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Discussion Starter #1
Good Afternoon all,

Last year I built a pillar for our community haunted house and although I finished it in 3 days. I didn’t realize how much work goes into it and of course it takes that much longer as I am only one person.!

Can you guys throw out some suggestions at me with the how to’s.? Lol

I was thinking of a fireplace mantle but I’m not sure how to give the effect of someone coming out of it.

Love to hear suggestions.! :)


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I will be working on a similar project with a fake fireplace, not sure a technique to have some come out of the fireplace but I an going with a kicking leg prop mounted vertically as if he is being sucked up the chimney. There are tons a vids online with how to achieve this with a wiper motor: here’s just one example:


I have made a faux decorative fireplace for the wife before out of mdf and it is certainly easy but can get quite heavy. So I’m going with a 2x2 frame and foam insulation board this time around.

The HD blog has a prettt decent tutorial on a faux fireplace, little more involved IMO to be used for a Halloween prop vs decor but provides the basic concepts
 

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i don't have any great suggestions (there are probably hundreds of builders here much smarter than i am) but this post was on my feed and i saw it was your first post, so i just wanted to say welcome. :D
 

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Not quite sure what exactly you have in mind from what you wrote but if you are focused on a fireplace with mantle how about a mirror over it and half of a prop (head, torso, hands, whatever) coming out of the mirror? Make the mirror appear to be cracked to add to the realism. The human prop could be anchored through the "mirror" to the back of the mirror and then the framed mirror hung above the mantle area.

Also suppose it could be instead a portrait with the subject leaping off the canvas. There are also portrait projection videos you could use with the portrait canvas a projection material. You'd have to be able to position a projector far enough behind the fireplace wall to give you an appropriate size for the image and that would depend on your set up space.
 

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Good Afternoon all,

Last year I built a pillar for our community haunted house and although I finished it in 3 days. I didn’t realize how much work goes into it and of course it takes that much longer as I am only one person.!

Can you guys throw out some suggestions at me with the how to’s.? Lol

I was thinking of a fireplace mantle but I’m not sure how to give the effect of someone coming out of it.

Love to hear suggestions.! :)


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Good Afternoon all,

Last year I built a pillar for our community haunted house and although I finished it in 3 days. I didn’t realize how much work goes into it and of course it takes that much longer as I am only one person.!

Can you guys throw out some suggestions at me with the how to’s.? Lol

I was thinking of a fireplace mantle but I’m not sure how to give the effect of someone coming out of it.

Love to hear suggestions.! :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
744169
744170
while these are actually large tombstone's, it can give you ideas on how to make your fireplace ( you can use a jig saw for cutting curves) and I use toothpicks to hold layers together as adhesive sets up. As for images coming out of fireplace atmosfx has some great & easy to use projections. If you decide to go with an projection had suggest searching on eBay & craigslist for used projectors now, Before there's a demand for them. Be sure to check out what a replacement bulb would cost before you purchase.
I also believe there's something you can do with mirrors and requires a live actor, might be cold peppers ghost but I've never gone that route.
 

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This is a great forum to go wandering for ideas: as is YouTube. While projections can be great for creating the illusion of something coming out of your fireplace, it's not the only one. We use a projection to make one of our tombstones look possessed. It looks as if a skeleton demon is trying to push through the stone. Folks love it.


Atmosfx also makes a video with demons trying to escape a fire that could work very well for your fireplace.


That said, if it were us, we'd probably go another route simply because we already have two video critters at large in our haunt. Take a look a Johnny's Ghosts for wall breakers and other possible ghosts that would fit into your fireplace. He has created a number of animated ghosts that pop out of walls or hang down from ceilings.

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Having one of the ghosts popping out of your fireplace will give it a dimensional look that no video will ever be able duplicate.


As for your fireplace, there are ways you can go from easy to complex. It really all depends on what you're hoping to accomplish, how close your visitors will be to it, and how much time they will spend in front of it.

Simple paintings can be effective if everyone is seeing the prop from a distance. Allen Hopps shows you how to make a crematory oven, using just paint and perspective to give a wall a new look. The same can be done for a fireplace. Add a tiny bit of foam to the dimensions, and you can have a fireplace that from a short distance in the dark, can be more than adequate for the illusion to work.


Or if you really want to go whole hog, you can dive into the deep end and make a fireplace that will fool them all even close up.


