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Altered Halloween Advent Calendar w/ Video

WOW, I think this is my biggest Halloween project yet.  It took me 5 days to complete and I could have kept adding!!!  As you know I adore Halloween and yes I have begun bringing out my Halloween goodies.  Lots of photos in this post and there is so much to see.  So lets get into the project and get you inspired for Halloween!

I was asked by Scrapbooker's Paradise (where I teach) to make one of these Kaiser Craft Shadow Boxes...with a Halloween Theme!!!  Arm twisted and mission accepted.  I am going all Tim on this one! I started by spraying all the pieces with a Hammered Finish in a gun metal grey.
The set even comes with numbers;)
I used My Minds Eye Happy Haunting paper to create each box with a great pattern paper background.  Then using all my Tim Holtz goodies and $1 Store finds I went to town decorating.  I used various numbers from the rub ons, metal numbers, wooden and those that came with the Shadow Box.
  Be sure to dry fit before gluing!  It took me 4 hours to die cut and ink all the elements I wanted to use for my Spooky Scene!

Using the Masquerade Brads from Teresa Collins collection was a great way to add colour and a spot to add numbers from TH Rub Ons.  I also hot glued little black ants and skulls picked up from the $1 Store.  OMG LOVE THE TH SKULL N CROSS BONES!
Each box was a blast to create.  The Enamel Tags are coloured with alcohol ink then I used the Number Rub Ons. 
I just picked up the Crescent Moon and Stars die.  Bet you were thinking "baby"...pfft  HALLOWEEN for this girl. The moon is inked with snow cap, walnut stain on the edges and some Rock Candy Stickles for some subtle shine.  I inked a piece of grunge paper with Picket Fence Distress Stain then I stamped my SU skeleton.   I cut his legs and arms and reattaching with brads to move his boney limbs where I wanted them.  Sitting on the moon over the graveyard is EPIC!
I picked up the tree last Christmas at Walmart knowing this wire birch tree would be a Halloween tree.  I sprayed the tree in the same Hammered Finish then attached my $1 Store skulls with hot glue.  The skulls have holes through them so a little glue and they fit perfect.  Check out the lantern hanging in the tree!
Another $1 Store find and Skeleton parts galore.  Just cut them up and glue where needed.  In this case the hands are crawling to get out of the graveyard!  CREEPY...
Probably my favourite part!  I made this little sign using the new Ribbon Flag strip die!  FANTASTIC DIE!!!!  WHOA...there are WHITE Rub Ons with the new Apothecary set.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.  This sign attached to the house has matching skulls for both sides.  The little holder is from the pumpkins I picked up. I simply trimmed the end bit and attached with hot glue.  Thus creating a sign for the house.
Ohhhh here's my wee graveyard using the border die and grungepaper. I wove it around the tree adhering with hot glue.  Adding Spanish Moss is a spooky element.  It's a great way to have creepy things coming up out of the ground. Then in the back I layered the Twigs border die.  More skulls, body parts and pumpkins.  Add a little Walnut Stain Distress ink to the glitter pumpkins grunges them up. 
I picked up this fun Witches Hat at Pier One.  It's a heavy piece at the top that is full of colour!
Another favourite element is the "All Hallows Eve" banner again using the Ribbon Flag die and My Minds Eye paper to match those Advent Boxes.  The letters are the "WANTED" strip die and topped with Glossy Accents make them shine!  Seriously...coolest die!
The Gothic Boo is a great center piece for the top of my Advent Calendar Shadow Box.  I cut out with grunge board and inked with pewter distress paint. Attaching with the Tiny Attacher to the Iron Gate in grungeboard spanning the whole box.
Last year on a couple of my Tim Holtz Tag wins I was able to order the Rickety House and Branch Tree dies.  Not bragging (;p) hehe but look what I made with them!  Using those white rubs is perfect for the darker elements. 
The little skulls come as a necklace set and the hands are the bottom from the $1 STORE.  I think they work great holding the box.  Check out the Hitch Fasteners!  The make a perfect pull for the drawers.
The glass corked jars are another $1 Store find.  I filled it with mini googly eyes and "eye of newt" rub on.  Then with hot glue tucked it in the fence of the haunted rickety house.
More goodies on top of the calendar.  I added a bunch of pumpkins, skulls and jars.  The Oddities jar I crammed some skulls in! 
In behind the Rickety House hides my gear.  I wrapped the lantern with some spooky washi tape and tucked a battery tea light for the house. These you barely see but the effect they have is Spooktacular!
In the dark the lantern luminates the graveyard and the tea light flickers through the window of the house!

