Thursday, October 15, 2015

Steampunk Skeleton and DecoArt

RHappy October y'all! Thank you to everyone that swings by my little blog and has a gander! And a big thank you to my new followers and my regulars!  Over at SanDee&Amelie's Steampunk Challenge we dare you to create something involving Top Hats and Moustaches. I am super duper excited for this challenge and without further adieu here is Mr. D. Debonair! He knows he looks good and he is the perfect gentleman, although a bit past his prime. :)
I started by making the top hat. If you would like to see more of the process for the hat HERE is a step by step. It all starts with craft foam and some scissors. 
This is the hat almost all glued together. Then the fun begins with paints and accessories! 

I wanted to showcase the DecoArt Media products. I don't have many of the mixed media line supplies (YET) but I make good use of what I have. All it takes is a good product and creativity! I started by painting the entire hat with DecoArt Media Fluid Carbon Black acrylic paint. Then I used DecoArt Media Crackle Paint, thin coats and thicker coats to get lots of different sized cracks and set it to the side to dry, naturally. No heat gun (it will warp the shape of the hat)! The craft foam soaks up paint so some splotches were used instead of covering everything up. 
I then added some lace leftover from my last project. Brads and an old piece of chain from a necklace were used to create the cross-stitched pattern on the front. I adhered the lace with DecoArt Media Matte Medium and added the black beaded piece around the bottom rim with my hot glue gun.
Who knew trying to find a skull stamp would be difficult this time of year?!? I did find this paper bag (set of 12) and knew I could fussy cut the skull out! Winning! I then placed it on the top of the hat and sealed it with DecoArt Media Matte Varnish (I varnished the entire hat before placing the lace).  
While the paper bag skull was drying on top of the hat, I used DecoArt Media White Gesso to paint a wash on the skull head. I wanted him less dirty looking. The picture below is before I painted him. 
I then added the feathers and brooch to the top hat and started working with polymer clay to create a moustache, an eyeball, and a mold of the brooch. This is my first time making any of these polymer clay creations! The eyeball was the most fun but kept rolling around on my art desk. Lol!
Once all the polymer clay elements were baked and cooled down, the details were added to each. I painted the eyeball with white acrylic paint and then added a wash of DecoArt Americana Camel to give the eye an aged look on the sclera. I added red acrylic paint to the iris and drew silver lines around the iris to show pigmentation. The pupil was painted black with a small white highlight to give it a gleam. Mr. D. Debonair's moustache was painted with DecoArt Dazzling Metallics-Shimmering Silver and then dry brushed over with the Carbon Black. I attached the monocle chain to the hat and glued it to the skeleton head with hot glue.
The neck tie bow was a piece of ribbon from my stash, it adds a little sumpthin, sumpthin. I used some Halloween rub ons for the base. The damask pattern is one of my favorites and I have been hoarding it since April!
I added some silver paint to create the small dots around the base and then some washi tape around the very bottom, along with the white bat, skull, spider, and eye.

Thank you for having a look see, and letting me know your thoughts on this design. I sure know that we all put a lot of work into our creations and feedback is greatly appreciated (the bad and the good)! The blog land I know, is a wonderful place, filled with so many creative and inventive peeps! Carpe Diem! ~Niki

I am stoked to be sharing this creation with these wonderful challenges please:

I used the Tic Tac Toe of Halloween (my entire design), Time (a couple of weeks to finish this piece),
Red (the rose and the eye) Spooktacular Challenge-Use 1 piece of Bling OR washi tape
I used washi tape around the bottom of the base and also Bling in the form of the cross chain pattern on the front of the hat, as well as the Brooch.


  1. This is so ingenious!
    And seeing the process was such a treat!! Thanks bunches for sharing!
    Mr. D.Debonair has a rather intimidating look (though I am sure that is just his monocle giving it determination... *wink).
    And his moustache is just to die for! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

    Claudia x

  2. AMAZING transformation!! I have a very similar skull candle holder who is screaming to be made over!! Thank you for the incredible inspiration today.

  3. Fabulously Groovy, I LOVE Mr Debonair and the cheesy grin he has on his face and the way the moustache accentuates this look. Fantastic creativity and I'm sure a winner of your challenges entered.
    Julie x

  4. WOW!!! Niki this is amazing!!! Love your top hat creations, always so much fun! You did absolutely fantastic job here!
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. Hihi! What a fun and deliciously spooky piece, right up my street! Thanks so much for joining us at TIOT, nice to see you there! Hugs, Valerie

  6. wooh hoo! this is absolutely fantastic and inspiring Niki!
    Love LOVE Mr.D;Debonair! - reminds me of an old English comedy actor 'Terry Thomas' - when he was alive of course :)
    The clay mold worked brilliantly - love that eye ball - fab work!
    Your hat is amazing too - craft foam/fun foam is so useful isn't it, I always have stacks of it - great for die cuts too of course.
    Thanks for sharing how you made it,,,
    Gill xx

  7. Fantastic! Love your moustachio'd skull! He has such panache and sports his tophat and monocle with such style! Love it! Thanks for joining us at Crafty Calendar this month.

  8. Totally wicked and I am totally in love with Mr. D! So amazing, love the eye especially! You rock those hats, fantabulous! Amazing!

  9. Oh, my, Punkin! I've only gotten to the first paragraph and I'm in LOVE! I just have a minute, so I had to laugh out loud...I just bought those bags at Michael's not 20 minutes ago! AND The eye in the eye socket????? Have you been reading my little mind????? gotta go, but I'll BE BACK!!!!!

