Happy Halloween! It’s the time of year for all things spooky! You can make a lot of creepy Halloween decorations yourself with just a few inexpensive supplies, and this Creepy Witch’s Finger is one of my favorites. You can make a lot of these and fill an apothecary jar, or just have one sticking out of a box with spider webs. Keep it mind that with a change of colors or adding some gauze, this can easily change into an ogre, mummy, or zombie finger!
Note: This is quick to make, but the clay needs to dry approximately 18 – 24 hours before it can be painted. So if you’re making a bunch, make them the day before you need to paint and you’ll be good to go!
Clay Witch’s Finger Halloween Decoration Tutorial
- Air Dry Modeling Clay. I recommend getting white, so whatever paint color you choose shows up well.
- Water. I keep mine in a spray bottle for ease of use. This clay dries out quickly, and is made much more workable with extra water.
- Paint. Here I used tempera, but acrylic craft paint also works great. I used black, white, yellow, brown, and red and mixed custom colors for my finger.
- A toothpick. For shaping your finger. You can also use clay tools, a pencil point, whatever you have on hand.
- Something for mixing paint on. I use a paper plate for easy clean up, but anything that you can mix paint on is fine.
- Brushes. I would recommend at least one small flat brush and one rough bristled stippling brush. If you don’t have a stippling brush, an old toothbrush works well too.
Start by pulling off a piece of your air dry clay, slightly smaller than a ping pong ball. See how the clay up above is a bit cracked and not smoothing into a clean ball? We want to fix that before we get started. Go ahead and add a little bit of water to your clay and start kneading it in. You shouldn’t need a lot if your clay is newer, but older clay sometimes needs more work before it’s ready to be used. When your clay can roll into a smooth ball, you’re ready to start working.
Roll your clay into a log shape. Then take your toothpick or other pointy tool, and use it to pull at the clay on one end. Keep gently tearing into the end of the clay until it looks rough. This give that “severed finger” look. If you don’t want the more gory aspect or if this is for little kids, you can leave this end rounded or push it flat.
On the other end, take your toothpick and make two indents to start forming the nail. Then make the curve part of the cuticle and push in where the end of the nail would be. You could also use a slivered almond or an artificial nail and push it into the clay if you wanted a longer fingernail!
Next make a small curve above the nail where the cuticle fold would be. To make the first and second knuckles, just make one straight line for each knuckle, and then create curves on either side. Don’t worry about perfection. The rougher it looks, the more realistic an effect you get! On the opposite side of the knuckles, create one line where the first knuckle is, and two lines where the second one is. This is where your finger would naturally bend.
You can either leave the finger straight, or you can give it a slight bend like I did. Just remember to bend gently so the clay doesn’t crack, and only bend where the knuckles are.
Now leave it alone it dry overnight, or for whatever length of time the manufacturer of your specific clay recommends.
Now it’s time to paint! You can use any colors you like, and a spotted finger could be really fun. Here’s what I used for a realistic finger. For this particular skin color I used a mix of yellow, brown, and white. I painted the entire finger with one coat of paint, minus the nail, and let it dry completely. As you can see it looks mottled, which is the result you get with one coat. If you want a cleaner or less realistic finish, use two coats of paint.
Once your base layer is completely dry, take your stipple brush (or an old toothbrush) and mix up a medium brown paint. Take a small amount of paint on the brush, and dab it off onto a paper towel. Then stipple or dab the paint brush lightly onto the finger. A little around the nail, down the finger, and more near the end. This can be dirt or age spots. Practice on a piece of paper first if you’re not sure you have the right amount of paint on your brush. Once that has dried, paint the nail with your color of choice. Let everything dry so it doesn’t smudge in the next step.
To make a dried blood color with paint, mix red with a little brown and a tiny bit of black. Completely cover the very end of the finger with this color, and then stipple the color up around the end, using less as you get higher up.
Let it dry, and you’re all done!
Don’t forget to get creative! You can make all kinds of creepy fingers to decorate with, and these are excellent for haunted houses and school parties. Don’t forget that something like this isn’t only for Halloween, it can be used for April Fools too!
Enjoy creeping out your friends, and make sure to have a fun and safe Halloween!