Monday, October 16, 2017

In the Art Room: Charley Harper and van Gogh Mash Up!

Hey, friends! I'm excited to share this fun lesson that I've started with my sweet second grade kiddos. Before fall break, I had a couple of classes that were ahead of the pack so I decided to introduce them to Charley Harper (a fave of mine) and a little guided drawing. THEY LOVED IT! They were so excited about their wee raccoons that I decided to create a lesson from their drawings. Feel free to use this lesson in your art teacherin' and creating world...all I ask is that you give me a shout out when you share on your favorite social medial. This helps folks find their way back here to enjoy the lesson as well. 
 For this project, we are using a ton of different media! Here's what we are using:

* Faber-Castell Oil Pastels Full disclosure: I work with Faber-Castell frequently and create lessons for them using their supplies. That being said, I do enjoy their oil pastels for a couple of big reasons: they are sturdy. Unlike many other oil pastels I use, they don't break as often. They don't roll! I love that we aren't constantly chasing after them rolling off the tables. AND they are big...some oil pastels are very small and hard to hold for my students. Not to mention, they wear through them quickly. For all those reasons...and the fact that the colors are fabulous...I would definitely recommend these oil pastels.

* Brown Watercolor Paint This is for the light wash used on the raccoon.

* Texture Rubbing Plates or Burlap Don't have texture plates? Burlap makes for a great rubbing surface!

* Construction Paper I love Tru-Ray because the paper doesn't fade and seems stronger than most.

* Tempera Paint 

* Tempera Cakes My new favorite discovery: painting with tempera cakes on construction paper. Like, whut?! The colors stay true and I just love it! 
I will say this about my latest videos: I'm trying ot make them shorter. For my second grade, I only see them for 30 minutes so I need to keep instructional time brief. 
 Here's a breakdown of the lesson in 30 minute increments: 

Day #1: Drawing the raccoon together. After enjoying some fun Nat Geo videos about raccoons, of course!

Day #2: Light wash over raccoon and paint scrapping for the tree.

Day #3: Creating the sky background. Rubbing and painting with tempera cakes. 

Day #4: Assembling our collage!
 By the way, I am thinking of having each of my four second grade classes create a different woodland animal collage inspired by Harper. So stay tuned for more! I'll be certain to keep you posted on how these beauties turn out. 
 So far, so cute! And what a fun way to review the elements of art. 
 Sharing with the kids information about raccoons also got them inspired to create. I'm telling you, Nat Geo is where it's at!
One of my sweet students did tell me at the end of art class that her raccoon was "not my best work". Bless. The beauty of having a recorded video is that the kids can follow along and make another one the next art class! When drawing together, I very rarely let them start's an important time to teach about a Beautiful Oops! And for them to let go of the notion that their artwork must be perfect. I always tell them that the following art class, if they are still unhappy, they can try again. Often times, they keep their original creation.
Can't wait to see these little bandits complete! 
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Everyday Art Room: Episode 10, Social Media!

Well, hello there, friends! This week in Everyday Art Room, I'm sharing my FAVORITE tips to promoting your art program (and art education in general!) via social media. I'll also be talking to you about why I think it's important to share and what I've learned along the way. Despite having blogged for what feels like FOREVER, I've not always used social media. I steered clear from some outlets like Instagram and creating a Facebook page for a long time simply because I didn't "get" how to best use them and why. Well, now I'm a huge fan and the benefits of sharing your program and your students work using these vehicles is so stinkin' amazing. So, take a listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below.

But before you do that, allow me to announce the winner of the $150 Giveaway from Treetopia: Darla Kendrick! Congrats to Darla! And, those of you who did not win, remember they are offering a 15% off discount. Just use the coupon code: TTHWDIYQ17C. This offer is only good through the October 27th. 

