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Halloween Guide and Ideas
 
Halloween Guide and Ideas

HOW TO AGE A SKELETON


Distressing the Bones
Its important to remember that the Bucky skeleton, skulls and bones are manufactured primarily for the medical industry and are not meant to look as though they have been buried for the last hundred years. Over time, they become slightly yellowed and stained, or at least the ones in our basement have...

As a Halloween prop, you will want to make some improvements to create that "fresh from the grave" look. Many years ago, we developed a way to distress the solid plastic that a Bucky skeleton, skulls and bones are made of. The process was suitable for a commercial haunt, but was expensive and time consuming (Click here to read our original method). So we came up with a simple way to make these Halloween skeletons, skulls and bones look old quickly and at a low cost.

In this article we will show you how to transform a white femur bone into an aged and stained looking Halloween prop for just pennies and in just a few minutes. While we used a femur in this example, this same technique can be used for skulls, other bones and full size Bucky skeletons (available at the Skeleton Store).

Materials
Eggshell Acrylic Craft Paint
Golden Harvest Acrylic Craft Paint
Nutmeg Brown Acrylic Craft Paint
Latex or Vinyl Gloves

First, wash the femur with soap and hot water to remove any oils that might be present from the manufacturing process that might hinder the paint from sticking. Dry the bone thoroughly with paper towel. Lay down some newspaper or a sheet of cardboard on your work surface to protect it from the paint.

Squirt about half teaspoon of the Nutmeg Brown paint onto a paper plate. On the other side of the plate, squirt a teaspoon of the Eggshell paint and add a few drops of Golden Harvest paint with a and mix these two together. Its very easy to make this mixture to yellow, you just want to slightly yellow the bone.

Slip on a pair of latex gloves and dip a finger into the Golden Harvest / Eggshell paint mixture and rub your fingers together on that one hand to coat the fingers of the glove with the paint. Holding the femur in the other hand, move you fingers over it, coating it with the paint. You don't need to get every crack and crevice, as bones do not age evenly.

Now dip the tip of your index finger into the Eggshell paint and as before, rub your fingers together to coat the fingers of the glove with the paint. Gently stroke this over the first layer of paint from one end to the other. The bone is now aged, but needs to be stained.

Dip the tip of your index finger into the Nutmeg Brown paint and as once again, rub your fingers together to coat the fingers of the glove with the paint. Using the tips of your fingers, stroke the bone from one end to the other. In this case you want to add stain like streaks, not coat the bone. Let the paint dry and you are all set. It is important to note that bones distressed in this manner will should not be exposed to high levels of moisture or water, as the paint may begin to bleed off.

Darkening the Cavities
We think that skulls look a lot scarier when the inside of the facial sockets have been darkened to give the impression that they are open all the way through to the cranium.

To do this we use black and brown acrylic craft paint and carefully paint the inside of the each eye socket and the nasal passage with a cotton swab. First with a light coat of black and then the same with the brown paint.

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