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I'm ready

1231 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Junit
Well, I'm really really wanting to start working on my own props, but for the life of me I can't get my own inspiration bubbles to work. I can't even think straight enough to put the right words in search. I'm ready to begin haunting....and ready to make my own props, though I have very little experience with anything from paper mache which I haven't done since 3rd grade (I'm 27 now) to any wood working, and I am VERY limited on any wood working tools, meaning I only have drill, hand saw, sandpaper, and a hacksaw, but that's it.

Can anyone help a fellow would be haunter to start out simple and easy but awesome work (or at least as awesome as I can get it for the first try)
Also cheap materials would do nicely since I am having to use a very meager unemployment check to fund this.

And ideas and Especially step by step tutorials would be great for helping out a beginner. I really want to be a part of this wonderfully talented circle even if it will take time to get good at it.

Please help....I'm devistated...er...I mean desperate!
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I'm not especially talented but I've found a couple of easy things to do to make my haunt what I want it to be. First thing i do is plan it out in my head what I want it to look like, then i draw it on paper, what will go where, what i want to make and where it will go, etc...
Right now I'm taking garden stakes and cardboard triangles that i cut out, i assembled them together with just adhesive spray and staples and sprayed them black, it's super easy. Next, i got skulls from the dollar store, I'm cutting out the eyes with an exacto knife and putting in flickering tea lights. The skulls will be impaled on what look like pikes. It's very easy and less than $12.
Another thing i like to do is modify store bought stuff. I got $1 tombstones from the dollar store, resprayed them grey and pained some to glow in the dark, that's also super cheap and easy, glow paint is about $4.
Buy a blucky and corpse it, there are some great tutorials on here that show you how, also super cheap and easy to do.
Start small, then as you get more comfortable making things expand out to more complicated stuff.
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A couple of tips to keep your expenses down:
Dumpster diving behind businesses - if you find an industrial park, check in the alleyways after hours (yes, dumpsters), and you'll likely find some very usable items.
Be careful not to take something that might still belong to the business - checking the trash is one thing, stealing is not acceptable.

Also, craigslist - check the "free" section on your local craigslist...I am dumbfounded at some of the things I've seen listed. I'd need a warehouse to keep all the stuff in that I wish I could have brought home, just from the "free" section.

You mentioned paper mache? Great idea! Cheap, and so much can be done with it!
Some old newspaper, a cheap bottle of white glue, some flour, starch and salt (all very cheap), and you have the basis for creating your own horrifying masterpieces (best thing with mache? If you do screw it up, it's not like you've wasted money on materials).
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Re purposing every day items to fit your needs will help to cut costs.
Many people dumpster dive for goodies. Thrift stores are a wonderful source as well. Don't forget about the dollar stores for supplies. Many people use wooden skids that are thrown away as free sources of wood. Regardless of what the projects... you'll still need some supplies (paint, wood, glue, screws, etc. ) to complete projects. Public library will have Halloween books for sources of inspiration.

When you get back to a regular paycheck, there are "How to Haunt" books & dvds out on the market.
What size yard and house do you have?
What's your theme?

There's a few essentials that almost every haunt needs, lighting, fog machine, and scary sound track.

In the meantime, start with tombstones. The foam is easy to cut with a steak knife, and then you just carve some words for the epitaph and paint the whole thing grey. Take a rag with black craft paint and drag down the front to give it that old look.

Shiatsu Zombie time! Go to your thrift store and get a shiatsu massager (~$8), then go to the hardware store and get 1 10' length of PVC (~$2) and 1 package of "plumbers tape" (~$3). Get a pallet for the wood (free).

Put all these together and you should have a nifty little haunt going on.
well, like Warrant says, decide what you want, a grave yard, etc.
Also, make sure you search the turorial here, for easy suggestions, and there is always hauntproject.com, as well as halloweenmonsterlist.info, they are full of ideas, some elabrate. some cheap and easy.
If you have trees, hang a few ghosts, the dollar tree has skulls, use those, some cheese cloth,(cheap by the yard) wire and fish line or twine, and hang them to blow about in the wind,
if you have any masks laying about, use pvc,old clothes, a wig head(about 3-4 bucks), or just use a gallon milk jug,put the mask on it, and there you have a static prop.

good luck in your search!
i find looking at videos on YouTube or your fav video page helps out alot also for the DIY stiff because you can see what is being done plus it also helps come up with some ideas
Where do you guys find you wig heads?
I find them in thrift stores used but value village always have new ones with the halloween stuff.
When I read the title of this thread, I thought it was Si-cotik bragging about being done all of their stuff for Halloween. HaHa
Wood crosses are very easy to make and combined with dollar store tombstones you are off to a good start. Add some ghosts from white sheets some creepy cloth over the bushes and volia instant haunted house on the cheap.
You can get wig heads from the beauty supply stores if you can't find one anywhere else. They're usually about $4 or $5. You can make a figure very easily with a long stick or some kind of stake, a short stick for the shoulders, and then add arms by stuffing paper or plastic grocery bags into the clothing you have picked, and bulk up the figure also, and use duct tape for everything. Stick that wig head on with a mask and wig and you got yourself a being.

Thrift shops like Salvation Army, Goodwill, whatever kind you have nearby are great sources for clothing and accessories. Look at everything you see with the thought..."how can I use this for Halloween?" You don't have to necessarily use things for their original intended purpose.

Flat black spray paint (can be found for less than $1.00 at stores such as Wal-mart). Dollar Tree has some great Halloween items that can be used as-is or enhanced with paint or added to something.

If you decorate indoors, you can also use fabrics from the thrift shop for creepy curtains, tablecloths, general draping. You can also find tableware and other items that can be painted and embellished to make creepy candelabras, lamps or centerpieces.

Look through the websites that were posted earlier, and also look at the tutorials here and the crafts section for some awesome projects that don't require a lot of tools. You can also find tools at the thrift shop by the way!
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Also check these two sites for plenty of do it yourself projects. Pick the ones that fit your haunt and you feel comfortable building.

Monster Page of Halloween Project Links

HauntProject.com - Your visual source for Haunting How-To's
I would suggest paper mache and tombstones. Both easy and inexpensive.
Thrift stores are also good places to find cheap decorations. Bottles, creepy candle holders, clothes for stuffed bodies. Oh and LOTS of spider webs!

Take some large black trash bags, cut them into strips, and hang them from your trees and fences. The wind will make it blow spookilly.
Thanks everyone for all your help!!!! Got me in the mood to do something fun! I'll post pictures as soon as I have something!!

Thanks to you all!
There's many good tutorials on this website. If you search Halloween props, tutorials, haunted houses, etc, you'll find tons of websites to give ideas, tutorials, helpful hints...
You can find inexpensive things in the clearance section, thrift store, goodwill, garage sales or even on the curb once in a while. Dumpster diving is another way you might be able to get some supplies, or at least packing materials.
Just about everything can be made cheap and easy with a little creativity as how to make it. You can make your own tombstones out of foam or wood, or fix up really cheap ones from the dollar store. Prop characters can be made out of anything too- 2x4s, pipe, pvc, for the body, I think frankies girl was the one who used an old artists easel for a witch's body.
You can make faces out of clay, mache pulp, or just paper mache or wig heads.
Soundtracks or scary music can be found for free on various websites.
Good luck!
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