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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve always used pvc to make random props like pictured. I use yard stakes and/or fishing braid to hold them up. Is there a quicker/easier way without a noticeable stand showing?
Wood Sculpture Concrete Room Fish
Wood Fashion design Feather Animal product Art
Plant Tree Window Biome House
 

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We use rebar with a lot of our outside props that are taller. We've accumulated quite a lot of rebar over the years of doing this, and it's relatively easy to pound into the ground and then use wire or zip ties to attach the prop. We get decent wind in October, so the height and strength of the rebar is helpful. And we store the rebar under our shed so it's not a big deal to store each year for us either.

Only BE SURE you know where gas, sewer, water, electricity, irrigation (etc) pipes are. You don't want to rupture anything when you pound rebar into the ground! Ask me how I know! LOL!

For tombstones and other smaller items, we snip wire landscape fencing to size and sort of curve that behind foam tombstones to hold them into place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We use rebar with a lot of our outside props that are taller. We've accumulated quite a lot of rebar over the years of doing this, and it's relatively easy to pound into the ground and then use wire or zip ties to attach the prop. We get decent wind in October, so the height and strength of the rebar is helpful. And we store the rebar under our shed so it's not a big deal to store each year for us either.

Only BE SURE you know where gas, sewer, water, electricity, irrigation (etc) pipes are. You don't want to rupture anything when you pound rebar into the ground! Ask me how I know! LOL!

For tombstones and other smaller items, we snip wire landscape fencing to size and sort of curve that behind foam tombstones to hold them into place.
Do you just stuff the clothing with fillers then?
 

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Do you just stuff the clothing with fillers then?
You still build your prop the same way with a PVC frame and bulk up the clothes how you normally do but then use the rebar to make it stand up.
I used to use a wooden base and screwed a 1" PVC pipe in the middle and then build a PVC body off that (shoulders and arms mainly).
It worked well but I was always worried about balance and placed bricks and rocks on top of the base to keep it from blowing over.
And the bases were big squares of plywood and a pain in the ass for me to store.

Now I use rebar and zip tie to it whatever I want to stand up in my yard.
Rebar in case anyone doesn'y know is just a thin bar of iron that you can find at HD or Lowes or a place like that.
It's in the cement section.
All different sizes (5' for life size figures) and cheap.
The surface isn't smooth, it has a texture to it so the zip tie usually doesn't slide down.
Works well and is a lot easier than a base, imo.

By the way, I always use black weed blocker fabric to bulk out my props.
It's cheap, extremely lightweight and works awesome.
Also looks great as capes, shawls and any kind of clothing.
 

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Second the rebar.. except I use for everything (including tombstones) I just use short ones and long ones depending on the prop size. Even ground breakers now I’ve started just adding a 6-8” piece of 1/2” or 3/4” pvc into either an arm or the torso to slip over the rebar.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You still build your prop the same way with a PVC frame and bulk up the clothes how you normally do but then use the rebar to make it stand up.
I used to use a wooden base and screwed a 1" PVC pipe in the middle and then build a PVC body off that (shoulders and arms mainly).
It worked well but I was always worried about balance and placed bricks and rocks on top of the base to keep it from blowing over.
And the bases were big squares of plywood and a pain in the ass for me to store.

Now I use rebar and zip tie to it whatever I want to stand up in my yard.
Rebar in case anyone doesn'y know is just a thin bar of iron that you can find at HD or Lowes or a place like that.
It's in the cement section.
All different sizes (5' for life size figures) and cheap.
The surface isn't smooth, it has a texture to it so the zip tie usually doesn't slide down.
Works well and is a lot easier than a base, imo.

