Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake!

I am a HUGE fan of personalized decor….I just feel like it’s what really makes a house a home and not some stuffy waiting room or lobby area.  You will probably never see a generic painting or photograph hanging on my walls (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course….there’s some really beautiful stuff out there!).

However, since this is our house, I want to decorate it with a collection of our life and memories….photographs, mementos, keepsakes, etc. that are special to us, even if no one else understands why we live in Alabama but have a map of Jamaica framed and hanging in our loft (hint: we were married there!).

I especially love personalized decor for the holidays.  It’s so fun to pull out a tub of decorations year after year and rediscover little family treasures.  Since I gave birth to my son last year, this desire for personalized keepsakes has been in overdrive, and I decided to create a little Halloween decoration that incorporates his cute little one-year-old footprints….and I am just in love with the ghostly little Halloween footprint craft we threw together!

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

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Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake!

This year will be my son’s second Halloween but his first trick-or-treating and getting the full All Hallow’s Eve experience.  It’s therefore going to be just as if not more special and memorable than his first holiday.  I mean, how adorable was this little four-month-old lobster last year?!:

Halloween Baby Lobster Costume |Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Supplies I Used for this Keepsake:

  • Small board
  • Black spray paint
  • Glitter craft paint
  • White craft paint
  • Foam brush
  • Vinyl (five colors) & Silhouette Cameo
  • Transfer paper
  • Ribbon
  • Hot glue

Painting The Board

I had a general idea in my head that I was going to turn Rowan’s footprints into ghosts and somehow incorporate the phrase “Trick or treat, smell my feet” in with it.  Beyond that was still TBD when I started, which is usually how I work.  Inspiration strikes and I figure out the details as I go!

I had purchased some 6″ x 8″ MDF boards about a year ago just to have on hand for when inspiration strikes, so I pulled one out for this project since it is the perfect size for Rowan’s little tootsies.  I then covered both sides and all edges with some flat black spray paint.

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Adding Some Glitter Paint

Since my spray paint was flat black, and because I wanted to make the board a little more Halloweeny, I applied a coat of glitter paint next to brighten the board up a bit.

I also used this glitter paint for my ‘Happy Halloween’ sign as well as for the cereal box signs on my pumpkin wreath and NFL ‘House Divided’ wreath.  It’s a clear gloss paint that has black, orange, and some green glitter in it….I am definitely getting my money’s worth out of it this fall!

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Rowan’s Footprints

After the board was completely dry, I recruited the help of my husband to wrangle our squirmy toddler long enough to get his footprints….sorry, no action shots during this phase.

Since I was going to turn his prints into little ghosts, I grabbed some white acrylic craft paint and painted a light coat onto one of Rowan’s feet with a foam brush.  I then guided it onto the board and hoped that it would turn out.

This capturing of the footprints was definitely a two-person job (thanks for your help, honey!), and I had to encourage Rowan to uncurl his toes so the print would resemble a foot and not just a random blob.  Luckily, it turned out great!

I then cleaned off his just-painted foot with a baby wipe and repeated the process for the second foot.  Rowan was squirmier for this one, and the print ended up being a little more angled than I would have liked, but I was able to compensate for the weird placement with my vinyl design (keep reading!).

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Mockup

After Rowan’s little footprints had dried, I snapped a pic of the board with my iPhone and then uploaded it into Silhouette Studio so I could make a mockup….I’m a very visual person and need to actually SEE my design in the flesh instead of just in my head.  It really helps me to determine the placement of all the elements.

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

The Font: I first visited wordmark.it to try and settle on a font (you can read all about what wordmark.it is and why I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread here.  Seriously, if you’re like me and have a bazillion fonts on your computer, you need to check it out….it very well may change your life.  Possibly.  Or maybe not.  Or totally.).

After scoping out the plethora of possible font choices, I ultimately decided on a fun font ironically called Mountains of Christmas.  A Christmas font for a Halloween project…love it!  I added my desired text and changed the colors into Halloween shades that matched my vinyl, then created small offsets that would act as a white border for all the words.  Even though this layering of vinyl was going to be tricky (no pun intended), I love how it looks.

The Speech Bubble: To create the speech bubble for the ghosts’ “Boo!”, I used a dingbat font called KG Flavor and Frames Two (letter ‘o’), duplicated it, flipped it horizontally, welded the two together, then used my Knife and Edit Points tools to clean up the lines (got all that?).

The Ghosts’ Eyes: I first thought about sticking little googly eyes on the ghosts, but after testing some out, I didn’t like how it looked.  So I hit up Pinterest for some cartoon eyes that I could also cut out of vinyl and stumbled across a great find.  It was a blog that had some free printables to use on pumpkins in place of carving them.  The file with a bunch of different sets of eyes was perfect for this project, so I downloaded it, opened it up in Silhouette Studio, traced it, then selected a couple of my favorite pairs.

