I wanted to do a Halloween project for my grandchildren, and what could be more appropriate than a skeleton?
I got out a bag of these bendy skeletons that I had purchased from Oriental Trading Company but they needed some help. I left them on my work table until later when I could do some plastic surgery and a makeup job.
When I returned this is what I found. Good Grief!
My disrespectful husband has been at my work table again!
The skeletons have unncessarily large appendages, so I used the craft knife to cut away excess and to scrape flash from along the seam lines.
Because the skeletons were flexible, they bent in all the wrong places; I decided to cut part way through all the joints to see if they could bend more realistically.
Well, that was worth it, as he is bending at the elbow and at the hip now, instead of halfway between joints!
I also cut through the clenched teeth so that something could be inserted or I could give him an open mouth, if I chose to.
A dirty water wash brings out detail and helps de-emphasize their fakiness.
See? Much better than that original chalk white!
I also tried a more black-toned wash on a few. Depending on the setting, one color might work better than another.
This skeleton is going to be playing soccer; another will be golfing. I put the same color wash on the shoes, balls and golf clubs as on the skeletons. These guys have really big feet, which may not be too realistic, but the big feet help them stand better.
I have several skeletons left for other settings. It's worth doing the extra work if you aren't too picky because they are so cheap.
NOTE: You can see the packet I put together for my out of town grandchildren using one of these skeletons here.
Also, since I first wrote up this process, I have worked with much more realistic skeletons that were primarily purchased at Dollar Tree in recent years.
You can see details when my granddaughter Jenna made her Skeleton Beach scene,
as well as when I created Ghouliana of Ghouliana's Garden.