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Project Tutorials >

Halloween Craft Tutorial: Dresden Owl + Cat Ornaments


Inspired by vintage Halloween decorations that were more charming than spooky, these Dresden owl and cat ornaments are big impact and surprisingly easy to make.  Hang on bare branches for an autumnal  display.  Finished ornaments are 3-1/4" to 4" tall.

Supplies: Dresden Owls and Cats, Paints (Black, Dark Orange, Light Orange), 26 or 28 Gauge Wire, Chenille Cord, 6mm and 8mm Glass Beads, "Liner" Paint Brush, Clear Drying Craft Glue like Alleen's, Scissors

A Paint Note: We used Martha Stewart Crafts Paints in "Gunmetal", "Pumpkin", and "Wild Salmon".

Step 1: Paint your Dresdens.  With a liner brush, add small strokes using the embossed design as a guide.  You can paint each side the same or different -- your preference.  Don't be intimidated: when sections are broken down into simple brush strokes, you'll be amazed at the result you can achieve! Here's an easy technique with photos:

-- Use dark orange to fill in eyes, beak and grooves at wings.

-- Use dark orange to make 5 strokes under each ear, 9 strokes at the collar (1 stroke in the center under the beak + 4 strokes on each side), 5 sets of 5 strokes on the tail, and 4 small strokes at the talons.


-- Use lighter orange to make a half circle around each eye and 3 strokes at each ear.

-- Use lighter orange to make 3 strokes under each eye and 6-7 strokes on each cheek.

-- Use lighter orange to make 1 stroke on each shoulder.  Next make 5 sets of 4 small strokes on each wing and 1-2 strokes at the tip of each wing.  Lightly outline talons.


-- Use lighter orange to add chest feathers in sets: 5 strokes each side, 3 strokes each side, 2 strokes each side.  There should be a triangle shape in the center of the chest with no painting.

-- Use darker orange to add in more chest feathers below the light orange: 4 strokes each side, 3 strokes each side, 1 stroke each side.  Now the center triangle shape with no painting should be very obvious.

-- Use black to add detail to the eyes: 1 controlled vertical stroke in the center of each eye.  Let dry.


Step 2: Add Hangers.  Note: The cat has a hanger as part of its design, we cut it off gently with scissors to allow us to add our own cord hanger.

-- To add a hanger with beads: Cut about 7" of wire, find center and twist around a paintbrush handle to make a loop.  Slide one 6mm bead + one 8mm bead onto both wires and up to loop.  Twist wire tails into a flat bundle.  Glue to the inside of the Dresden, taking care to position beads at the top of the shape so they won't rattle.  Let dry.

-- To add a cord hanger: Cut about 5" of chenille cord.  Double cord and tie a knot to make a 1" loop.  Glue to the inside of the Dresden, positioning knot below edge.  Let dry.


Step 3: Glue halves together.  Apply glue along the inside edge of the Dresden without the hanger all the way around.  Align shapes taking care to make sure edges meet all the way around.  Let dry.

Step 4: Paint edges.  Lightly paint edges to hide any glue or lighter paper. (The Dresdens are manufactured with a lighter core paper that sometimes shows at the edges.) Let dry then display proudly. 


Tips and Notes: Using two shades of orange paint gives the pieces dimension and depth.

When painting edges of Dresdens that are not black, you can use a similar color to the Dresden itself or (our preference) use light or dark orange for a highlighted frame effect.

For the gold Dresden, we used black and dark orange paint for greater contrast.

There are a multitude of ways to paint the chest of the owl.  Three styles are shown below.  Let your imagination and the embossed design guide you!



30 Copper Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

30 Copper Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

$4.95 $3.71

30 Gold Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

30 Gold Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

$4.95 $3.71

30 Silver Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

30 Silver Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

$4.95 $3.71

30 Black Round Glass Beads 8 mm ~ Czech Republic

30 Black Round Glass Beads 8 mm ~ Czech Republic

$4.95 $3.71

30 Copper Round Glass Beads 8 mm ~ Czech Republic

30 Copper Round Glass Beads 8 mm ~ Czech Republic

$4.95 $3.71

30 Silver Round Glass Beads 8 mm ~ Czech Republic

30 Silver Round Glass Beads 8 mm ~ Czech Republic

$4.95 $3.71

Extra Large Black Dresden Foil Halloween Cats ~ 2

Extra Large Black Dresden Foil Halloween Cats ~ 2

Out of Stock!

Extra Large Gold Dresden Foil Halloween Cats ~ 2

Extra Large Gold Dresden Foil Halloween Cats ~ 2

$2.95 $2.21

Extra Large Black Dresden Owls ~ 2

Extra Large Black Dresden Owls ~ 2

$2.95 $2.21

Extra Large Burgundy Dresden Foil Owls ~ 2

Extra Large Burgundy Dresden Foil Owls ~ 2

$2.95 $2.21

Extra Large Gold Dresden Foil Owls ~ 2

Extra Large Gold Dresden Foil Owls ~ 2

$2.95 $2.21

Extra Large Light Blue Dresden Foil Owls ~ 2

Extra Large Light Blue Dresden Foil Owls ~ 2

$2.95 $2.21

Peach & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Peach & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95 $3.71

Orange & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Orange & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95 $3.71

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