Haunted House - final shots on page 5

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Haunted House - final shots on page 5

Postby mesmark » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:53 am

This year I'm going to attempt a haunted house for my party. There are few things that I still haven't ironed out, but here's the plan.

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I'm hoping to actually make 2 trees, but I'll just do one to start. The front gate will have styrofoam posts and then the fence part might be PVC pipes or I might just make a 2-chain fence if time doesn't allow.

The framework on the house face will be styrofoam studs but the part between will be dark gray fabric and I'll draw the wood grain on.

The window will be styrofoam as well and hopefully I'll be able to make 2 of those as well.


here's the path once you get through the front door

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my biggest problem is the divider for the maze. I need something about 6' tall and it will run about 30-40ft in all. I haven't decided the best way to go about this. The easiest would be cardboard boxes taped together. It doesn't have to be pretty since it will be dark inside.

I've picked up a few strobe lights, a few black lights, and some orange Halloween lights. I'll use those and try to recycle some of my other Halloween sets inside the haunted house, but first is to make the outside ...

this is a side shot of the stage I'm working with (taken front right corner to back left corner)
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It has just the one window that I'll need to block out. The rest are solid walls.
Last edited by mesmark on Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Zombie Pumpkins! » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:38 am

How fun! As if we didn't already know how creative you are with your Halloween parties, the fact that you take the time to sketch out these sort of plans just shows how devoted you are.

I loved these sort of little haunted house walkthroughs as a kid (still do, actually). There used to be a couple houses in my neighborhood that would set up a path for the kids to walk through, sometimes in a garage or a few rooms of their house.

Costumes and candy are fun on Halloween night, but what an extra thrill it was to be able to walk onto what feels like a monster movie film set. Even with only basic props and decor, with the proper lighting atmosphere, the imagination takes care of the rest.

Good luck with the project, keep us posted.
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Postby mesmark » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:58 am

Well, I need a design of sorts to get me off and running. Who knows what will get done, but I'm thinking I definitely need the tree to add some spookiness.

Inside won't be much but a walk-through. Some eerie scenes, spooky sounds and hopefully good lighting. I have a lot of little kids and since I'll be building a divider to make the maze, I don't want the kids running and knocking the divider down, especially not the first kid :D . I might have a couple people stationed inside to reach out and grab at the big kids if all goes as planned.

For the outside wood, I'm thinking something like this:
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So, a gray fabric and then add some dark brown smudges and maybe dark black sections to look like the wood has decayed or broken off. I'm going to practice a bit next week.

This is also going to be the picture spot. I'll have kids take a picture in front of the haunted house and then go through.
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Postby monstermash » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:08 pm

I can't wait to see how this turns out Mes, it looks and sounds terrific. Im in the process of making my graveyard entrance so I know how you feel when it comes to trying to figure out the best way to make things. Keep us updated.
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Postby mesmark » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:53 am

I started testing a bit. before I bought a ton of fabric online I went down to the local craft shop and got some fabric to test.

I've been leaning towards gray, but I also got brown to see what I thought.

Here are the 2 pieces on my table, with lines drawn for the planks on the gray piece.
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on each plank, I drew a little wood grain
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Here's the gray piece and then the brown:
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Please ignore my poor ironing job.

I was thinking I need to make it dirty so tonight I tried some brown paint with this sponge brush
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It looks better in person without the glare really accentuating the creases.
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I think the gray is in and the brown is out. If I used the brown, I would need some gray in there I think and the gray paint might come off as too shiny or too bright.

I'm going to have to work on my dirtying technique but I think it looks much better with the color.
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Postby Zombie Pumpkins! » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:45 am

Great test. What an effective way to quickly make some old rotting boards. Do you have experience creating sets for stage plays? Be careful about posting too many photos... some theatre might try to hire you based on your proven skills with thematic set decoration that reads well, even from a distance.

I think I agree that the grey is better. In warm light glow, it looks a bit brown anyway, and even more so with the brown "dirty" accents. So if you start with brown fabric, it could end up looking too dark and brown overall. Really old weathered wood looks grey anyway, so that's a good starting point.
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Postby Dadja » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:30 am

Aaah Mark's preparation post. Looking forward to this every year. Superb idea and it's looking great already!
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Postby CorpseBride » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:28 am

My favourite Halloween Party theme. I cannot wait to see the progress and ultimately the end result!

