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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jackie from Minnesota here.. We are building a horse drawn hearse (and modeling it somewhat on a wonderful one that EvilBob did). We want to put in round windows in the front and back of the hearse but are having a devil of a time coming up with something to frame the opening with. We tried looking for round (cheap) picture frames but can't find any that aren't really expensive. We want them to be about 24" round... Does anyone have any suggestions of what we could use? I know we can cut a circle out of plywood but we wanted something that had more detail...Someone suggested buying a couple of large clocks and using the frames from them. That sounds expensive too. Grateful for any help from you Halloween wizards out there!
 

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Search Lowe's or other home improvement place for a "ceiling ring" essentially a round piece of moulding meant for framing the base of a light fixture or something. [link]

There's also this flexible moulding stuff [link]

And of course, the classic black foam pvc pipe insulation cut and bent to shape. Or the usual haunter's home insulation foam cut to shape. Add some wood appliques/onlays or even hot glue for raised detail and you've got a pretty good looking frame.
 

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I would still keep my eyes open for an oval picture or mirror frame. If you found one, obviously remove the mirror and replace with a piece of plexiglass. Anything else is just going to be a lot of work. I'm positive you can find a frame store around. Many hardware stores or even places like Wal-Mart carry oval mirrors at decent prices. Just a matter of little work to find them. Good luck...
 

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Christmas items are hitting the shelves and a large wreath frame would be pretty cheap. I think places like Hobby Lobby and Michael's carry them. You would have to wrap the frame with something - even tin foil would be shiny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info everyone! Some great ideas here. I will have to confer with my brother and see what he wants to do. I will try to post some pictures so you can see what we are doing. Thanks again! Love this site!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is so fun! Everyone is so helpful and wonderful about sharing their secrets! My brother seems set on a true round window so I think we will go with the Lowe's ceiling ring. I am not sure if we are going to actually glass in the back window - my bro thought he might try to have something leap out of the window. We are making some progress, my bro has most of the wooden base done. My husband is supposed to be lengthening the wheel base on the buggy assembly this weekend and then we can attach the hearse body and really get going. I also bought a real horse skull in anticipation of making a skeleton horse but that is going to have to wait until next year. We are so late getting started!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yours is so fabulous! I have wanted a hearse for years and my family thought I was nuts. But somehow they have been coming around and my lunatic brother actually said he would make it. I am assisting in an advisory capacity and I think I might be chief procurer of the embellishments. I wish I didn't know about the cost though - I keep telling myself it won't be too bad. I guess I am living in a dream world. But - it's my 30th wedding anniversary this month and I told my husband I wanted a hearse - so I think he's getting off cheap! I should add that my brother is paying for a lot of this too. What a great brother!!!
 

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Take a look at the frame around my Magic Mirror. (Can't seem to add links to photos on my tablet, look at my account under props)
It's made of scrap foam. really cheap solution.Just used a router to add the profile to the foam. Use a bit with a bearing to follow the outer and inner edges.
 

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Yes, thrift stores like Salvation Army, Value Village, hospital thrift stores have these sort of things regularly. Even Ikea sells lots of frames and framed mirrors inexpensively. You can also get vinyl siding vents and iron fencing inserts in numerous shapes. I guess it depends on how large your window will be.
Insulation foam would be great too because you can make it any shape or size plus add ornamentation to it like faux rivets.

Plate Dishware Mirror Automotive wheel system Tableware
 

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Can't wait to see the pics. As for the 24" circle what about sonotube ? used to make concrete columns, they have it at lowes or the depot. Not fancy but easy to work with and the size your looking for. The ceiling ring is a medallion some are more ornate then others but you would have to do some modifying, would love to see the finish product.
 

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I second the suggestions to check thrift stores. Building a hearse is a complicated and time-consuming project but the reward is worth it. Definitely takes your haunt from "cool.. nice decorations" to "IS THAT A HEARSE!?!? where did you.. I can't even... holy crap!" kind-of-level. Good Luck and make sure to make the platform/wheels as stable as possible.

EDIT: EvilBob is the oracle of home-built hearses and has access to lacquer from the 1800s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks again everyone. A large part of the problem is we are trying to get some sort of hearse done for our party on the 19th (and then continue with it after that for next year. I really like the ceiling rings but they have to be special ordered and I can't get it in time. I love thrift stores and hit them every week. Wouldn't you know - just when you are looking for something, you can't find it. We want to do this right so I am not sure what to do now. Hobby Lobby sounds great but the closest one to me is about a 2 hour drive...I think we need to revisit the shape. I am not sure why he is so sold on a true circle (not even an oval, he wants a circle). We are planning to work on it tomorrow evening, so we'll see what happens. I promise to get some pics. Not much to see right now.
 
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