Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

When it comes to Halloween costumes, Scott and I go whole hog … clothes, wigs, accessories, etc. We even adopt entirely new personas to complete our outfits and spend most of fall planning every detail.

Scott dressed as a toy army man

Sarah dressed as Energizer bunny

On principle, I never do “couples” costumes because I feel that it would always leave one of us with a mediocre outfit and the other in the spotlight. Instead, we each choose something different, then spend several months collecting and creating the pieces. Given my love for crafts, I do what I can to make many of our accessories at home using found materials rather than going with a pre-packaged costume. It doesn’t hurt that I wind up savings money in the process, too!

package of Sculpey clay

One such at-home material (that winds up in a lot of our costumes) is Sculpey clay. Sculpey clay, if you’re not already familiar, is a Playdough-like material that stays soft until it is baked in the oven. It’s especially helpful for making jewelry and logos like the Burger King necklace you see in Scott’s picture below.

Sarah and Scott for Halloween

This year, Scott needed a skull emblem to attach to a cowboy hat as part of his Brett Michaels costume. Since I’d already spent our Halloween budget on his shirt, hat, and wig, it was important to make his accessories at home. To start, I simply searched online for an image I wanted to use as the source of inspiration. Once I selected the skull emblem that I wanted, I printed it out, cut around the edges, and traced the outline onto a piece of scrap cardboard.

Skull print out

Using white Sculpey clay, I slowly shaped the form of the skull on top of the outline. I referenced the original print often to create the spaces for the eyes and nose.

Skull using Sculpey clay

I did my best to thicken and layer the clay to create a three-dimensional definition of each area of the skull; these indentations and markings will later come in handy during the painting process, but since they won’t be seen once the piece is painted, there was no need to worry about smudges or stains.

Clay skull

Once the skull was finished, it was time to move onto the crossbones. Shaping these as a separate piece was much easier than if I’d attempted to build it behind the skull as one piece.

clay crossbones

Now that each piece was formed, I assembled them onto a cookie sheet wrapped with aluminum foil. Even though Sculpey clay is non-toxic, I recommend always using aluminum foil underneath the clay when baking just in case the clay sticks.

the inspo and the almost-finished product

To connect the skull and crossbones together, I used liquid Sculpey, which acts as a glue and will harden in the over during the baking process.

Sculpey liquid

After about 15 minutes in the oven (follow package instructions for time and temp levels), I removed the skull from the even and set it aside to cool.

Sculpey skull out the oven

Once it had fully cooled, I brought the hardened clay out to the back yard to paint. Several coats of spray paint later, I could see the piece was coming together.

Spray painting the skull on a piece of cardboard

To bring out the dimensional details that I created earlier, I brushed black acrylic paint into each crevice where I wanted to see shadow, then immediately wiped the paint away with an old rag.

Attach the skull to a hat

Bingo, bango… a metallic skull and crossbones!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy: I love comments, especially if they make me laugh. Feel free to let your words of wisdom and humor fly (there's no swear jar on this blog), but if you're overly spammy, rude, or just plain boring, you're just going to have to accept that your comment may not see the light of day. P.S. If you leave an affiliate or monetized link when making a comment on this site, such links might get overwritten by a plugin I have installed that uses my own internal tracking. See terms and disclosure page for more info! Thanks in advance. You rock.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Hahaha, awesome! I still don't know what we'll be this Halloween. Last year we were Taco Bell's “Black Taco” commercial… complete with black shirt, black dress, black shoes, and a black eye. :)


  2. Nice! We don't get that creative…but we love dressing up for Halloween! So, Scott is going to be Brett Michaels, what about you??

  3. Very cool project and great directions, but I'm still chortling over the Energizer Bunny costume. That's awesome!

  4. I love your old costumes! My husband would be a great green army guy I'll have to keep that in mind. I can't wait to see what you do this year.

  5. Jeanette, posting of my costume crafts for this year are coming soon. I don't want to spoil the surprise just yet, but check in next week!

  6. Wow – you guys are seriously creative and fun! You did a great job!! I am happy to be your newest follower and would love to have you as a friend at Frou Frou Decor! Be sure to link up your sweet creations at my weekly party, Fabulous Friday Finds! Hope to see you there!
    ~Terrell @ Frou Frou Decor~

  7. Very cool – I love to see other people who are really into Halloween. Love the costumes!

    Take lots of pictures and ubmit them in my Handmade Halloween Contest – starts now! You can even enter costumes from past years!

    Party and Entertaining Inspiration

  8. Wow – that is awesome. Love the attention to detail there. Never used scultpy clay before…maybe I need to try it?

  9. Wow, I love your idea and you did a great job. I use a lot of polymer clays like Sculpey and wanted to warn anyone trying out your great ideas that the clay can have a chemical reaction with most spray paints and will become (and stay) tacky to the touch. So acrylics and water based paints are recommended.
    Thanks again for the great blog, I'm really enjoying reading through.

  10. Great tip, Deanna! I had no idea. I had no issues with mine, but I'll keep that in mind next time.

  11. So a suggestion instead of using Sculpey I suggest using Aves Apoxie Sculpt.


    It is better than Sculpey in every possible way. It is self curing, in less time I may add. It takes fine details like no one’s business and it will stick to pretty much any surface around. Once it sets up you can sand, drill, crave, etc. with no problems.

    I discovered it when I got into making custom action figures. Since then I have used it for just about everything.

    Also another cool product is Hydroshrink.


    I think I have pimped enough out here. Hope it helps in some way.