Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Dollar Tree DIY: Spooky Skull Bouquet

Continuing my skulls-and-flowers theme, here's a vintage gothic beauty straight out of Christine McConnell's house, or maybe the Tower of Terror. I bet it'd work year-round for some of you, or at least make a spooky chic centerpiece for a Halloween party.

My inspiration came from this photo floating all over Pinterest, made by floral designer Kim Taylor:

I decided to try a Dollar Tree version, so at our local store I grabbed this plastic skull and ceramic stand: some silk roses, moss, and - the secret ingredient - a foam football. That football makes all the difference, trust me. I'll show you how in a sec.

First the fun part: re-painting the skull. I started with a base coat of chalk paint, then aged it with Waverly antique wax. (Don't let the "wax" part scare you; it's water-based and goes on just like paint.)

The most important thing is to get rid of the shiny plastic sheen, so make sure you use matte paints. See how it looks more like bone or ceramic after painting?

Originally I thought I'd just cut a hole in the skull and fill it with flowers, but y'all, that doesn't work. There's nothing in the skull to hold the flowers in place, and the hole would have to be huge. I debated filling the skull with Great Stuff expanding foam, but since I needed the flowers to sit really high, I worried the DT flower stems wouldn't be long enough.

Long story short, learn from my trial and error, gang: hot glue one third of a foam football to the top of your skull, like this:

Cut the football at an angle, so there's a cavity inside for the skull. Don't worry if the edge is thick; we'll cover that later. Also you can cut this as tall or as short as you like, depending on how high you want your flowers.

Paint the football black so the bright colors don't show, then stab all your flowers and sticks into the football like you would floral foam! (I grabbed the sticks from the backyard.) This was SO easy to arrange and re-arrange when I changed my mind. The foam football holds everything nice and tight.

 I only had 2 or 3 bunches of DT flowers, so there wasn't enough to cover the back of the football:

The back wasn't going to be visible, though, so to save on flowers I covered it in Dollar Tree moss:

Much better.

I also used the moss around the front to hide the gap between the football & skull, then tucked in extra bunches of moss between the flowers and draped over the branches.

The moss makes such a difference, I love the natural decaying vibe.

Last thing is to glue your skull to the pedestal. Now, the Dollar Tree skulls sit back at an angle, so to straighten it I glued the jawbone down, which forces the skull upright. Not gonna lie, this looks really funky from the back and sides, but the front view is fine:

Here's the funky side view:

You can easily fix this by using a candlestick for the base instead of this pedestal. A smaller candlestick top can fit under the back of the skull like a neck, like this:

This is a display for a zip-tie tiara I haven't shown y'all yet. I cut a small X in the skull and jammed the top of the metal candlestick through, which supports the skull even without glue. Easy peasy.

If you're displaying your skull bouquet against a wall like I am, though, then the Dollar Tree pedestal works fine:

This is on a low shelf in our Wonderland room. Skulls aren't usually my style, but I'm quite smitten with it.

 Plus John and I had a little too much fun taking creepy photos with our ring light, ha:


One more:

Before you go, I have to show you what Bianca (painter of the Baby Squee & Boba Vet t-shirts and artist extraodinaire) did last week. She and her hubby were over for dinner, and she said she wanted to make one of my Pumpkin Head babies.

"Great!" I said, "I think I have enough supplies to make a few more."

Then she did this:


I mean... I guess it IS a pumpkin head baby? Ha! You can't tell from the photo, but Bianca actually carved the baby head like a Jack-O-lantern, so those are gaping holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth. I'm still laughing... but I also made Bianca take it home with her. (She tried to leave it! Can you imagine?)

Anyhoo, it's nice to know my friends are as twisted as I am.

Which reminds me, I love that y'all are tagging me in your crafts! Mary Eliza made the less traumatizing version of my Pumpkin Head babies, and I've been raving about them to everyone I know since:

The baby head candy bucket kills me, Mary. I laughed for a solid 10 seconds. And the little pumpkin head doll with the plastic gourd for a body? GENIUS. And so cute!

Another reader making me jealous is Sara, with the FANTASTIC Audrey she made from my tutorial last week. She used the mini DT footballs to make extra Audrey babies!

Dangit, Sara, now I want to make mini Audreys! And I love your creeping moss, like Audrey is growing and taking over the house:


Please keep tagging me, gang, I love seeing what you make.

More and more crafters online are already switching to Christmas crafts(!!), so I do hope you're not tired of Halloween yet. I have more cute things to show you! Besides, we've still got another 2 weeks left, and I plan to enjoy every second.

Love y'all, keep it spoopy out there.


P.S. If you have any free Friday nights or Sunday afternoons this month, remember we're streaming Halloween movies over on the Epbot Discord! This weekend is Corpse Bride, followed by Casper, and finally Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween weekend. If you've never been on Discord, it's basically a bunch of chat rooms - text chat only in our case - and we peanut-gallery our way through the movie swapping semi-related gifs. It's fun and free. And low pressure. And no one has to wear pants!


  1. Wait, I have to put my Audrey twos away after Halloween?! ... they, uh, will not be happy. Especially since I saw them ordering Santa hats online ...

  2. Nope! Not Christmas time! All the Halloween!!

  3. for a second I thought you were going to make a conehead skull 😆

    1. Now THAT is something I need to see!

  4. I was wearing a Boba Vet t-shirt the other day and my niece really liked it and thought it was a real vet's office with a sense of humor! So good.

  5. That looks amazing! I never would've thought of using a foam football like that.

  6. so the zip tie tiara is a Lore Olympus Persephone homage?

    1. Not intentionally, no! Is she associated with gold skulls?

  7. Love it just made mine tonight it turned out awsome

  8. Great job! I love it!


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