Way back in 1998, I start my very first adventures in art teacherin’. I had a classroom in a portable, which was just to the left-hand side of the school, and it honestly could’ve been like 20 miles away. I literally never saw anyone. The teachers would stand at the door of the school and just wave the students on to my portable. I felt like a lonely island. My only resource for art teacherin’ was a stack of vintage school arts magazines that were in the back of my portable, which I devoured. It was all that I had. When it came to sharing the amazing things that my students were creating, all I could do was hang them on the walls of my portable or in the halls at school. That was the only way to really get my students’ artwork out there, at least in my mind.
Flash forward to today. Holy moly. If my students are creating something that they’re proud of and that makes me smile, all I have to do is snap a photo and thousands of people can instantly see what’s happening in my art room. I’m talking about social media. It’s such an amazing tool to promote the arts, to share what you are doing with your students in your art room, and today, I’m going to share with you my top six ways to use social media to promote your program. This is Everyday Art Room, and I’m Cassie Stephens.
Disclaimer: Before you snap a single photo of student artwork or of a student working, please for the love, make sure you have permission. I don’t want anybody getting themselves in a pickle because they didn’t have permission from the parents to share students’ artwork. I know at my school, we send out permission forms, social media permission forms at the beginning of every school year that parents have to sign off on, so just make sure you’re in the clear before you start sharing. Disclaimer over and out.
Before I chat with you about my top six ways to use social media to promote the arts, let’s talk about why. Why advocate? I know what you’re thinking. “Stephens, that is a ridiculous question.” It’s my job to advocate the arts. I know. I understand, but I think if you really spend some time thinking about why you want to advocate your program and what social media platform or platforms will work best for you, it’ll help you really get much more out of that experience. While you chew on that, I’m going to share with you why I advocate.
I advocate first and foremost to stay on my toes and to stay connected. I love being able to see what other artists and other art teachers are doing in their studios and in their art rooms. Sometimes, it can be a bit overwhelming and in which case, I take a social media break, but for the most part, I find it so stinking inspiring. I also do it to promote the value of art education so that all the followers that I have, not that I have that many, but so that they can see exactly why what I do is valuable to my students and the community. I also do it to meet like-minded art teacherin’ types. Honestly, social media has allowed me to meet some of my dearest friends. That’s why I advocate.
Let’s now dive in to my top six ways to use social media.
Number one. You need to figure out which platform is best for you. There are so many social media platforms out there, and let’s face it, you can’t do them all, not without making it your full-time job. You need to think about which ones you enjoy using, you enjoy scrolling through because those are probably going to be the ones that you’re going to want to share on. Let’s go through them real quick and break each one down because I think that what you’re going to find is that time and preference is going to be your determining factor in which platforms you use.
I’m going to share with you my favorite: Instagram. I find that Instagram is my favorite because it’s a visual, and that’s just perfect for me as an art teacher. I’m going to dig really deep today about Instagram because I feel like it is probably the most popular with art teachers right now, so we will definitely circle back to Instagram here shortly. I also really love Instagram because of Instagram Stories where you can share what you are right that very moment doing in your art room with your students. I also love Instagram Live because it allows me to not just share what’s happening like Stories does, but it allows me to chat and engage with other artists and art teachers.
My next one I really enjoy is Facebook. I think a lot of people have either Facebook classroom pages or Facebook art reacher pages. Before you decide what kind of page you want to create, decide who do you want your audience to be. I have a Facebook Page that’s for the readers of my blog, which are usually art teachers. I love having that platform because I can reach those people directly, but my favorite thing to do is do Facebook Live, where I can, once again, like on Instagram Live engage directly with other art teachers in realtime. Just a little self-promo, I do Facebook Live every Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. You should join. It’s a ton of fun.
Now, let’s talk about two social media platforms that I don’t use because they’re not my favorite. I don’t use Twitter very much. It’s not a visual for me, so for that reason, I don’t love it. I can totally appreciate the value of Twitter. It’s great for chatting with other art teachers and engaging in Twitter chats, but that’s just not my favorite way to spend my time, so I don’t spend my time on Twitter.
Another one I don’t really spend a lot of time on is Snapchat. I haven’t quite figured out how to make that useful in my art teacherin’ world, so I’ve kind of steered clear of that platform; however, Twitter users and Snapchat friends, if you want to share what works well for you in your art room via those two platforms, please comment in the comment section of this podcast below. I’d love to hear your tips and tricks.
Now, two platforms that do require a good amount of time, blogging and YouTube. Blogging is a big suck of time. I’m not even going to lie. You have to really enjoy writing, taking photos, putting all that together, and popping it up on a platform like Blogger that maybe people will or will not see. That’s the only thing. With Instagram and Facebook and these other platforms, there’s already an audience sitting there, waiting, but if you create a website, there is no instant audience. You have to build that audience yourself, which takes a lot of time. Blogging, while I feel very passionate about it, it does require a lot of patience.
YouTube is great, but it does take a lot of time as well to create and edit videos that you want to share.
Those are the social media platforms, and like I sad, you do you. The social media platform that you feel most comfortable using is probably the best one for you.
