arts & crafts: phantasm christmas ornaments

I was given the task of decorating for Christmas this year. Bad idea. My Christmas consists of watching Silent Night Deadly Night, Black Christmas, Santa’s Slay, Gremlins, and Die Hard. I made gingerbread men that were decorated to look like horror villains. I hung up a string of lights with little ghosts on them instead of red and green bulbs. The pinnacle of my oeuvre, however, was the Christmas tree.

Fresh off the heels of my eighteen year wait for Phantasm 5, I was still excited about it and chose that as my tree theme. Honestly, it came down to Phantasm and Re-Animator, which I’ll probably do next year – glowing reagent syringes for the ornaments and a zombie cat with a broken back for a topper. After I had made my Sentinel ornaments and was still brimming with pride at a job well done, I was scrolling through Twitter and found that they were releasing official Phantasm ornaments. They’re much nicer looking than mine are and the money goes to good people, so I’m not saying that it’s not a good investment, but $15 for one ornament is a bit steep for me. Assuming that you also don’t want to spend $300 to cover your whole tree, I’m here to teach you how to make your own.

Step 1 → I found a tube of plastic silver ornaments at the local dollar store. The plastic kind are harder to find, but they’re easy to slice in to. I’m sure you can find them in other places, like if your town has a craft store or a year-round Christmas store (yeah, that’s a thing), but I’m going for cheap here. I got a tube of eight for one dollar and you can’t beat that. If you can’t find them in silver, just grab the lightest color available and spray paint them.

Step 2 → I used the cardboard from a case of pop to make the blades for my sentinels. I lightly sketched them in pencil, cut them out very carefully, and colored them in with a silver paint marker I had from a previous project. If you’d like something sturdier for yours, I recommend Friendly Plastic sheets, which wouldn’t bend as easily, and you can bust the spray paint back out to fill them in. Make sure you leave the stems of the blades a bit longer than normal so they can easily be inserted into the ornament.

Step 3 → Hold the back end of the blades up to the ornament to see what size cut you should make for them. I just marked the edges with small pencil marks which were easy to wipe away after they’d been cut with an x-acto knife. Now because I used cardboard instead of plastic, I simply bent the back end of the blades 90° before inserting them to keep them in place and get them to stick out at the proper angle. If you’ve chosen to use plastic, simply glue them in with hot glue or whatever type of craft glue you’ve got handy.

Step 4 → Put on some music, decorate your Christmas tree in a way that would make the Tall Man proud, and stand back to admire your work.

Be sure to send pictures of your horror Christmas trees my way, Phantasm themed or not!

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