Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Halloweenie one of sorts

Since I was old enough to comprehend the fact that if I wore a costume and walked up to someones house "THEY WOULD GIVE ME CANDY and... I can DRESS UP??!??!?"
I'm a Halloweenie!
About 8 years ago I started setting up the front yard display , much like those freaks who put out xmas crap the day after Thanksgiving.
Last year I started making some of the props and decorations.
I used to just buy a lot of it after Halloween on clearance, no use in paying full price (Unless you really want it and or think its going to sell out fast-rarely does this occur).
Actually my birthday is the week before Halloween so my mom would give me all my presents (yard decorations and such) the week after.
So this leads me to the reason for this blog, If you can see it, Try to make it. There are SOOOooo many online resources for making pretty elaborate Halloween yard decorations, animatronic's and even full blown light displays. I'm about 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to my building know-how. So I'll start with something that is pretty easy to make but still will impress.
My skull headstone fountain

  • First you need the medium sized Cauldron (They sell them EVERYWHERE during Halloween-so check the dollar store)
  • Then you need some Pink Foam board (Its used for hot tub cover insulation its about 2 inches thick) - Hardware store ( cut for your desired shape for head stone, Measure the foam so it fits snugly inside the fountain. This is Foam remember it will float a bit if its too loose.
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Foam Skull- I cut the back portion of the skull ( Everything behind the Coronal Sutu- for you anatomy buffs) I'm pretty sure this skull came from one of those "grab bag" style bags of foam bones.
  • 9/16 Clear Tubing- Cut it to your desired length (Hardware store)

  • 30 gallon per hour fountain pump-(Garden supply store, Walmart)
  • Mist Maker with LED- Sometimes they are called fountain mister, or Fountain FOGGER.

This next Item is COMPLETELY OPTIONAL! Its technically a surgical cautery pen, HOWEVER , they do sell them at Joanne's or Michaels in the Bead section(They don't call them Surgical cautery pens, I believe its a hot cutter pen?-This is what I used to engrave the words and cut a more precise opening for the tube to be placed in the skulls nasal cavity.

  • Ok Now for the fun, take your time! Carve the Head stone it doesn't have to be perfect.
  • Use Acrylic Paint because its weather friendly. You can use straight gray or look up some stone technique painting tricks on youtube if you want it fancy.

Depending on where you place the fountain determines weather or not you want the back painted, I place mine against a wall so the tubes don't show as much.

(Editing notes- You can carve the letters and paint them before you paint the full headstone-its up to you)

  • Wait till the paint has dried then carve the letters for what ever you want for "Wording" on your headstone. The cautery works wonderful just remember, its hot and your melting foam. ALWAYS be in a well ventilated area.

I'm not a technical person by any stretch of the imagination, so bear with me. This was done purely by trial and error. As a matter o-fact I have A.D.D. like you wouldn't believe.

  • Glue the skull near the top of the head stone with the hot glue gun, after it has cooled/dried . Paint the skull to match the stone.
  • Then with either the cautery or something sharp (I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU IF YOU GET HURT-MAKE AT YOUR OWN RISK) Cut the hole through the nasal cavity that goes all the way through the headstone. This is where the tube will drain water to look like the nose is constantly running.
  • Also you might need to "Work" the clear plastic tube over the fountain pump to fit. It will be a tight fit but it will stay attached pretty well.
  • Place the fountain pump in the back/bottom of the cauldron, fill with water till it starts to come out of the tube (Don't forget to plug in the fountain)
  • Adjust the flow of the pump to your desired drippage.

Once this is all done then place the fogger inside the front of the cauldron, you can run the cord along side the head stone to camouflage the cord.

If you have any questions you can find me on The Garage Of Evil- Its a Halloween How To site

Here is a link of the fountain in action

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