The Ghosts’ Mouths: The mouths were super simple to make.  I just used my Ellipsis tool and made little ovals.  Easy as can be!

 

Sizing All The Elements

Now that my design was complete, I needed to make sure that everything was the correct size before cutting any vinyl.  My board measured 6″ x 8″, so I used my Rectangle tool and created a shape that was those exact dimensions.  I then selected all of my design elements and resized them together so they were scaled appropriately and fit within the board.

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Adding Registration Marks

To make my life a little easier and the layering of all this vinyl a little less stressful (hopefully at least!), I added several pairs of registration marks.  These little boxes (I filled them in with yellow in my design just to make them easier to see) would be cut out above each line of text to help align the colored words overtop their white backgrounds.

You can read a more detailed description of what registration marks are and why they are so helpful when layering vinyl here.  The ghost faces and speech bubble didn’t need registration marks since they didn’t have any layering.

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Cutting The Vinyl

White Vinyl: Using my Silhouette Cameo, I first cut out all of the white vinyl pieces (the font backgrounds and speech bubble as well as their registration marks).  You can see the red cut lines below (you have to look closely on the words to see that it’s actually the white background being cut and not the colored letters….trust me, it is!).

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Orange Vinyl: Next came the orange words.  In order to save vinyl, I moved the “Boo!” word and its registration marks up higher.  All the non-orange elements were changed to ‘No Cut’ and therefore no longer had red cut lines surrounding them.

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Green Vinyl: The same process was done for cutting the green vinyl.

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Purple Vinyl: The purple vinyl got the same treatment.

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Black Vinyl: The black vinyl cuts were the smallest and simplest ones, but they were the most finicky to cut!  I ended up losing the inner rings on the crazy set of eyes (the right pair) but I still like it just as well….although it kinda resembles Cookie Monster now. ;)

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Vinyl Cuts

Here you can see all of my vinyl pieces after they were cut and weeded.  A great thing about this project was that all the cuts were small, so I was able to use up a bunch of scraps left over from other projects….horray for frugal crafting!

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Layering The Text: To layer the text, I just placed some transfer paper over top the colored pieces then lined up their registration marks above the white ones (once again, for a more detailed explanation, check this out).

After a quick rub with my scraper tool, my layered words were complete and beautiful….ahhh, I love a successful layering job.

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Applying The Vinyl: Now that all of my vinyl pieces were ready for application, I started placing them on the board.  I just pulled the vinyl off its backing with some transfer paper and once again used my scraper tool to adhere it solidly to the board.  I didn’t bother with any measurements before placing the vinyl (ain’t nobody got time for that!), so I took a walk on the wild side and just eyeballed everything….sometimes I get wild and crazy like that.

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Our Completed Halloween Footprint Craft: Rowan’s Ghostly Tootsies

After all the vinyl was applied, I added some orange ribbon to the back for hanging….although we don’t normally hang it off a tree in the backyard. ;)

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

I just LOVE this!  It’s festive and cute and personalized.  Even with the lopsided righthand ghost, it worked out since I was able to add a speech bubble in the center….what a serendipitous mistake, huh?

This piece will make me smile year after year when I reminisce about my little boy’s first real Halloween and how tiny his feet used to be….and I’ll also probably be a little sad at how much he’s grown and the fact that he’s no longer my little baby (*sniffle*).  Ahhhh, how bittersweet motherhood is….

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Halloween Footprint Craft: A Ghostly Keepsake! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Where The Smiles Have Been

 

 

 

Post updated September 2015 with new photos of completed sign.

About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky toddler and his mini-me infant brother, and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. I (try to) spend their nap times getting my craft on and I blog about my creations and adventures in parenting at Where The Smiles Have Been. My loves are all things DIY, especially Silhouette projects, wreaths, & personalized decor. And ice cream....definitely love me some ice cream.

Comments

  1. That lobster costume!!!! I am dying over the cuteness!!!
    I love how your sign turned out, too—it’s such a great keepsake to pull out each year!

    • Thank you, Emily! Yes, I love how this sign turned out too. Since we made it last year, this was the first time I pulled it out of storage….and it got me a little misty-eyed! It’s definitely a sweet little keepsake from my son’s first year trick-or-treating. (And isn’t he the most adorable lobster you’ve ever seen?!) ;)

  2. This project is so much fun! I bet Rowan’s feet smelled good when he was a baby. I snap pics and create mockups all the time. It helps to take the guess work out of sizing things.

  3. Love the sign but that little lobster – too cute for words!

  4. Thank you for a thorough tutorial. The project is terrific and I see some Grandsons getting a plaque!

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