Check out my quick video showing the lights in action!  I didn't want you to miss it!
 This was truly a labor of love.  Getting to play with all my favourite dies, techniques, findings and it's all for Halloween!  I was in heaven!  If you live in the Calgary area you can check out my Halloween Advent Calendar at Scrapbooker's Paradise for the next 5-6 weeks where it will be on display.  You can even pick up the goodies to make one for yourself:)
I hope this inspires your Halloween juices.  And if you are looking for more Halloween inspiration check out one of my more popular posts right now, Halloween D├ęcor- Pennies a Project!
I'd love to hear what inspires you about Halloween.  And what gets you motivated.  Thank you in advanced for taking the time to come look and if you leave a comment...I love you!


  1. wow awesome I love it, so much work and it shows how spooky but pretty at same time. love it.

    1. Thank you for that. I love creepy halloween but I never thought of this as pretty. But now I think it is:).

  2. Wow... love it used to get so into Halloween myself.. but live out of town and no kids around.. but I love doing the cards.. Well done .. Take care

    1. Cards are the best Janet! I'm so tired from making this but sooo fun'. I'm ready for a bowl of cereal.

  3. This is fantastic, well done, the work you put into it was well worth it, a treasured piece it will be.

    1. Thank you, I'm not sure I will even put it away?

  4. Replies
    1. Happy you think it's fabulous:). Thanks Vanessa!

  5. Thank you so much for this incredible inspiration. This is just what I needed to get creating. You are the best.

  6. OMGoodness This is AWESOME!!!!!

    1. Thank you Miranda...I love awesome!

  7. Nicole! This is beyond spectacular!!
    So much time and love. Wonderful details--each unique! I so love the decor on each box. I hope you are keeping this for a long time (unless the right price comes along!)

  8. Haha for how long it took me to make, I'm not sure anyone would pay what I would ask;).

  9. The amount of detail in this is astounding! I am super impressed! I keep looking at all the little bits! Wonderful job!

    1. OMGOSH...There are a ton of little bits. This is one time I don't stop adding;) Thanks for taking the time to pop in and see:)

  10. OMG, this is way beyond FREAKIN AWESOME...

  11. This is seriously one of my favourite projects you have done.
    this is FREAKIN" AWESOME!!!!
    So much detail. I can look at it over and over and see things that I had missed the first time.
    I can see this was a labour of love.
    I have 4 of these advent boxes. One for me and each of the girls. I bought them 2 or 3 years ago...still in their packages, lol.
    Good idea to spray paint them!

  12. C'est absolument magnifique ! Bravo !

  13. OMG .... this is beyond amazing! Just fabulous!! My mind boggles down at the thought of all the hours of work this took. Wonderful project!

  14. wow, this is fantastic!!! you are an amazing talented artist. I can not complement you enough on how awesome this is. I just wish Texas wasn't so far from Canada cause I would love to see this in person. WOW!!

  15. You did an incredible job on this. Love all the attention to detail and the depth of the piece

  16. WHOA! LOVE this. You did an incredible job and did not skip the small details. So much depth!

  17. Hello! What an amazing piece of art!!! I am wondering if you could tell me where got the little "hitch" pieces you used for the drawer pulls. I am struggling to fin something small enough to use and those are the perfect thing! Thank you for your information!!

  18. Holy Shamokes! I'd have to start this the day after Christmas to have it ready by Halloween.....Super, Super Clever and Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing ♥

  19. I have checked out bunches of Halloween shadowboxes and I have to say that this is the best. Every detail takes my breath away. Quite inspirational.

  20. love the box how did you number them there 28 boxes but 31 days

  21. I just love this idea of mixing an advent calendar and a shadow box, one of my favorite holidays. Stuff like this helps me stay creative!

  22. Oh, am I ever excited to see your Halloween! REALLY spooky and love every single detail. Will be back for more drooling, and perhaps something to light my Halloween fire, which is all but blown out!

  23. I don't know how I missed this. It's incredible. You really used your dollar store finds to great effect. It's a wonderful Halloween project.


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