It’s not often you see a Halloween centerpiece that’s actually kind of spooky, but that’s exactly what you get with this excellent DIY. Alexi of Seeking Alexi created it for our Halloween Style Challenge here on The Home Depot Blog.
With the DIY plaster hands and the miniature graveyard scene, you could easily adapt Alexi’s ideas for a Halloween haunted house, a spooky mantel decoration or a Halloween party display.
Take a look at Alexi’s remarkable Halloween centerpiece and the short tutorial for making the DIY plaster hands.
Spooky Graveyard Centerpiece
My mom is the Queen of Halloween. You should see her house in October! It must have been her Halloween genes that helped give me the idea for this very easy but very creepy graveyard centerpiece!
And oh boy, there were some very odd phrases I was Googling this week to get inspiration for this project (i.e. “creepy hands coming out of a graveyard”)! Please don’t look at my search history; it’s too weird!
Much of the creepiness of the graveyard centerpiece comes from the hands emerging from underground. We also need a fence to give it a graveyard look, and lots of bones, skulls, string lights and spider webs to complete the scene.
The DIY Plaster Hands
- 4 ft. x 4 ft. beam cut to the size you want. Mine is about 6 ft.
- 6 lagbolt screws
- Fit It All plaster
- Latex gloves
- Twistie Tie (like from plastic bread bags)
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Black glossy spray paint
- Tan, charcoal and red paint
- Plastic, acrylic nails
Step 1: Mix the Plaster and Fill the Gloves
Mix up enough plaster for one glove, (just do one at a time!) I used around 3 cups of plaster and 1 cup of water in a plastic bag, but follow the directions on the plaster you use!
Get the plaster in the gloves. This is messy! I couldn’t figure out a good way to do this, and I tried a lot of techniques. Basically, scoop it in with a plastic spoon or by squeezing it out from the bag you mixed up the plaster mixture.
Get out all the air bubbles! This is tricky, and involves a lot of squeezing, pushing and massaging through all the fingers.
Stick the lagbolt screw in the bottom, and make sure it’s centered in the palm of the glove’s palm, then twistie tie the bottom to keep all the plaster and screw in place.
Shape the glove in a creepy position by placing it on or in various objects. I used spray cans, spoons, and other various odds & ends to get different shapes and to bend the fingers in different positions. They will harden quickly, so work quick!
*Special tip!* Make sure that your fingers are not too bent, or they will fall off after you take the glove off.
Take off the glove with a razor.
Step 2: Drill Holes and Screw the Hands into the Board
Drill starter holes in your 4 ft. x 4 ft. lumber, and screw the hands into the wood.
Step 3: Paint the Hands and Add Potting Liner
Spray paint the hands black.
Add potting liner from the outdoor department with hot glue.
Step 4: Add Texture and Nails to the Plaster Hands
Use the glue to add texture to the hands like veins, knuckles and tendons.
This step is okay to be messy!
Clip inexpensive, long nails to be pointy, or another desired shape, and glue to each fingernail area.
Step 5: Add Painted Detail
Add dimension and realness by painting with tan, charcoal and red, how ever your heart desires.
Your DIY plaster hands should look pretty realistic now, and creepy!
The Graveyard Fence and Sign
Now add some context to make it really clear these hands look like they are coming out of a graveyard.
I found this white garden fence in The Home Depot’s Garden Center and thought it was perfect! Just had to spray paint it black.
Next, use some vinyl letters to say “Keep Out!” on a piece of reclaimed wood. Attach wire to the board in any way you wish and at a desired length.
The Finishing Touches for the Halloween Centerpiece
For the rest of the Halloween centerpiece, I used Home Depot Halloween decorations.
Some of my favorites that really helped complete the look for my centerpiece were these bag of bones, skulls, this skeleton, spooky colored glass bottles, flame lights, small orange lights, these witch lanterns, this graveyard lantern, these spooky “Edison” lights, chains and spider webs!
Now that your creepy graveyard centerpiece is all done, make sure you finish off with extra Halloween decorations.
Enjoy, and thanks for reading my post!
Alexi Politis is passionate about all types of design, whether graphic design, interior design or lifestyle design. Her freelance studio — Seeking Alexi Design — specializes in branding and identity, web design, blog design, app design, hand-lettering, wedding invitations and more. Her graphic design skills combined with her knack for DIY projects, party planning and interior design are showcased on her inspirational blog, Seeking Alexi.
Visit The Home Depot’s online Halloween Decorations Department for everything you need to decorate your home for Halloween and fall.