Let’s talk about tip number two. You need to know what you want out of your social media experience. Me, personally, I want to feel inspired, excited, influenced, and connected, and that’s also the same feeling that I want to give to people when they are looking at my social media platforms. I think it’s very important to know what you want out of that experience and what you want to give back. Once you have that figured out, then you can move on to tip number three.
Let’s face it, you want people to find you via social media, and you want people to understand what exactly it is you are about, and so my tip number three is, create your own social media brand. Think of, let’s say Instagram, think of creating a signature look. That way, if people are scrolling through their Instagram feed, and your photo pops up, they immediately know, “Oh, that’s that one Instagrammer that I follow. I can tell because of that very specific look that he or she has created.”
How do you create a signature look so that you have kind of a brand that people understand and like to follow? Well, think of this way. Come up with a color scheme, come up with content that kind of makes sense together. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, pull out your phone, open up your social media of choice. I’m chatting about Instagram, so if you have that Instagram account, look at it. Now, just look at your photos. If your photos, a group of, let’s say six of them, were on a business card right now, those top six photos, would people immediately be able to look at those photos and understand what your, quote, “brand” or signature look is about?
Now, if they were looking at mine, they wouldn’t have a clue because currently, it’s chuck full of Halloween pictures and photos of my cat and some random pictures of my art room, so please don’t do as I do, but you should really do what I’m telling you to do because when you have pictures that look like they belong together, the color scheme is similar and the content makes sense together, people will understand what you are about, and they’ll be better able to follow you for that reason. They’ll get you. That’s my tip number three.
Tip number four. You need to know how each platform works and how to make that social media platform work for you. Here what I would recommend. Find your preferred social media platform, I’m still thinking Instagram, and then think about your favorite ones to follow. Pay attention to your favorite blogs, Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, Twitter people to follow because after you’ve paid attention to them, you’ll start to figure out what it is about them that you like, and take note of what it is that you like, not so that you can copy them but what you’re probably going to notice is that they are consistent, and they have a specific voice, and kind of like that brand I was chatting with you about.
Once you have your list of favorites and you’re determining what it is that makes them your favorites, start to take note of what gets a response on your preferred social media platform. For example, I’ll share with you what gets a response mostly on mine. If I’m thinking Instagram, what really strikes a chord with people is when I share photos of my art room. That often gets a lot of likes and a lot of comments. What doesn’t often are photos of my cat, and that’s perfectly fine. I will make sure never to tell Asha that she is not loved as much as my duct tape art in my room, but if you pay attention to what gets a response, that’ll better help you know what your audience is looking for, not that you have to pander to that, but if you are curious, it will help you know.
It’ll also help you make sure to declutter your social media account, meaning every now and then, those images that didn’t get very many likes or much of a response from your viewers, get rid of them. Declutter. Pull the weeds that is your social media account. That’ll make it so that you’re staying on, quote, “brand”.
It also helps to understand the audience behind each platform, especially your audience. Who’s looking at your account? It is very good if you can, and I have found this to be mission impossible, but it is also great if you keep a schedule of when you are posting. I know on Facebook, there’s specific times of day when there are more people on Facebook than others. Usually, if I share something in the morning or midday, it doesn’t get nearly as much of a response as when I share it later in the evening.
Think about when you are online and scrolling through your feed. For me, that usually is after hours, after school, sitting on the couch, trying to unwind from my day. If you want more eyes on what it is you are sharing, pay really close attention to when you post something and how many comments and likes that it receives. That’s how many eyes have actually seen it. If you can keep a schedule, that’s fabulous. There are actually apps that you can use that can help you post things at specific times.
Remember, keep your media looking on brand, be consistent and fresh, and if you are using Instagram, it’s super helpful to know your hashtags. Hashtags are super important. Why are they so important? We’ll talk about them in just a moment.
Let’s talk about number five: Cultivate a following. It can be kind of distracting and pretty much detrimental if you pay too close attention to your followers and numbers and who has how many followers, and I got two new followers today, and oh my goodness. Let it go. Enjoy your social media experience, have fun with it, but let’s be honest, we don’t post things for nobody to see them, so in order to cultivate a following on your chosen social media platform, might I recommend the following: Make sure that your phone lens is clean. Wipe it off every single time you get ready to snap a photo. There’s nothing worse than that weird, hazy, fuzzy photo that shows up in your feed because somebody has a fingerprint smudge on their lens, so clean your lens.
If you’re snapping photos, take a ton of photos, and take a ton of photos from different angles. Get really close, get really low, pull back. I always snap Instagram photos in the square format of my phone. That way, I don’t have to worry about cropping later. I’m able to crop as I snap my photos. Snapping a ton of photos will also make it so you have a wide variety to choose from when you’re getting ready to share. That way, you can pick the very best.
