Halloween Forum banner

21 - 27 of 27 Posts

Registered
Joined
33 Posts
Here's what I built for the 2019 Haunt:


I was SUPER proud of this! It's all 12v LED lighting and ran on a timer. Luan and 2x2 for the main structure of the "Twisted Tales" portion of the sign, and then carved styrofoam sheets with a hot knife (more like a hot machete) for the texture and lettering. The pumpkins below are just carvable variants from Michaels that were distressed with leather stain and carved with a hot knife. Green LED lighting strips from Lighthouse LEDs illuminate the main sign, while each pumpkin got 2 flicker LED bulbs. It's all wired up to a single power supply. Once my post count allows me to inset more than one link, I'll post my in-progress pics (I had to create a new account since I couldn't get my old credentials sorted out).
 

Typical Ghoul Next Door
Joined
7,449 Posts
Oh man... that is gorgeous. I love it and I can't even imagine how good it looks in person considering how amazing it looks in the pic. GREAT job!!
 

Registered
Joined
33 Posts
Oh man... that is gorgeous. I love it and I can't even imagine how good it looks in person considering how amazing it looks in the pic. GREAT job!!
Thanks oh so much, my dear! It looked pretty freakin' sweet. My only regret is that I did NOT make the face of the thing (or the back, or the sides...or any of it) easily removable to fix or replace the LED strips used on the inside. The bottom half of the green letters was siginificantly dimmer than the top half by the end of the run. I will have to cut out the bottom "plank" of styrofoam and reattach it this year.

That looks amazing! How big is it? Can't wait to see your progress photos.
Thank you so much! It measured 4' tall by 12' wide without the pumpkins hanging underneath. Weighed about 100lbs, maybe more. WIP pics coming!
 

Registered
Joined
33 Posts
In the Spring of 2019, I made a mockup of this sign out of cardboard and small LEDs.

Confident I could recreate this effect in large-scale, I went to the hardware store.

It started with some 4x8' sheets of insulation styrofoam (can't get the pink foam easily here in SoCal). I spray glued 3 pieces together to make the sign 12' wide by 4' tall, which almost seemed too big at the time. I drew out the letters in sharpie and then went in with a hot knife (called it a hot butcher earlier, which is more accurate). I made sure to do this outdoors because YUCK, that smell is poisonous.


The "wooden plank look" just made the most sense to me, so I carved those lines in after the lettering was done. Thinking it would be a good idea to weather-proof this as much as possible, I used an asphalt filler/sealer to coat the whole thing. It was more messy than anything, and I honestly don't think it did anything to help with weatherproofing. But it gave me a dead flat jet black base coat to work with.


I later went in with flex-seal spray to get the inside of the letters coated, but it started to eat through so I baiscally just cried a lot while using a chip brush to cram in more asphalt sealer into all the nooks and crannies.

The styrofoam face was glued and screwed into a backer "box" that was made of 2 layers of 1/8" luan (sandwiched just like the styro was to get the 12' width) and framed with 2x3." Green 12v LED Strip lights lined the interior of the frame and illuminated the back board (painted black).


Test fit:


Top coats of tan and brown dry-brushed onto the foam:


This is the bottom leg of the sign where the pumpkins were hooked up. I added a 12v female DC plug to each of these for easy connect/disconnect every night so the pumpkins wouldn't get stolen. An s-hook and 12v male DV plug was attached to each pumpkin so they could just hook onto the eye bolt and click into the power supply.


The pumpkins were made before the sign, actually, but they were my favorite element. 12 carvable pumpkins from Michaels were carved to spell out "H A U N T E D H O U S E."


I waxed-on/waxed-off brown leather dye to age each pumpkin, and then glued on jute rope in various widths and patterns to give them a little extra flair. This was one of those times where the extra effort really wasn't worth it since you couldn't tell what the rope looked like in the evening. But it looks pretty cool during the day! Two 12v flicker bulbs were installed in each pumpkin and wired up along the back, concealed by the rope that suspended each one.


After hauling this thing some 500 feet down the street, up a flight of stairs and up the side of the building, I realized that sign really wasn't big enough. But I wasn't about to start over.

Towing-rated chain, industrial eye bolts and twist locks were installed along the top leg of the framework so it could be suspended from the roof. I retrofitted some bike hooks (you know the kind that you screw into the wall of your garage to hang up a bike or a ladder?) so that it would hang from the top lip of the building. This was precarious work because that's PUBLIC PARKING that I was trying desperately not to drop the sign onto. With some help, we hoisted that sucker up and stood back to take it in. Yep...definitely too small.


Oh well. Time for camo!


Pro tip: DO THIS BEFORE YOU HANG A LARGE SIGN. I was paranoid enough about having the sign hanging above cars, but having to constantly move it off the wall to slide camo netting under almost made me stress-faint. We managed, and ended up shortening the length the pumpkins dangled so they cleared the top of any cars that might be parked there on the nights of operation.



The dark yellowish spots on the sign is dried moss I glued on for some extra texture and color. The ENTIRE sign ran off of a single 12v 5amp power supply, which was hooked up to a timer inside the building. I am not looking forward to dragging this out of storage and installing again.







Oh what the hell, yes I am. :p Thanks for stopping by to check out my work!
 
21 - 27 of 27 Posts
Top