Sand Casting Skulls

If you have access to a sandbox, or even just have some sand and a box you can put it to good use in making some skulls using the sand casting tutorial that partsman at HalloweenForum wrote.  You’ll need some play sand, a box, some great stuff, and a foam skull (or whatever you chose to cast).   Once you’ve got all your supplies, you’re basically just pressing the skull into the sand and packing the sand really tight around it.  Once it’s packed, just remove the form and add some great stuff to the impression you’ve created.  As you can see the resulting product has a really great looking stone appearance to it....

Foam Barrels

Ok, since September 19th was International Talk Like a Pirate Day, (and I was completely unaware of this fact), I thought I’d post the tutorial that fravak from HalloweenForum penned on how to make foam barrels.  The barrels are crafted using styrofoam blocks, the kind that are used to stack small flatbed trailers, and while these may be hard to come by, even if you don’t need barrels and have access to these, they are gold, take them. Since the foam blocks start out square, fravak utilized the lid from a 5-gallon bucket to outline the round shape you’ll need.  From there the corners were cut off using a hot wire cutter and the entire block was sanded down using a drywall rasp to round it out.  Once this is complete the detailing of the barrel will actually begin.  A soldering iron will be needed to carve out the individual pieces of wood on all sides of the barrel.   Once this is complete you can add some finer detail by adding graining to all the wood planks with the soldering iron.  Fravak utilized paper mache for the straps around the barrels and a piece of blue foam for the plug.   Once all of these steps are complete it’s time to paint it up.  The base is a browish color while the top he top is covered with a black wash that fravak rubbed all over the barrel to make the color more uneven. The end result is phenomenal, these barrels look completely realistic they don’t cost much, and they’re light as a feather.  So next International Talk Like a Pirate Day, don’t forget to grab one of your barrels as you strut around town saying “Ahoy, me hearties, let’s see what crawled out of the bung hole.”, it’ll just make a lot more...

Making a Drop Panel

A drop panel prop is great for some quick and easy screams, and building one is a pretty easy process as long as you can cut a hole in a wall.   Ok, it’s a little more involved than that, but if you’ve ever wanted to build one for your haunt, check out the tutorial that Brad of Bradsboobarn made.  There are a lot of videos out there on how to build this prop, and they’re all pretty much the same, but I really like the way Brad has incorporated his kids into this video, really cool....

Mr. Gravedigger

I’ve wanted to build every prop I’ve come across lately, but none as much as I want to build this one.  The Gravedigger that Mizerella at 102 Wicked Things To Do created for her cemetery is amazing looking and doesn’t seem that difficult to pull off (said the guy that’s never created an entire person out of paper mache). The head of this fellow will take the most care and attention to detail when creating.  It’s made using a foam skull that’s a blend of paper mache, mache pulp, and Creative paper clay.  The features of his face including the nose, ears, tongue, teeth and eye brows will need to be built up with the Creative paper clay which is where some basic sculpting abilities will come in handy.     Once you’ve got the head done you’re almost done.  The rest of the prop is a pvc frame that’s been heated and bent to give him a warped stance.  The pvc frame is then covered in chicken wire and paper mached numerous times.  The arms and legs incorporated pool noodles to build them up before coating them in paper mache.  The final piece of the puzzle when creating this fellow were the hands, which were a mixture of wire, cut straws and many layers of paper mache and mache pulp.   Once all of the pieces of the puzzle are complete it’s just a matter of dressing this guy up in your favorite old clothes and finding a final resting spot for him.  Mizerella’s gravedigger looks incredible and I’m a little skeptical on whether I can make one that looks as nice, but I will definitely be giving this guy a...

Chicken Wire Ghosts

I’m going to be honest here, I’m not sure exactly who is making all of these chicken wire ghosts for their haunts, but I’m guessing that their hands and arms are covered with tiny little red spots from where the chicken wire pierced their skin.  Seriously, though, I’ve noticed that a ton of people lately are searching for the chicken wire ghost prop, and while it’s not something that I would ever consider doing, they sure do look cool when they’re done right.  Shawn and Lynne Mitchell have put together a pretty concise DIY tutorial on how to make these.  You can make them with or without the cheesecloth dressing to get the look that’s best for you.   Items needed to complete this include: semi-transparent fabric S-hooks thin wire mannequin head roll of chicken wire with 1-inch cells roll of chicken wire with 2-inch cells wire cutters cheesecloth scissors wire hanger work...

