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
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
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 affiliate links from Amazon and/or Woodpecker Crafts for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*
- Our Bat Templates Printable PDF
- Our Hand-Inked Frame & Nameplate Set Printable PDF
- Black faux fur (If you’d like to make your bats FURRY!)
- Glitter for decoration (FYI – this biodegradable kind is ocean-friendly!)
DIY Framed Faux Bat Collection Instructions:
- 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.
- Cut out your picture frame
Use scissors to cut around your picture frame.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
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!
This project is chock full of ways for kids to flex their imaginative muscles and play with art, color, form, and even language! In fact, once you’re done with the art-making, you can use these as their own writing prompt. Invite your kids to come up with a name, background, and story for their bat. Where is their bat from for instance? What qualities or spooky stories make their bat TOTALLY unique?
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!
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!
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!