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Discussion Starter #1
I have daytime trick or treat and it sucks bad- no darkness whatsoever. I have a large porch the width of the house and I was thinking about enclosing it in black plastic so i could have a dark area to set up a couple scenes and use some lighting and fog.

I was thinking about getting some thick black plastic in rolls from Lowes and using that, but they just rebuilt most of my porch last year so i want to avoid excessive stapling or screwing. Maybe i could roll the edges of the plastic into a 2x2, staple it to that, and then just use a couple screws in the ceiling and floor? I realize that short of enclosing my porch in plywood nothing is going to give complete darkness, but as long as i'm close it'd be good.

Any ideas would be awesome... I don't have a lot of money to spend on it so try to keep that in mind!
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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Good for you, Mikey, to keep up the Hallowe'en spirit despite Draconian rules in your area about DAYTIME Trick or Treating. Is nothing sacred?

Heavy polythene sheeting will effectively block out all light. You'll find that the tiniest pinhole will allow light to pass through, but that looks really cool in a room full of fog. Make sure you get the heaviest polythene you can get. If you're worried about durability, you can use black Landscape fabric.

Be persistent, brother, DO NOT GIVE UP!! To quote Winston Churchill, "Never give in, never give in, never give in."
 

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livin Halloween every day
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You could also dumpster dive for some cardboard boxes and use them. It owuld be very easy to use some cheap black spray paint or even scene setters to cover it and make it look better.
 

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I have daytime trick or treat and it sucks bad- no darkness whatsoever. I have a large porch the width of the house and I was thinking about enclosing it in black plastic so i could have a dark area to set up a couple scenes and use some lighting and fog.

I was thinking about getting some thick black plastic in rolls from Lowes and using that, but they just rebuilt most of my porch last year so i want to avoid excessive stapling or screwing. Maybe i could roll the edges of the plastic into a 2x2, staple it to that, and then just use a couple screws in the ceiling and floor? I realize that short of enclosing my porch in plywood nothing is going to give complete darkness, but as long as i'm close it'd be good.

Any ideas would be awesome... I don't have a lot of money to spend on it so try to keep that in mind!


If you have a way to put eye hole screws in the top of the porch ceiling your could run a line (like a clothing line) through the eye hole screws and create a "drape" of long, black plastic sheeting panels. I'd weigh them down at the bottom with a weighted board or bricks so the panels don't fly in the wind.

If not eye hooks, maybe you could put up closet rod supports like one of these ( Closet Organizers - The Hardware Hut ) in the side porch walls and use PVC instead of a closet pole to create something like a shower rod that you can drape the black plastic over.
 

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I did this last year with clothes line and black bed sheets. It made it totally dark inside and worked like a charm. it took about 3 hours to set up and came down in about 30 minutes. i'll see if i can find some pics and post them
 

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here are some pics of my haunt from last year, now i wish we would have taken more exterior pics but you'll get the idea
 

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I think your looking for non-invasive mounting ideas, and already sold on plastic coverings...

If you porch has square 'columns'/posts, build a 2x2 wood strip that would go around perimeter, but just a tad too short. When you screw the 2x2 wood together, it will squeeze the column, hopefully with marring it. Now mount additional strips to that and go from columns to columns, hanging plastic , etc.

Bite the bullet and put maybe just one/two holes somewhere that has a lag bolt or even a tension stud, then mount to that. I have two if these in my brickwork and attach various items each year.
 

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Grand Poobah
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When we built our house, I didn't want to staple to it, either. But the reality is... staple holes are tiny. If you want to cover them up, paint will do the trick.

I put up plastic every single year, and to help keep it on in the wind, I use lattice strips or furring strips on top of it, stapled with long staples.

Here are some pictures from several years ago...


Notice the lattice strips painted black. They really keep the plastic up in the wind. They are simply stapled to the posts. After years of practice, I started putting plastic on both the inside and outisde of the posts.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
awesome, thanks for the ideas, keep em coming! This is helping a lot. For the folks who used plastic, what mil thickness did you use? It appears that whatever you used it's pretty opaque.
 

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Grand Poobah
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I can't recall the mil used, it was heavier than heavy duty garbage bags. I buy in the 10' x 50' or 100' rolls at Lowes. It is 99.9% opaque black plastic. Home Depot seems to only have clear.

It can be hard to find, so buy it when you see it. People really gobble it up around Halloween.
I've used the stuff to cover brightly colored walls in the house, too. It works great, and is cheaper than scene setters.

One thing we did was to use a combo of black plastic and scene setters. Stone wall on the bottom half, black plastic on the top.
 

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6 mil is a good thickness - that's what I use. To hang a long section of plastic to cover the entire front of my house, I roll the plastic a few times around sections of 2x4, then put it in my gutter. The long sheet of plastic is cut into strips every 18", hangs about 2 feet from the house, and waves nicely in the breeze.

When stapling plastic sheeting, I've found that under pressure, the plastic will tear out from a staple. To fix it I take a small 1"x1" square of cardboard, roll it a few times in the plastic, then staple through the little roll. The staple holds the cardboard, and the cardboard holds the plastic.
 

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Not sure if this will make any sense but here goes...
Not much money? This is SO CHEAP!
Get carpet tubes (free) and make a frame by gluing and taping them together. Where they intersect you notch it out so the one will sit down in the other.
No, I am not crazy. Carpet tubes are actually pretty sturdy.

Go to the lumber store and get lumber wrap (free). It comes in black.
Staple it to the cardboard tube frame. (might have to double it up to really block out light)
I have used this stuff and it really works.
My display was a big pyramid (with an inside room) out in the middle of the yard so I pounded posts into the ground and slid the tubes over top to hold everything in place. It even withstood a pretty bad wind.
As for securing it to your porch, not sure on that one. If the porch has posts maybe wire the tubes to that?
 

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Instead of using black plastic this year I have bought some black landscaping fabric. I am going to sew a pocket at the top of the fabric (like curtains) so that I can use pvc rods to hang it. Then I am going to screw cup hooks into the facia about every 5 feet and connect the pvc rods to the hooks. This way I can continue to use the fabric every year. The fabric costs quite a bit more than the plastic, but I will save money in the long run and it will be easier to hang.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I checked at Lowes, and they have 6 mil 25' and 100' rolls. The 25' are about $30 and the 100' $60. I need 36' long, so either way if i buy it new it's going to cost me $60 which is way out of the budget. I put up a want ad in the want to buy section, if anyone has any spare plastic they'd be willing to sell i'd be interested.
 

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cool, i'll go look for it soon then. I'm going to use a scene setter to cover up the house's siding, which is white. Thanks for the tips!
You'll find it works great. We've been doing the same thing for many years. We use 3M 77 spray ahesive to stick the sene setters to the plasic. If you have any wind, we've found that the tighter you make the fit, the better. We use PVC pipe - sprayed with gray and "rust" rustoleum - vertically every three feet or so to prevent the wind from "pushing in" very far on the structure.

By the way, we use the 3M 77 to adhere scene setters on the INSIDE of our black plastic to further set up the Haunt look. We also use it wrapped around PVC to create interior walls that make a mini-maze that the TOTs have to walk through.

Goog Luck

Ours...


 

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Sounds awsome Mikey. Obviously I really like the scene setters.

We plan on adding more of it this year, but I don't think I can cover the entire house. I don't have ladders that high and I think the Santa Ana winds would rip it to shreads at the second floor level.
 
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