Flying Ghosts

Originally created by Scott Axworthy in 1988, the Axworthy Flying Ghost prop is a great effect that is pretty easy to understand conceptually, but always seems to elicit some really hard to follow tutorials.   The prop features ghosts that zip along on a tie line along the path of your choosing.  It’s proven to be a time consuming prop that is prone to bogging down if things don’t go just right, but when it’s working and the ghosts are chugging around your line, it looks awesome.  The Haunted Driveway has done a great job of putting this prop into an easy to understand tutorial that just might inspire someone to give this prop a shot this year.     Items needed to complete this include: Gear motor around 1/8 hp and speed around 110 RPM Wheels made for V-belts, 5 inch diameter Threaded metal rod that will fit the wheels Locking nuts that fit the threaded rod Wood or angled steel to attach the threaded rod Black tie line Fishing line to hang the ghosts Hot glue gun Ghosts...

Scary Guy at the End of the Hall...

The HollywoodHaunter has a hilarious prop idea for you if you have a corner of a haunt that’s in need of a prop.  It’s also proof that haunt props don’t have to be exceedingly elaborate to add to the creep factor of your haunt.  It’s essentially an oscillating fan with a head on it that appears to be a scary guy at the end of the hall!  What could be easier, right?  I can guarantee you, though, that more than a few people were creeped out by it before they realized what it was.     Items needed to create this include: Oscillating fan PVC end cap w/screw 12″ of 1/2″ PVC Dark fabric Foam head Form...

Alien Capsule

Now that the C.I.A. has actually acknowledged the existence of Area 51 it’s almost like they’re giving their seal of approval to the Muddy River Haunt’s tutorial for an Alien Capsule.  Almost.  And even if they’re not, we’re more than happy to give this prop a thumbs up because it’s exactly what we suspect we would find in the bowels of Area 51.  It’s a really simple prop to build and will add a really cool element to any alien scene. It’s basically a wood box that’s wrapped with plexiglass and aluminum flashing with an alien inside.  Even though they’re listed as optional, I would highly recommend using the fog machine and strobe light with this prop.   Items needed to complete this include: Aluminum Flashing: 1 sheet 3 ½’ X 7′ 2 sheets 3′ X 16” 1 sheet 1′ X 7′ 2X4 wood:  (4) 2”X 4”X 7′ (4) 2”X 4”X 3′ (2) 1”X 3”X 2′ Miscellaneous: 1 sheet Plexiglass 5′ X 3’X 0.016” (Thin enough to bend without cracking or without too much pressure) Some pieces of thin lattice board Alien for inside the capsule Optional: Fog machine Pipe Strobe...

One Armed Grave Grabber...

If you’re not familiar with the Grave Grabber tutorial that Kevin over at Haunt101 posted, you really owe it to yourself to check it out…right after you take a look at his One Armed Grave Grabber tutorial!  This prop is a little easier to build than the full Grave Grabber but it’ll still provide you with an awesome effect in your cemetery.  The mechanics are very similar between the two props, although the One Armed Grave Grabber utilizes an animated deer motor instead of a higher torque motor.  There’s also an added element with the skull linkage in the One Armed prop.     The animated deer motor actually reverses when it meets any resistance, thus the two “stop” screws that are drilled in the base.  If you check out the video of this thing in action at Haunt101, you’ll see that this prop has just the right amount of movement to create an unforgettable prop.   Items needed to complete this include: One foam skull One length of plastic tubing One tape and wire hand One length of 1/8”x1/2” aluminum flat bar One length of heavy wire One length of thin wire One length small foam block Burlap One Buck animated deer motor Two pieces of lumber 4” and 2 ½”...

Prop Dental Plates

If you create your own masks or creatures for your haunt, you’ve probably needed to find some teeth for them.  I always heard the phrase that necessity was the mother of invention, but it turns out it’s actually Allen Hopps.  He’s got a great tutorial on how to make dental plates for your masks and props.  Since they’re made from hot glue sticks you really don’t want to put them in your mouth, but they’ll look great as an accent to any prop....

Dry Brushing Tips & Tricks...

Whether you just finished building your latest masterpiece, or simply want to age a store bought prop a bit, properly painting your prop can make all the difference in the world.  Eerie Acres Cemetery has a great video tutorial with some really helpful dry brushing techniques that might just give your next prop that extra bit of realism....

Stone Wall Facade

Stone walls for your haunted castle may be hard to come by but if you’ve got some time and some plywood you can create your own.  The Bronson Boneyard has a tutorial that shows how to create a stone wall facade using monster mud applied onto plywood. You’ll start by painting the plywood black, and then applying masking tape where you would like the mortar joints. Then, you’ll apply a thick coat of monster mud to the entire sheet, and then remove the masking tape. The great thing about this method is that once the monster mud starts to dry it lightens up, which eliminates the need to paint the mortar joints, and it also begins to crack slightly, which gives it a realistic stone appearance.   Items needed to complete this include: Plywood (4′ x 8′ sheets) Black paint Masking tape Monster...

Ermelyn’s Horns...

