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Creating Gothic and Vampire Style Decorations from Average Items
For those of us who like the vampire and Gothic style, finding home décor items at an affordable price can be a challenge. This article will give you some ideas for making Gothic home décor from normal items.
The first step to creating Gothic home décor out of normal items is to go out and scour your local dollar stores, thrift shops and yard sales. Look for items that have a shape and style that you like. Ignore the color, and don’t worry if they’re a bit beat up. You’re looking exclusively for shapes that appeal to you. For instance, if you see candlesticks and you love the shape and style but hate the color, buy them. You can often find items with a lot of potential if you ignore the color and what the item is made out of.
Now that you have some normal items, it’s time to get the other materials you need to turn them into fantastic vampire and Gothic home décor. One thing you’ll be using a lot of is paint. Go to your local craft store and get some inexpensive acrylic craft paints. You’ll probably want colors like black, red, purple, blue and some metallics. If you’re really into the metallic look, you may want to get both some bottled acrylic paint and some spray-on acrylic. If you can find it, you may want to pick up some crackle paints. If you can’t find them, don’t worry, you can fake the effect.
In addition to paint you’ll want to have some brushes, natural sponge, steel scrubbers (the kind that look like woven metal strips, not Brillo.), newspaper, and other decorative pieces. For decoration you can get ribbon, flat-back gems, stickers, wire and beads or anything else that appeals to you and fits with your idea of vampire or Gothic décor.
Now that you have all of your supplies, you can start applying some artistic techniques to turn the items from mundane junk into great Gothic décor. First off, you’ll want to give a base coat of paint to any of the items that need it. Black or one of your metallic colors makes a good base. If there’s already paint on the item, even if it’s chipping, don’t worry, painting over it will give it an authentic aged look.
Once your base coat has dried, you can start getting really creative. If you want a crackled look, you can either use the crackle paints, or crumple a sheet of newspaper, dip just the raised edges in paint, and tap it on over your base coat. One pass of tapping will give a veined look with your contrast color. More passes will give greater coverage with the contrast color and the base will just show through in places. You can also coat the item in your contrast color and while it’s wet, tap and scrape at it with the steel scrubber to remove some of the paint.
Another option is spattering the base coat with a contrast color. Take a soft brush and dip it in thinned paint of your chosen color and sling that paint at the item. If you do this with red paint on black it looks like spattered blood, which is perfect for vampire décor. If you got some metallic spray paint, stand a good distance away from the item and spray in spurts at the item to get a spattered effect that looks great.
You can get a marbled look on an item by dipping your natural sponge into a color, blotting of the excess, then tapping it over the item. Do this with at least 2 contrast colors. You can experiment with how hard to tap, how much to cover and how to combine colors to get the best marbled effect.
After you have your items painted and they’ve dried, you can start adding decorations. Tie on lacy ribbon, add dangling gems, tiny bats, skulls or whatever you have. You can use stickers and appliques wherever you please. You can string beads on fine wire and wrap them around the item for a lovely effect.
Once you’ve played around with a few of these techniques, creating your own vampire and Gothic décor from normal items will become easier and more fun. You’ll probably come up with all sorts of ideas for converting ugly dollar store items into great decorations. Don’t forget, you can also get a lot of great base items and materials if you shop at Halloween and post-Halloween sales.