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Discussion Starter #1
This is the 2nd Halloween in the new house and my wife wants to "do it right" after an innocent suggestion from me that snowballed into a large plan.

I need help!

My idea is to start off "slow" and build up every year. Adding a merry go round, non-functioning, She wants a Ferris wheel, etc.


The basics for this year are:
  • A carnival arch in front of the driveway with a ticket booth directly behind,
  • An inflatable obstacle course in the driveway,
  • A fog machine in the garage pumping smoke into the driveway,
  • One of those photo ops cutouts that you stick your face in like at amusement parks,
  • A clown mouth arch over the front door, this is the big problem,
  • Converting the outside of the garage into a carnival tent.


The details like whether to chill the fog and what liquid to use, and the "best" way to project a ticket booth attendant is helpful.
What I'm really concerned about however securing both arches.
I have the rough drawings done and ideas to start construction on both, but need more for safety.

For the driveway arch I'm thinking 2 sections of 3" PVC, coupled to 24' high, on each side of the driveway, drilled about 12' high for 3/4" PVC to be inserted across and pinned in place. That will hold the "carnival" banner. I hope that makes sense. I haven't quite figured out the base yet, but I'm thinking 4x4s, or a flange bolted to a few layers of thick plywood, and sand bags to weigh it down. Ideas?
For the doorway arch the idea is the lightest wood I can find to brace, and screwed to 2x4s on the backside.
I figure a floor base can be done on the front and braces on the rear going to the columns, but more the top still needs to be secured.

Any design is greatly appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Here is a thread with some ideas for a clown façade: http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/140254-how-can-i-build.html

One of the posts has the clown and diagram that a member built and shared with everyone on here.

If you do a search for clown, carnival, carnevil and similar terms, you will a ton of great ideas.

One of the cheap ways to do a tent is with red and white striped plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome to the forum!

Here is a thread with some ideas for a clown façade: http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/140254-how-can-i-build.html

One of the posts has the clown and diagram that a member built and shared with everyone on here.

If you do a search for clown, carnival, carnevil and similar terms, you will a ton of great ideas.

One of the cheap ways to do a tent is with red and white striped plastic.
Thanks for the reply. I've been looking through search but being a new thing it's, well, new. Lots to absorb.

I didn't think of striped plastic! Awesome idea!
 

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Hi I am doing Creepy Carnival this year too. So far I have made a large flashing Carnival sign, Clown Ticket Booth, Creepy Carousel, Ghost Train Carriage and for the circus part a gorilla/monkey in a cage that grabs people, and an elephants head that will move. If you have a look on my posts I have included pictures of these if it gives you some ideas:)
 

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Here is a link to rolls of red and white striped plastic: http://www.orientaltrading.com/red-and-white-striped-tablecloth-roll-a2-3_2332.fltr?prodCatId=551222

And a link to Keith Corcoran's clown arch façade: http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/117640-2012-creepy-carnival-clown-entrance-facade.html

And his carnival thread: http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/108985-years-aggressive-build-carnival-theme.html

Also, take a look in the Party section. Lots of people have had parties with this theme and have a lot of great ideas that you can use. There is also a lot of circus music and sound effects in the sound section.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
View attachment 246282

You can do face painting
That is just plain sick. I'm definitely going to incorporate that! Great idea!

I've been seeing photos of that booth, nice I can see the actual build now.

Hi I am doing Creepy Carnival this year too. So far I have made a large flashing Carnival sign, Clown Ticket Booth, Creepy Carousel, Ghost Train Carriage and for the circus part a gorilla/monkey in a cage that grabs people, and an elephants head that will move. If you have a look on my posts I have included pictures of these if it gives you some ideas:)
I certainly will have a look!

Here is a link to rolls of red and white striped plastic: http://www.orientaltrading.com/red-and-white-striped-tablecloth-roll-a2-3_2332.fltr?prodCatId=551222

And a link to Keith Corcoran's clown arch façade: http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/117640-2012-creepy-carnival-clown-entrance-facade.html

And his carnival thread: http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/108985-years-aggressive-build-carnival-theme.html

Also, take a look in the Party section. Lots of people have had parties with this theme and have a lot of great ideas that you can use. There is also a lot of circus music and sound effects in the sound section.
I found the plastic maybe yesterday. Not sure if I'll do that this year yet. The house is an iron grey, I'm thinking I can get away with the look of the carnival usual "haunted castle" look. Plus my wife NOW wants to scale it back, too late.

I have a pretty good idea of what I want so far but now the "gorilla grab" has to be added to the front lawn!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I somewhat have it narrowed down.

  • The carnival entry arch, still have to figure out the base, will be much easier with 4x4s as there's a number of solutions.
  • Ticket booth.
  • Inflatable obstacle course.
  • The facade, which I still have to figure out, in its entirety, where the cotton candy and popcorn machines will be located.
  • A "lion cage" in the front yard with glowing eyes.
  • Small sideshow cages with stacked with a few critters, on the walk way to the facade.
  • fun-house mirror.
  • Sideshow posters in the garage windows.
  • Photo prop of headless clown holding clown head.
  • I'd like to do a carnival game but unless I can get more help, which is the same issue a with gorilla grab, or live jack-in-the-box, I'll do the face painting booth where they have to look around to see the face hanging on the easel. Chair will have a "back in 5 minutes" sign.
  • That leaves me with one more spot for something on the front lawn. I may start hording children's riding horses from craigslist for a merry-go-round.
  • oh, need a fog machine with blower, and chiller.
  • Fireworks.


