burnish the adhesive down. (If you have a machine, just run the letters through...it's much quicker!)
  11. Dip the letters in the red glitter and set aside.
  12. Add adhesive to the back of the gate pieces - I used the Xyron adhesive, but a glue pen would make quick work of the task, also.
  13. Adhere the gate pieces to the front of the card folds.  Center the word "Beware" and adhere above the gate.
  14. Optional:  Use the Black Memories ink pad and DTP (direct-to-paper) apply ink around the edges of the inside and outside of the card to distress.
  15. Apply some glossy accents  to the back of the raven and adhere to the front of the card above the word. You want to be sure it will not fall off!

There you have your display piece for your charm!  You can also just make the card for someone special without the charm! Dual purpose.....I love those kinds of projects, don' you?

May you have a spookily charming Halloween!


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3 Responses »

  1. Both of my girls are into charms right now and I think this is a great project we can work on together! Thanks so much for the great step by step instructions!

  2. These charms are so cute. Just love them. I'm going to try and make some. Thanks for the instructions.
    Great job.
    Hugz, Pat

  3. Love your charm and your card.