Trading tips for dark displays and prop production.
It's what I used to do as a kid, ..go into firms & sort stuff out, better before you had to sack staff than after when you closed the place down.

looking at "angles" is something I do all the time,very annoyingly as when constructing a cake / diy it has to go through the "process" really slows things down, but I need 2 people me & one person to hold my hand, (as I'm no tool-time tim, regret of mine, never had a father around to teach me)
Ok, i've been thinking some more as to reduce weight effort & for packing away purposes, depending on how much is to be visible / walked through.

I think that IF the gates are not to be walked through then we can actually sinply use polypipe right angle supports clipped (therefore removable instantly) to 6 mm hardiebacker cement board ((use a good mask, silica haz if you are daft))
The hardibacker would be good weighty & stable a point (& weatherproof) to build your wall effect against, we use it for floors, wall tiles, plasterboard replacement, allsorts really.

to cut rough edges use some decorating blades,,, straight isn't necessary as you'd use no more nails & silicone on this wonky wall..

I would use a drape for the rear of the wall (the top would overhang) & stick a greyed up set of sheeting over the backside to hie pipes & carry along the basic illusion to hide construction.

Simply use ground hoops (similar to croquet), to pin your wall in place along it's length, along with a few weighted bags of earth / sand etc..
Do the same for the pillars (ie with hardiebacker 250 (6mm) OR the 500 version which is 12mm, & would add to the support overall, a basic weighted bottom & groundspike of some sort still recommended.

However I'd say you could knock up the basic frames of the pillars with 3 sheets & 1/2 a day, meaning it's pretty fast assembly prior to the arty stuff (interesting stone cladding)

I would make it in box sections & consider making the stone to each section so it can be removed & stored without damage hopefully, joins could be shadowed / mossed out etc..
To fix the made up stone panels I would simply use a male / female connector technique such as picture hook style, (ie nodules on the backer board, screws, that are lined up to strengthened (clay or similar hook holes like you'd present a knife rack to having drilled the holes & inserted the screws in a wall...

BELOW IS THE CHEAPEST & SIMPLEST OPTION ?? (at cost to ease of storage)

Possible materials that could simplify a curvey wall & pillar base & would only cost petrol ....

A visit to a carpet shop for the massive (around 14ft) cardboard roll inners. take a saw & cut em down, bung them in the back of your truck! ..then you can make pillars with lean & sort a base straight out, plus you can arrange a series of shorter tubes as wavey as you like , then mount them on a base board before cladding with whatever you deem fit

the advantage of cardboard tubes is obviously zero cost & the circular structure is as rigid & supportive as heck, once laid out & a base is made to hold them in the manner you wish to siplay, cheap lots of expanding foam coul;d be used to build up shape & layer which could be carved within 24hr's before a basic papiermache is overlaid, of course this is the least packaway-able version, but we can't have everything, also pretty much self supporting.
obviously take into consideration base board strength, & weatherproofing / moisture inb your area over the winter months, this of course affects card strength, therefore laquer, infill, anything to keep moisture out, ..just a thought.

Hope you can see through my rambles it's far easier to sit & demonstrate with pics, materials, & a coffee in hand.

cost wise this option is how i'd go as ythe shape of the wall can be packed out with any light rubbish polystyrene to get basic depth & remains easy to sculpt.
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By scully
GUS! I am totally overwhelmed by your responses! Firstly for being so kind as to offer so many great suggestions and secondly because I am going to need a pencil and paper and someone with a better mechanical mind than mine to translate some parts. :)

The cardboard tube idea from rolls of carpet is genius, can't believe I have never heard of that before. I am definitely going to check with some flooring stores that are local here to see if they might have extra.

