Papier Mache Pumpkins – Part 2

I drew half of the face and then used the cut out pieces to make the other side symetrical.
I drew half of the face and then used the cut out pieces to make the other side symetrical.
You can see all of the layers of paper in this picture.
You can see all of the layers of paper in this picture.
I used 1" to 1 1/2" wide pieces of cardboard secured with hot glue to accentuate the features that I had cut out.
I used 1" to 1 1/2" wide pieces of cardboard secured with hot glue to accentuate the features that I had cut out.

This process takes a very, very long time. That is why I will not be having these pumpkins in my display this year. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months.

Scaretaker Update 10-30-2009

Well, I’ve been working hard on all of my props and I’m afraid I will not be able to finish all of them for this year. Here is an update on the “Scaretaker” prop.

After completing the papier mache I filled the head with expanding foam.
After completing the papier mache I filled the head with expanding foam.
I used a "T" joint and short PVC pipe inside the foam to use for securing the head to the body.
I used a "T" joint and short PVC pipe inside the foam to use for securing the head to the body.
I built the body out of PVC pipe. I used 1" screws to secure them all together.
I built the body out of PVC pipe. I used 1" screws to secure them all together.
I carved the foam on the hands then applied several layers of papier mache. Again I used PVC pipe so I can secure them to the body I made.
I carved the foam on the hands then applied several layers of papier mache. Again I used PVC pipe so I can secure them to the body I made.
I then used chicken wire to bulk up the body. It is secured to the PVC with hot glue where it touches the pipe.
I then used chicken wire to bulk up the body. It is secured to the PVC with hot glue where it touches the pipe.
I used some old Church clothes to dress him up. My wife unstitched them and sewed Velcro into them so I could get them on.
I used some old Church clothes to dress him up. My wife unstitched them and sewed Velcro into them so I could get them on.
This is what it looked like all put together except for the head. I still need to sculpt a face and eyes. I decided that if I don't finish the head tomorrow he can be a headless Scaretaker.
This is what it looked like all put together except for the head. I still need to sculpt a face and eyes. I decided that if I don't finish the head tomorrow he can be a headless Scaretaker.
It looks pretty awesome with the blacklights. I'll pick up some old shoes from DI tomorrow for him.
It looks pretty awesome with the blacklights. I'll pick up some old shoes from DI tomorrow for him.

I’m very happy with how the body turned out. I made him so he separates at the waist, so he will be a little easier to store. If I can’t finish the head by tomorrow night I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. He looks cool headless.

Graveyard Candles

One of the candle clusters out in the yard without the flash. Awesome!
One of the candle clusters out in the yard without the flash. Awesome!

To add to the creepiness factor of the ambience of our haunt I wanted to have a lot of candles sitting around lighting the headstones and walkway. I bought a couple dozen battery-powered tealights that flicker like real flames off of Ebay from Zest Candles. I bought a 10′ piece of 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe and was able to cut about 22 4″, 6″ and 8″ pieces. I sanded all of the black writing off of the pipe, then filled them with expandable foam. When the foam was thoroughly dry I cut the excess off, then pushed the foam down to allow the tealights to sit inside the pipe with the “flame” exposed. I then used hot glue to make the “wax” drips down the sides. I was going to paint the pipes with UV reactive paint, but I was pleasantly surprised that the hot glue was already reactive and we think it looks cooler to have just the drips glowing and not the “candle” part.

Wood Pallet Graveyard Fence

My graveyard fence for this year was easy to make and free. A local classifieds site had a listing for free wood pallets from a company down the street from where I work, so I picked them up after work one day. It is super easy to make. Here’s how I did it.

I first laid the pallets out and marked the first in each row at 30 inches.
I first laid the pallets out and marked the first in each row at 30 inches.
I then attacked each row with the saw making sure to make the ends random and jagged.
I then attacked each row with the saw making sure to make the ends random and jagged.
I used some of the scap pieces of wood as stakes to prop the "fence" in place.
I used some of the scrap pieces of wood as stakes to prop the "fence" in place.
An over-exposed shot to show some of my test lighting. The fence throws some great shadows all around the yard and sidewalk.
An over-exposed shot to show some of my test lighting. The fence throws some great shadows all around the yard and sidewalk.

I’m happy with how this year’s fence turned out. I plan on getting rid of these after Halloween, so I don’t have to store them. They were easy enough to make that I could do the same thing for next year, but I have BIG plans for my fence for next year. Stay tuned. 🙂

“Scaretaker” & Pumpkin Monster Head Bases

“Scaretaker”

The “Scaretaker” will be a creepy old man standing ominously in my graveyard, leering at passersby. This is just the base of the head/face.

I wrapped a foam skull with aluminum foil then applied the papier mache.
I wrapped a foam skull with aluminum foil then applied the papier mache.
After 3 layers of papier mache I cut the paper and foil off and then put it together with tape and glue. I made the neck at this point too. I then applied 2 more layers of papier mache.
After 3 layers of papier mache I cut the paper and foil off and then put it together with tape and glue. I made the neck at this point too. I then applied 2 more layers of papier mache.

Pumpkin Monster

This creature will be emerging out of one of my papier mache pumpkins. This is just the base of the head/face.

Same process here. Wrap skull in foil, then apply layers of papier mache.
Same process here. Wrap skull in foil, then apply layers of papier mache.
An experiment in carving teeth from insulation foam.
An experiment in carving teeth from insulation foam.