Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hanging Halloween Bat


It is not too long before the Trick or Treaters will be out in force, taking a big bite out of your candy stash.  If you are anything like we are at our house, we LOVE HALLOWEEN!  Decorations go up on October 1st, both inside and outside at our home.  

Some years back, we made these wooden bats at our homemaking meeting at our church.  I made several and gave a few as gifts.  Last year, I got the "itch" to make more and made one for my daughter-in-law. I look forward to putting our bat out on the front steps each year (off to this side so as not to bang anyone in the head lol). and she does the same with hers.




The fabric accent makes our bat look so colorful and fun!  Plus, these bats are inexpensive to make and make a perfect hostess gift when you attend those Halloween parties.

Hanging Wooden Halloween Bat:

Wood:  Pine
Halloween fabric--cotton
Black acrylic paint
Orange acrylic paint
Sandpaper
Acrylic sealer 
1/4" drill bit, power drill
Jigsaw to cut out bat
Craft glue or hot glue gun, sticks


If you have some scrap wood lying around, that might work fine as long as you can cut it with a jigsaw and can smooth it with sandpaper or a power sander.

I cut the pattern out on some light cardboard--similar to what clothing or nylons are wrapped around.
The measurements are at the widest points in both directions--13.5 inches from widest point of wings and 7 inches from tip of ear to his bottom.

Next, trace your pattern onto your wood.  From there, cut your wooden bat out.  My husband used a jigsaw--yes, I enlisted him to do this.  I know many of you do your own woodwork and that is awesome--maybe someday I will give it a go!


 



  You also need to drill a holes on the underside of the bat--this is where you will add the fabric swirls.  We used a 1/4" drill bit and each hole is about 1/2" apart--I have a total of 17 holes on mine.  You might want to just blow into each hole or used canned air to get any dust particles out of there, too.  You will also need to drill a larger hole on the top of the bat's head to place a rope or jute to hang him with--use a 1/2" or so drill bit.




After you have your bat cut out, take some fine sandpaper and sand off all surfaces--don't forget the edges!  This will give your bat a more "finished" look.  Take a clean rag or towel and make sure any leftover dust is removed from the bat.

Next, to seal the wood and provide a base coat, I used Judy Martin's Country Colors Water Base and Varnish product.  However, my product is several years old and I did not retrieve any online results for it.  Look for something at the craft department or paint department in your local stores or online.  What I liked about the above product is it can be used to seal the wood before painting AND to add a protective coat as a last step.  You can also use a gloss spray-on product such as Krylon Sealing Spray as a last step also

Ok, your next step will be to add black acrylic paint.  Now, you are free to make your bat purple, green or pink--totally up to you!  I make mine black but I do have a granddaughter who loves purple so someday.


I added two coats of acrylic black paint, allowing a bit of time in between each coat to dry.  Next, you are going to need an old toothbrush (or one you aren't going to use to brush your teeth with again lol), a small container to mix orange paint and some water and an area protected with newspaper or a drop cloth so you can splatter away!

I add a bit of the acrylic paint, maybe a equivalent to a tablespoon or two, water to thin the paint down and then dip my toothbrush in the mixture.  I then take a butter knife and run it across the bristles--this causes the "splatter" effect on the bat.  Continue to do this until you have the desired effect.  **WEAR OLD CLOTHES YOU DON'T MIND GETTING PAINT ON**



After you get the painting completed, add one more coat of sealant or clear acrylic over the bat and allow your bat to dry thoroughly.

Next up are the fabric swirls.  I used a plastic lid that is 6 inches in diameter to cut a circle of fabric (17 of them so I have one fabric swirl for each hole in the bat).  After cutting each circle of fabric, you will then take scissors and starting at an edge, carefully cut the fabric in a swirl. 




I start the spiral by cutting into the fabric about an inch width.  I turn the fabric as I cut and try to keep the width about an inch but it may be closer to 1/2"--3/4" width as you near the center.  You will then have a spiral.


You can trim off the ink from marking the circle or leave as part of an effect.  The fabric, painting, etc. does not have to be perfect--that is part of the charm!

Using craft glue or even Elmer's glue, place a dab of glue in each hole that was drilled into the underside of the bat--do one hole at a time.  Then using a a paperclip, place a fabric spiral into the hole and push into place.

 
Your bat will look something like this.  You also need a small length of rope or jute to hang the bat by.  That goes into the hole that you drilled in the top of the bat's head earlier.  Make a loop, push into place and glue securely and tie off so you can hang your bat on your porch or patio.

We made two bats so have different fabrics on them.  We love to hang our bats out at the beginning of October each year.  So festive!


Enjoy!


 
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