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Discussion Starter #1
It's my first year putting on my haunt & I got way ahead of myself & am now quite discouraged to do anything for Halloween this year.

I have an average sized yard & discovered I don't have a whole lot other than gravestones.

I also have somewhat of a busy schedule but can make time if need be. I have several things that could be used but idk what for. I will provide a list below of supplies I have so hopefully someone can help me out.

Pool filter (for those large softsided pools)
Fishing line
Chickenwire
Good variety of wood & thin branches
PVC
Ropes
Tabletop fan
Galvanized wire
Styrofoam heads
Air mattress inflater/deflater
And quite a bit more.

I can provide pictures of my yard if necessary or anything else that helps.
If you have any questions please ask. Thank you very much.
 

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Soccer and Lacrosse Dad
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Focus on one thing at a time and just have fun. An entire haunt is not typically built in a couple weeks. Do the best you can with the tombstones and perhaps build a few things that would go in a cemetary. Grab some old clothes and a mask , and make a grounbreaker (or more if you have enough materials) with the pvc, chickenwire and a foam head. Try building a Pumpkinrot with the wood and branches, and a carved pumpkin. Take a deep breath and just have fun.
 

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Well, what are you wanting to do? A display, a walk through, rooms, maze, etc. All that kinda depends.

Chicken wire, rope, wood...

You could build some scarecrows. No, not all 'normal' kind. I used these as a source of inspiration on my chimera.






These are concept drawings for Magic: The Gathering. Some of the actual scarecrows that made cards are interesting too.



 

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Been there, done that... Instead of doing the entire yard, concentrate on 1/4-1/2 of it and use lighting to draw focus to the area. Next year, move to the next section. After you fill our the entire yard, do like I do: change themes and start over from scratch and complain that there aren't enough hours in a day to get it all done on time.
 

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Hang in there. It will come together rather quickly. You could add some ghost and zombies in the graveyard which will expand your grave yard this year and then add to it every year. I completely understand where your coming from thou. I decide to host our highschool reunion this year and with that decorate my whole back yard(1 acre) for a walk thru haunt. I don't have as much as I thought. I am filling space with pallets and zombies and ghosts. Good luck with yours and HAVE FUN!!!
 

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Look through some of the members albums, they are full of brilliant and ingenious props some of which will not necessarily require hours of work to achieve good results. You have enough materials to make ground breakers to go with your gravestones, a simple pvc or wooden frame with a styrofoam head and hey presto, you probably just require masks and clothes as has been suggested already by doto.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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Been there, done that... Instead of doing the entire yard, concentrate on 1/4-1/2 of it and use lighting to draw focus to the area. Next year, move to the next section. After you fill our the entire yard, do like I do: change themes and start over from scratch and complain that there aren't enough hours in a day to get it all done on time.
This is what I'm working on. I've got a HUUUGE yard I could use but the front is ruined by a streetlight so I concentrate on the other parts that aren't. I know I don't have enough to fill the whole thing, so I work with what I've got & really, most folks appreciate ANYTHING better than nothing.

Last year Hallowindow was the big hit. Just a window, a DVD & a projector sitting on a cat tree, all costing less than $100. I could've done that & nothing else & everyone would've been happy.

Sometimes less is more.
 

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I made small vignettes around my graveyard that did not cost much.
One of the Walgreens skellies propped up with pvc and rebar could hold a lantern and a shovel. Or like I did a bottle and a JOL.
I also used some dollar store rats scurrying along a wall with a black cat and witch's broom nearby. I also have a vulture with a couple of body parts. These things would not cost much and can be assembled quickly. ALLRATS.jpg BUZZARD.jpg OWL.jpg

Never underestimate the power of crows and pvc candles to set an errie mood too.
SKELLIE.jpg CROWS.jpg
 

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Take your time and dont get overwhelmed if you have pvc pipes and foam heads you have zombies. make them one at a time from full upright to just head and shoulders coming out of ground. just dress them and stuff them table top fan can blow things for ombiance like sheets as ghosts or just creepy curtains on an overhang . if the fan oscelates put a head on it dress it up and it will look back and fourth.
 

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I agree withy narrowing your focus at this point. Don't attempt to start many more projects as this might just heightn your disappointment. The graveyard scene is always a classic staple of Halloween. Use your existing tombstones, and if need be flesh it out a bit with a couple of store bought ones for fillers. Your pvc pipe can be uised to fashion armatures for some life size figures, like zombies or a grim reaper. Don't spread everything out too far and make a nice cohesive scene. your lighting, fog and sound will round it out and you'll be the hit of the neighborhood. We have a very small front yard but try to add a little each year to make it fun and change it up a bit. It never get's old.

pvc frame zombies



our small yard



small jointed skellie riding a cross.



