Halloween Decorating Has Begun

I can officially say that I started our Halloween decorating today! I started pulling out all of my paper mache pumpkins, my paper mache mummy, my paper mache witch head that I am still working on, and the paper mache fireplace. I have had a few people ask to see the finished fireplace, so I made sure I got it in the photo!

MY PAPER MACHE PROJECTS

I still have a lot more pumpkins to unpack for our inside Halloween decorations, and I always bring out our lighted Halloween Willow Trees too to give the living room a nice eerie glow. Everything in the photo above, is made in paper mache!

I have also been working on a paper mache torso and I hope to get him finished before Halloween!  In case you are wondering how I created this torso, here’s how I started off:

HOW TO MAKE A PAPER MACHE TORSO

I wrapped my own body with clear packing tape from my waist to my neck. When you do this, the first layer of packing tape must be sticky side out so it does not stick to your clothing. Once you get the first layer of packing tape around your entire torso, you then keep wrapping with the sticky side towards you. What you are doing here, is making a nice form for a torso. Once you get enough packing tape around you, the next step is to get the form off of you. Either have someone cut the form off of you, or you can do it yourself, but be careful not to cut yourself!

Now you have a quick torso made! Just tape up the place where you cut yourself out from the form and you are now ready to paper mache your torso. I am sure that there are tons of other ways out there in the Halloween prop making world to thicken your torso other than paper maching it, but for now I am using the paper mache process. (just a reminder, my paper mache recipe is just water and flour made into a kinda pancake batter consistency)

MAKING HANDS FINGERS AND ARMSThe next step is to make some arms for your new torso. I just opened up the newspaper and took one sheet and rolled up some long strips, then rolled a few more sheets around that first one. Tape up the side so it does not unravel. Make two arms. Now you need to make the hands – just ball up some newspaper for the palm and tape it, then roll up some shorter strips of newspaper for the fingers. Tape the fingers to the palm. Don’t try to be too exact in the length of the fingers, because you are making a scary Halloween prop, ya know! The weirder the better, if you ask me. Now that your fingers are attached to the palm, attach them to the arm, and you are now ready to attach the arms to your torso.

TAPED UP HAND

I know that some of this sounds a bit too much, but it goes really quickly. Nothing has to be perfect at all because you don’t want a perfectly formed Halloween prop. Once the arms are attached to the torso, you can bend or crease the newspaper arms to whatever shape you want. Do you want your prop reaching out for you, or do you want it to be reaching up in the air, the choice is yours so make it any way you wish.

PAPER MACHE TORSO IN THE WORKS

Here is what the torso looks like now, just a few more layers of paper mache to go. HINT: For anyone attempting to make anything in paper mache, make sure you have lots (and I mean lots & lots) of layers of paper mache around your prop, otherwise can cave in. The arms on this torso prop are hard as a rock right now because it has many layers on it.

I will be adding a head to him this weekend so it will make him pretty close to completion. I am still tossing around the idea of putting him out in the yard, but I will need to seal all the paper mache really good so the weather does not ruin him. Flex Seal is what I would use on this guy if he heads outdoors.

It feels pretty good to look around our living room and see all of the paper mache items that I have made over the years. They were all easy to make, but they just take a lot of time to complete. Have you started on any new paper mache Halloween items this year?

 

Halloween Snuck Into My Weekend

It does not surprise me, or probably you if you know me, that Halloween snuck into my weekend in a big way.  You all know that I have been busy working on all of my paper mache pumpkins and paper mache fireplace, and this weekend I kicked it up a notch and got the chance to get some painting done.

WORKING ON MY FIREPLACE

I got the final black coat of paint on the fireplace and let it sit out in the sun today to dry.  I missed the entire Brown’s home opener game, but that’s ok as I heard that they lost in a big way. (does not surprise me at all)   We went to Pat Catans craft store this weekend in the hopes of finding a diamond stencil to use on the front & sides of the fireplace, and we had no luck.  So instead, I found a Zig Zag stencil that I am going to use to stencil a white zig and a lot of zags across the fireplace.  I can’t wait to get started working on the stenciling part, so hold tight for a little bit to see the results!