If you like creating your own creatures for your haunt you’ll eventually have the need to create some horns for them.  You can probably buy some actual antlers, but if you’re planning on incorporating them into a mask or don’t want an overly heavy static prop, you may want to follow Ermelyn Hollerborn’s tutorial for making horns in 10 easy steps.     The horns are made using multiple layers of styrofoam that’s shaved down to give it a more rounded appearance.  From their it’s a matter of adding detail to it with a soldering iron, or heat gun.  Ermelyn’s horns are then coated with Pattex adhesive and painted.  They look fantastic and can be made as large as you like without weighing down your prop.   Items needed to complete this include: Styrofoam Contact adhesive Acrylic paint Soldering iron / heat gun Google Translate (unless you read German)    ...

Bats Are Easy

Every haunt needs some bats flying around, and if you’ve got some skills with a paint brush and some patience you can make as many as you want following Born2haunt’s method, because Bats Are Easy.  These bats do seem pretty easy to make when you consider that they’re made using a styrofoam body with wire poking through it for the wing bones. The wire is then wrapped in cotton and paper towels are applied as skin.  The entire bat is then generously coated with liquid latex and painted to suit.  The great part about this prop build is that you can customize it to your heart’s content.  Sure, it’s probably easier to go out and buy some bats, but they won’t look nearly as realistic as these will.   Items needed to complete this include: Styrofoam Wire Cotton balls Liquid latex Paper Towels Acrylic paint Hot...

Outback Gorehouse Fake Intestines...

Many years ago I had to create a scene where an actor’s stomach was sliced open allowing their intestines to spill out.  My solution was to buy a long link of Italian sausage, which was boiled and soaked in a Karo syrup blood solution.  This allowed the intestines to be eaten by the actor as the neighborhood kids passed through creating quite a memorable scene (it was pretty dark, and they were pretty young, so we could get away with sausage guts). So if you need to make some fake intestines for your haunt, my advice to you is remember my method fondly, and DO NOT USE IT.  No matter what you do, sausage guts do not make good intestines, besides that, Sonya and Caid from Outback Gorehouse have a better solution. Their method utilizes paper towels that are wrapped in a mixture of liquid latex and paint.  The latex is spread on a flat glass surface for a total of eight layers before it’s wrapped around the towels.  The resulting intestines are pretty good looking and you can make a ton of these for hardly any cost, but whatever you do, DO NOT eat them!...

Wheel of Death

Have you ever seen the knife throwers that tie a person to a spinning wheel and then proceed to throw knives at them as they’re spinning around?  Ever wonder what happens when they’re not very accurate throwers? The Wheel of Death prop created for The Haunted Driveway is a six foot diameter wheel that spins around with a skeleton, or whatever else you decide to tie to it.  If you make it heavy duty enough you can even strap an actor to it (warning: DO NOT throw knives at people!).  It’s an eye catching prop that will take a little bit of effort to create, but it has a gruesome potential that is limited only by your imagination.     Items needed to complete this include: Two full size sheets of 1/2 inch plywood (6) 2 X 4 boards that are eight feet long (1) 8 X 6 board that is 8 feet long (6) 3/8 X 4 inch Carriage bolts (6) 3/8 inch nuts to fit the Carriage bolts 6 inch lazy susan (2) Ball bearings that fit a 5/8 inch rod and they should have tabs so you can attach them to the  face of the wood 5/8 inch rod 16 inches long (1) 6 inch diameter V-belt wheel that fits a 5/8 shaft (1) 2 inch diameter V-belt wheel that fits a 5/8 shaft (this will fit on to the motor if the motor has a 5/8 shaft, if not get a different size that will fit) V-belt around a foot long (4) 1/4 inch bolts that are 2 inches long and washer and locking nuts for the blots A gear motor around 35 RPM and 1/8 hp will do the trick    ...

Scary Terry’s Vortex Tunnel...

If you’re feeling extra industrious this year, and the notion that your efforts could result in an epic failure don’t frighten you, you might want to attempt to build a vortex tunnel for your haunt.  Scary Terry has laid out a tutorial on how he built his, and while it doesn’t contain a complete supplies list, it should be more than enough to get you started.   The tunnel has a frame that consists of three 10′ diameter “hoops” that are attached to each other, and it’s the precision required to get the plywood cut accurately that will ultimately determine your success with this project.  The hoops are spun around by three pairs of bicycle wheels, five of which are free spinning with the sixth being driven by a motor.  It’s the sixth wheel that actually rotates the tunnel itself.  You’ll need to build a bridge for people to walk on, and the hoops will actually fit around the bridge, rotating around it.  Once the frame is complete it’s just a matter of attaching fabric around the inside of the hoops and painting a sufficiently nauseating pattern on it.   Building a vortex tunnel is a pretty serious undertaking that requires skill and accuracy.  I’ve always said that confidence is a great asset, but knowing when you’re in over your head is a better one.  I know that I would be in over my head with this build, but if you’ve got the skill to get it done, it will be a crowd pleaser.  Good luck storing it, though!...