Its been a busy week here, doing lots of last minute shopping for the kids (I have four, three of which start school this week) so I haven't made any progress beyond running over some options in my brain. I did go out to the garage to see just how much plywood I had and realized that I stacked it in the far corner of the garage with ALL of my boxed up holiday decorations in front of it. (and its floor to ceiling) SIGH. That will be fun to drag out. (Can you tell that I am not a big pre planner of things? I sort of just dive in and figure it out as I am doing and then realize later every which way I could have made it better.) The first step is realizing it, I suppose. :)

Thank you again SO much for the help and I will update once I make some progress. I wanted to at least let you know that I did read your posts and am very appreciative of them. :D
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By Zombie Pumpkins!
GUS, I'm more of a visually minded person. Do your instructions come with IKEA-like diagrams? ;)
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By monstermash
Im really considering using your carpet roll idea Gus. The thought had crossed my mind last year but too late. I might try a similar design to Jacks gate but without the actual gates, just the walls either side.
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By scully
Hi Everyone! I wanted to add an update and a photo even though I am not done with the whole thing yet, I hung the gate tonight! yay! :D I still have to do the cats on either side and I am *hoping* to get some pumpkins carved to put on the side fences


The height of the gate itself is 8 feet and they are hung 10" off the ground so almost 9 feet to the top. They swing open (not sure if I needed to say that but they do, obviously, swing)

I will take more shots once I get everything else out. Gus, despite all your great ideas, I just wasn't able to afford the time to make the side stone pieces this year so instead I went for height and made big gates using the stone pillars I have on my house.

Hope everyone is enjoying the final days before Halloween, this time is so hectic with so much to do and so little time left to do it all!

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By Raven
Wow! Amazing job! I would never want to take it down!
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By Zombie Pumpkins!
:shock: Speechless.

I want that gate. So great. And you have stone columns already? They fit perfectly. Bravo.
No, if you'd shown a pic of the existing gate, that's what i'd have gone with, work with what you've got! nice & fit the scene, easier to pack away too (big plus)
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By ghostface
:shock: I'm speechless!
(In the good way! :D )
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By scully
Hi, thanks so much everyone! There's normally nothing there aside from the pillars. (I wish I had a gate there, we get so many door to door salespeople that I'd love to keep from banging on the door!) The gate is made out of PVC pipe and for me, it was a nightmare of measuring and math (not of fan of math) because I knew the size I wanted the gate and the size the circle had to be so I had to do all the math to figure out the lengths for each piece, etc.

That said, making another one would be easy since I wrote down the length of each piece! If anyone is interested, I could make a little tutorial including the lengths and the # of pieces needed to make it. Including spray paint, it cost me just under $38 to make.

Going to try to do the cats now, will post more photos once they are done and up.
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By gatorgrl
I wish there was a place like this to trick or treat at when I was young. Your house looks amazing. Did you make Jack and Sally too? They are fantastic, Disney should hire you! I would be interested in making these for my home one day.
Season's Greetings Everyone! While I have been away, you all have not been forgotten! I have been busy making this years addition to my NBC themed yard - last year on Halloween the kids chose The Frightful Fountain for me to make this year and that is what I have been working on! Every year I intend on taking photos during the build and yet, I always forget or don't take enough or run out of time to upload them, etc. Well not this year! I took a bunch of photos and started writing out a tutorial.

I am 99.9% done with the FF but I haven't set him up in the yard as we are expecting heavy rain fall all this week and his exoskeleton is made from papier mache. Here is what he looks like:

I DID make a fake stream of green "vomit" and used great stuff foam over green Christmas lights in the pool so that part will be lit up. (as well as the vomit stream) I will post photos of the whole thing when I assemble it all outside towards the end of this week.

He was by far, the most difficult and time consuming of any of my Nightmare Before Christmas builds. Mostly time consuming and I was constantly worried I wasn't going to be able to produce the result that I had in my head because I had never tried papier mache before. I think he turned out well but I wish I was more confident on his ability to repel moisture. I cemented the pipe into a big bucket of concrete so he is also, really heavy. My husband obviously loves me because he has hauled that guy in and out of our house about 9 times so I could spray paint and seal him!