    1. OK, I'm back! First let me say you have rocked my socks with this ghoulish, but stylish Mr. Debonair! Love the top's your finest! Great cracks! The eyeball and mustache are just awesome, awesome! The chain is just the perfect touch to the hat, and using the monocle is just the creepy icing on the cake! Every detail is amazing and I hearby pass the Halloween torch to you! May I ask where you got the amazing skull? I had to do some surgery on mine last night, and I better stick to my day time job!

      Second, I am envious of your huge (by my standards) DecoArt product hoard. Here's hoping it gets bigger when Mr. Skinner recognizes your talents and awards you one of those awesome prizes! I wouldn't mind being in line for that, too, because I only have 3 of the Media line products.

      Third, I meant to say "Have you been reading my creepy little mind?" up there. Haste makes waste! Had a good laugh at "sumpthin, sumpthin". When I read it to my daughter she said "you always say that!", except I think mine would be spelled "sump'in, sump'in". Are you my little sister???? SUPERCALEFRAGELISTIC, Punkin'!

  10. Wow, this is probably the best thing you have ever made. He is so dapper for a skeleton. I love how you make the top hats and now you have added clay elements that are fantastic.

  11. It's a WOWSER! Love your top hat creation Niki! Thanks for sharing this amazing piece with us at The Mirror Crack'd.

  12. Wow, Niki, you have really outdone yourself with this fantastic make! I adore all of your top hats creations but this one is a cherry on top! Brilliant indeed! Thank you, dear, for the step by step and for such great inspiration! LOVE it!
    Huge hugs to you! Branka xxx

  13. I came looking!
    Herzlich Pippa

  14. How cool is this? INGENOUS!
    Thank you for sharing with us at TIOT's!

  15. WOW Niki - that is one dashing skeleton!
    Love the process and pictures, thanks for sharing.
    Avril xx
    p.s. Thanks for sharing at TioT

  16. thanks for your comment on my blog!
    Herzlich Pippa

  17. Thanks for sharing this great project with us at The Mirror Crack'd and good luck with the challenge, Angela x

  18. Niki, when I think of top hats, you are the first to come to mind! You make such wonderful ones! And this one - so cool!! That mustache is brilliant! Great take on the challenge! Hugs, Maura

  19. Oh Niki, I love these kind if creations you make - they are AWESOME!!! That hat is just flat out fab, and the gentleman... well, he is perfectly spooky and just suits the hat to perfection!! Loving your style hun xx

  20. The top hat you designed especially out of craft foam is the bomb. I might have to try one similar to yours. The black and white theme with red accent looks especially nice. I think it would look totally different if you used all color. It wouldn't be as effective. Super cool sculpture. Where did you find the base for the skeleton?

    1. Hello Amy! I am happy you like my design and I can't wait to see yours, if you decide to make a top hat. I found the base at Big Lots in their Halloween section. I didn't plan on using he base for this design but it worked out so well! I was letting my hat dry on the skeletons head and had that Duh moment of "Hey, I should use this as well". Lol! Happy Crafting!

  21. The top hat you designed especially out of craft foam is the bomb. I might have to try one similar to yours. The black and white theme with red accent looks especially nice. I think it would look totally different if you used all color. It wouldn't be as effective. Super cool sculpture. Where did you find the base for the skeleton?

  22. This is SOOO clever! What a fantastic Halloween decoration! The steampunk hat is just amazing! Totally made from it! Your skull is way cool! The eyeball and mustache are a hoot! Fantastic use of DecoArt products!

  23. Oh Niki!!! its fabulous, amazing, strangely creative and brilliant! (I think I like it!!!) Cxx

  24. Oh Niki!!! its fabulous, amazing, strangely creative and brilliant! (I think I like it!!!) Cxx

  25. Oh Niki!!! its fabulous, amazing, strangely creative and brilliant! (I think I like it!!!) Cxx

  26. Hi, Niki! I came back for another look...that makes it my 10th time visiting Mr. Debonair, I think! I also think Cathryn likes it! Ha! Ha! Was really coming back to check out those how-to instructions on the top hat, because I REALLY want to join in at S&ASC! Thank you for your visit to my repulsive creature feature; your comment made my day! When I saw your eye on Mr. D, I nearly fainted...I guess you see why, esp. since I had just purchased those treat bags. (They are on my next project which I hope to have posted this weekend.) Have a wonderful weekend! It's do or DIE on the yard decor this weekend, so I'll be going full tilt! Hugs!

  27. Definitely frightening! I can forgive you though because he is so stylish! lol! So pleased you joined us at Try It On Tuesday! Chrisx

  28. Niki this is amazing you are one very talented lady!! Dee

  29. I too love making these hats but what really sets it all off is mr skellie himself - fabulous -
    Thank you for sharing with us over at The Mirror Crack'd this month and hope to see you again in future challenges.

    Handcrafted by Ellapu
    Mother Hen for Altered Eclectics
    Mother Hen for Eclectic Ellapu
    DT Rhedd's Creative Spirit
    DT The Mirror Crack'd
    DT Anything but a Card

  30. Gorgeous project! Thanks for joining us over at The Mirror Crack'd.

  31. Gorgeous project! Thanks for joining us over at The Mirror Crack'd.

  32. Your handmade hat is just amazing, and atop your skellie looks fabulous. He is definitely Debonair and if I were half dead I am sure I would find him highly attractive! He has more teeth than some of the fellas I have met! LOL

    I love his single monocled eyeball. The whole thing is stylish, sophisticated and just the tiniest bit ghoulish!

    Thank you for sharing your amazing imagination with us

    The Mirror Crack'd

  33. Fantabulous hat - with just the right amount of diva to go with that monocle!! Such fun!
    Alison x