Zombie Build

I’m truly amazed at some of the great looking props that people are able to build that cost next to nothing, and the creative ways they go about accomplishing it.  Sytnathotep is one such prop builder with his 1/2 zombie build, which looks great and probably didn’t cost a whole lot.  The spine of the zombie is crafted using three three foot sections of 12/2 electrical wire that are braided together to give it some extra rigidity.  Since this is a 1/2 zombie it doesn’t have to support any real weight (no legs). The shoulders are 3/4″ pvc connected via a cross fit connection that slides over the spine while the collar bones are more 12/2 electrical wire, and the scapulas are styrofoam insulation.  With a wire clothes hanger ribcage and hands made out of wire with plastic pen tube fingers this project is not exactly breaking the bank.  Once the skull slides onto the electrical wire all that’s left to do is corpse and paint this bad boy! What I really like about Sytnathotep’s zombie is his corpsing technique.  He used the melted plastic method as a base, but then stretched cheesecloth and spider web dipped in a 50/50 mixture of black latex house paint and elmers glue all over the zombie.   It really does give the appearance of rotting flesh and is well worth the effort and the mess that it creates. Items needed to complete this include: 12′ – 12/2 electrical wire Skull 6 wire clothes hangers 1 pvc cross fit connector Scrap styrofoam 10 Plastic pen tubes Duct tape Plastic for corpsing Cheesecloth / Spider webbing Latex paint Elmers...

Raven Manor Mausoleum...

When does your passion for home haunting become an obsession?  When you have to file a building permit to construct a temporary Mausoleum in your yard.  Which is good, because I don’t think that Raven Manor had to file for a permit, but the passion for their yard haunt is second to none.  The Mausoleum is a perfect fit in their front yard cemetery, but it’s real purpose is to house their flying crank ghost, Eleanor.  That’s right, they built it for their flying crank ghost, how awesome is that! The Mausoleum stands 9′ tall by 10′ deep by 8′ wide and was framed in sections that are connected by carriage bolts.  It looks superb and is the perfect house for Eleanor.  While there really isn’t a step by step tutorial for this build, they do have the plans used to construct the Mausoleum as well as some general information about the framing of it, which should be more than enough to get your creative juices...

The Unborn

The Crawlspace Haunter has created one of the coolest and creepiest looking props that I’ve laid my eyes on.  It’s based on a creature from the film The Unborn.  It turned out great and its the kind of prop that is guaranteed to give people nightmares.  Its made with a pvc frame that’s laid out as if you were building an animals skeleton.   The pvc that makes up the backbone was heated up to give it a bit of a curve.  The rest is a mixture of cardboard, tissue, and paper mache to give it some body.   Items needed to complete this include: 1/2″ or 3/4″ PVC (amount to be determined by your build size) 4 – 90 degree pvc 4 – 45 degree pvc 1 – cross connector pvc fitting 1 – pvc T fitting Skull Cardboard Tissue Paper mache Foam pipe insulation Wire I’m honestly not sure which photo creeps me out more, the night shot, or the daytime...

Animated Coffin

If you’ve got a coffin that’s looking for a little something extra then consider adding a slow rotating wiper motor to it.  Eerie Acres Cemetery has a video tutorial on how he built his and it turned out great.  The wiper motor spins at the perfect speed so that it doesn’t look obnoxious and you don’t even notice the wooden wheel that’s lifting the coffin lid.  This is a great effect, and there’s really not much needed to get it done.  In fact, building the coffin takes more skill than animating it does....

Making an Electrical Transformer...

High voltage is not something you want to be messing around with unless you really know what you’re doing.  Luckily, Terra from HalloweenForum really knows what she’s doing, and she’s created a video tutorial on how to make authentic looking electrical transformers.  They’re created with trash cans, pool noodles, pvc and rope, but you can make them as intricate as you’d like.  When you put a strobe light under the trash can it really gives the appearance that the transformer is arcing, which, coupled with some high intensity audio will scare the heck out of anybody!     Items needed to complete this include: Two trash cans in a good transformer shape One pool noodle 14″ thick manila twisted rope Four 18″ lengths of 3/4″ PVC pipe Two 12″ lengths of 1/2″ PVC pipe Two 1/2″ PVC elbow connectors Two 19″ lengths of plastic plumber’s tape Two scraps of 1 1/2″ foam (6 1/2″ long, 3″ wide) Two 12″ metal strappings Four car model wheels or something similar 220 volt sticker Bullet hole stickers Portable strobe light Hot glue sticks Gray latex Drylok...

