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I'm interested in knowing if many of you create your own props or purchase them. Some of you have unbelievable talent and I could never duplicate what you do. Which is why I have to buy props. I like Halloween Props - Halloween Animatronics - HauntedProps.com
alot for props, but they are pricey. I guess I just dont have the time to make props either. Plus no creativity ;)


This was my frontyard last year. My 1st year decorating outside. It kinda sux, thats why I'm trying to think of ideas for this year. I'd like to go with mostly a ghostly / cemetary or dead skeleton scene. I havnt even started a cemetary and I think it will be difficult by time you do a fence, tombstones, etc. I did create my own boarded up windows! but eventually I'd like to get rid of the rope lighting and stupid black christmasy lights

Now...if I could only find someone who makes and sells their tombstones!! :D
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Your lighting isn't half bad!
As far as props, I have a nice mix of store bought stuff and homemade. If I can make it myself, I will. If it's something I like but can't make it and can afford it, I'll buy it. Actually, a cemetery fence and tombstones are pretty basic/easy, and affordable, considering what you pay for animatronics. Start soon and you could easily have a nice fenced in graveyard with some neat homemade tombstones. A cemetery is a great place to start building your display and you can add to it every year.
 

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I'm sure you have the creativity, it just needs to be unleashed! This is a good place to start! Time, I can't help you with.
 

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You would be amazed at what you create once you start making it. Start with simple things like a fence and some tombstones as jdubbya suggests. Thats where I started back in the day and I think you will find that it will kickstart your creativity.

You are on the right website for help.
 

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I started out several years ago just making tombstones since they are so easy.
There so many examples on the internet to copy. That would give a taste of creating props. After that, I had the bug and haven't stopped for about 8 years now. I had to eventually move my haunted house to our neighborhood clubhouse. Some of my props or purchased, but the best ones, are the ones I made. I usually think about new props starting right after Halloween and plan them in my head until around the end of July. Then get to work on them.
Have fun and good luck.
 

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I buy props. As i said before, i'm horrible at building. I tried to make a full-size dummy, but it didn't work out. :D I only buy if it's cheap!
 

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A little bit of both. Some things you cant buy or at least not on the cheap like coffins, fences, FCG. Somethings you can buy but you can mass produce them cheaply with your own personal touch like foam skulls, tombstones. Then there are some things that are just cheaper to buy if you are willing to forgo the customization, like Michaels animatronics.

If I was rich and had infinate space I would buy alot of props and spend time building big structures and learning about controllers.
 

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Dr. Dark is right, start by building tombstones. They are easy and fun and you will get better as you do them. As you get more confidence in your prop making ability you will try other things. Last year I built a toe pincher coffin for our graveyard and this year I am gonna try compressed air props, hopefully I won't blow myself up. Give it a try, it is alot of fun.
 

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To be honest, you don't necessarily HAVE to be creative. If you follow the directions of someone's tutorial, and don't put any of your own 'spin' on it, you could still have a fantastic prop - it'd just be an exact replica. Not to say you shouldn't try to put your own ideas into a prop, but, just sayin'.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok thanks everyone. I'm guessing the best place to start with tombstones is that pink styrofom found at home depot eh? Then use drylock and paint or something. I remember a few things from the threads I've seen
 

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I build my props, but by things like masks for faces on my dummies,but for the most part its all hand made.
 

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I'm finding my self building more and more. It seems that the coolest stuff has to have your own blood, sweat and tears or it costs $50,000,000.
 

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crossfit zombie
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I like your lightning.I do both make and buy.
Tombstones are soooooooo easy.Now mine are not like anyone elses and yours won't be either we all use different methods and like different styles.I can not cut in a straight line and I get impatiant.But I have found a method I like and my tombstone style is very old.I use foam letters instead of carving and use items I cut out of foam or buy like crosses to embelish.Most of my tombstones either have a date or a name.Very few have both and some are blank.mine are not fancy but do look like tombstones.
Just get you some supplies and print off some how to's and get started.It is addicting.
 

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Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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I have been decorating for many, many years. I took over the tradition of decorating for Halloween when I was a teenager. That's when we upgraded from the classic paper skeleton on the front door (which my folks still have in a drawer to this day!!) and I started building some simple ghosts and carving more and more pumpkins every year.

There was a good period of time while I was in school and post-college renting, when I just decorated with store-bought stuff. A cute scarecrow, some pumpkins from the local market, orange lights, and various fun things from Michaels.

Now that I own my own home and have a family of my own, I have gone off the deep end and build a majority of my own stuff. I still buy bags and bags of spider webs and I can't get enough of the OTC Bluckies, but just about everything else is built by hand. All of my tombstones are now hand-carved from styrofoam. I grow many of my own pumpkins, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. :D
 

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To be honest, you don't necessarily HAVE to be creative. If you follow the directions of someone's tutorial, and don't put any of your own 'spin' on it, you could still have a fantastic prop - it'd just be an exact replica. Not to say you shouldn't try to put your own ideas into a prop, but, just sayin'.
Great point DeadTed! I myself am limited in what I can 'dream up' and create from scratch. What I do is look at many different designs of one prop and pick out things I like and change the things I don't. There are so many halloween DIY sites now that many times I come across a great prop and change only a couple minor things. The step by step tutorials are an excelent place to start especially the tombstones :) Planning is a big part of my prop building. I try to know how I want it to turn out rather than building as I go.
 

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Another note: It depends on what 'prop' you are wanting, but most of the things people create are modeled or are supposed to mimic ACTUAL "real" life things, so it's not like most of the props out there are original, never been thought of items.

I'm building a canon for my pirate display this year - well, there's no shortage of research material on this wonderful interwebnets that can't provide me with what I want - Yes, I do believe being creative is helpful, but just like Spartan said, you take pieces of what you see any put them together. So, I'm following a tutorial from a fellow forum poster - and while I'm following the tut almost exactly, my materials, attention to detail or lack-of, and my dedication are really what will make it different.

I think more than being 'creative', being resourceful comes in handy more - finding material at little or no cost to build whatever it is, is the real talent :)
 

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Master Crypt Keeper
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Yep. I think that most people here do both. There is so many things that are so easy to make once you know how.

I personally believe that lighting is your best friend. Even if your props look half-good, if you have the right lighting then you can still scare the you-know-what out of people.

Sometimes it is better to buy also. Why spend $100 in parts when you can buy it pre-made for $50. Or a quality chopped off hand for $15. Some people will spend 5 hours making a chopped off hand that looks good. And more power too them if it looks just as good or better. But me...$15 is better than 5 hours of work.

It is good to both make and buy.
 
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