By the way, I always use black weed blocker fabric to bulk out my props.
It's cheap, extremely lightweight and works awesome.
Also looks great as capes, shawls and any kind of clothing.
I also use the black weed blocker on props, but more of a darkener underneath anything I’m using thin burlap with. I usually use chicken wire as a thickener, but is kind of a pain to work with. The headless horseman above is stabilized by sand in the boots (waders) and tying 100 lbs test fishing braid to trees/house. Gives a nice realistic sway to it, but also a pain and time consuming to do so. Want to be able to crank out more props per year. Usually add 1 or 2 new ones each year. Started storing some put together so I don’t have to make them again. Time got used up last year with a 7ft Jason Voorhees indoors and a billy the puppet on a tricycle
 

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Do you just stuff the clothing with fillers then?
For the most part, yes. Depending on the prop, we use everything from pool noodles to plastic jugs to plastic bags/packing material to bulk them up. Like the post mentioned above, we also will use some of my husband's heavy-duty fishing line to secure props to rebar in different ways & in different positions. We get windy weather in October, so we usually go above & beyond with securing things so we don't have to mess with them multiple times after a storm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For the most part, yes. Depending on the prop, we use everything from pool noodles to plastic jugs to plastic bags/packing material to bulk them up. Like the post mentioned above, we also will use some of my husband's heavy-duty fishing line to secure props to rebar in different ways & in different positions. We get windy weather in October, so we usually go above & beyond with securing things so we don't have to mess with them multiple times after a storm.
I get some windy weather here also. The heavy fishing line does really well, but im short, so I don’t have to watch where im walking like some taller friends. As for the foam tombstones, how do you attach the wire landscape fencing to the them. Found out a few years ago that hot glue does not hold very well. Do you stick the wire through them?
 

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As for the foam tombstones, how do you attach the wire landscape fencing to the them. Found out a few years ago that hot glue does not hold very well. Do you stick the wire through them?
No, we don't put the wire through or use glue. We bought a roll of the fencing that is flexible, though we do have to wear gloves with it because it's also got to be sturdy while still having some give. What we do is cut a section of the fencing a bit wider than the tombstone and about 3/4 as tall. Then we use wire snips and cut the bottom horizontal pieces of fencing off so that we have some longer, straight vertical spikes to push down deeper into the ground. We create sort of a "hug" cage around the back & tiny portions of the front of the tombstone. We don't have any set up yet or I'd take a picture for you, but basically a small portion of the wire piece folds around each side edge of the tombstone. You really don't see this unless you are close up, and it is even hard to see with spotlights on the tombstones at night.

We use this method for anything lighter that needs support from the wind and would also benefit from staking in the ground, but rebar would either be too big or not enough horizontal support. The wind blowing from any direction won't be a problem as long as you put the vertical spikes into the ground well. And for the most part, once we surround the back of a tombstone with this fencing, it's secured enough to stay there even while in storage. So we don't search for what cage fits each tombstone each season - we only need to cut new pieces for any new tombstones we buy or make. I'll try to pull one out soon & take a pic - we don't set up our cemetery until after we have a last lawn mowing, so we haven't gotten that stuff out of storage yet.

In the meantime, search "tombstone support" or "styrofoam tombstone" here on the sight for lots of ways people use to keep their tombstones from flying away!

ETA - my husband reminds me that he still uses rebar (shorter pieces) through the cages at the back of the tombstones for most all but the smallest/shortest of tombstones. But that the cage means he only needs one piece of rebar per tombstone rather than two or more
 

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@SlashOween, can you tell me what mask you used for this prop?? A name, or link would be great if it isn't too much trouble. If it's old, I understand. Just looking for a little direction on where to find one. I'd love to get one of these. I think it'd be a great face for a third which in my yard.

Also, did you alter or paint it, or is it off the shelf like that?
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@SlashOween, can you tell me what mask you used for this prop?? A name, or link would be great if it isn't too much trouble. If it's old, I understand. Just looking for a little direction on where to find one. I'd love to get one of these. I think it'd be a great face for a third which in my yard.

Also, did you alter or paint it, or is it off the shelf like that?
It is actually just the plastic mask from the mtv “Scream” series. Got it at goodwill. I just got a black hair wig and threw it on. Completely winged this prop and I think it is still the creepiest one I’ve made.
 
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