Sunday, November 10, 2019

A resting place for miniature villains

This year I finally got around to creating a mini cemetery! That's something I've been talking about doing for years. I think what kept me from starting was deciding on the materials to work with. I've seen some great little tombstones made from paper and wrapped around candles. That's maybe something to try in the future, but for now I decided to work with what you'd think would have been an obvious material: stones.

I found these little inspirations on a trip to the lake on my birthday. So that's a little over a month ago. Once the idea struck, I really got rolling with finding the perfect stones. Here they are, before being "inscribed".

So part one of picking a material was done. The next and very crucial part of this project was choosing the names that would go on these stones. Well, I thought it would be fun to choose some names from works of fiction. I thought about characters from my favorite old horror movies, like putting "The Wolfman" or "Dracula" on the stones, but something just wasn't clicking for me with that. Then I thought about some favorite books, but the names just seemed too unrelated for me. Then ZIP! I thought about that favorite old show of mine from back in the day: Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Well, that show provided me with instant and seemingly endless inspiration. I had more names than I did stones with that! Perfect. I thought of my favorite villains from the show and decided their names would make up my cemetery.

If you know the Brother Septimus character, you'll appreciate the eye on his stone and that piece of potpourri that very much resembles an eye in front of it. I tried to think of a symbol that was representative of these characters. Like the lips for the beautiful Ms. Valenti, who was very into her cosmetics.

Or the snake that is slithering across Jake "The Snake" Desmond's stone. I went really mossy and funky with Dr. Vink's stone, because he seemed like he could have moss growing on him! And I ripped some fuzzy plant stuff apart to put in front of his grave. Because I thought he'd have an overgrown sort of resting place.

For those of you who haven't watched Are You Afraid of the Dark? many of the episodes are online. So if you're curious, you could google some of these names and either see the characters or watch the episodes. Or you could check out this page where someone has organized all the Are You Afraid of the Dark? villains in alphabetical order:

Villains Wiki: Are You Afraid of the Dark Villains

If you click on a name, you can read about the character. Just a note, there are spoilers about the episodes here.

OK, so I had some stones and I had some names. Next I had to figure out a way to hold my little cemetery in place. I lucked out in finding the last of these signs at Dollar Tree.

Like with my Ofrenda project, this sweet family sign can be flipped to become the perfect size box to hold a cemetery! As you'll see in a bit, I painted the sides of it a dark green.

This floral foam from Dollar Tree was perfect for holding the stones in place.

I just squished them in there and they stayed put.

Although the foam was green, I wanted some plant-like material over the top of it. I ended up purchasing the last bag of this green potpourri from Dollar Tree. It was dyed a greenish color in parts, looked like spooky plants, and was labeled as  having a "fall leaves" scent.

Well, let me tell you, it smelled like... I don't even know. Overbearing cologne combined with Pine Sol? The funk was released as soon as I opened the bag. I should have smelled it in the store. At least I learned from this that dry potpourri can survive being washed. I washed it many times with vinegar and baking soda and watched that green dye wash away a good bit. After a couple days of it airing out on the porch, I didn't smell a thing.

Now that it's scentless, I like it a lot. There were all kinds of awesome shapes in the mix. My favorites:

I thought this one would look good holding a fake eye:

I happened to have some spare eyes that had fallen out of the center of some flowers, so in they went with the rest of the potpourri. Looks like a crazy moss monster, doesn't it?

Turns out they glow in the dark too!

So, back to the cemetery, I was then good to go! Here it is, pieced together.

From the top:

I took some photos of it at night, from inside a closet. I was trying to get that spooky lighting going with the candle.

I imagined this candle as a cemetery gate.

Try and imagine walking through this cemetery at night (of course being in scale to it yourself). Maybe you're carrying a lantern to cast this little bit of light over the stones. Crunch, crunch go the leaves underfoot.

I  like the way that snake shows up in the candlelight.

Remember those miniature pumpkins I got in the After Halloween Haul? Well, here's why I wanted them so much!

Aren't they just the perfect size? I already had a miniature truck full of pumpkins, so I was playing around with my miniature truck and gnomes. Maybe they're dropping off some little pumpkins at the cemetery? Or maybe they planted those pumpkins in there?

I've had this gnome standing in the cemetery because he's holding a shovel. I'd darkened the eyes on my gnomes and this one's eyes went goofy. I thought that expression made sense for a gnome working in a cemetery like this one.

Even though I made this cemetery and the characters are fictional, I actually spooked myself with the finished product. These names mean something to me and the thought of these characters together in a cemetery, even miniature, dead, and not real is pretty eerie to me.


  1. The candle works very well as a cemetary gate.

  2. What a great project! You had me laughing at your description of the scent of the potpourri ! I had no idea you could wash it either. I was thinking those little tombstones would look great in a sand tray with little succulent plants too.

    1. Alison ~ Thank you! :) Haha, thanks. I can only imagine how much I turned up my nose after opening that potpourri package. All I could think was "Release the Kraken!" I released something, anyway. Well, I learned my lesson. Next time, I'll undo that twist tie in the store and do a test sniff.

      And yeah! You can wash it and nothing happens! Well, except that you have wet potpourri for a few days. For some reason, I'd expected it to shrink after being washed. That sounds funny now, like I'm talking about a sweater. I guess I thought the plant parts would just curl up tight, but everything remained the same size.

      And yes! Good idea with the sand and succulents. That could make for a neat desert theme with little miniature skulls!