The Halloween Train – Car #1

I know it seems pretty early for most to be thinking of Halloween, but in the handmade retail business you have to start early making your ‘Holiday’ stock; and since Halloween is my most favorite holiday – I’m already diving in deep to enjoy the fun and freaky-ness of Halloween.


I like projects on wheels, Tim Holtz Pulley Wheels to be exact.  They have such an industrial, steampunk, vintage feel to them, and now, they come in two sizes! OMG

Who knows where ideas actually come from, especially in my brain – but from out of the crafting ether came the idea of – a train.  Let’s get rolling.


These pre-cut  wood blocks are going to be the ‘flatbeds’ for the cars on my little train.  The side that’s up in the photo above is what is supposed to be the top side of these plaques, but for my project I’m going to flip them over and the top will now be the underneath side for my flatbeds.


I’m using the “Mini” size of the Pulley Wheels.  The screws that come with them are going to be too short to go through my wood units but with a few adjustments I was able to go up to a longer screw length.


Tim does make screws that you can buy separately that are longer, but even they weren’t long enough for this project and those boards.  For screws that fit my boards – I had to “tap” out the pulleys.  If you know how to do that, great, if not, you might want to consider what you use for your flatbeds as far as thickness goes.


I’ve marked the position for my holes, on the underneath side of my board.  You can see how this side narrows down to a smaller section so that is why I’ll mark and drill from this side.  If I did it from the top side my screws, and hence the wheels, would be coming out in those curved areas of wood – not good.


I’ve run the screws through in position and I’ll go ahead and paint the top, bottom and sides of the platform using black acrylic paint.


Cool, this is looking great.  And now for the decor!


I’m starting with the outside edge of the car.  First I glue on the orange ribbon, and then I add band of black tinsel over the orange.



Yep, that looks good.  Already, you can tell this is something for Halloween!


Now for the main event.  That’s one of those little metal bird cages for home decor.  It’s about 4½” tall.  I’m going to cut off the big, loose ring at the top since I’m not going to be hanging it.

I like Tim’s Distress Glitters, they have a Vintage feel/look to them.  But as usual, glitter goes everywhere. I found that wiping my tray down with a dryer sheet helps as well as rubbing my sweeper brush on the dryer sheet before cleaning the tray out does minimize the fly away glitter aspect some.


Using Tacky glue, I run a line down every other bar and then sprinkle liberally with the black glitter over my embossing tray.


I did the same with orange glitter and glittered the bottom ring, too.  But as you can see, the glitter stills get around. (sigh)


I chose the black for the fancy work at the top.


A little plastic pumpkin got the glitter treatment, too.  I did use Stickles Lime on the stem here, but doesn’t that look better than the original on the right?


Halloween’s version of a cherry on top.  E6000 will keep the pumpkin up there.

I’ve used these little metal bird cages a number of times in my Halloween projects.  They make terrific torture cages!


Flashback from a previous Halloween post.  This cage is a few inches smaller than the one I’m working with now, but they really make perfect cages for the dungeon!


Another favorite supply of mine is these 6″ plastic skeletons.  The joints don’t move on these guys but you can still make them bend into positions by CAREFULLY heating the joint over an open flame and making the adjustment while it’s still hot.  It will become permanent once it’s cooled.


I wanted this poor soul to be begging through the bars.  Once I had the position right I used hot glue to secure him in place.  I also used the hot glue to make ‘drips’ of slime coming off the skeleton.  Then I took some alcohol ink in a toxic green color and dripped it on the slime for effect.

Oh yeah, you might have noticed the wheel bling.


I picked up four of these packages after Halloween last year when they were on 70% off clearance.  I didn’t have a plan then, they just looked like fun Halloween accents and the price was right.  And now, they’re perfect spinners for my flatbed wheels.


I like the green slime and adding the drips helps take away attention from the blobs of glue needed to tack the skeleton into place. Also, I did glue the cage to the flatbed using E6000.


My little train car needed some sort of ‘coupler’ to be able to attach the cars to one another.  An arm from one those skeletons is going to work just fine.  I drilled a very small hole in the front of the car and using a length of black 24 gauge wire for my coupling pin, I drilled a corresponding hole in the ball of the arm bone and one in the hand, too (oh, I know, that sounds bad huh?) but he didn’t feel a thing.


Almost done.  The flat bed corners looked a bit blah to me.  Tim’s idea-ology line to the rescue.  These little skulls are a perfect fit, plus, they are flat on the bottom so they sit without trying to tip over like most little decorative skulls are want to do.

And now folks – were done!  Take a look at the first car finished in the Halloween Train project.






I’m off to a good start.  Car #2 will feature PURPLE, my personal favorite Halloween color.  And hint:  this car will have every ingredient the practicing witch will need.

Car #2 – coming (very) soon.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot – normally I have my projects already listed in my shop Old Raven on Etsy before I make my blog posts.  But, this time, I won’t list my train until I have all (4?) cars finished.


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