Skip directly to content

props

Dem Bones

on October 18, 2011 - 2:20pm

Teaser for Project 3 (of 4) in my buycostumes.com adventure stars this 5 foot posable skeleton. Doesn't she look nice and rested?

I'm about halfway through her transformation process, and will spend the next hour or so typing up the start of the how-to. Stay tuned!

Update: It only took me 3 hours or so, but here's part one of a two part how-to, and the first step of this skeleton's journey into a new character.

Radio Makeover

on October 15, 2011 - 9:00am

Before I did my Rip Van Winkle routine and dropped into slumber for days as my body wrestled with a virus, I had time (and energy) to work on another piece from buycostumes.com. This time it was a radio.

I liked the old fashioned shape of it, and the idea that a skull presses out against the black screen of the speaker. 

While not for me, some people might like the feature that when you turn it on, lights flash red and blue. The skull moves forward, pressing against the screen, and then there is a recording of a voice speaking spooky sayings.

For my display, I turned the radio off just when the skull was sticking out the furthest, freezing him in place. 

The drawback to the radio is it comes in a light milk chocolate colour, almost like toffee (see images below).

The colour draws attention to the fact it's made of plastic, and since there is no contrasting colour on the main body of the piece, you can't see all the great grain detailing on the face of the radio. 

The brass look of the buttons are fine, and the colour of the mesh at the top half of the radio is perfect.

I grabbed black, white and brown acrylics, and a can of black spray paint.

Halloween in a Box

on October 3, 2011 - 10:44am

As you know, every year I choose a different theme for my Halloween parties. Based on that theme, I assemble a collection of ghoulish goodies to display: some I make from recyclable items you find around the house; some are store bought items that have been given a makeover of some sort.

I've shared with you my work so far this year - the lanterns, the candle skulls, the ingredient jars and the organ specimens.

Now comes the fun part.

The folks from buycostumes.com have sent me a box of haunter treats to play with.

Five items, to be exact. And they've arrived.

Two will be getting a simple paint upgrade.

And the other three - including two larger items - will receive more attention as they will be the stars of this year's theme.

What is this year's theme? You know I won't reveal that just yet. I will say it's more like a scene telling the story of a lost soul. And an unfortunate soul.

Project Idea: Skulls, Candles and Books

on September 16, 2011 - 1:19pm


For this Misgivings Day Weekend, why not make one of these? It's super simple to make. And I mean, who doesn't need a Skull Candle Holder?

Closer to Halloween, I will be adding webbing (using a webgun), but for now here's the (almost) finished image. All you need is a skull (the ones from the dollar store work great), PVC pipe (or you could use a paper towel roll or tall can), hot glue gun, paint, and whatever you want to attach your skull to (I used fake books).

Most of the skulls you find at the dollar store look like they are from the the dollar store. But if the shape of the skull is good, then you can easily spruce it up with some paint.

When I first bought the foam skull, it was yellow (see the side-by-side image below). I took some watered down black paint (a wash) and added more shadows around the jaw, the eyes...basically anywhere there was a contour.

Using PVC for Candle Projects

on September 16, 2011 - 7:17am


Last September I hosted a make & take where Hector of Blackstone Cemetery showed us his tricks for making PVC candles.

While it's possible to make candles using paper towel rolls or cans, you may want something sturdier. PVC pipe is a good choice (assuming you have the tools to cut up the pipe).

He showed us his different methods of creating a shelf inside the PVC pipes where the LED candle lights would sit. The first option was using expanding foam (see the image below, far right). Basically, you fill it up, let it dry and slice off the overflow so it's flush with the edge of the PVC pipe. Then you need to cut out a circle in the middle to drop the candle light in. There are various drill attachments you can use to do so, or you're faced with the task of doing it by hand.

The second method (favoured by Hector over the first method) is using simple pipe insulation.

Why Are My Feet Wet?

on August 9, 2011 - 9:03pm


It was the start to every haunter's nightmare.

Toronto finally got some serious rain today. So much rain, in fact, that many places around the city had serious flooding. Luckily, in my area, I didn't go outside to find my car submerged like some poor folks did.

Blissfully unaware of what awaited me in the basement, I headed downstairs to retrieve a box from the storage room which houses all of my Halloween props, decorations and even some supplies. I was distracted by my remarkable ability to actually walk down the stairs (albeit very carefully and clutching both rail and wall as I gingerly manoeuvred the injured ankle). I was smiling at the partial return of mobility. I was happy for the first time in a long day of ridiculous mishaps. I wasn't expecting the universe to play one more joke on me before bedtime.

I felt it before I saw it.

Barefoot on the cold tile. Two steps in.

*squish*

Sugar and Spice, and Everything Vice

on July 19, 2011 - 10:04am

snake in a jar
To round out my jar project, here are some specimen (or ingredient) jars.

I haven't finished putting them all together, but you get a sense of where I'm going with this.

How are they made? Simple. I coated the inside with watered down white glue and let them dry. Then the fun part begins: figuring out what I have around the house that could be creepy ingredients.

The cool thing about the glue-haze is it allows me to use items I might shy away from normally, because the grimy-screen blots out the details of the item inside. For example, the tiny rubber snake (pictured right) would not strike fear in a four-year old, but placed in the jar, and carefully glued into place with a little epoxy at certain angles, it suddenly looks a little more plausible that my critter is alive.

Jar Lanterns

on July 16, 2011 - 5:37pm

The second project with the jars was to make simple lanterns (or candle holders, if you prefer). Pictures and a quick how-to below.

Sundays Are For Candle Making

on July 11, 2011 - 9:34am

I spent most of my hot and humid Sunday hidden away in my office, trying to forget the heat outside. The best way I know to do that is to make things for Halloween.

A total of 19 candle stubs are ready for their part in my jar project. They are made with hot glue, acrylic paint, toilet paper rolls, and LED candles.

If you're waiting to see the final product of the jars, it'll be posted soon (not quite done). If you'd like to learn more about how I made these, I've included some pictures and basic instructions below.

A Fine Specimen

on July 10, 2011 - 9:02am


Generally speaking, I don't do a lot of gore in my Halloween themes. This year, I need a bit of it for the story I'm going to tell. This was project one of the glass jars (the other plans are much less gross).

What I did was take a few of the jars from yesterday that had been glazed with watery glue. I mixed red and brown paints, watered them down, and mixed them with a touch of glue as well. I poured it into the bottom of the jars and swirled them around.

Then, I dipped my paint brush into the paint mix and splattered it on the insides of the jar.

I took my organs - 2 hearts, a nose, a brain, an ear, lips, fingers, eyeballs, tongue - and painted them as well to give them a more realistic aged look before placing them in the jars.

Pages