Please Welcome: Kristen from Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke

Hello friends! My name is Kristen, and I share my life stories at Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke.

If you like recipes, home decor, and photo tips, then come on over and join me! I met the lovely sisters of Eighteen25 last April, and I'm now grateful to call them friends. True, genuine goodness, they are.

I'm so stinkin' excited to share my latest creation with all of you! I love everything about Halloween, and as a photographer--I love anything to do with pictures as well--especially of my sweet family. So I combined those two loves and pulled out photos from our family Halloweens past to make this project.

I have had an ongoing series on my blog called Decorating with Portraits, and the importance of plastering the walls of our homes with pictures of family fun and togetherness. Not only does it build the self esteem of our young children, it gives them a sense of stability and family togetherness that they can fall back on when life gets tough. Sharing this message is a small passion of mine.

I've had a few scattered Halloween frames as part of my decorations I pull out throughout the years, but I wanted to incorporate MORE pictures of our past Halloweens. Why not a giant collage in the shape of a bat? As I worked on this project, my kids had so much fun looking over the pictures, and remembering this costume or that, and I tell made my heart swell with joy.

Here is the Halloween Bat Photo Collage process:

I wanted the bat BIG, and we have all sorts of scrap wood in our garage. Since it was so big, I thought thin wood was best, so it worked out perfectly that we had this piece left over from a previous project. My hubby is very handy--he draws--and cuts, so I had him do those two parts in the very beginning. Of course the kids had to weigh in on how they thought the bat should look.

After my pretty bat was all cut to size, I adored her as she rested upon our Barn Door TV Cover. It was then that I named her Betty the Bat. I looked at Betty from various angles with my fingers wrapped around my chin...stroking my chin....then batted my eyelashes at my hubby who just cleaned up all of the sawdust and tools, and asked him trim her just a smidgen more. Betty the Bat sits at about 58 inches wide by 22 inches tall.

I knew Betty would be covered in photos, but still had to cover her in black spray paint for the spots that would show through.

I was then ready to layout out my photos. I had gone through my digital files as well as scrapbooks and gathered Halloween pictures from the past 13 years. If I had only scrapbook photos, I just took a picture of them with my iphone, emailed them to myself, and saved them with the others. I've even got a picture where hubby and I went to a Halloween party when we were engaged. Then the next Halloween, we were married and I had a pumpkin in the oven! I printed about 75 pictures--I had no clue how many I needed, and I wanted to have lots of options. It only cost me $10 to print all of them at Sams Club. I had previously turned all of the images to black and white in photoshop for more uniformity.

I then divided the prints into piles. I had a handful of just couple pictures, and I wanted to make sure they were spread out and not clumped together in one section. I also made a pile of individual shots, just kids, and then our entire family. I placed them strategically around Betty the Bat, and the hardest part was filling in the gaps "just so." Kinda like a puzzle. It was a fun challenge, though. I had also made prints of Halloween foods we had made, pumpkins, and other "non people" Halloween images, and they made great fillers.

After I had arranged the photos in the right spots, taking into account the curves of the bat, I carefully put a dab of mod podge under each photo to hold in place. After it dried, I applied mod podge to the rest of the bottom of the photos, then let it dry. I then slapped a layer of mod podge over the entire top surface of the photos. I had done it before, and knew it would dry clear. After that dried, I flipped over Betty the Bat and too an exacto knife and trimmed off the excess photos.

I then grabbed another big board in my garage, and wrapped orange fabric around it, glued it to the back with mod podge (I tried staples, but the type of wood didn't receive it well). I made a pennant banner with sparkly black paper to cover up some of the empty space, but not to detract from the Bat. I went back and forth with whether or not to mount the bat to the background, but in the end decided to lean her so I could use the giant board for something else if needed.

Up close...

And there you have it... Betty the Halloween Bat Photo Collage!!! I'd LOVE to hear if you end up making a Halloween Photo Collage of any type!

If you'd like to see other Halloween Ideas, check out my Glow in the Dark Bat Art, and just yesterday I shared ideas on how to throw a couples Halloween party.

You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, and sometimes Twitter;)

Happy Halloween Planning!!!

visit kristen on her blog : facebook : pinterest : twitter

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this post is sponsored by:

Use code "eighteen25fabric" during checkout and receive 10% off your next order through October 1, 2012. Happy Sewing!

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