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Looking to redecorate your home? Crafting for the holidays? Need a fun idea to do with the kids? We have craft ideas for all occasions and experience levels! From simple home decor projects to personalized giftable items, we are sure you will find projects that inspire. Be sure and share any projects you do with our products using #decoartprojects for a chance to be featured.

The Puppet Master

By: Creativity Is Contagious
October 5, 2017

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The Puppet Master
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Halloween is such a fun time of year to create home décor pieces. Andy Skinner’s NEW Birds and Bones stamp set was my motivation in creating this fun canvas I call “The Puppet Master”.

Items needed:

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Vermillion Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Payne's Grey
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Metallic Gold
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Yellow Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Naphthol Red Light
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Translucent White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Gold
  • Americana Acrylics 2oz - Sour Apple
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Paint - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium
  • Andy Skinner Birds and Bones Stamp Set
  • Andy Skinner Industrial Stamp Set
  • Permanent Black Ink
  • Clear Embossing Powder
  • Stabilo Aquarellable Black Pencil
  • Sea Salt
  • Scrap Stamping Paper or Cardstock
  • Black Chipboard
  • Small Brads
  • Scissors
  • Brushes
  • 1/4” and 1/8” Double Sided Adhesive Tape
  • Miscellaneous Witch Hat Stamp (Oxford Impressions)
  • Computer Generated Letters
  • Black Dresden Trim
  • Black Netting (for the Raven’s hat)
  • Heat Tool
  • Orange, black, and white bakers twine
  • Craft Mat


Brush DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Vermilion onto a piece of stamping paper or white card stock.  Use a cross hatch stroke for more detail on the base coat. Heat set. 

Instruction #1 - 143
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Create a wash from water and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey.  Brush the was over the orange base coat and sprinkle with Sea Salt.  Let air dry.  When dry, brush the remaining salt off of the base. 

Instruction #2 - 28694
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While the sea salt base is drying, glue a piece of plain cardstock underneath another piece of cardstock or a piece of stamping paper.  Then stamp two skeletons and three ravens from Andy Skinner’s Birds and Bones stamp set using Black Permanent Ink.  Heat set.  You are going to create a jointed skeleton and raven.  So you need two of each. Use one complete skeleton and raven.  Then cut the arms and legs, including the joint sockets off of the second skeleton.  Cut the wing out of two of the raven stamps and cut out the whole raven you will leave in tact.

Instruction #3 - 37311
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Cut off the arm attached to the skeleton at the shoulder, leaving the shoulder joint on the arm and keep the rest of the arm because you will need it. Then overlap the shoulder joint of the second stamped arm. Punch a small hole through the two arms at the shoulder joint and join them together using a small brad.  Next, cut the arm on the skeleton off right below the elbow joint. Take the extra arm and but a round joint at the elbow, leaving the elbow joint in tact.  Overlap the elbow joint onto the elbow joint that is attached to the skeleton, punch a small hole and join the elbows with a small brad.  You have created a jointed arm for your skeleton!  Repeat this for the other arm. 

Instruction #4 - 428
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Now joint the legs in the same manner.  First cut off the legs on the skeleton, leaving the hip joints in tact on the skeleton’s body.  Next take the second set of stamped legs and cut a round hip joint.  Overlap the hip joints over the hip joints on the skeleton’s body, punch a small hole and join the hips with a small brad.  Cut off the legs right below the knee joint on the legs attached to the skeleton. On the separate legs, cut a round joint to include the knee joint.  Overlap the knee joints, punch a small hole and join the knee joints with a small brad. Your skeleton is now jointed!

Instruction #5 - 531
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Do the same thing with your raven to joint him.  Cut out two wings, one will be upside down but it doesn’t matter.  Cut out the tops of the wings with a round edge to blend into the raven’s body.  Place the wing for the body over the other wing, punch a small hole and join the wing with a small brad.  Lay the other wing underneath the raven’s body and place it where it looks like the same wingspan as the other wing.  Punch a small hole and join the other wing with a small brad. Set aside.

Instruction #6 - 65430
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Add some gold highlights to your sea salt washed base.  Spread some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Gold paint onto a craft mat, place the scratch looking stamp from Andy Skinner’s Industrial stamp set into the paint and randomly stamp onto the sea salt base.  Immediately wash stamp when finished.

Instruction #7 - 72676
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Stamp Poison from Andy Skinner’s Birds and Bones in the center of the orange sea salt background using Permanent Black Ink.  Immediately cover with Clear Embossing Powder.  Remove the extra powder and heat set. 

Instruction #8 - 86892
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Create a base or a “stage bottom” for your 5” x 7” canvas.  Cut a piece of Black Chipboard 2 ½” high by 7” long.  Set it to the side.  Measure the orange paper base to be ¾” high (except for the area where the skull and crossbones by 7” long.  Where the skull and crossbones is on the stamped area, find something round about the side of the skull and crossbones and draw a half circle around that area to join onto the lines you have drawn.  Then cut out the band for the stage base.  **KEEP THE REMAINING PIECE OF ORANGE BAND TO USE FOR THE MARQUEE. Using your finger, edge this piece with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black followed by Metallic Gold.  Heat set.  Cut the chipboard into one 5” strip and two ¾” strips.  Join the sides to the 5” strip using small “structure strips”. For a refresher on “structure strips” click HERE for a previous blog post explaining them. Glue in place on the Black Chipboard using double-sided Adhesive Tape. Then cut out the top of the band, leaving a tiny border of the black chipboard.  Using your finger, edge the entire stage bottom with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold. Set aside. 