Remember, if you’re going to try to cultivate a brand, to stay on brand, try to keep with your look. If you always use a specific color, I use a lot of blues and yellows in mine, then look for that when you’re getting ready to snap a photo. That will help you stay on brand. If you use filters on your photos, then use the same filters. Be consistent. Like I said, remember somebody scrolling through their feed? When your photo pops up, people should be able to know, “Oh, that’s so-and-so’s Instagram. I love how she always uses X, Y, Z colors, or it’s a really bright filter. I recognize it right away.”
Let’s talk about hashtags for a moment. Hashtags are super important to help you cultivate a following. What I have done is I’ve created a little bit of a hashtag cheat sheet. Go to a person who has a lot of followers on, let’s say, Instagram, and see what hashtags they’re using. Then, open up your notes section on your phone and just type up a bunch of hashtags. That way, every time you snap a photo and you get ready to put it on, let’s say, Instagram, all you have to do is cut and paste your giant paragraph of hashtags. This will make it so you’re not having to type brand new hashtags every single time you share on something like Instagram.
It also helps if you tag people. If you tag companies, then sometimes, they will re-share your photos, which will also help you get a larger following. For example, if you take a picture of your kids using Elmer’s Glue or Royal Langnickel paint brushes or a specific brand of paint, always tag all of those companies. You’ll be surprised, pleasantly so, when you hear a response from them.
My last tip is, like I said before, most of all, have fun. Social media should be a way for you to joyfully advocate your program. It should not be a stressor for you. It should not cause you to feel anxious. When, like I said, when I do, when I’m scrolling through my feed and I feel stressed because I feel as though I’m not doing my best when I see all these other amazing things art teachers are doing, or when I feel the pressure to constantly be sharing, I just take a break. Social media should be a fun experience and a happy way for you to advocate your program, and when it’s not, just step back from it.
Thank you so much, whew, for letting me share a whole lot with you today about social media. I hope these top six tips of mine help you out.
Tim Bogatz: Hello. This is Tim Bogatz from Art Ed Radio. Did you know that you can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Art Ed PRO, the essential subscription service for professional art teachers? PRO members get instant access to a comprehensive on-demand library filled with hundreds of expert trainings, hands-on tutorials, and rich, printable resources. It is the professional development you need when you need it. With topics ranging from assessment to classroom management to literacy and budgeting, Art Ed PRO has what you need to be the best teacher that you can be. Check it out start your free trial at, and let’s get back to the show as Cassie opens up the mail bag.
Cassie Stephens: Now it’s time to take a little dip into the mail bag. Psych. I’m not taking a dip into the mail bag. Instead, I’m going to share with you a question that was asked of me this weekend when I was at the Kentucky Art Educators State Conference. Thank you so much, Kentucky, for having me as one of your keynote speakers at your conference. It was so much fun. A little side note, if you are an art teacher and you have not attended your state conferences, then you should really do so. Talk about a great way to stay connected and to meet other like-mind folks. Y’all get you to a fall art teacherin’ conference. They are some of my very favorite things ever.
That being said, one of the questions that was asked of me this weekend was this. “Have you ever always made your own clothing, and have you always dressed the way that you do?” I’m assuming that last part meant, “Have you always dressed this crazy?” Answer: No. In fact, when I first started teaching back in 1998, I had it ingrained in my head that teachers had a specific uniform, and that uniform involved shopping at The Gap, wearing khakis and several unfortunate jean jumpers … Shivers at the thought.
It wasn’t until a couple of years into my art teacherin’ that I just kind of have to give it up. I think it started, maybe, with a silly T-shirt that I noticed my students really responded to, and then it just spiraled out of control from there. I’ve always loved fashion. I had always wanted to learn how to sew, but it wasn’t until about 10 years into teaching that I taught myself how to sew my very first apron.
From there, I then taught myself how to sew clothing. Patterns are really easy to follow. Sewing is actually quite simple. Those of you that have always wanted to learn how to sew but you’re fearful of doing so, here’s how I got myself out of it. I think of sewing as like collage with the sewing machine as being my glue, and the cool thing about it is, is if you mess it all up, they have this magical thing called a seam ripper, and you can just take it all apart. Seriously, I haven’t always dressed this wacky. It’s been a gradual process to this point, but I really enjoy doing so, and I have found that my students enjoy it as well.
Thanks so much for that great question. If you have a question for me, feel free to shoot me an email at
… That was a long, winded chat today. My apologies, but y’all, there’s so much to share with you when it comes to using social media to promote the arts. I’m going to roam through them again right quick.
Number one, you need to figure out which social media platform or platforms work best for you. Take into consideration how much time they do take. Think about the ones that are your favorite because those are probably the ones that you’re best suited to use. Number two, know what you want to give and receive from your social media experience because that will better help you cultivate your following and your brand.
That leads me to number three. Create your own brand or signature look. This will make it so people better understand what it is you are about, and you’ll get the followers that respond best to you. Number four, know how each social media platform works. Knowing that will help you better have a following. Number five, I really went deep with how to cultivate a following. It goes back to creating that signature look, taking beautiful photos, making sure to use your hashtags and your tagging people correctly. Last, but not least, have fun. When you stop having fun, then take a break. Stop doing it.
All right, guys. Thank you so much for letting me share with you my top six ways to use social media to promote the arts, you, and your art program. Thanks, guys.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

