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Monday, 26 October 2015

Halloween | Horrifically Easy D.I.Y Decorations: Head In A Jar

Halloween is less than a week away, so party plans have been made, costumes have been concocted and ideas are flying around friendship groups everywhere of what to be, where to celebrate, and certainly how to turn our every day homes or venues into creepy Halloween dungeons for the evening. Welcome to Halloween on Twisted Beauty...
Decorating the house has always been one of my favourite things to do at Halloween, but this year as I'm not spending my Halloween in my own home, I'm visiting a friend, I was thinking up and searching the web for things that were really quick and easy to do in just a few hours to help my friends decorate ready for a House Party from Halloween Hell (in a good sense). I found a picture of a Head in a Jar on Google which looked really creepy, and thought it would be the perfect way to be able to decorate for the party with things I have lying around the house already. I have seen similar things on Pinterest as well with a number of variants, but mine is a simple and easy one, perfect for quickly needed decorations or something to do with kids on Halloween night.

To make the Head in the Jar decorations you will need (per the jar):

You can use any photograph you want - a nice twist may to even be to photoshop some blood and gore onto a photograph or image before printing, or even to use creepy photos of friends and family who may be attending your party. Food colouring is another thing that's changeable in this. I used green in this tutorial, but I used other colours as well that best suited what went in my jars, so mix it up a little. Green is a perfect colour to get that formaldehyde, but red is a fantastic alternative if you want it to look more bloody. You can also use any size, shape and make of jar you want, as long as it's a clear glass!

Step 1 > Cut your spooky image to size

Cut your spooky image to the same height as your glass - the width of the image doesn't matter as we will be curving it around our glass. When cutting down the correct height will be matched to the point of the jar where the lid bottom sits when fully on the jar. A trick here is to leave about a 2mm overlap between the bottom of the lid and the image, as this will help it stay in place later on.

Step 2 > Arrange your image in the jar

Curve your image around the inside of the jar being careful not to press the image into the edges of the jar, as we need the water to be able to sit in front of the image as well to give the slightly distorted effect. You can use a dab of water on your fingers to stick the top of the image along the inside of the jar lid (this is why we left an extra bit at the top so that once the image is stuck to the inside of the jar in the lid, it is still away from the edges of the jar on the wider parts as well as being able to be trapped slightly by the lid - obviously this will depend on what types of jars you use).

Step 3 > Dye your water

You can use any colour for this part, dependent on what you want to fit your image style, party theme or colour scheme, for example, I used green for the Wicked Witch of the West to match her face and bring out the green colour of her skin, but I also used an orange dye for a picture of a pumpkin and red for my zombie image. I used a gel food colouring as it is what I have available in my household from my baking box, but liquid food colouring, or indeed natural colourings such as red cabbage to create a creepy deep blue ocean colour can be used as well. Give the water a really good stir before adding to your jar to get rid of any lumps if using gel colouring.

Step 4 > Pour your coloured water into your jar

The easiest way I found to do this was to mix a small amount of colouring into a glass of water and then add non-coloured water on top as I was using gel, it was easier to dissolve the colouring in a smaller volume of water first, however if you are using liquid colouring of natural colourings you can create your coloured water in just one glass or jug. Pour the water into your jug slowly so as not to squash or tear your image. You can use any paper for this, however I would suggest using a matte paper as the colour is less likely to run. I think that a slight colour running gives a really good effect it gives the image a more distorted look without ruining the image too much as it would if using a glossy paper, however if you don't want your colour to run at all, you can coat a layer of PVA glue (which dries clear) onto your image first, or even spray with hairspray to reduce colour running. I then maneuvered my image into the correct place, securing the top of the image with some water dabbed on with a finger and then carefully closed the jar lid, making sure to trap some of the image in the lid (although this isn't a necessity - if you're using a jar that doesn't have a lid that goes inside the jar, for example on a Kilmer jar, which I used for my zombie jar, cutting the image to the exact height of the jar will wedge your image in).

The finished product

So here are the finished creepy Head in a Jar's. I think they look fabulous, and are really creepy to have just sitting on your mantlepiece of table at your party! Please note that these are only intended to last the evening, so it's suggested that you make them no more than an hour before your guests arrive as the colour of the images will slowly fade over time - the morning after my pumpkin had pretty much lost all of his orange colour and the witch was looking a bit worse for ware, however the zombie and Dracula images were fine due to the high percentage of the image that was white. 

I displayed mine in a dark corner with small candles in front of them which made a really creepy display as the distortion of the images was amplified, however, you could also use a small train of fairy lights. A fabulous idea is to get a small strand of battery powered fairy lights and drill a hole in to the top of your jar (though not on a jar with a shatter-able lid, e.g. glass) and pushing a fairy light through to illuminate your water, or even displaying your jars on to of a light box with holes cut out for the jars to sit on top of for the light to illuminate the water from the bottom. Give these ideas a go and go with what best suits your theme!

Let me know in the comments below your favourite way to D.I.Y your decorations for Halloween!

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