Rocking Tombstone

A styrofoam tombstone is about the simplest prop you can make for your haunt assuming you don’t make it overly intricate, but sometimes even the simplest of props can take on a whole new life by adding a motor. Just ask Christoper, of Chris’ Crypt who has a really simple tutorial on how to turn your Styrofoam tombstone into a rocking tombstone.  You’ll need to build a wooden base to hold the tombstone on one end (pivot point) and the motor on the opposite side.  When you connect the cam to the tombstone the slow rotation of the motor will get your tombstone rocking back and forth.   Items needed to complete this include: Styrofoam tombstone Motor Wood for base 1/2″ piece...

Kingwood Asylum Scarecrows...

When the guys over at the Kingwood Asylum set out to build some scarecrows they had two real objectives in mind.  The first was to make something wickedly evil looking, while the second was not to spend a lot of money completing objective number one.  I would say their objectives were met with success.  These scarecrows are amazing looking, and judging from their parts list, didn’t cost too much per unit.  As creepy as it looks in the photos below, just imagine how amazing they’ll look at night with a little bit of creative lighting.   Items needed to complete this include: Elmers Wood Glue (1 large bucket) 10 metal coat hangers 2 rolls masking tape 1 marker Oodles of newspaper 2 pieces of pvc pipe 1 metal rod to go in the pvc pipe Wig Spray...

Slim-line Groundbreaker Coffin...

In New Orleans the dead are buried above ground to avoid the graves filling with water and forcing the coffins floating to the surface, but did you know that heavy rains will still occasionally dislodge coffins in areas well above the water table?  And if you have any carpentry skills then DaveintheGrave’s tutorial on building a slim-line groundbreaker coffin will help you create this effect. This prop gives the freshly dislodged coffin look without having to build or bury a full coffin to get the effect (not to mention saving the storage space).   Items needed to complete this include: 1/2 or 1/4″ Plywood (About 4 square ft.) 1 X 2″ wood (About 5 ft.) 1″ Wood Screws (2) “L” Brackets Small wood screws Decorative Moulding (Optional) Flat Moulding (Optional) Stain or...

Spyderwood Crypt

If you’ve constructed a mausoleum for your haunt or are just looking for something different for your cemetery you might want to give a look at the Spyderwood Crypt tutorial.   It’s a little bit more detailed of a build than the coffin that Spyderwood created, but it doesn’t seem significantly more difficult to build and shouldn’t prove to be much heavier than the coffin.     Items needed to create this include: 3 sheets of pink insulation foam 8 to 10 – 1 x 2″ lumber staples hotglue paint decorations hinges finishing...

Cyclone Jack’s Monster In A Box...

The monster in a box prop has been done a million times, and it seems like each one is done just a little bit differently than the last one.  That’s ok, though, because they all operate using the same principle in which a spinning motor pushes a rod up forcing the top of the box to pop up and down creating the unsettling and startling effect.  Add a couple of eerie lights inside the box and possibly some fog and you’ve got a winner, and that’s exactly what CycloneJackHH did when he made his monster in a box tutorial....

Full Size Jack Skellington Build...

If you’re a fan of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, and quite frankly, who isn’t, then you’re going to love the tutorial that KAM3152 penned for her blog DIY Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Props.  The prop seems pretty simple to build, although I’m not sure I could successfully clothe a full size Jack Skellington quite as well as KAM3152 did.     Jack’s body is built using 1/2″ PVC frame while his head is crafted out of a foam floral ball.  The arms are a pair of prop skeleton arms from a party supply store, but if you don’t feel like purchasing hands for this build you can create your own Clay Skeletal Hands.  This prop ultimately comes down to the clothing, and if you can give Jack a proper looking suit, you’re going to have a great looking prop on your hands.   Items needed to complete this include but are not limited to: 18′ – 1/2″ PVC (approximately) 1 PVC T joint 1 PVC Cross Joint 2 – 45 degree or 90 degree PVC joints for shoulders/elbows Skeletal Hands Round floral ball Material for...

Breathing Grave Prop: Behind The Scenes...

The Breathing Grave tutorial we posted a while back is a favorite of many home haunters that visit us here at Haunters List, so the opportunity to post a video tutorial on this prop is not going to be missed.  The HollywoodHaunter made the aforementioned video tutorial for his incredible looking breathing grave prop (seriously, forget about the breathing part, I’d be happy if I could make a grave look as good as his).   The footage of this breathing grave in action is spectacular and should be considered a staple in any home haunters yard....

Haunted Tree

I’ve always been a big fan of the scene in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves when Snow White is running through the forest and the entire evil forest is trying to grab her.   I love that scene, and I’m pretty sure Mizerella from the 102 Wicked Things To Do blog is a fan as well.  She’s constructed a tree that would definitely be worthy of residence in Snow White’s forest.   The tree is created using two round concrete forms that can be split for easier storage along with a mixture of paper mache and celluclay.  It doesn’t seem like an extraordinarily difficult project and the tree looks incredible.     Items needed to complete this include: 2 Concrete building forms (sonotube) 1/4 sheet of plywood Newspaper Masking tape Paper mache Celluclay Coat hangers Branches (to spread on top)...