This video above is sort of a multi-part video tutorial, because they're creating a whole haunted house, but I tried to set it into the video where they work on the fireplace. The only thing I have to say about the videos is that this is without a doubt the most labor intensive approach to making a fireplace. They could just as easily burned the grout marks into the foam and saved hours. No one would be the wiser. And they could have bought a Harbor Freight foam cutter for 20 bucks 130 Watt Hot Knife rather than the foam factory cutter for two hundred dollars Industrial 6-Inch Hot Knife #035I. Still, there is so much really great stuff they discuss about painting a fake fireplace and the surrounding house, that it's just fun to watch even if you take an entirely different approach.

Whenever we have a question about something new we want to try, we do two things. We drop by here and plug it into the search engines, and then we do the same with Google images. For a fake fireplace we would look to see which fireplace had the look we wanted, and then follow the links to see if it led to a tutorial. Often they do. It's part of the adventure of Haunting for us. It's that whole "the journey is as much fun as the destination" approach. It's very Zen, only with skeletons and dead things.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You'll need to offer a more focused question, love. Us nerds need some help, to come up with concrete answers.
But that’s just it, I like trying and learning new things and there’s only one way to learn and that’s if you try it.

I just need prob ideas and how to build them.

Mantles, coffins, sound effects/light shows. I just want to have that one prop that stands out lol.

So I guess you could say I’m a little lost on where to go, but what I want is the biggest and baddest idea. Challenge level doesn’t just have to be for a newbie


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Discussion Starter #10
This is a great forum to go wandering for ideas: as is YouTube. While projections can be great for creating the illusion of something coming out of your fireplace, it's not the only one. We use a projection to make one of our tombstones look possessed. It looks as if a skeleton demon is trying to push through the stone. Folks love it.


Atmosfx also makes a video with demons trying to escape a fire that could work very well for your fireplace.


That said, if it were us, we'd probably go another route simply because we already have two video critters at large in our haunt. Take a look a Johnny's Ghosts for wall breakers and other possible ghosts that would fit into your fireplace. He has created a number of animated ghosts that pop out of walls or hang down from ceilings.

View attachment 744203 View attachment 744204

Having one of the ghosts popping out of your fireplace will give it a dimensional look that no video will ever be able duplicate.


As for your fireplace, there are ways you can go from easy to complex. It really all depends on what you're hoping to accomplish, how close your visitors will be to it, and how much time they will spend in front of it.

Simple paintings can be effective if everyone is seeing the prop from a distance. Allen Hopps shows you how to make a crematory oven, using just paint and perspective to give a wall a new look. The same can be done for a fireplace. Add a tiny bit of foam to the dimensions, and you can have a fireplace that from a short distance in the dark, can be more than adequate for the illusion to work.


Or if you really want to go whole hog, you can dive into the deep end and make a fireplace that will fool them all even close up.


This video above is sort of a multi-part video tutorial, because they're creating a whole haunted house, but I tried to set it into the video where they work on the fireplace. The only thing I have to say about the videos is that this is without a doubt the most labor intensive approach to making a fireplace. They could just as easily burned the grout marks into the foam and saved hours. No one would be the wiser. And they could have bought a Harbor Freight foam cutter for 20 bucks 130 Watt Hot Knife rather than the foam factory cutter for two hundred dollars Industrial 6-Inch Hot Knife #035I. Still, there is so much really great stuff they discuss about painting a fake fireplace and the surrounding house, that it's just fun to watch even if you take an entirely different approach.

Whenever we have a question about something new we want to try, we do two things. We drop by here and plug it into the search engines, and then we do the same with Google images. For a fake fireplace we would look to see which fireplace had the look we wanted, and then follow the links to see if it led to a tutorial. Often they do. It's part of the adventure of Haunting for us. It's that whole "the journey is as much fun as the destination" approach. It's very Zen, only with skeletons and dead things.
This.!

This is brilliant and exactly what I need.!

My momma builds the haunted house and we do it for a community fundraiser, so having the whole video of the haunted house truly isn’t a problem I can’t wait to go more in depth.!

Thank you so much I can’t wait to watch these after work and see which one catches my interest.!