Questions, Do you find foam is better to work with than wood? I think wood would be easier to mount to supports, and wouldn't need as much, but foam of course would be so much light.
When do y'all put up, and take down, the decorations on a big haunt?

Somehow I forgot I used to be kinda okay with sketch-up. Using that to get an idea of the builds.
I'll use painted plywood for quick assembly, with wood from pallets for trim.
 

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I'm also doing a Carnival theme this year! I have done it 2 other times (2009 & 2011) but at a much smaller scale. Looks like its going to be popular. You may also want to look on Pinterest. I have found LOTS of stuff there. I am including a like to my Pinterest Carnival Boards.

https://www.pinterest.com/utsala/halloween-carnival/
https://www.pinterest.com/utsala/halloween-carnival-makeup/
https://www.pinterest.com/utsala/costume-fashion-carnival-circus/

I already have a Carousel, a spinning game, Gypsy Fortune teller tent and several other random booths. One of the booths is made from scrap lumber and some old porch post I found at the Habitat Thrift Store. Another booth is make from a decorative 60's looking dresser also found at the thrift store. I have painted all to match my color scheme.

Carnival Booths:
http://www.halloweenforum.com/membe...re208141-halloween-09-wins-pics-035-copy.html
http://www.halloweenforum.com/membe...-2009-a-picture208143-merry-go-round-2-a.html
http://www.halloweenforum.com/members/eblore-albums-halloween-2009-a-picture208132-carnival-1-a.html
http://www.halloweenforum.com/membe...oween-2011-a-picture214152-dsc-0444-copy.html
http://www.halloweenforum.com/membe...oween-2011-a-picture214151-dsc-0443-copy.html
http://www.halloweenforum.com/membe...oween-2011-a-picture214153-dsc-0445-copy.html
http://www.halloweenforum.com/membe...ween-2013-a-picture214219-gypsy-tent-1-a.html

I started burring vertical PVC pipes in the yard last year so that I can just drop in 4x4 post when Halloween comes. During the off season they are covered with homemade plugs. This certainly beats having to bury new post every year. This year I plan on adding about 8 more to the other side of the yard along the flowerbeds. This year I plan on having some 16 foot post buried 3 feet in the ground. For safety reasons, I'll probably just set them in the old fashion way. In fact I may go ahead and put them in this month so that they have time to settle and firm up. It may look a little strange having 13' posts sticking up in the middle of the yard but most of the neighbors know me by now and aren't to surprised.

PVC Post pockets
http://www.halloweenforum.com/members/eblore-albums-halloween-2014-a-picture225820-wall-1-a.html
http://www.halloweenforum.com/members/eblore-albums-halloween-2014-a-picture225821-wall-2-a.html

Instead of using the front door, I use to direct every one to the Garage which is more easily accessed, However, now I just give out candy from a booth in the yard to avoid choke points in the landscaping.

Garage
http://www.halloweenforum.com/membe...oween-2011-a-picture214147-dsc-0438-copy.html

This year I'm making a Ferris wheel and circus facade.

http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/142299-i-want-build-ferris-wheel.html

Best of luck. I cant wait to see what you come up with. I hope some of this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I hope some of this helps.
It sure does. Very interested in the ferris wheel and all facades. I certainly didn't think of choke points.

Actual lion cages weren't to ornate to I'm thinking of this in foam, it'll have braces on the rear.
Couldn't easily get a paint brush in Sketch-Up but I'm envisioning "Lions" being crossed out with dripping paint leaving to the imagination whats supposed to be in there.
The cage will only be deep enough for the glowing eyes effect.
 

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Foam would be perfect for the front of that lion cage, because it will allow you to carve some of the intricate designs around the edges of the front. That would be hard to do with wood. Wood is good for flat surfaces but is hard to carve; foam is easy to carve but is more expensive and doesn't hold up as well. For something like a giant façade, you could glue foam to wood. The wood provides the structural support while the foam makes it easy to shape.

I have seen several lion cages done like you are planning. Some of them have bloody severed plastic parts (like hands) in them, with the back broken out like the lion escaped. Do a search on here for Hearse. Some of the horse-drawn hearses members have built had some pretty cool wheels that they made that would be perfect for your wagons.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So I've been having a hard time wrapping my head around the facade and planned on scaling way back. I really don't want a 20 foot tall 14 foot wide structure falling on a trick or treater getting popcorn.

I had an idea the other day. Opinions and ideas: CARDBOARD BOXES!
While they have a big drawback of not being able to get wet, they're cheap, light, stackable, and paintable. They can be taped together, or have PVC through the middle for support.If they fall over they'd be more laughs than 911 calls.

What do you guys think?

Another question. Fog machines. Was at Spirit looking around they have some inexpensive fog machines.
Would I get a better effect with 2 of the cheaper 400w machines, or a 1000w machine with a dry ice chiller?
 
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