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Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Video of our Halloween display.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Halloween was a BLAST! We put everything up in about 4 hrs. and took it down in about an hour. Crazy I know. All that work for one night. But it was totally worth it.

Here's a view of the cemetery. This shot makes it look a little sparse. But it did really fill most of the front yard.

We had quite a few colored flood lights throughout the cemetery. In fact we had concerns when we were hooking up all the electrical that we'd blow a fuse.

You can see the Hallowindow in the background.

Our demon looked great in the center of the cemetery.

Though all you can see is a blur but we had a moving skeleton hanging out near the tree.

Here's some views of the front porch area.

We got a black light this year and hung it under the porch overhang. We hung our white ghost and a bunch of white material. We also added tons of spider webs. The whole front door glowed.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Spent a few hours this evening laying everything out in the garage so we can set it all up tomorrow. Doesn't look like much but the garage is full.

Monday, October 26, 2009


We've got our window animation up and running and it looks great. We discovered Hallowindow about two years ago. All you need is is a sheet hung in an inside window, the animation DVD, a DVD playe and a projector.

Here is our dining room window with the animation projected onto the sheet.

Notice how the words are projected backwards. From the outside they read correctly. The DVD has options that allow you to flip the animation.

Here is a REALLy bad photo from the outside. I just took a quick shot. It was windy and my shutter speed was super slow because of the dark. A tripod would have helped but I was to lazy. I'll get a better shot on Halloween night. We'll have a different animation that night.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


This year we are adding an animated demon and skeleton. This is a first for us. We did some research and found some great tutorials on line that walk you right through the process.

First we started with PVC and made the frame of the body. Bought a foam head and added a mask. The head had a whole in the bottom which fit perfectly over the PVC. We then attached him to our heavy umbrella stand.

We took an old sweater and pulled it over the frame of the body. We then stuffed it with brown packing paper and tied string around the waist to hold it all together. This gave him a chest and makes him look not so wimpy. We added last years Grim Reaper cloak over the sweater stuffed with paper.

We bought some Halloween rubber gloves and put wire inside them so we could bend the fingers around the broom stick. The wire is then shoved up inside the PVC.

I didn't get a chance to take any pics of the rigging of the motor. But this is what it looks like inside the cauldron. We used a windshield wiper motor. We also drilled out a large whole in the cauldron to pump in fog from our fog machine. Just used more PVC for this.

I threw some of that tattered cheese cloth like stuff that you can buy anywhere right now, over his shoulders. So this is what he looks like with the lights on.

And here he is with the lights off. I have only a red flood light lighting him up. We also added LED lights for eyes, one of those battery powered strobe lights inside the cauldron and orange xmas lights around the base. Once he's outside we'll have twigs wrapped around those lights. I love the effect the strobe light and fog give off. And we weren't anticipating the beams of light shooting from his eyes. It's a cool effect from the LED lights and the fog.

I will be getting video of this guy when we set him up outside.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Shape drawn out on blue insulation foam.

Used a plain old utility blade to cut the foam. Glued the pieces together with wood glue and clamped it. Then I glued it to a 1x6 with liquid nail.

Used my hot exacto to make it look like cracked stone. Also used this to carve the words. I then caulked the seams.

Primed it with acrylic gray primer.

Painted it to look old and then glued on spanish moss.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Our plan is to have a witch standing in the yard stirring the cauldron. But with or without the witch this cauldron will have dry ice inside as well as a small strobe light inside. The base it is sitting on will have orange twinkle lights inside of it along with twigs around it. I'll need to go pick up some broken tree limbs in the woods behind the house.

This is your typical cheap plastic cauldron, I picked this one up at Target. Not very creepy looking.
Decided to paint it. Took a gold paint pen and painted the handles on the sides. I also used black and brown flat spray paint to paint the cauldron. I didn't like the shininess of the black plastic. I then went back and dripped white and grey paint over the top of it. Had a chain left over from a hanging light in the house so I painted it and wrapped it around the rim.

Monday, September 14, 2009


This year I'm dressing up as Alice and Violet will be The Queen of Hearts.

I used two different patterns to create this costume. The dress is Simplicity 4015. As you can see I added length to the skirt. 15" to be exact. I don't really need to be a slutty Alice. Weird.

And the apron is Simplicty 4282. I've used this pattern a lot. I just left off the sleeves and pockets, and didn't add the two back panels which would have made it to full.

Here is Violet's costume. All I have to do is add the zipper. I'm waiting till we go to have pictures taken before I add it. My luck I'd put it in and in the next 4 weeks she'd go through some crazy growth spurt.