PAINTING INSIDE JACK SKELETON

PAINTING JACK SKELETON

As for my Jack Skeleton paper mache pumpkin, I had to cutout a slit in the bottom of the pumpkin so I could get the camping light inside.  The hole I originally cut was only just big enough to pull out all the stuffing, but not big to insert the camping light, so I had to make a little tweak to getting the light in.  I spray painted the first coat of Rustoleum Marigold inside the pumpkin, as I have read that you should use a color that is bright so your light glows brighter.  I then lightly spray painted the outside of the pumpkin black so it covers the newspaper well.  I will then spray paint the pumpkin orange on top of the black to finish coloring the pumpkin.  After these colors dry, I will seal the pumpkin both inside and out with a clear sealant.

Our Jack Skeleton pumpkin almost caught on fire tonight too when I put the camping light inside of it.  I turned on the light and walked outside to take a photograph to see how the Marigold color looks and when I came back into the house to set my camera down, I turned around and smoke was coming out of his eyes!  I ran to Jack and saw that the camping light was smoking and got my Sweetie to pull the light out.  We switched batteries in the camping light from regular AA batteries to a Lithium battery and they must have been too much for the camping light as it got fried.  So now we need to head back up to the Dollar Store to purchase another one.  Thank God the pumpkin did not catch on fire with all the fresh spray paint on it!  When we get a new camping light, we are definitely only going to use regular AA batteries in it this time!

WOOD TOMBSTONES

Keeping up with the Halloween weekend, we sold a few of our wood tombstones that we have on eBay.  I just finished cutting out and sanding these two and another sale came in for one more.  WOW!  I guess everyone is thinking of Halloween, and it’s not only just us!  (and yes, I know how to use power tools too!)

FRONT PORCH FLOWER POT

PUMPKIN LIGHT ON PORCH

Our front porch has a little Fall coloring going on too, as our Marigolds are blooming in bright colors and I added our little glass pumpkin to the planter and lit a tealight in it tonight.  Right on the step of the porch sits my cement X & O and cement skull to add the perfect touch!

BAT ON OUR MAILBOX

And just when I thought the weekend was over and all the Halloween stuff was done, evening set in and provided yet another remarkable Halloween scene.  The sun was setting in beautiful colors that illuminated the black wood bat that proudly is perched on top of our mailbox post.  What a great weekend we had full of Halloween!  I wonder what next week will hold for us?!

Paper Mache Halloween Projects

PAPER MACHE PUMPKIN WITH CURVED MOUTH

I know what you’re thinking, what are you doing talking about Halloween in July, right? Well, we LOVE Halloween and it takes time for us to prepare anything new for our Home Haunt, so we have to start early.

Paper Mache projects take a lot of time, with all the layers you need to attach, and with each layer, you need to do a lot of waiting to make sure each layer dries thoroughly before the next one is placed.

To start making a paper mache pumpkin, you can use whatever form you want, but I start usually with a large bag and fill it up with balled up newspaper or any other filling you can find.  Then, once the form is made, I take string and pull it up along the sides to make those nice indents along the sides of the pumpkin.  Next, you need to decide on how you are going to create the stem.  Sometimes, I just tie up the top of the bag for the stem and paper mache over it, other times, I take some newspaper and wrap it around a piece of wire so I can bend the stem in a funky shape.

PAPER MACHE FIREPLACE

I am currently working on a Haunted Fireplace for us to use either in the house as a decoration, or we can use it outside on Halloween night for another prop.  I am planning on setting some of my paper mache pumpkins on top of the mantel of the fireplace when I am done for a nice effect.

PAPER MACHE FIREPLACE CLOSEUP

The one thing that I will need to work on and figure out how to do this, is to create a fake fire for the fireplace.  I have seen some neat effects of people using an old wire garbage can, a small fan, some red & orange lights, and some pieces of material.  The concept of this is to place the fan in the bottom of the garbage can so it blows upward and “moves” the pieces of material cut into flame shapes while the red and orange lights create the color of fire.  We’ll see if I can get this to work, when I get to that point or step in my process, but it surely will be interesting if I can pull this off.

PAPER MACHE PUMPKINS IN PROGRESS

If anyone would love to do some paper mache pumpkins for Halloween and need some help getting started, let me know and I will be more than happy to assist you.  I am far from being an expert on this, but with the more items that I make, I am learning some neat tricks along the way.