Spider Egg Sack

WIth all the spider tutorials that we’ve been posting lately, isn’t it about time you see where they all come from?  The answer, of course, is from Spider Egg sacs, and Voodoo Willy from Halloween Forum has a great tutorial on how to create them.  These egg sacs are crafted using chicken wire wrapped in polyester batting to form the mass of the prop.     The ping pong balls are then glued to the surface of the egg sac and the entire sac is painted.  After its dried up the webbing is dipped in latex and stretched around the egg sac.     They’re easy to produce and are a creepy finishing touch to any haunt that has a giant spider.   Items needed to complete this include: Chicken wire Wire cutters Ping pong balls exacto blade Hot glue gun polyester batting (the thin kind) Spider webbing Liquid latex airbrush acrylic...

Spyderwood Coffin

If you’re looking to build a coffin but don’t want an overly heavy prop then you might want to checkout Spyderwood’s styrofoam coffin tutorial.  The frame of this coffin is made out of 1 x 2 lumber, which, even when covered with styrofoam won’t be as heavy as your typical toe pincher.     You’re probably not going to want to get inside this coffin, but if you’re just planning on putting a skeleton or other prop inside, you might want to give this lightweight coffin a try.   Items needed to complete this include: 2 sheets of pink insulation foam 8 – 1 x 2″ lumber staples hotglue paint decorations hinges finishing...

Stiltbeast Studios Human Pelt...

Allen Hopps tutorial on how to make a human pelt is one of those tutorials that makes me scratch my head and ask myself  “Why didn’t I think of that”.  It’s such an easy idea and the finished product looks great, so if you’ve got need for a human pelt for your haunt then watch the video below because it could not be any easier....

Killer Tombstones

If you’ve ever wanted to make some really nice looking tombstones but didn’t think you had the skills to get the job done welcome to the club.  Oh, and keep reading, because while making your own tombstones can range from being an easy project to an arduous task, once you have a few basic techniques down I can guarantee that you’ll be adding to your tombstone collection on an annual basis.   DevonTT’s three part series on how to create some killer tombstones will definitely help to get you started.   Items needed to create this include: 2″ Styrofoam Laserjet printout of your text Iron Dremel & Router bit Exterior Latex paint      ...

Jeepers Peepers!

I’ve posted a couple of tutorials on how to make realistic eyes for your props, but the one that Sytnathotep posted over at HauntForum may be the easiest yet.  This method only produces a half of an eye, but sometimes that’s more than enough.  Before you get started on this you’re going to need to print and cut your iris to fit the circumference of your round palettes.     Once you’re ready to start it’s just a matter of pouring some of the epoxy into the palette, making sure to leave a little room for another pour.  Place your iris face down into the palette and push it slightly into the epoxy making sure that it’s completely covered, then add enough epoxy so it’s completely level with the top of your palette.  That’s all there is to it!  Once they’re dry, just pound them out of the palette and you’re good to go.     Items needed to complete this include: Plastic paint palettes Smooth-On’s Epoxy Cast 690 Iris...

The Making Skulls Series...

What makes Canadian skulls better than American Skulls?  Brad Goodspeed,of course!  The skulls he produces in his Making Skulls series of videos are so good looking it’s hard to believe that they start off being a cheap styrofoam skull. These videos are an invaluable tool to anyone that wants to create gruesome looking skulls.  There’s a ton of useful information packed into 40 minutes that every haunter needs to see.     And don’t forget to check out the Making Glow In The Dark Teeth tutorial to make some teeth for your skulls!  ...

Wailing Tree

When I was little the one thing that used to creep me out more than anything was walking through any kind of wooded area.  I was certain the trees were alive and it would absolutely freak the heck out of me.  I never truly felt like I was alone out there.  Thank goodness I didn’t see the Wailing Tree that the Ghostess over at the Dead End created when I was a kid, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have ever gone near a tree again.     The frame of this tree is made of PVC while the body is a combination of chicken wire, paper mache, and a little bit of Great Stuff to seal the bottom.  While not tremendously hard to create, you can tell that the Ghostess really put a lot of care into the creation of this prop.  It’s an absolute thing of beauty, and I don’t think I’d be happy building just one, I want a whole forest of these things!     Items needed to complete this include: 1 Bucky Skull PVC (variable depending on the size) Chicken wire Paper mache Great Stuff 14 gauge wire (for branches) Silk leaves DryLok masonry sealer Black / Brown / Gray Paint...

