Halloween DIY Skull Topiary

Shelly L Nemeth
by Shelly L Nemeth
11 Materials
1 Hour

My daughter likes scary Halloween decor so she wanted me to make a skull topiary for the front door. Let’s get started!


Skulls - I used 3 in each topiary

Skull with crow - I used 2

2 pots

2 metal signs (any will work because you only need the metal stick)


Spanish moss

Paint (black, white and red)

Stain (Waverly Wax antique and clear)



Hot glue gun

To start with, remove the labels from your skulls.

Next, your styrofoam and cut a piece off that can fit into your pot. You can glue it to make sure it's secure. Then, take your metal pole from the metal sign and stick it through the centre of the styrofoam.

It doesn't matter what colour the styrofoam is as you won't see it when we are done.

Take a lighter or heat gun to heat up the top of the metal pole. I had to do this because I didn’t have a drill bit that would go all the way through the skull and I wanted to make sure they lined up nicely.

Then, push your skull all the way though and bring it to the bottom of the pole.

Do that with all the heads and stack them on top of each other. I used 3 in each pot but you could make them taller if you’d like.

Now, remove them and begin to paint and stain them to make them look more realistic and scary.

I did 2 of each skulls in dfferent colors. For the first, I used the Waverly Wax in Antique as it’s brown looking. I rubbed it all over and then used a sponge and dabbed it to give it more texture.

The paint makes a big difference!

Next, I used my black paint and a thin brush to highlight all the crevices. It doesn't have to be perfect. Make sure you get between the teeth and in the mouth too.

Then use your white paint and a dry brush to paint over his teeth.

I repeated the same steps using my clear wax in my white paint and then clear wax in my black paint. I painted the other skulls to change their base color.

I then used my hot glue to stick the Spanish moss to cover the styrofoam.

Then I stacked my skulls on top of each other onto the metal pole again.

I then used some Spanish moss to cover the pole in any spots that were sticking out. This also added a little creepiness.

Now, drill a hole through your topper and add it on.

I love how they turned out! Very creepy but pefect for our Halloween decor.

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  3 questions
  • Katen Katen on Sep 16, 2020

    This is great! Your stain/paint job took them from wow to WOW. Wondering, last year I made an ornament topiary and needed to make a hole to slide on pole (just like you need for skulls). I used a hot glue gun without glue to melt thru and it worked great and perfect circle. Do you think this would work with skulls?

  • Wulf_lisa1 Wulf_lisa1 on Sep 16, 2021

    Do you think the Dollar stores carry the skulls? I know if you try to buy them from Amazon etc., this can actually become very costly. But they are super cool looking and if you are able to use them year after year than it pays for itself.

  • Tina Mcnicholas Tina Mcnicholas on Sep 16, 2022

    I love this! So cute but I’m wondering if the skull with the crow is from the dollar tree? It’s stupid high on Amazon! But it really finishes this off!

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