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Discussion Starter #11
View attachment 744169 View attachment 744170 while these are actually large tombstone's, it can give you ideas on how to make your fireplace ( you can use a jig saw for cutting curves) and I use toothpicks to hold layers together as adhesive sets up. As for images coming out of fireplace atmosfx has some great & easy to use projections. If you decide to go with an projection had suggest searching on eBay & craigslist for used projectors now, Before there's a demand for them. Be sure to check out what a replacement bulb would cost before you purchase.
I also believe there's something you can do with mirrors and requires a live actor, might be cold peppers ghost but I've never gone that route.
The only thing I find being strictly foam is that it’s going to wear and tear over time.

Like for my pillar it’s so fragile burin did have a wood frame.

But I would have never thought of this either because I like to take the hard route for everything and make everything much more complicated than I need to lol


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i don't have any great suggestions (there are probably hundreds of builders here much smarter than i am) but this post was on my feed and i saw it was your first post, so i just wanted to say welcome. :D
Awe, thank you kindly. It’s the little things in life that go a long ways ;)


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The only thing I find being strictly foam is that it’s going to wear and tear over time.
It really depends on how you store things, and the care you give them. I think all foam props outside of tombstones should have a bit of wood to help support them. Towers, walls, all the stuff we make has internal wood supports. Since we get the wood for free from Craigslist, we often are using wood that is much larger and heavier than we need. When it comes time to tote them out and set them up, that's a regret, but it's what our budget allows. Really sturdy props can be used making the framework out of 2x2s and 1x3s.

That said, we have tombstones that have been around for over a decade with minimal upkeep. Our oldest mausoleum is going on five years, and I bet you can't tell where we smashed it during set up. We only paint our props, and we use free paint given to us by folks on Craigslist again. That's always been good enough for us. However, if your budget allows, you can hard-coat them and they'll be even sturdier. Since we don't do it, we can't recommend a product to use, but there are those out there who swear by adding that extra layer of protection. We just figure that every time we ding a prop, it becomes more a part of the graveyard's ambiance. We've only damaged one prop so badly that paint couldn't hide the mess up. And to do that, we dropped a 4x3x10 on top of the tombstone. Ironically it had the epitaph "Rest in Pieces." :)

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I just need prop ideas and how to build them.

Mantles, coffins, sound effects/light shows. I just want to have that one prop that stands out lol.
Dpeterson is right about one thing. What is a killer prop to one person might be totally useless to another. Don't come to us asking how to make a zombie or a clown. We don't do them. We don't like them. But if a neighbor were to set their whole yard up with zombie clowns, we'd be thrilled. Because something, even the stuff we don't do, is way better than nothing. At some point you're going to have to put on some Nox Arcana, put on a comfy dark hooded robe, and channel your inner haunter. That may be a graveyard maker, or a witches shack builder, even a zombie princess/unicorn needlepoint artist. Whatever it is, once you find it, it will help define your questions and where you go exploring.


We're graveyard people. That's what we love. And it colors the words I put into search engines when I go cruising for new ideas. I can type in graveyard or tombstones, either here or on Google and the world of possibilities opens up to me. I love typing in a key word that interests me and then hitting "images" in Google. I find what I think would look good in our graveyard and then start following the links.

Knowing what you think is the best idea ever is far more important than what anyone else thinks. Dpeterson and we have different ideas on the level of the scare for Halloween night. But again, we'd be thrilled to have him as a neighbor. We wouldn't be targeting the same audience, but that's half the fun. Take some time and figure out what it is that calls you, be it from the grave, or from that haunted castle on the hill. (If it turns out to be zombie rainbow unicorns, you might also want to seek out therapy, but that's just a suggestion.) Once you know what that thing is, once you know where you want to head, there are going to be sooooo many folks out there on the forum willing to help you realize that dream. (We know, because they've always given us that help when we asked for it.)
 

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I would offer this: listen to your inner voice, learn to trust and follow it, be unique and creative, you don' have to spent a lot of money, have fun, be yourself. Your unique "voice" is one of your most valuable assets.

BTW: I'm a firm believer in "that one prop that stands out". After years of home haunting, I'd now rather spend my energy on that one killer thing, than a whole graveyard full of stuff (but I do admire people who "go big"; especially their ability to store stuff for next year).
 

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With the right coating foam can be very durable and have a finish that last for years! Look around your neighbourhood and look for a stuccoed house with Keystones above the garage door, or build outs near the bottom of the wall, most of the time that is foam that has been covered with stucco. I use an acrylic grout to cover my foam and beyond something backing into it, it is durable enough for daily wear and tear.
 
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