Moving Tomb Lid

If you took our advice and ordered your copy of the 2012 Home Haunter DVD Collection then you’re already familiar with Steve’s Haunted Yard and have probably already seen his above ground tomb with the moving lid.  If you missed it, though, (and trust me, there’s a lot of cool stuff worth seeing in his cemetery), you can check out the tutorial he’s been kind enough to post on how it works.  It’s a simple build and it looks great when it’s moving.  The tomb itself looks to be made of 2″ styrofoam insulation and has a wiper motor mounted on the inside.  You’ll need to rout out a small hole in the styrofoam for the glide to properly move the lid from side to side....

The Making of Grim

In 2008 the Grim Hollow Haunt created an incredible looking prop simply named Grim.  This sinister looking creation stands approximately 5 feet tall and represents everything I fear is walking through the woods at night.  I cannot imagine a better prop to welcome guests to a haunt than Grim, and thankfully, Grim, host of the Grim Hollow Haunt has left a short tutorial on the steps needed to create this amazing monstrosity. This creation rests on a 1 x 2″ wood skeleton that is covered in chicken wire and paper mache.  The hands and feet are simply wire coat hangers with duct tape wrapped around them.  Grim did some additional distressing of the creature via rope vines and cheesecloth, while a foam Funkin head was carved and given an ominous paint job.   Items needed to complete this include: 1 x 2″ lumber 1 x 3″ lumber Chicken wire Wire coat hangers Paper mache Duct tape Rope (as needed) Flat black paint Cheesecloth Foam Funkin...

Easy Bloodshot Eyeballs...

This easy to do eyeball tutorial makes it’s way to us from HauntItYourself Productions.  You’ll need to get some half eyeballs off of Ebay (by searching for half eyeballs of course), some clear nail polish and red yarn for veins.  From there, it’s just a matter of painting some nail polish on the eyeball and spreading some of the fine threads of yarn on the  eyeball.  The effect is quite realistic and you’re going to spend less than 5 minutes and about 5 dollars on this project....

Making Glow In The Dark Teeth...

If you’ve taken the time to follow Dr. Kreepy’s tutorial on making Cheap Easy Skulls, you’ve no doubt ended up with a boatload of superb looking skulls.  The only thing that could possibly make those skulls look better is a little variety.  And what can help give a skull some variety better than some realistic looking teeth.  Well the Devil’s Workshop has a tutorial on how to make glow in the dark teeth that will really help.  It’s a reallysimple process involving  a mixture of translucent white and glow in the dark baking clay....

Making a Medieval Cauldron...

Five years ago CreepChrisS took the medieval cauldron prop build as seen on Woody Carr’s ScareFX site and won the Mad Lab’s September 2007 contest with it!  His prize?  A foam tombstone of course, but in doing so he’s left us all a prize in a clear and concise tutorial on how to build this fine looking cauldron. Before you do anything you’ll want to find a spare 55 gallon plastic drum, which can be tricky, but if you don’t have access to one you can always find a water storage barrel at a hardware store that will fit the bill.  You’ll need to start by cutting approximately 1/4 off the top.  Next you’re going to spray paint the entire barrel with your black spray paint and then add the pool noodle, sill foam, and styrofoam balls. After painting the styrofoam pieces with the black acrylic paint you’ll need to drybrush the entire cauldron with the grey and brown acrylic paints to give it some character.  If you really want to make it look good, you’ll go ahead and add some Hot Burning Coals underneath it.   Items needed to complete this include: 55 gallon plastic drum Pool noodle Flat black spray paint Sill foam Styrofoam balls Black acrylic paint Grey acrylic paint Brown acrylic...

PVC Skeletons

Not all grave grabbers need to be motorized, and if you’re interested in building an inexpensive one that still looks good then checkout LastHouse’s tutorial over at HalloweenForum.  It’s a pretty easy project that allows for plenty of artistic freedom, but you will need a little bit of skill to cut the PVC for the rib cage, and of course you’ll need a blowtorch to get the PVC hot enough to bend.   Once the ribcage is done, though, you’re all set to pose and bring your skeleton to life.  The nice thing about this prop is that while it may look like a complete disaster while you’re framing it, once you’ve coated it with the Great Stuff and painted it up, it’ll take on a life of its own.  And don’t forget to reference LastHouse’s tutorial on skeletal hands to add to your skeleton. Items needed to complete this include: Two 3/4 ” pieces of PVC 3 PVC T’s Some scrap 2 x 4 Hot glue ( LOTS) Liquid Nails Great Stuff Some Scrap foam Duct tape Drylock paint Model Magic clay...

Introduction To Pneumatic Props And Accessories...

I’ve never really wanted to delve into the realm of pneumatic props because it’s always seemed like such a difficult process.  Well, Mortarlover123 (aka TangoAlphaCharlie1) seems to think that it’s a pretty easy endeavor, and after watching his tutorial on the basics, I think I’m inclined to agree.  His tutorial only really covers some basic concepts, but it’s more than what I need to feel confident enough to make the leap into this realm of prop making.  Let’s face it, sometimes a wiper motor isn’t going to give you the push you need for your props, and a pneumatic solution may be what you need.  If that’s the case, this tutorial might be the answer if you’re on the fence about getting into pneumatic props....

