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It seems that Halloween haunt video projections are everywhere now. What was just a few years ago only seen in high end commercial haunts or Disney and similar attractions are now available to the average home haunter like me. From fun and entertaining singing pumpkins (my personal favorite) to scary zombies clawing at the windows video projections are becoming almost a necessary part of every home haunt. To take advantage of these videos the haunter must also have a projector to play them. And this presents the problem: how to hide the projector from view.

There are several great tutorials on this forum showing ingenious and clever ways to hide video projectors. When I started using video projections a few years ago I looked at all of the ways to disguise the projectors that I could find. However, the ones that I saw were either too hard for me to build with my limited skill or were too costly for my limited budget. For my forum friends who have seen some of my previous posts you know I am all into cheap and quick for Halloween props so I decided to apply this rule to my projector hiding issue as well. I have tried some different ways to hide the 5 or 6 projectors that I now use in Wicked Grandma’s and my Haunted Forest but I was not really happy with any of them. So I just decided to build something different.

Now for the haunters that think all props should be movie quality or who do commercial haunts this may not be your idea of good. But for home haunters like me who do not do a commercial haunt but only provide some fun for friends and family and who realize it really doesn’t make much difference what the prop looks like as long as it serves the purpose it is meant for this projector hider would work fine.

This is it...modeled here by my good friend and haunt partner Skeleton Bob:

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If you want to make this prop plan on about 3 – 4 hours work time including drying time for the paint and about $30 in materials if you already have paint, screws, tape and scrap wood. It will be around $40 - $45 if you have to purchase these additional materials.

Materials you will need:

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4 shelf plastic storage shelf - $14.00 at Walmart
1/8” x 4’ x 4’ Brown Masonite - $7.00 if you can buy just a half sheep. 4 x 8 sheet runs about $14.00
1 dollar store Halloween tombstone or some other decorative item to embellish the prop
A roll of duct tape or something similar
1 Piece of scrap ¼” or ½” plywood at least 16” x 24” size
1 Piece of scrap wood ¼” or ½” thick and about 8’ long
Several ¾’ or longer screws
Exterior glue
A few 2” long wood, sheetrock, or deck screws
Grey paint

Tools you will need:

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Circle saw or a similar cutting tool
Rubber mallet
Drill and drill bits
Screw driving bit or screw driver
Dremel tool with a sanding bit or something similar
Nail gun and nails or something similar
Paint roller and tray
Paint brush
Scissors
Measuring tape
Straight edge
Pencil

Now get started…

Step 1: Put the plastic shelves together

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Using the rubber mallet or something similar assemble the plastic shelf unit. Start at the bottom and work toward the top shelf. My project had a four shelf unit but you can use whatever size is best for your project. Do not install the top shelf at this time.

Step 2: Remove ridges in top shelf

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Using the Dremel tool and sanding bit or something similar remove the ridges inside the four top shelf support holes. These ridges help make the assembly more study and keep the supports from coming out but we want the top shelf to be easily removed to get access to the projector. If you decide you do not need the top shelf to be removable you can skip this step and install the top shelf now
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Step 3: Make the 3 cover panels for the shelf

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Make the back panel for the shelf. While this is the back of the shelves it will become the front of the tombstone when the project if finished. Measure the width and height of the back of the shelf. My shelf back was 21 ½” wide and 48” tall. However, I wanted to be able to remove the top shelf so the length of my measurement had to be below the top shelf. So the measure for my shelf back was 21 ½” x 45 1/2”. Using the measuring tape, pencil, and straight edge mark the cut line for this measurement on the 4’ x 4’ Masonite and cut out the back panel.

Now measure and cut out the side panels. You will be making two panels; one for each side. Again my measurements may be different from yours depending on the size shelves you bought for the project. My side panels are 14 1/8” x 45 ½”. Be sure to allow for the 1/8” thickness of the back panel when making your side panel measurements.

If you do not want the top shelf to be removable make the length of your panels the full height of the shelves.

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You should now have three cover panels for the shelves

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Step 3: Install the back and side panels

Lay the shelves on the front. Place the back panel on the back of the shelves and using the drill and bits screw the panel in place. Be sure one screw goes through the panel and into a shelf support hole and into a shelf support. If you use self tapping screws you will not have to drill pilot holes first.

Now place the shelves on one side. Place a side panel on the shelves and screw the panel in place. Again one screw goes through the side panel and each of the shelf support holes and into a shelf support. Now place the shelves on the opposite side and install the other side panel in the same manner.

When completed all panels should be installed and there should be screws placed in the top and bottom shelf support holes to keep the shelf supports and shelves from coming apart at the connecting supports.

Now your project should look something like this.

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Step 4: Tape over seams

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Using the duct tape and or other similar material tape over the seams to close any gap between the front and real panels. Use the scissors to cut the tape smoothly. For a neater appearance you can cover the seams to trim them with ¼” or ½” Styrofoam. Use contact glue to secure the styrofoam to the panels. If you use styrofoam it will had some cost to the project for the purchase of the foam and adhesive.

Step 5: Install spacers

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There will be a small gap of about ½” between inside of the back panel and the back of the shelves. To make the prop more solid place a ½” piece of scrap wood in the space and secure it in place with a 2” screw driven in from the back panel, through the wood spacer, then into the plastic shelf.

Step 6: Make the top.

Measure the top shelf. Now cut a wooden top for the prop from the scrap plywood. When measuring for this piece be sure to allow enough on each side and the front for wooden trim pieces. My measurements were 2” x 16". Now cut out the wooden top.

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Measure and cut out the trim pieces for the wooden top. You will have one trim piece for the back and two trim pieces for the sides (one on each side). My trim pieces measured 2’ for the front and 15 1/2” for the sides. If you prefer you can use ½” styrofoam for the top and top trim. However, this will add some cost to the project to purchase the styrofoam and adhesive

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Now using the nail gun and glue or something similar put the wood pieces together

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Step 8: Attach the wooden top to the top shelf

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Using screws attach the wood top to the top shelf. Be sure to leave a little space around the shelf so it will slide on and off the top shelf supports easily. You can also use adhesive material to glue the wooden top to the top shelf.

Step 8: Paint the prop

Using the Paint roller, paint tray and gray paint, paint the prop. Spray paint can also be used to paint the prop.

Step 9: Add the embellishiment

Add the dollar store tombstone or whatever embellishment you want to the front of the prop. You are only limited by your imagination.

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Ok that is all there is to it. It may not be professional grade or maybe worthy of a commercial haunt. But we are not making a movie, building fine furniture, or charging guests for a walk through. It is just a Halloween party prop for cryin’ out loud...:D. So, in the Haunted Forest, in the dark, and for the 150 or so visitors we have for our party each year it is an inexpensive and perfect prop to hide our projectors, video playback equipment, and audio sources.

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I like it! I have tripods that I use but outside it's hard to hide that. Last year I surrounded the tripod with cornstalks in a U shape to hide my projector and tripod.

Scarab
 
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