Decorating my home during all the different holidays is something I look forward to doing each year! Halloween particularly… But I usually stick with more of a fun and whimsical decor scheme rather than the spooky and creepy stuff. I decided that for this year I needed something a little different. So I made these crackle painted wood blocks to use on my mantle this year! Remember when crackle painted decor was all the rage in the earlier 2000’s? I think it needs to make a comeback! Unless it never really went out… or was never really ‘in’ either… ha. Just sharing what I happened to notice I guess! But I really do want to make more crackle paint decor items (specifically for my gallery wall…) to put in my home. It adds a really great finish to a project that makes it look better then handmade! I was nervous about how it would turn out on this particular project, but was super happy with the results. Here’s how you can make your own set of crackle painted wood Halloween blocks!
First you need to gather up all your supplies. I used this adorable Halloween panel paper by Carina Gardner for the front of my blocks and black, olive green, and beige paint for the backs. For the crackle affect I used FolkArt Home Decor Crackle Medium. Lastly you will need tacky glue, a brush, and optional knobs and ribbon for the top of your blocks. These wood blocks I used were purchased from The Wood Connection and measure to 3×4 and not quite an inch deep.
Pick three different designs from the panel paper you want to use. Cut them out as straight as you can! That will make the blocks look extra sharp and pretty.
I picked the creepy haunted house, the spooky black cat, and the boo ghosts. I thought they all looked really cute together! Especially keeping the green one in the middle of the darker ones.
Now you will need to decide what colors to paint each block! You will need to pick 2 colors per block. I decided to keep the paint colors matchy matchy with the paper I picked. So for this spooky black cat, I did a black base coat with an olive green crackled top coat…. huh? Let me explain!
Paint your block whatever color you pick for the base coat. I did my first block in black. In order for the crackle to work you will need to paint in three different layers. The first coat will be the color that shows through the crackle. The second coat is the crackle medium. It’s basically a gel that you thinly spread on over the base coat. This is what it will look like as you are applying it. Make sure to apply in thin coats being careful not to overlap any previous strokes of the product. Allow to dry completely.
The third layer is the top coat. It’s very important that you allow each layer to dry completely, or the effect of the crackle paint will not work. So that being said, once the crackle medium is completely dry you can start painting the top and final coat of paint. Do not go over any of the paint once it’s on the block. That will smear everything (dry or not) and it will not crackle. It will just look like you accidentally smudged it, and I made that mistake on my first block. 🙁 This is what it will look like right after getting a thin top coat layer painted on.
As the top coat dries it will start to crack. It’s actually really interesting to watch! And it happened a lot quicker then I thought it would. Within the first minute of getting the top coat on actually.
And this is what it looks like once its painted, crackled, and dried! Ready to be adorned with the paper and embellishments.
And here you can see how I finished the other two blocks as well.
So now that all the blocks are painted and dried, the next step is the add the paper to the front. I do this by applying tacky glue and using my finger to smooth it out across the front and out to all the edges and corners of the wood.
Now just take one of your cut out paper panels and apply it to the glue. I like to line it up first, then press from the middle out to the sides to smooth out any bubbles.
At this point you can either sand down and distress the edges a little bit, or just leave it how it is! I trimmed around some parts of the block as needed, and opted out of sanding for my set. But this is a versatile craft and you can create your set in a way that you will love!
They are now all ready for the knobs and ribbon on top! I just got little knobs at the craft store, painted them black, and glued them to the top! So easy and it really does take these blocks to the next level.
I tied a ribbon around the knob on the green block which I already knew I would display in the middle… So I kept it pretty simple as far as the embellishments were concerned!
And that’s it! I really loved how these turned out and was so happy with how easy it was as well! They did take a bit more time then you would expect, mostly due to the fact that you have to paint in three layers. And so much drying!! I barely have patience for that. But this craft was so worth it!
My favorite is the spooky cat block. I love that combo of green and black.
I am so excited to pull out my Halloween decor this weekend and incorporate these with the rest of what I have. It’s so fun decorating for holidays, don’t you agree?
Thanks for reading!
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