I agree with the others...I like the gray test better. It gives an appearance of older weathered wood. Very nice.
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Postby mesmark » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:10 pm

I finished the fence posts.

First I cut up 2 sheets of 40mm foam to make the posts
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Next I cut out a border. I used a 20mm foam board for the border
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I kept the inside of the border to cut out letters from. I used my longest phrase as the rule for the letter height. "Turn back"
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Here's everything put together.
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Before painting, you need to sand everything down. Take off all of the sharp corners and I like to sand everything a bit, because it makes it easier to paint. (less little pores.) Not a great picture of this because it's back-lit, sorry.
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I also added some skulls to the top. These were foam wig stands. They store only had 2 and they were different shapes. I thought the round one would be OK but after I lopped their heads off I found out they were hollow inside. That meant I couldn't sculpt the head down on the close one. :?

I might redo it, but I have to move on. The clock is ticking.

Here are 3 of the posts painted gray and then shaded with black and chocolate brown. The chocolate is coming out a little purple, but I like the 3 colors. We'll see how it looks when it's dry.

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Here's the blog tutorial: how to make spooky fence posts

I also bought some plastic vines I'm going to drape on them.

Now, it's time to cut me some trees :D
Last edited by mesmark on Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby CorpseBride » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:27 am

Those turned out great! I may be nabbing this idea from you :D I love the spooky slogans, a very nice (and clever I might add) touch! What a great way to utilize all of your material.
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Postby mesmark » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:23 am

CB - Thanks! I'm sure you'll make some awesome fence posts. I just don't have time to spend on details. I have to get it done and get the rest done. I'd love to see what you come up with.

I was thinking of using "HAUNTED" as well for the post signs, but I went with "TURN BACK" instead.

Well, being a busy bee, I cut up my trees today as well for a very productive day. Here's the full post on my blog for how to make a spooky Halloween tree.

Here is my little sketch of what the trees are supposed to look like: (I took this after I was finished and had stepped on it a few times)
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I free-handed the outline trying to keep in mind the style of tree I was going for. (The style is spooky :D )
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Then I cut the pieces out and put them together so I could show you guys:

tree 1
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tree 2
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I made some more pieces to attach to the front and make the tree more 3-D. They will also hide the seem where the top portion sits. I'm not too sure about those pieces yet, so I'm going to keep them separate and if I feel good about it on the day, I'll hot-glue them to the top piece.

Here are the trees with the 3-D attachments
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I'm going to carve up some face bits and work on the lines and everything tomorrow if I can. My plan is to paint them a dark gray and then brush them with a little brown for accents.
Last edited by mesmark on Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mesmark » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:40 am

Also, with the fence posts, it would be best to beat them up and tear off bits, but I just can't handle that. My posts are very old ... but, very well taken care of over the years :lol: 8)
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Postby zombombie » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:04 am

Looks great! I especially love the fence posts :)
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Postby mesmark » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:12 am

EZ - thanks. I have a bit more to do with the fence, but I hope the final bit comes together as planned.

I finished the trees for the most part:

here's the design for one of the faces:
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Then glued onto the trunk, sculpted a little and sanded down:
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I shaved off the outside a bit to make it look like the face was coming out of the tree, rather than some doughnuts sitting on the tree :P

Then, using the handle of my small paint brush, I pressed some lines into the tree. This just gives it a little depth and make it look a little more like a tree. I went over the lines twice.
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Then i painted it gray and painted the insides of the eyes and mouth black:
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Then I added a little black inside the lines to hopefully create more depth. Then I brushed it a bit with some dark brown to add another color
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Then, here it is all dry.

Tree #2
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Tree #1
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I have this really great sanding tool. It has a hard plastic base with a handle. The sand paper-ish side is screwed down and so it's very easy to use across a large surface. If you are working with large pieces of foam board, I really recommend something like this.
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Postby zombombie » Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:54 am

Mesmark, I am in awe of your work sir! I adore the tree! It looks like it's been lifted straight out of a Halloween cartoon, fantastic :D

I really can't wait to see the finished article. I think this is my favourite setting you've done that I've seen :)
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