How to Decorate for Halloween: Chatter Teeth!

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a weekend elbows deep in clay and Halloween crafterin' and, I'm not even gonna lie, I.Was.In.Heaven. Seriously. In fact, just tonight, I asked el hubs-tastic if there he thought there was a book publisher out there who might be interested in a new edition of Encyclopedia Britannica of Halloween Crafter'ness cuz I just might be the gal for the gig. Case in point: these Halloween Chatter Teeth!
I created these bad boys after settling on the theme for my Candy Corn Tree: Monster Mash (BTW, have you entered to win a $150 shopping spree yet? If not, what in the world is wrong with you, get yourself here, right meow!) Don't ask me what this has to do with traditional monsters...other than the iconic Rocky Horror Picture Show image. I mean, that qualifies as a classic, right?
In all honesty, the idea came to me from my sketchbook. A year ago, I filled my sketchbook with Halloween-themed ideas and these chatter teeth were one of them. After a pinch of troubleshooting, I discovered that these silly teeth were super easy to make. So much so, I created a video just for you! Here you go:
To create these bad boys, rustle up the following:

* Aluminum Foil I like the stuff in the precut sheets cuz I'm too lazy to cut. Hit up the Dollar Tree for the Aluminum Foil for Lazy People. Yes, that's the actual name. 

* Rigid Wrap Plaster Strips I like the stuff from Activa Products which you can find here. By the way, full disclosure and such, I often work with Activa Products. But I do truly love their products. Case in point...

