Kids will love making this spooky set of framed faux bats - a process art activity perfect for Halloween! Templates included. | via barley & birch
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Make: A DIY Framed Faux Bat Collection

A few years ago a friend and I stumbled upon the best curiosity shop. It was tucked into a little storefront on a quiet side street in Chicago and filled with jars of vintage oddities, creepy collections and some mildly terrifying taxidermy. We spent an eerie and wonderful October night exploring it’s dark, dusty corners, and I’ve been looking for a fun way to recreate the vibe of that mysterious menagerie ever since.

While making our set of colorful bendable bats last week, it dawned on me that they would be the perfect art project to turn into some festive faux taxidermy! Combined with this positively dreadful DIY softie, a possessed magic trick, and our magical lion mask we have everything we need for our own little shop of horrors!

Kids will love making this spooky set of framed faux bats - a process art activity perfect for Halloween! Templates included. | via barley & birch
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With plenty of opportunities for splattering “blood” and creating spooky details, this is a Halloween craft guaranteed to inspire screams of delight. It’s also an entertaining and unique idea for kid-made fall or Halloween decor!

To make your own framed bat collection you’ll need:

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*

BASIC SUPPLIES:

  • (1) Sheet of watercolor paper (like this kind) or heavy white cardstock for the frame
  • (1) Sheet of watercolor paper or white/black cardstock for the bat
  • Scissors
  • Watercolors, colored inks like these, pastels or other supplies to color your bat and frames
  • Ribbon for hanging
  • Hot glue gun or craft glue

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:

DIY Framed Faux Bat Collection Instructions:

  1. Sketch a simple picture frame or download & print our templates

    I loved how these hand-inked frames looked so much, I decided to scan them in and make them a printable set that you can use if you’re running short on time or supplies! I even added a few tea-dyed labels, perfectly-sized to fit as ours did, that you can use for you own name plates!

    Print out the desired template pages on to copy paper (to cut a template) or directly on to watercolor paper that has been trimmed to fit your printer (you may want to run a test print through first to make sure your printer can handle the thickness of the paper).

    If you’d rather not use our printables, you can sketch your own simple frames, bats, and labels on to sheets of watercolor paper or heavy cardstock.

    Sketch and ink a simple frame for your bat | DIY faux bat collection for kids
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  2. Cut out your picture frame

    Use scissors to cut around your picture frame.

    Cut out the frame for your bat | DIY faux bat collection for kids
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  3. Add some spooky splatters to your frame

    This is an optional step, but it adds the perfect amount of vintage mystery! Using a brush or eyedropper, make a series of ink splatters and blots on your picture frame.

    You can use any color ink, but if you’re going for classic Halloween creeps, red ink splatters pair perfectly with a blood-sucking vampire bat! Working with younger kids or worried about a mess? Trade the ink (which can wreak havoc in little hands, and is very permanent) for watercolors – they’ll work just as well!

    Splatter ink to give your frame a spooky look! | DIY faux bat collection for kids
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  4. Glue a ribbon to your frame for hanging

    Use a glue gun to attach a cut of ribbon to the top of your picture frame. Ours was about 12 inches long and we cut small “V”-shapes out of the ends to add a little spooky style.

    Hot glue a ribbon to your frame for hanging | DIY faux bat collection for kids
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  5. Add your bat and a name label to the frame

    This freaky frame needs a bat! Using the bendable bats from our DIY, a simpler cut-out version of our template, or your own sketched bat silhouettes, glue to the center of your frame.

    But of course, it wouldn’t be a curiosity shop classic without an antique, aged name label. You can make your own distinct kind of label, or try dyeing paper with tea as we did! Want to speed things up? Our printable includes the very same tea-stained labels we used (sized to fit the frames). Just use your imagination to come up with batty names for your nocturnal nightmares!

    Add your bat and a name label, then hang your framed bat | DIY faux bat collection for kids
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When creating our framed collection, we used a couple of our colorful bendable bats but also cut out an additional bat from black paper using the same template.

After gluing a small strip of faux fur to the body, adding some gleaming eyes and small fangs, we creased the paper wings in a couple places. Before our very eyes, our simple black paper bat was transformed into “Mammalia Vampire” – the most fang-tactic vampire bat!

Kids will love making this spooky set of framed faux bats - a process art activity perfect for Halloween! Templates included. | via barley & birch
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This project is chock full of ways for kids to flex their imaginative muscles and play with art, color, form and even language!

Kids will love making this spooky set of framed faux bats - a process art activity perfect for Halloween! Templates included. | via barley & birch
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I absolutely love how our faux bat taxidermy turned out, and can easily picture a full gallery wall of these decorating a school hallway, or hung for a horrifyingly chic Halloween party!

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Here for the boos? We have Halloween covered with this adorable free printable Halloween doodle book, some super hip upcycled costume ideas, a roundup of our fav modern no-carve pumpkins and even a recipe (and ghost stickers!) for healthy homemade Ecto-Cooler!

Kids will love making this spooky set of framed faux bats - a process art activity perfect for Halloween! Templates included. | via barley & birch
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Kids will love making this spooky set of framed faux bats - a process art activity perfect for Halloween! Templates included. | via barley & birch
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Kids will love making this spooky set of framed faux bats - a process art activity perfect for Halloween! Templates included. | via barley & birch
  • Save
Kids will love making this spooky set of framed faux bats - a process art activity perfect for Halloween! Templates included. | via barley & birch
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A note about Amazon affiliate links : We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

Kids will love making this spooky set of framed faux bats - a process art activity perfect for Halloween! Templates included. | via barley & birch
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About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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