I FINALLY found treats for my trick-or-treaters today. And like, cool treats. Even the 'tricks' are pretty sweet. So I've been trolling around the internet for some proper skull rings. Most of what I was finding was of the pirate, skull and crossbones variety. Which isn't terrible, but not quite what I wanted. But today I found (on Amazon) a bunch of skull rings that were a) adjustable--very key for different age groups, b) didn't have crossbones attached and c) came in different glowing colored eyes. They were a bit more expensive, but only by about $8 than the skull and crossbones set, so I'm happy with them. Then I went on oriental trading to try and find the corresponding 'trick' prizes. The original plan was to go with bugs and snakes in keeping with the Indiana Jones theme. BUT I found these little jumping spider toys for waaaaay cheap ($5/gross) and then the really cool one--wriggle snakes! Not a fan of snakes myself, but if I was going to get a toy snake--these are pretty cool. So I'm all set on prizes, which is convenient because I've been working on the trick or treat dispensary. May need to cut it down a little bit, but the bulk of it is all glued together. Next up is to burn/carve into it the "Choose Wisely" then lots of painting. Also need to cut out hand sized holes and rig up some kind of cloth covering so they can't just peek down and see what's in the bowls. We'll see how that goes. But I'm verra excited about the treats being locked in; especially the skull rings! Oye, now I can relax a bit.
Treats arrived! Well, 2/3 of them. The skull rings will take another week or so. The spiders take a bit of a trick to get them to jump properly, but still cute. Nice and big too. And the snakes (though shudder inducing) seem pretty cool. So at the very least, I'll have something to give out at Halloween, even if some of the props don't make it to all the way finished.
I started to corpsify some arms for the mummy today. The arms are actually from the dollar store from a few years ago. They're meant to be novelty salad tongs but Mom and I grabbed up a bunch thinking they could be useful in props. They're smaller than normal adult hands...but for a $1 they're actually really good quality. They're originally a grayish color so I first spray painted them white just to make sure they popped under a green light. Pretty easy first application of the latex and cotton. Just stretching it out over the fingers very lightly. I'm not sure at this point how much of the hands will actually be visible and not covered in gauze/wrapping, so I ended up only leaving a small patch at the bottom untouched.
Got the mummy arms painted. May have to go over them with a bit more black....oooor I might leave them. They'll be covered in a lot of gauze anyways, so they'll probably be fine.
There aren't a whole lot of projects on this year. So I've been watching the Indiana Jones movies over and over looking for little details I can make. One of the things I had almost forgotten about is the skull rock from Temple of Doom--the Kali Ma scene. This is the holder for the diamonds that Indy is
looking to steal back from the Thugees. It's basically just a large skull with little ledges in the eyes and nose for the glowy diamonds. Fairly straight forward. The only caveat is that it needs to be pretty large. So. I considered several bases. But I ended up going with a garbage can I found at Home Depot ($15). I blocked out some basic shapes with cardboard and duct tape. This was pretty easy, just carving up a box and bending out some shapes. It turned out looking a bit like a monkey with a fez....
Today was when I put on a first layer of foam to make it look more rock like. It looks...better than it did. And I know it'll be a multiple step process. Part of the problem is that (like hot glue and the Harry Potter wands) you have to wait to build up layers. But whereas the wands take maybe a minute under a cool fan to solidify, the foam takes closer to an hour. Which is a bit of a drag. But I think it'll get there--it'll just take a while.
I got a new light for Halloween! Much excitement. This one will probably be used to simulate the lava/fire for the kali ma scene on the front lawn. It fits in a standard socket so I can use my own light stakes which was important. Can't wait to test it out once it gets properly dark!
So in the midst of trawling Pinterest for Indiana Jones prop ideas, I came across a really cool sarcophagus/mummy project that is basically a large box constructed of Styrofoam and with a half of a mummy inside, then a green light below lighting him up. Very cool. So I realized I needed to build up some skeleton parts. I don't want to use my existing skeletons unless I have to, mostly because it makes note sense to permanently attach the parts to the box. And I've been wanting to try out a technique i came across to corpsify a skull with latex and cotton.
I had my paper mache skull all dry and ready. I hinged the jaw at a slightly askew, looks-like-hes-screaming angle, then got to work with stretching cotton over the skull and applying latex over it and using it as an adhesive. I really loved the texture results. After it dried for at least four hours i got out some paint and started to go for a slightly burned, fleshy look. I'm really pleased with this for a first attempt, and especially on a paper mache skull. The teeth are the only thing that would have been nicer to have more definition from on a plastic or resin skull. But it works just fine for what will probably be a throw away prop.
So I'm going through a lot of my old blog posts, mostly because I used to use Photobucket, and they've decided to give an ultimatum of pay us money or we ditch your photos/links. Thus there are several older posts that have an error image from when I used to use the link from them. Which is a little frustrating, because there's no indication which photo it is; I have to try and figure it out based just on any notes I added (which tended to be sparse back in the day) and/or timeline from my own files. ANYways. I ended up looking at a lot of the old files and started comparing my initial sketches with how the display eventually turned out. Normally the sketches are just a preliminary way to vomit up any possible ideas, and lots of things change, get thrown out entirely or get modified based on available materials and/or time. And I don't go back to them or use them as a hard guideline; they're more for my brain to just process ideas. But occasionally they've been spot on in terms of what actually ends up on the porch/lawn. So I grouped together a couple of the ones that kind of nailed them: