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Haunted Hollow Mausoleum Build

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Building My Mausoleum or...
(How I learned to stop building heavy props and embrace the light weight world of styrofoam.)

Okay, so I took this beautiful Memorial weekend and built a mausoleum. I’ve been wanting to for a while, and this good weather gave me the opportunity.

A bit of back-story: I am building a bunch of new props this year and my plan is to build everything out of strips of 1x4 (usually cut into thirds to make three 1x1 lengths) and ¾” sheets of styrofoam. This allows me to improve some existing props and make everything lighter and easier to store.

This is a prop showcase thread decoted to my mausoleum build. A discussion of stryofoam builds and glues can be found here: Best Glue For Styrofoam?


Saturday: Day One

I started by building a basic frame. Each side of the mausoleum can be taken apart by removing a couple of screws. This design allows each side to be a flat piece for storage. (My 5 year old daughter is sitting within the frame.) Each side is five feet wide, and the peak is 7 feet tall.



I liked how the frame came together, but I was worried that it might actually be a little too light, so I cut some one foot strips of ½” MDF and placed them at the base of each side of the mausoleum. This added a few pounds to the base and made the structure more secure in wind. After that, I started lining the frame with the styrofoam sheets. I secured the sheets to the wood frame with Liquid Nails. (One thing I learned about the white styrofoam is that the Liquid Nails will slowly eat through any exposed styrofoam. It is best to leave the protective film on the side you are gluing. If you don't want to leave the film on, then paint the piece first so the Liquid Nails will secure to the paint and not directly to the styrofoam)



Sunday: Day Two

I continue to cut and secure the styrofoam sheets to the wood frame. I decided to go with a gothic style, so I carved a curve into the opening.



After the initial covering was complete, I went back and started cutting out details for the front and sides. For the round repeating archway, I used the foam copper pipe insulation. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I also cut a sheet to add depth and detail to the side panels.



Monday: Day Three

Day three was spent doing some finishing touches to the main forms and paint, paint, paint. Here are some pictures of what I ended up with Monday evening. My plan from this point is to add detail to the entrance. I am hoping to put a flat-cut skull on either side of the entrance within the pillars, and add accent medallions on the angled flat of the doorway. I am also thinking of adding a thin ribbing to the roof sections.





Here’s a detail shot of the entrance arch with the copper pipe insulation and styrofoam accents.



This is a "straight on" shot of the mausoleum to highlight the layering of the doorway. I am going to build a rod iron gate out of PVC pipe to go across the lower portion of the entrance. (my 12 year old is lying in the mausoleum to avoid the afternoon sun.)



My plan with the interior is to cut styrofoam sheets to fit between the wood frame so they look like interment vault cover stones. Each stone will have a humorous name or epitaph. I will be painting the interior (and continue to detail the exterior) so the mausoleum has a worn, stone appearance.
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· Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I love the detailing on this... it is amazing! I love the arched door and the side details - it really makes this piece look fantastic!

I'm going to have to drag out my crypt over the summer to see about adding some gothic features to it. :D
 

· Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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6,364 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Tried doing a plaster mold to make some skulls but it didn't come out very well. I'll pour in a positive this afternoon and see how it turns out, but I'm not optimistic.

I did put in an order for some styro skulls this morning, so when they arrive, I hope to cut down two of them to mount on either side of the doorway.
 

· Registered
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I love the gothic / cathedral look you've given it! Fantasitc! Can't wait to tse the end results!
 

· Halloween AA Member
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I have bookmarked this page. I really, really want to make a mausoleum. If only I had the time to take a full weekend to work on something. I have a 2 year old and a 2 month old. I can only get away here and there. But this is on my must do for next year. Is there anyway to get a list of the amount on wood and styrofoam you used?

I can't wait to see more photos.

Also how did you make it so you can take it apart, without making it obvious from the outside with the styrophome?
 

· Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I will try and put together a parts list with a cut guide. I can give you the amounts I paid for materials I purchased at Lowes, which should give you a rough estimate.

Let me put that together tonight. Hopefully, I can post something soon.
 

· Going bump in the night..
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3,394 Posts
Man oh man, I love it!
May I say, the use of the piping insulation for the gothic arch was brilliant - getting that kind of detail by hand would have been a serious bit of work.

I like your approach for a wrought iron gate, with corpses interred. Will be very creepy.
 

· Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Mausoleum Collapse for Storage

Okay, this is how the mausoleum breaks down for storage. Each panel has been built as an independent section with a 1x1 frame. Here is a diagram of the 6 components that come apart.

 

· Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Here is a pic of the front corner and a picture of the roof sections showing how they join at the ridge. There are no screws securing the roof panels, they simply fit into the frame snuggly.



Okay, to take the mausoleum apart, the first thing I do is pop off the two roof panels. Each one is independent and just rests snuggly in place. No screws.



Next, I remove the three screws from each corner and start to remove the four upright panels.



Here are some close-up pictures of the corners so you can see how they meet. This overlapping is an important part of the build as it allows the wooden framework to be concealed.



After I unscrew the corner screws, the four panels come apart very easily. Here’s a shot of the four panels apart. The two side panels are 5’ x 5”. (ignore the pink playhouse in the background, it is not a prop :p)



The final step is to gently stack the various sections one on top of another. I put the two roof sections on the very top. The whole mausoleum, when stacked, is about 1 foot high.





So, that’s it! The whole process takes about 5 minutes from start to finish. The collapsed mausoleum can easily slip into a garage or under a deck. You could even put it in a shed as long as the shed is either 7 feet tall or 7 feet deep.
 

· Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Here is a "blueprint" of the 1x1 framework. What I did was purchase 8 foot 1x4s and rip them down to three 1x1s. The mausoleum took 7 1x4s and 6 sheets of 3/4" styrofoam. To add a bit of weight to the base, I put in scrap 1/2" MDF that I had lying around. Te paint is some "oops" paint I got from Lowes.

I probably spent about $80 to build the mausoleum.

 
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