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26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With my Cauldron Creep finished so soon before Halloween I decided I had time for yet another project. I've been wanting to build some pillars and a gate as an entrance to the yard haunt. I started building cemetery pillars this week. Similar build to what many others have done. Nothing particularly original but wanted to post my build progress. Have much left to do. Will update thread as I progress.

Started with 2x2's and 1x2's to build the frame. They are 6' tall and the frame is 14"x14" wide. Went with this width because it allowed me to get more milage out of the veneer paneling. I didn't want the columns to be any smaller than that though.
Door Room Furniture Metal

Added a shelf inside columns in case I wanted a place to hide lights, sound, fog, etc. Left plenty of room around the shelf to route cords.
Car Vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper Automotive tire

Added brick veneer.
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Brick Wood Architecture Rock Roof

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Because I want access to the interior of the columns I made the rear top and bottom panels removable. I used cabinet door magnets. 4 for each panel.
Games Wood Table Floor Wood stain

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Started adding 3/4" foam to exterior and cutting it away to reveal brick.
Room Wood Games Furniture Metal

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House Door

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Technology Room Games Machine Door

That's all the progress for this weekend. Will update again as build progresses.

26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Made a little progress today

Got the foam on the second pillar today

Banner Advertising Tree Automotive exterior Signage

I added some small cauldron flames to the top of each one. I bought these several years ago on clearance after Halloween but have never had a place to use them.

Drink Advertising Liqueur Flyer

I removed the base cover on the bottom of each flame light, re-routed the powe cords from the side to the bottom so the cord would not be visible and attached the lights to the removable top cover.

Paper Line Wood Paper product Rectangle

Wood Beige Square Rectangle Plywood

Machine Rim Wheel

Product Electric fan Auto part Machine

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Audio equipment

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Signage Tree Font

I discovered I can just flip the top covers over to protect the lights when I get ready to store the pillars. Pretty cool.


The rear covers are removable and needed a handle of some sort so I wasn't pulling on the foam to remove them. I had some small gauge cable left over from another project so I made small finger loops and attached them to each of the back covers.

Font Metal

Text Font Technology Room Electronic device

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Tomorrow I should start adding trim and filling screw and nail holes.

Here's a shot of the light on one of the pillars in the dark.

Room Architecture Door Glass Building


26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Added trim today

Added trim today. I had this great plan to add crown moulding to the top and bottom but I'm running out of time (and motivation quite honestly). This is 1/4" plywood cut into 3" or 5.5" strips (bottom). Also added picture frame trim accents to the front. Next I'll be filling screw and nail holes and painting.

Room House Cardboard Column

Room House

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Room Door Column Building

26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As far as investment goes, I'm not sure. Maybe around $400. $75 of that is the brick particle board. I used 3 sheets at $25 each. There are so many people I see on here that build great stuff for very little money. I'm not one of those guys. I always just run out and buy what I need which usually ends up being really expensive. I still have the fence to build which means I need some 1x2's and pvc pipe.

26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very well done--love the craftsmanship and idea of cutting away the foam to reveal the brick paneling underneath.

What was your technique for the foam cutaway? Just went at it and sanded edges down?
I originally started cutting the foam with a cheapo electric hot foam cutter from Hobby Lobby. It broke after just a few cuts. Then I started cutting it with a long snap-blade razor blade knife. I liked the hot foam cutter because it sealed the foam while making the cut. With the razor blade after I cut it, I hit it with a hot air gun to seal/harden the surface of the cut. I didn't do any sanding on the broken away areas. Just started cutting and then hit it with hot air. I did my cuts before I glued the foam to the brick fiber board. I wish I had planned the broken areas out a little better. I just free-wheeled the cuts on each one. Then when I got them all together I realized I had cut them in almost the identical same places on each one. So they look almost symmetrical in their damage. Probably won't be too noticeable once I put 12' of gate between them.

26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update on Progress

The pillars are pretty much done. Still have a little detailing to do but it's all minor and probably unnecessary.

I opted to texture the sides with lightweight joint compound. Thought that would look nice with dry brushing.

Wood Room Column Games Art
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Room Ceiling

I then primed them.

Room Games

I painted the trim a lighter color and added sand to the paint to simulate stone. The sand is probably an unnecessary detail that won't be seen at night.

Technology Room Games Electronic device Recreation

White Wall Line Wood Siding

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I dry brushed white onto the textured gray areas to give it some depth and wear.

Room Plaster Floor

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I added black acrylic paint to water and aged it by dripping it down the sides. I darkened random areas with the watered down paint mixture and areas that might normally accumulate dirt or water and naturally be darker.

Wood Plywood Furniture Hardwood
Wood Room Furniture Antique Wood stain

And the mostly finished product. Still have a gate to build for it before it's complete.

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I'll do a video once everything is completely done to show more detail.
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