* Celluclay I don't care what you say, Celluclay is my JAM, boy! I love the stuff, it makes my world go 'round. 

Now, if you've never worked with plaster strips, lemme just say, it is a gift sent from heaven above. It dries so quickly! It has the strength of ten horses! It's quite possibly the best thing ever!
But I say "quite possibly the best thing ever" with a grain of salt. Because, in all honesty, Celluclay is the best. I'm telling you, get you some, I'll make you a believer. I will say that the stuff does take FOREVER to dry so, for the love, put your creations in front of a fan and rotate, rotate, rotate. As mold loves to grow if you do not. At least in the humid mold-growin' breeding grounds of middle Tennessee.
AND once dry, paint with acrylic. 
And display where big mouths and loud mouths hang.
Out of laziness, I did not cover the chatter teeth with a clear varnish. The acrylic had enough shine to give these guys the sheen they needed. 
Once complete, these chatter boxes can be displayed just about anywhere! In the living room...
In your Candy Corn Halloween Tree...
Next to a decapitated head of Dracula...I mean, really, the choice is yours. 
Wherever you decide to do, just don't for get to enter to win THIS GIVEAWAY, for the love of all things chatter teeth-y and holy. Okay?! 
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Monday, October 9, 2017

How to Decorate an Art Room: Line and Color Wall!

If you've been hanging around this here blog lately, then you know I've been sharing quite a few redecorating of the art room posts. For many of these art room flips, I have the Fire Marshall to thank. What previously was in this space were some super fun things hanging from the ceiling. You know, the usual art teacherin' decor: a disco ball and extra large plastic crayon piggy banks. Need I say more? The FM was not a fan because, let's be honest, FMs hate all things happy, colorful, fun and ceiling-dangily. Yeah, yeah, their fun-zapping ways save us from a fiery doom but whatever. They cramp our art teacherin' style.
Or do they? It was after I removed, let's be honest, the clutter, that I started to think of what I could use this space for. I remembered that my buddy Michelle created a large scale visual of lines for her students in her art room. With that in mind, I decided to create my own version in my art room. Allow me to share my (big pain in the behind to create) Line and Color Wall...hugs to Michelle for the inspiration! 

* Picket Fence Posts Y'all know I have issues with going in to the Paint All The Wood Thingies aisle in the local craft joint. I found these guys there and I'm assuming they were supposed to be fence posts? Whatever, to me, they looked liked pencils so I picked up seven. With my teacher discount, of course.

* Duct Tape I didn't want to paint my wall because 1. I didn't want to ask permission to do so and 2. I didn't want to even attempt to paint over that lumpy bumpy brick. Did you know that they make thin duct tape?! It's the best thing ever when you are creating a line and color wall, y'all!
 Now, when coming up with my lines, my biggest problem was space. There's not a ton of space above my white board. So I had to keep that in mind when dreaming up what lines to showcase.
With that in mind, I went with the following: bouncing, zigzag, thick, thin, dotted/dashed, curvy and parallel lines. Not even gonna lie: this was NOT my favorite art room decor project because it took forever...but it is my new favorite thing to look at in my art room!
AND it's totally not coming down. Sorry not sorry, sweet FM! Okay, let's be honest, if they ask, I'll take it down. But words will be spoken. Most unpleasant ones, at that. 
 Okay, so. I've covered Lines, Color Order, a Color Wheel in my art room with my new decor...but now I'm perplexed: I want to showcase shape an form. How so? Love to hear your ideas! 
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Monster Mash Halloween Tree and a Giveaway!

Big GIVEAWAY and discount offered in this here blog post...keep reading for your chance to win!

Hello, Goblins and Ghouls...I'm super stoked to share with you my Monster Mash Halloween Tree! I was recently given this amazing Candy Corn Tree from Treetopia and tasked with coming up with a theme to not only decorate it...but create the ornaments for the tree as well. For the creation of the decorations, I reached out to my friends at Activa Products for some of my favorite sculpting supplies. I'll be sharing one of my favorite creations here in this blog post, the Spooky Scary Skeletons! 