Nightmare on Bayshore Crypt Cemetery Columns...

There are numerous tutorials on how to make cemetery fence so it stands to reason that there would be multiple tutorials on how to make cemetery columns, and Camsauce from HalloweenForum has a highly detailed tutorial on how to easily build some really realistic looking columns. These columns are solidly built around a 2 x 2″ lumber and OSB / Plywood base.  The joint compound is spread around the entire structure to create the stone facade, which is easy to do and looks great.  Once you’ve got your joint compound spread you’re ready to black wash the columns to suit your taste.  It’s really that simple, and the finished product couldn’t look any more realistic without a trowel! Camsauce’s tutorial includes some optional skeletal sconces, which seem like a lot of extra work, but judging from the photo below are well worth the time and effort. Items needed to complete this include: 2 x 2″ (approx 85′) 2 x 4 (approx 16′) 2 x 6 (approx 14′) 5 sheets 4 x 8′ OSB board (or plywood) 2 sheets 2″ Styrofoam insulation 2 gallons joint compound Exterior primer Acylic paints to black wash   Optional items: Moss Skeletons Candles...

Spider & Spider Victim Plans...

Every home deserves an over sized spider hanging around on the roof, and if you can blow up a balloon you might just be able to create your own. Dano from Dano’s Spider House has a tutorial on how to create some really good looking paper mache spiders that are worthy of any haunt.   The good news is they’re easy to create and you can make them as large as you want since all of the parts used are sizable based on your needs.  It”ll help if you’ve got some experience creating with paper mache, but even if you don’t you should still be able to create these awesome arachnids.  Dano’s even got a great single bodied option using PVC legs that’s worth trying as well!   Items needed to complete this include: Balloons Water Flour PVC connectors Foam pipe insulation Indoor/Outdoor lights Plastic semi-transparent ball Black tempera paint Waterproof sealer Coffee grounds for texture...

Cheap and easy Skeleton Hands...

Since many of the prop builds featured on HauntersList involve PVC frames it’s probably not a bad idea to post another tutorial on how to create hands for those frames.  LastHouse from HalloweenForum has a tutorial on how to make some gruesome looking skeletal hands that won’t take you too long and the cost is next to nothing. They’re made of styrofoam and wood dowels coated with a little hot glue and then painted.  The hardest part about this tutorial is melting the styrofoam to give them a more natural boney look.  Make sure to do this step in a well ventilated area as burning styrofoam can be highly toxic (it’s a good idea to wear a respirator).   Items needed to complete this include: Styrofoam Hot Glue Wooden dowels Drylock Paint...

Grime Up Props

Making a prop from scratch takes skill, but aging the prop so that it looks like it’s been around for a few years takes talent.  Now, it’s well known that Terra from HalloweenForum can build anything.  I mean, I honestly think she could build a structurally sound house out of styrofoam if she wanted to.  But when she needs to make something look old, or grunged up, she’s definitely got the talent to make it so.  Her video tutorial on how to Grime Up Props details exactly how she does it, and it’s the perfect guide for anyone who needs help making props look and feel like they’ve been around for years.  ...

Dave Lowe’s Moving Eye Portrait...

Dave Lowe is an incredibly talented artist and one heck of a prop builder, and If you’ve never checked out his Para Abnormal web comics, do not wait any longer, because there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to love them. Anyway, he’s got a quick little tutorial on how he built his moving eye portrait.  Of course, it really helps if you have your own art that you can enlarge to start with (I honestly think that if I had Dave’s artistic abilities I’d probably fill an entire room with moving eye portraits).     The prop build is pretty straight forward.  Once you have your favorite portrait enlarged, just cut out the eye sockets and glue two ping pong ball halves on the back (concave so they have some depth).  Dave utilized green craft crystals for the iris which added a little sparkle to his portrait, but you could always just print one. That’s all there is to it, but this prop is definitely a crowd pleaser, and well worth the time it takes to create (especially if it turns out as good looking as...

Leer

I never got to see Jeff Baird’s Leering skeleton prop tutorial, but I have seen the video of his prop in action (it comes around 1:30 mark in the video below) and it looks great.     So when I found the tutorial that SpiderFreak of SpyderWood had created based on Jeff’s prop with a full surround of the motor mechanism I knew that it needed to be featured on HauntersList.  I love seeing certain prop builds get modified and improved upon in the process, and the fact that you can’t see the mechanics of this prop when viewing it from behind is certainly an upgrade.     I am purposely not including an items list on this tutorial because the tutorial does not really detail the lengths sufficiently enough for me to approximate...


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