Place a few jack o lanterns in amongst the gravestones too, and maybe some nice corn stalks and you'll add some great atmosphere!
 

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I was in the same boat when i started, and now I'm on year 3. I've done a little bit at a time, adding a couple sections of fence at a time and a few more tombstones. I'm busy being a parent and working, so I have very little time for prop-making. I focus on making it fun! I mean, if I'm not having fun then what's the point in doing it at all?

Basically: Start small, add a bit each year, and HAVE FUN!
 

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Although blasphemous, I am an experienced Christmas display enthusiast. What that brought to Halloween display is the skill of using vignettes to fill your available area. Each vignette is done stand alone as if it were the only item being displayed. You have the substantial makings of a graveyard, so that would be the first and most prominent display you set up. From your list of supplies, I could see some piping and chicken wire on a frame covered with fabric, painted fashioning a Freddy Kruger boiler. The only buy I see would be maybe Freddie's knife glove and the paint if you didn't have any. A third or alternate possibility could be a torture chamber, with hand built rack set against a wall if available. Each of these vignettes could be embellished and expanded over time to quite nice displays. Bodies, figures and skeletons could be added, and bats and rats. Each vignette consists of one main item with add-ons to flesh it out.

When you're decorating, look at the one area at a time. Don't worry about filling the whole space, just properly proportion each individual display. Add the little touches that 'finish' your piece and then move on to the next. The first time is the hardest, because you'll make minor changes to layout as time goes on (we all do) and maybe even exchange locations because one set 'shows' better than the others and needs prominence. But across time, set up will shorten, design will solidify, and you'll be the hit of the neighborhood. And when you start getting tired of something, start planning your replacement the year before you make the change - it will go easier. Above all, have fun doing it, and you'll never get tired and it will never get old.

BTW, I'm a noob and just joined today.
 

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Don't get overwhelmed! I would say stick with one area that you put all of your time into this year. After you absorb what it takes to put up one scene, you'll be ready to expand.

Just look around your house. I'm sure you have tons of stuff that could award you some cool scares for next-to-nothing.

With the old fans, you can easily put a cape and mask over an oscillating fan for a creepy effect. If you have a desktop type of fan, simply place any creepy mask over it and people will be drawn to "what's moving on the ground". Take some old clothes you have and a cheap dollar store mask and fill the clothes with pillows, old blankets, discarded tombstones, etc. and there you have a scary corpse. Go to Dollar Tree and get some LED lights for only $1 each to illuminate special tombstones. Then, purchase maybe one or two blue/red spotlights to start out from Lowe's/Home Depot. Also, I'm not sure if you have a fog machine, but it will do wonders for $24.99 at Wal-Mart. The combo of spotlights, fog, and strobes is heavenly!

Well, these are my weird suggestions. But like others have said, HAVE FUN! Just relax, use things from around your house, and people will love your setup! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
WOW! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

I am new to this site and didnt expect a whole lot of replies but I was clearly proven wrong. I apologize for posting this reply so late but I assure you that all posts were read within a few days of them being posted & I found them all very helpful.
Like I said it was my first haunt & other than the lack of TOTers it was a pretty big success. Like I imagined, I was working on stuff until the TOTers came but I feel that's probably a recurring theme with many of the haunters. I will soon be posting videos and pics of it on my profile & possibly on this thread as well. Again, thank you all very much & I hope everyone had a fun, successful Halloween!

Stephen Noll
 

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Stephennoll, I am assuming like you, I am not the only one running around like a chicken with it's head cut off the day of. I live in a good area but still will not put out anything expensive until the day of. There are two reasons.. one.. a lot of the kids/adults in our area pick up/drop off kids.. so they see our houses. So it's sort of a "surprise" when they come down the night of and see how it transformed in one day. The second is that I fear anyone stealing any of the good stuff. I'll put up cob webs, maybe tombstones.. although if I ever learn to make some of the big ones seen in some of the photos in this thread, I'd be afraid to put those out too. The fog machines, lights, etc I put out the day of. Next year I need to set up the projection and such a little earlier, and fix my video since it says Happy Halloween but it shows up backwards lol. I too add a little bit each year. I added a 2nd fog machine this year, and started assembling DMX based gear (light dimmer/relay pack, 2 LED lights, 2nd FOG machine with DMX). I am hoping to pick up the DMXorcist board/software, and start messing around with solenoids and such to do some motion activated props.
 

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If you have a fog machine and no chiller I found that removing the filter media from a pool filter and replacing with ice makes an easy chiller
 
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