October 24, 2010


I've been a tremendous fan of Edgar Allan Poe ever since I read The Cask of Amontillado in a high school English class.  I went on to devour many of his short stories, poems, and knew my husband was "the one" when he took me to a stage adaptation of The Telltale Heart for our first date.  So, I thought it only fitting that one of my Halloween crafts this year pay homage to the master of the macabre.

To make your own dark-winged harbinger, follow the easy instructions below:


1 papier mache skull (I purchased mine from Michael's for $1.99)
Book pages from Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven (free download below)
Matte Mod Podge
DecoArt Americana Staining Antiquing Medium (found at most craft stores)
DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint in "Cocoa"
1 faux black bird (I found mine at the Dollar Tree)
Fine black glitter
27" off white crepe paper streamer (cut into 3 9" lengths)
Black thread, needle
Paper mask (download below)
paint brushes, paper towels, hot glue gun, scissors

Step 1:  Tear strips of book page printouts and attach to skull using Mod Podge (Reserve  one piece that says, "Quoth the Raven, Nevermore" -- set aside for later).  Continue until entire skull is covered. Dry.  

Note:  I used an image of a raven from my Poe collection as an ornament between the eyes (free download below).  Also, I used Poe's signature for the mouth (free download below).

Step 2:  Mix 1 part staining medium with 1 part Cocoa paint.  Using a paper towel, rub a small amount of stain mixture on skull to achieve desired antiqued look. Use dry portion of paper towel to buff the entire skull and remove any excess antiquing medium.  Dry.

Step 3:  Remove plastic eyes from faux bird.  While still on the paper base and using a paint brush, cover entire bird (except legs) with Mod Podge.  Hold bird over a small dish or piece of newspaper and cover liberally with fine black glitter.  Shake off excess and return to container.  Allow bird to dry.  Once dry, remove legs.  Using hot glue gun, glue bird to the top of the skull.

Step 4:  To make the collar, stack the three 9" strips of crepe streamer on top of one another.  Sew a running stitch down the center of the streamer.  Leave enough thread on both sides to gather later.  Trim one side just under the stitching.  Trim other side to approx. 1/4".  Pull both sides of thread to gather.  Tie around the neck of the bird.  Separate and fluff as desired.

Step 5:  As a final touch, cut out and glue mask.  Using scissors or a craft knife, separate the bird's beak into a top and bottom piece so you can insert the reserved strip of paper (the one that says "Quoth the Raven, Nevermore").  Glue in place.

Below you'll find free downloads for this craft.

Scan_Pic0094-1.jpg Mini Masks picture by sarahjmorriss
Click on the image above to copy the .jpg image of the mask(s)

Scan_Pic0097.jpg Edgar Allan Poe picture by sarahjmorriss
Click on the image above to copy the .jpg image of Poe's signature

Scan_Pic0096.jpg The Raven picture by sarahjmorriss
Click on the image above to copy the .jpg image of the Raven

Below you'll find the book pages needed for the decoupage:
The Raven POE


  1. You're amazing! This looks so cool, and being a huge Poe fan myself (committing The Raven to memory!-- just to ward off Alzheimer's-- I'll let you know if it works) I may just have to try this! I love the plan and the design, and it's right up my alley! You're a genius!

  2. That is like classy creepy. If that makes sense.

  3. Beautiful! I love the way you used the signature & stamp on the skull.

  4. I couldn't say it better than Leah did. You are amazing. Poe is also my Fav poet/author. I fell in love with the Tell Tale Heart in school. This is perfect. Thanks for sharing!!
    "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." Edgar Allen Poe

  5. You should have taken a photo of you in your hat from a few Halloween's ago! Love the project...although the skull creeps me out! At least it is not a vampire.

  6. You missed one important step, where to find the free childcare so I can completely dive into your site and create away! Your creativity is just so very inspiring. I so love cruising through your site and dreaming of the time to make something from it. I'm planning to do some crafty stuff for the holidays and will keep a close eye on what you recommend. I can't wait!!

  7. Cool! Thanks for stopping by my site!

  8. As an English teacher, I must say that I LOVE this! What a creative take on the holiday! So glad I stopped in at your blog from the SITS girls site.


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