Beloved Skeleton Hand Cloche Tutorial

Beloved Skeleton Hand Cloche Tutorial
I personally love creating little haunted vignettes. This one is for a table top cloche, but you could absolutely apply this same idea for a hand coming up out of the ground in front of a tombstone. I also walk you through reshaping a skeleton hand for a more realistic look.

What you will need:

  • 1 skeleton hand (mine is from the Target Halloween section last year)
  • 1 skeleton forearm (from a bag of bones)
  • Heat gun
  • 1/8" Wire (same type used to hang drop ceilings)
  • Hot glue
  • Spray paint in Heirloom White/Satin Finish or any White (DO NOT USE FLAT)
  • Minwax Gel Stain - Aged Oak - you can find at Home Depot/Lowes/Amazon
  • Foam circle - I cut mine from a sheet of Pink Foam
  • Spray Paint in Black
  • Alene's Thick and Tacky Glue
  • Dirt
  • Silk Flower
  • Faux pearl bracelet or necklace,
  • Rosary or cross
  • Antique photo
  • 19" cloche - the best price I found was on Amazon.

The first thing you want to do is create and shape the hand to make it look like it is holding the rose. I bought a bunch of hands from Target last Halloween. I think they were like $2.99 each. They are a nice thick plastic and I knew they would be great for projects in the future.

Using the heat gun, you are going to carefully heat the joints of the fingers. When you feel the plastic get to be a little pliable, turn off the heat gun and adjust the fingers into the position you want them. Hold them in this position as you let the plastic cool back down. If you accidentally break off a finger, don't worry. You can use the wrist technique to fix it with hot glue.

In order to attach the hand to the forearm, I had to cut off the excess bone on the wrist of the hand. I used a Dremel with a "cut off" bit/blade to do that.

Next, I drilled 2 holes in the base of the hand as well as in the forearm. I inserted 1/8" wire to connect the 2 pieces together and give it some strength. I tacked both ends with hot glue.

Now to create the wrist joint. I took some painters tape and wrapped it around 3 sides of the wrist joint area. I then filled it in with hot glue. Let it dry and viola! A new wrist. You can do this same thing to fix broken skeleton fingers too. When you remove the tape, you can add another layer of hot glue to the side that was taped so it doesn't look flat.

I then painted the hand and arm with a Heirloom White Satin spray paint.

Once the spray paint was dry, I brushed on some Minwax Gel Stain in Aged Oak,let it sit for a moment and then wiped it off with a rag. The key to using the Minwax Gel Stain is to let it sit in the nooks and crannies but be more subtle in the other areas.

For the base, I cut a 9" circle out of pink foam and then shaved down the sides to give it a more mounded feel. You don't have to be precise here. When you are done shaping it, spray with either brown or black spray paint.

Now, position the arm and insert into the foam. (When positioning the arm, you are going to want the hand to be center, not the arm.) Put the flower in the hand and insert the stem into the foam. Now, test it and put the glass dome over it. Make sure everything is fitting it proper and not mashed against the glass. Once you have the arm and flower where you like it, secure with some hot glue.

Next, cover the pink foam mound with Alene's Thick and Tacky glue. I really like this glue as it stays put and doesn't drip, which is important. Pat handfuls of dry dirt into the glue.

Wrap the pearls/ lace scraps/ etc around the wrist. Dangle a rosary or necklace from the fingers. Add an antique photo to the scene. My photo is an actual family photo.

Finally, I added a little loose dirt and a few pebbles for some more texture.

That's it. I hope you like this tutorial and find other ways to apply it to different props and scenes.

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