2011 What's New

Here's the new stuff for 2011 with the thoughts and reactions to it:

  • Smell-O-Vision.  The fog was supposed to smell like wet dirt and cedar, smelled more like pumpkin spice.  Fail.
  • Giant Spider.  People actually sat their kids next to it and took pictures.  Will work out a scare with this guy for next year.  I hate spiders for the record.
  • Columns.  Where do you store these?  I have no idea, I'll get back to you when I know myself.  Lighting needs to be more potent.
  • Explosives Crate with TNT Plunger.  This was an afterthought done in all of 3 minutes while setting up, probably at a cost of 25 cents.  Those kids that like playing with fire were into it.
  • Girl Skeleton.  Another prop that needed some better lighting.  
  • Candles.  Added subtle atmosphere.


2011 Halloween Recap

Another successful year!  Unlike the Northeast, the weather was fantastic -- warm with very little wind which made for some excellent fog.  We had over 400 ToTs this year which is way more than we were expecting.   Really tried to have everything setup by Saturday night this year but ended up tweaking things at the last moment as usual.


Cemetery Columns Part VI

Finished the gates to go with the columns.  These were made using PVC and 1x2 wood in the same fashion as the graveyard fence.  Here's some pictures.


Cemetery Columns Part V

After the black-wash painting was complete, some lighter grey and white were added.  Some cracks were also carved into the foam and some moss hot-glued on.  Then the whole column got a coat of polycrylic to seal and waterproof.  Finally, the skeleton sconces from earlier were painted gold, then dusted with black and mounted using drywall screws.  All done with the columns, on to the gates!


Cemetery Columns Part IV

Painting and more painting.  First coat is some exterior kilz primer.  Second coat is another primer tinted grey.  After the primer, the whole thing gets a watered down latex/acrylic mix of dark grey.  Before the paint is dry, a wet rag is used to remove the paint from the high spots but leave it in place in the cracks and crevices.  To give the illusion of more depth, a highlight is added by removing more paint from the top 'lip' of each 'stone' and exposing the grey paint underneath.


Cemetery Columns Part III

Some extra joint compound and some sanding done the other day to add some more definition.  These are now ready to prime for painting.  I've attached some pics too of some 'skeleton sconces' which will be placed on the front of the columns.


Cemetery Columns Part II

Started the Cemetery columns this past weekend.  The  stone pattern was made by skim coating the column with joint compound and running my finger through it while wet to make the 'mortar joints'.  Next up is priming and then painting!


New Project - Cemetery Columns

Working on a new project this Labor Day to build out some Cemetery Columns.  I've seen many of these built but none quite having the 'gothic tomb' type of look I'm going after.

Here's the plan -- build a frame using 2x2 stock sheathed in 1/2" OSB.  Next, add some trim detail to top and bottom, with the top detail and cap using extruded foam board to save on weight.  To make the stonework I plan on covering the OSB with spackle/joint compound and then 'carve' out the mortar joints to get depth.  Then I'll seal and paint the whole thing to weather proof it and get the right aged look.

Still deciding what to put between the columns, but I'm leaning towards a gate constructed out of PVC similar in style to the existing fence.


PVC Candles Antiqued

The PVC candles have been antiqued.  Take a look.


PVC Candles Phase II

I really liked how the PVC candles I made two years ago turned out.  So I'm making more this year.  These will be 'antiqued' with some black paint and placed outside in the graveyard.  Making these is super easy, PVC + Hot Glue + Cardboard + LED Tea Light.

Giant Spider Project

New for this year is a giant spider.  When complete it will measure ~6-7 feet and will be hoisted up to a web that is somewhere around 14 feet.   It will be one of those fat and nasty brown furry spiders that freak everyone out.


Website tweaking

Been messing around with the format of the website, you know, installing new cobwebs and stuff.