But tree!
 I received my tree from Treetopia lightening fast. I was surprised when I unpacked it just how big, full and bright it is. I absolutely love this big ole candy corn tree. I will say, I was a little overwhelmed at first: how was I going to decorate this tree? It already looked fabulous enough as it was. Here's a peek at my unboxing of the beast:
Super easy to assemble and such a full tree! I love that I don't have bald spots in my tree.
Back to decorating...I was like, HOW?! But then I got to thinking: I've always loved the classic Universal Studios horror movies like Frankenstein, Dracula, Bride of Frank, The name it. With that in mind, when Monster Mash came on while I was playing Halloween music in my art room, I knew THAT had to be my theme. So, Monster Mash Halloween Tree it was!
Nothing says a dance party like some disco balls, amirite?!
Over the next couple of days, I'll be sharing with you a TON of Halloweenie How-to's as I show you how I created nearly every bit of spooky decoration on this tree. Today, I thought I'd share how I created these Eye-Popping Spooky Scary Skeletons! 
Here's your list of supplies:

* A plastic skull. I found mine at a local craft store...but right now, you can find a plastic skull just about everywhere. 

* Aluminum foil. I like the cheap stuff from the Dollar Tree because it comes in precut sheets that are the perfect size.

* Rigid Wrap Plaster Strips. I love plaster strips because they dry so fast! I used them in the making of the eyeballs.

* Cheesecloth. Check the cooking/baking section of your grocery store. 

* Liquid Starch. Sta-Flo is my go to. Mostly because I want that to be my rapper name. Sta-Flo Stephens.

* Acrylic Paint and Paint Brushes. 
Once you learn the magic of liquid starch and cheesecloth, you are gonna be like me and go crazy covering everything in it! You can see that's just what I did here to create ole Frank. 
Be sure and stay tuned right here and my YouTube channel as I share all of these Halloween DIYs with y'all!
 Like these silly chatter mouth teeth...
And more monsters from the mash like The Mummy...who I find to be the most frightening part of my tree. 
 Or maybe it's Dracula trying to bite through the caution tape! By the way, you can find out how to create these eye-popping ornaments here:
Lighting fast video of how to create these fun and funky eyeball ornaments. 
 I have always loved decorating for Halloween but this tree just took it to another spooktackular level. You can find my Top Ten Fall Crafts here for more ideas. 
 But now that I've shown you around my tree and shared a couple DIY's with you, let's talk about that give away, shall we?
Treetopia is allowing me to giveaway a $150 Gift Card to their online store! That's right, I'm super excited about this one...if you've not explored their site, then you must. They have so many trees to offer with my current favorite being the Candy Corn tree, obviously. However, next on my faves: THEIR RAINBOW TREE, what?! How perfect would that be in an art room, right?! 
 Here's how you can enter to win:

1. Comment. Leave a comment below and share your favorite horror movie of all time. More importantly: leave your FULL NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS as well. 

2. Follow. If you are on Instagram, follow me here and Treetopia here! If you are not on IG but on FB, then you can find me here and Treetopia there

That's it! I'll let all y'all know this Friday, October 13th who the lucky winner is!
 If you don't win...or if you just cannot wait to purchase something from Treetopia right now, they are offering a 15% off discount! Just use the coupon code: TTHWDIYQ17C. This offer is only good from today, October 9th through the 27th. 
What an exciting giveaway and discount, right?! I am itching to get myself another Halloween tree. That black and white stripe one is calling my name, y'all!
But I'm pretty sure the neighbors have enough to say about one Halloween not start adding more. 
 By the way, if you create any of your own skulls and eyeballs, please make sure to share with me be tagging me in your preferred social media outlet. I'd love to see what you create. 
Stay tuned for many more Halloween How-to' list of spooky DIY's grows daily. October just isn't long enough for me.
Or my eye-poppingly handsome friends. 
Too much? Eh, never! Let it all hang out, Gus!
I even have plans to make a variation on these guys...but we'll see if I have time this year to tackle that craft. 
Be sure to enter to win that giveaway, y'all, it's a good one! I'll let you know the winner this Friday!
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