Instruction #9 - 948
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Brush DecoArt Crackle Paint onto a piece of white stamping paper or cardstock.  LET AIR DRY! 

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While the Crackle Paint is drying, paint the sides of the canvas with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey or Carbon Black.  Then, as done on the orange base coat, randomly stamp Andy Skinner’s scratch stamp dipped in DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold paint onto the sides of the canvas.  Immediately wash the stamp. 

Instruction #11 - 116386
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Once the crackle is dry, create a “brick” tone of colors over the crackle.  Do this by using and blending DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics colors:  Titanium White, Titan Buff, Yellow Oxide, Naphthol Red, Burnt Umber and Cadmium Orange Hue. Heat set. 

Instruction #12 - 1273
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Cut out the “bricks” into strips and sections, rounding the edges of each brick. Create a wash using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black and Translucent White.  Using your fingers, wipe the wash onto the bricks to give them depth. Be sure that all of the edges are the grayish color.

Instruction #13 - 1357
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Randomly glue the bricks in place on the canvas that has been painted with a gray background to give a mortar effect.  Use either glue or Double Sided Tape to stick the bricks in place.

Instruction #14 - 141757
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When finished adding the bricks, brush over the entire canvas with DecoArt Media Matte Medium to seal the canvas. Let air dry or heat set.

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If you like, add some shading and shadows using a Stabilo Black Watercolor Pencil. You can either smudge the pencil lines with your fingers or with a damp paintbrush.

Instruction #16 - 163250
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Computer generate “THE PUPPET MASTER” to fit into a 1” band that will create the Marquee at the top of the canvas.  Print out on a piece of cardstock that has a piece of white tissue paper taped to it. Remember to reverse the letters so that they will print out correctly when attached to the marquee.  The marquee top is a ¾” tall band by 8” wide piece of orange sea salt paper. Place the tissue paper printer letters “THE PUPPET MASTER” (torn around all edges of the letters to make the tissue blend into the background better) in the center of the orange band.  Glue in place using DecoArt Media Matte Medium. It will dry clear and seal the letters in place.  Once dry, add a little DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Translucent White to the sides of the band to blend the tissue in place even more perfectly.

Instruction #17 - 1721
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Give the raven an aged appearance by adding just a touch of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Quinacridone Gold over the stamped image.  Paint more color onto the beak and the feet.  Paint the eye with DecoArt Acrylic paint color Sour Apple. 

Instruction #18 - 1858
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Stamp a small witch’s hat (I used a stamp I had), cut it out and glue it onto the raven’s head.  This picture shows your completed jointed raven. Other than, I added some black netting at the very end.

Instruction #19 - 1948
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Create the marquee just like you did the stage bottom using structure strips and black chipboard behind the orange paper. In this case, the black chipboard is a 5” x 1” strip across the front and two 1 ½” x 1” strips for the sides.  Join together with structure strips and wrap the orange sea salt base around the marquee base.  Then add some character to the marquee with two pieces of black Dresden trim.  Glue these on using Double Sided Adhesive Tape. 

Instruction #20 - 2051
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You have completed your Puppet Master Canvas.  It’s very dimensional as you can see from this photo.

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I hope you have enjoyed this fun project and perhaps learned a couple of tips and tricks along the way.  


Instruction #22 - The Puppet Master81
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Happy Halloween everyone!

Be sure to visit Creativity Is Contagious  for more projects and to learn more about Candy.


Just DELIGHTFUL. The bricks.... truly INCREDIBLE.... seriously AMAZING. The wings on the raven are FABULOUS but the witchy hat is BEYOND SUPER!!! The way the skeleton is posed cracks me up - eheheheheh!!! WONDERFUL WONDERFUL Candy. I LOVE this because it used DecoArt Media in such a great way but also because it just makes me smile!!! Xj.


October 5, 2017

This is absolutely amazing! What imagination and fabulous use of those wonderful Halloween stamps!

Susan Mostek

October 5, 2017

fantastic home decor piece Candy with the most fabulous details. Love the colours you achieved using the paints. Great design xx Happy Halloween Hugs Annie xx


October 5, 2017

Fabulous tutorial for this fun, whimsical piece. You work magic with paint. That is a fact. Such a creative mind!!!!


October 5, 2017

Holy Smokes, Candy!!! This is an amazing project. Always a treat to see your works of Art.

Linda Cain

October 5, 2017

Just love these I have this stamp set and I will now have a go at making something like this What an inspiration you are I wish Halloween was more popular in Australia


October 6, 2017

Candy, you are a GENIUS !! The project is genius, I love every single little inch of this fabulously spooky and the fact that it is a moveable is just the icing on the cake - LOVE this!!! Those bricks - wow.... !!

Anne R

October 7, 2017

AWESOME - love every bit of it. Thanks for sharing your talents!!


October 8, 2017

Thank you so much for all of the positive compliments everyone!! You've made me feel so good! Glad you liked the tutorial.


October 8, 2017

Love all the fabulous texture! Awesome project!

The Altered Paper

October 9, 2017

This is brilliant, Candy. I love to see the process, there's so much to learn from you every time.


October 19, 2017

This is absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing your talents!!

Rosanna Zuppardo

October 19, 2017

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