Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spooky Cemetery Terrarium

Happy Halloween, everyone! Last week I took a bit of a break from art projects to work on a few things around my house. Fall is such a pretty time here, so I headed out to the nursery to get some mums to plant. While I was there, I noticed a rack of small houseplants and remembered that I had a huge glass ginger jar that I'd been meaning to turn into a terrarium. So, into my cart went a few plants.

After I starting filling up the jar, I realized I had way too many plants, so I divided a few of them. The jar was gorgeous, but what was I going to do with all these leftover plant bits? I remembered I also had a huge glass dome that I got at the Pottery Barn outlet for almost nothing. I also had a little silver pedestal that I'd just bought at an estate sale - I started getting a vision. Since I have been all about Halloween lately, it didn't take too long to realize it was destined to be a little cemetary!

To created the tombstones, I cut Grungeboard using the Sizzix Graveyard On the Edge die, and then painted it with a Pebble Dabber. While the paint was still wet, I blasted it with my heat tool, causing the paint to bubble in places. When it was dry, I drug a Black Soot Distress ink pad over the surface and then misted it with water, causing the ink to run. Such a cool effect (thanks, Tim!). When it was dry, I dabbed randomly with a Distress Embossing pad and then added sprinkles of Moss and Pine Needles embossing powders. Who knew that Moss embossing powder would really look like moss?? ;-)

After I was done with all the coloring, I cut the tombstones apart. To secure them into the moss, I broke toothpicks in half and stapled them to the back of the tombstones using Tim's Tiny Attacher.

Here it is without the dome over it. The moss came from my old studio roof that was replaced this summer. So sad that I don't have a mossy roof anymore, but it lives on in my little graveyard! The tree and bats were also cut from Grungeboard and painted. I will warn you - since this is a moist environment, the tree absorbed some water (roots I guess!) and started flopping over after awhile. If you wanted to have this stay upright for longer, I would add a little wire along the back side. The tombstones didn't seem to have the same problem.

The great thing about this project is that, after Halloween, I can take out the spooky stuff and add in something for fall, and after that, Christmas/winter decor. I really want a little garden gnome for it!

Oh, and don't forget, today is the last day to enter your spooktacular decorations in the Inspiration Journal challenge! You can read all about it here. Good luck!


  1. That looks really good! I love how you made the moss tombstones. They do look so real and mossy!


  3. Awesome, Shelly!! Thanks for showing us how you made it :)

  4. Wow!!! This is gorgeous..
    You are sooo clever!!
    Love your work ♥♥♥
    Hugs, Anne

  5. This is so much fun! Brilliant, girl, just brilliant!


  6. So cool!! and great distressing tips, thanks.

  7. Very cool... your mossy gravestones are an absolute triumph!
    Alison x

  8. What a great idea to use as a ever hanging seasonal display! Going to miss all your Halloween projects but looking forward to seeing what Thanksgiving and Christmas bring.

  9. Hello Shelly,

    still into Halloween ? :)
    me too... just finished another blogpost also about halloween...

    Love you little cemetry !! I put this in my pinterestboard for next year !! The cemetrydie is ordered, but didn't arrive yet. I also have a glass dome in my cellar collecting dust... and there's moss in my garden...
    Maybe i don't wait until next year and think about a fall theme like you suggest...
    Atlhough the stones look so good with the fake moss...hmm.... what could be "mossed" in a fall garden...
    Let my muse sleep over it and we'll see :)

    greetings from belgium

  10. So spooky! Those tombstones look AMAZING!!

  11. Whoow this is amazing, Shelly! Love your cemetery! That moss embossing powder is so cool! It really fits with the gravestones! Brilliantly done! Happy Halloween! hugs, Sandra

  12. Shelly this is brilliant and love the fact that you can swap and change it to follow the seasons. Shows it is not just for Halloween! The effect on the tombstones is just fantastic. Need more embossing powders!!
    I have joined in on the Inspiration Journal challenge!
    Spooky Hallowe'en to you x

  13. Shelly,

    You're amazing. This is too cool! Love it!


  14. This is soooo creative. Absolutely Brilliant! Nicola x

  15. That has got to be the neatest halloween decoration I ever laid eyes on! I wish I could do a Vulcan mind meld to learn how you come up with these ideas.

  16. Fabulous!!!! I love it! Just beautiful...and the moss is a wow!

  17. You are a genius, this is just to DIE for, what a good idea. But then you are full of fabulous ideas.
    This is SPOOKTACULAR, yeah, I said it.

  18. Hello who is the manufacturer of the moss powder? I cannot find it by a simple search.


Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate your comments so much!