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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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i'm not nearly as good of a builder as a lot of you guys are, and i don't have a ton of money to invest in really elaborate props, and most of my friends only come to my halloween party to eat and drink and hang out rather than to really revel in the spirit of halloween, but i do like to decorate and set the mood.

with all that in mind, do you all have some ideas for some fairly simple, inexpensive props? i'm talking both indoor and outdoor here...last year i did a black light light ghost in one of the roped-off rooms of the house, and though it needed more cheesecloth, it turned out pretty well. i got some dollar tree tombstones for the yard, but they were pretty anemic.

little things i have covered--i have plenty of "decorations," i suppose, but i'd like a few props...bigger things that grab a person's attention a little more. but for that matter, this question applies to everything. i'm completely open to ideas even for smaller things.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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You can make some armatures using pvc pipe. Dress them in second hand clothes and make zombies, witches, whatever. A cheap Styrofoam wig head and mask give you a lot of options.











Tons of good ideas can be found on the monster list too

http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=36071
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Tomato cages are super cheap for armatures. You can use single ones to make ground breakers, or stack and zip tie together two or three to make the base for a full sized figure. Pool noodles fill out the arms great. My witch is made that way. The head is a $7 mask over a $2 plastic skull with a $3 wig, the dress I got on clearance for $10, and the hands came off a crappy FCG I got on clearance for $2....



The hat was in the bottom of my costume box, no idea what I paid for it, but it wasn't much. Heres is a pic during construction. You can see how the cages are stacked and bent to form the body and the wires from the cages "legs" are used for the neck and arms...



I make most of my props from materials found or bought very cheaply due to having very little to spend on them. I keep an eye out year round for the parts I need, like foam, wire, paint and other materials. Most can be had for free if you figure out where and when to look. Hit the after Halloween clearance sales hard for next year. I get a ton of stuff this way too. It's taken me years to get to where I'm going to be this year.
 

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These are my statues. Isabelle, the "Black Angel", and Borriss the "Way Lighter", are both made from pvc frames, spare hands for Isabelle, and an old kerosene lantern that I took and dis assembled and re wired for Borriss. then a little monster mudd, and some creativity, and walah! The point is, its all about what you can come up with in your head, you CAN accomplish it. It gets very frustrating at times, but when your friends ask where you got it from, and you can smile and say, "I made that!", that's when your moment is. Keep up the good work everyone, all of your work inspires me.
 

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One trick for making those dollar store tombstones look better is to glue them onto a larger piece of Styrofoam, then paint the whole thing and light it with the right colors. That will make them look ten times more impressive. A fogger is also a good relatively cheap prop accessory you will want to invest in. Throw in a few of the characters like those shown above and you will be the talk of the neighborhood.
 

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First off Dane 82, you ARE just as good as other builders. (me included)
There's no secrets and if there was...we'd share.

As someone else already said...there is a lot of pride in saying "I built that."
And true enough, the more you build the better you seem to get.

But I would say most of us don't spend a lot of money to do what we do.
That would defeat the point. I know I look for toys year around. Yard sales,
auction, flea markets, Goodwill....You never know what you might find and
you never know what you might need.

So we have piles of "parts" to play with.

And those parts become...things.

You start with one thing...then you have two things. After that, it
becomes "stuff".

Me, I'm one of those crazy ones that play with my stuff year around.

Now...

Easy?

Cheap?

Almost depends more on what you want to play with. Where
would you like to start? What sort of materials do you have or
know where you can steal?

Grab some nice boxes, you can build a nice cheap pillar. Won't
last long outside, but it's a start.

Cardboard (boxes) work well indoors...need a fireplace mantel?

Little sprayfoam and string lights, we can get a nice fake fire going.

Want some lifesizer's? Easy enough....PVC and a hacksaw. Or go
easy this year...just stuff some old clothes with whatever you have
handy. Even more older clothes. Toss on a mask, set of gloved hands
(stuffed) and prop it right up.

Don't let it be about the money. Let it be more of "what do I have on hand".

Even at party night, do you have a chair no one sets in?

The party is in your home? Didn't I see a "bathroom" thread here somewhere?
Look for a few ideals.
 

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I have found that you don't have to try and top other people, just focus on what you know and experiment. I love just doing it and seeing the faces on Halloween. Your props look great keep it up
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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View attachment 173581
This is my harvest demon from last year, it's a simple PVC frame covered in corn stalks from the garden and a latex head from spirit
I love the harvest demon! I've seen those pumpkin heads at spirit and always liked them but couldn't think of what I'd do with one. You have inspired me! I need to get one of these. Awesome!
Can I ask how you fixed the head to the body?
 

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lies dead but dreaming
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Herman here is just a t shaped PVC armature with a couple of 45's to make him reach forward. add a foam skull and some cheap torn fabric and then I wired him up to an old tv antenna (only reason I don't take the antenna down if truth be told)


halloween 2010 by Don and Monica Riney, on Flickr
 

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If you have a porch, have a friend dress up like a TOT and put them out by the front door lying down. When your friends show up they will expect him to jump up and scare them. That is when you come up behind them and "BOO" ! Now that's cheap.
 

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I love the harvest demon! I've seen those pumpkin heads at spirit and always liked them but couldn't think of what I'd do with one. You have inspired me! I need to get one of these. Awesome!
Can I ask how you fixed the head to the body?
The whole thing was made to take down easily, so the head is not permanently fixed all I did was cut a small hole the size of the PVC so the head just slips on and off for storage
 

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You can make some armatures using pvc pipe. Dress them in second hand clothes and make zombies, witches, whatever. A cheap Styrofoam wig head and mask give you a lot of options.




@jdubbya - Where did you get these masks? They really make your props look above and beyond awesome!!
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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How do you anchor the pvc feet in the shoes? I have found suggestions for rebar to slip the legs over, but my character needs the boots....
 
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