I used Simplicity pattern 4024 and used the Glenda the Good Witch pattern. There is no pattern in a toddler size for Queen of Hearts so I just made it up. The hardest part was figuring out the cutaway opening that shows the black and yellow stripes. Piecing this together was also time consuming. It's actually sewn into the side seems, so it's not really a skirt on top of another skirt. I also made a black tulle skirt for underneath that fills out the skirt.
Cant's wait for Halloween.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I'm currently working on finishing up costumes. I think those will be done early next week. I'll post pics of them when I'm finished. For now enjoy this project from last year. It's pretty much the exact same process as the tombstone I just finished.

Grave Slab/Coffin 2008
Two years ago I made a bunch of headstones out of insulation foam. This year I decided to make a grave slab which turned out to tall and is now a coffin. Anyway I used pretty much the same technique with this as I did the headstones. Only difference is the headstones did not need a wood frame.

Here you can see the wood frame made out of 1x2's. Each side can be taken apart to store flat.

Then I covered the wood frame with the foam. Wood glue and a few pressure clamps is all that is needed. I could have used Liquid Nails but didn't have any. Then the fun part. I used a hot knife, looks like an exacto knife you plug in, and start to add the detailing. This knife can be found at any hardware store. I advise cutting this foam with this knife outdoors. The fumes are horrible so wear a mask. The top is not attached at all. If I want it can slide to the side to look partially opened.

I also used white caulk to fill in any and smooth out any gaps I had. this also helps hold it all together as well as the glue. Caulk also works well for adding texture.

Then I primed it with a grey primer.

Once the primer was dry I just painted it to look old. It doesn't need to look perfect. There's a lot of splattering and dripping of paint to get the look I wanted. I also ragged on some paint.

And I'm done. Any imperfections in it won't be noticeable in the dark so I'm not going to worry about them.

Monday, August 24, 2009


My goal each year is to make at least one tombstone. Back in June I took a trip with some co-workers to Union Hill Cemetery near downtown KC. One of the oldest cemeteries in the area. I took lots of pictures for reference. I was kind of intrigued with the tombstones that had these urn shapes on top. So I decided I'd do a much simpler version for my tombstone this year.

Just like most people who make theie own tombstones, I use the blue insulation foam. I use the 1" and 2". I use plain old wood glue and toothpicks to hold the whole thing together.

Then I get out the stinky hot exacto knife and start carving. You must do this in a ventilated area. It's unbelievably stinky and I'm sure toxic. After the carving I add caulk (any acrylic caulk will do) to the seams. This helps reinforce it. You can also use the caulk as texture.

Now is the fun part. Painting. I used a tinted primer as my base. Then I start adding my darker grays with a sea sponge. This sponge leaves great texture. And check out the awesome urn I found at Lowes for $3.40. It was originally $25.00. Now is a great time to find pots really cheap since it's the end of summer. I can't decide if I'll actually glue this down.

And here it is all complete. It stands 40" tall and is 11" wide at the base. I need to add something to the plaque as well as glue on Spanish moss.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


So Chris and I are gearing up now for Halloween and making lists of all the stuff we want to add to our Halloween display this year. Plus I've started working on mine and Violet's costume. Chris isn't the dressing up type. I hope to post some of the projects we'll be working on as well as research and fun sites that we like to check out.
I thought I'd also post some of last years projects occasionally. It would be nice to get them all over here on this blog.
So here's last years Scarecrow from start to finish.

I thought I'd show some pics of the progress of the scarecrow I've been working on this week. Please ignore the messy garage in the background. He'll stand about 7ft tall. I started just used to scrap wood left over from our deck project this past summer. The PVC tubes will hold the arms. They'll just slide inside.

I then stapled (no sewing involved) burlap to the front and back on the shoulders, sinched it around the waste and then stuffed it with plastic bags.

Then I stapled some larger pieces of scrap black material over the burlap body and then hot glued strips of black material. I didn't even cut the strips. I just ripped the material into strips.

I used the rest of the burlap material to make the head. They head is also stuffed with plastic bags. I tied a rope around his neck, used some spray paint for the eyes and yarn for the stitching down the center. I found some dead tree limbs and used those as arms. Those are what are slid into the PVC pipes. They don't need to be glued or screwed into place. This allows me to take the scarecrow apart after Halloween.

I bought a package of mesh material in the Halloween section at Walmart, this stuff can be found just about anywhere, and wrapped it around his shoulders. We're also going to add five more crows with lit red eyes, to the branches.

This is kind of what it will look like when it will be lit at night. Our scarecrow will be the main focus of our big outdoor set up this year. I'll be posting those pics as well as some other projects I'm working on for our display.