The Art of Darkness

Wine Bottle Decoration

January 26th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Wine BottleThis is another project that I’ve had in my Drafts folder in hopes that I’ll eventually get around to making it. Since it’s been knocking around in there for over a year that apparently isn’t going to happen any time soon, so I’m just going to throw it out here for you guys.

I saw this in a Flickr photostream, listed as “scary wine bottle lady” (click to enlarge). Given its elaborate nature I assume the components are permanently attached to an empty bottle, but I like the idea of presenting a full bottle of wine “gift-wrapped” in this fashion.

A base for the body could be created by molding chicken wire around an empty wine bottle. Cover the form with papier-mache, Model Magic, Sugru, or plain old duct tape, then wrap wire or pipe cleaners around the upper third to attach the arms. The photo isn’t clear enough to tell if the fingers are wire or actual small skeleton hands; if you can find the latter in the appropriate size it might look nicer. Something like the Skeleton Store’s Cheap Charlie might be about the right size, and it also gives you a skull and extra body parts to work with; I like the idea of a bit of rib cage peeking out of holes in the lady’s rags. The bones can be darkened and aged with a bit of plastic-safe spray paint if desired.

Once the body is complete dress it in purchased doll clothes, hand-sewn clothing, or simply scraps of fabric. The trailing skirts appear to be fairly stiff; this can be done by soaking dyed cheesecloth in laundry starch, draping it as desired–make sure you work over plastic to catch drips–then letting it dry. Add doll accessories such as a lantern, broom, or severed head; attach them to the hands with a dab of hot glue.

Now for the head. You can either carve a hole in the base of the skull (easier with a foam skull than plastic) to fit down over the neck of the wine bottle, or mold a cap on top of the bottle with paper clay or Sugru and hot-glue the skull to that (cover this “neck” with a scarf or fur stole). Glue on wispy bits of doll hair and top with a hat.

Once everything is thoroughly dry, slip them off of the empty bottle and put them on the full gift bottle. Present as an extremely unique hostess gift.

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