Tuesday, July 27, 2010


If you have not “liked” the STOLLOWEEN page on Facebook you really should because you could win a papier mache pumpkin…even better, a pumpkin you design.

I will take the winner’s concept and build it, paint it and seal it then send it on it’s merry way to the lucky recipient.

If you are on Facebook then hit the “like” button and if you have yet to join the site then now may be a good time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Stuff

Busy, busy the last week or so with many new projects in the works…the pumpkin mash ups are almost ready for paint, working on ten or so new life sized human skulls, five other trash bag pumpkins are ready to paint (need to get a new air compressor so I can airbrush them) and I finished three new Screaming ½ Skulls that will go up for sale on Etsy in a day or so.

Add to that 20 or so other Halloween projects that have been started and I think you could say I’m currently in “Full Build Mode.”

Carry on and get building!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Great Pumpkin Mash Up II

Work continues on The Great Pumpkin Mash Ups.

Three armatures are complete and ready for strip mache, the mache is being applied in small sections then allowed to dry which makes the process a little easier because these pieces are so large.

Eyeballs are also being created for each pumpkin, these guys should be done in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Great Pumpkin Mash Up

Armatures gone wild or what do you get when you mix the trash bag pumpkin with the cardboard strip pumpkin and the screaming half skulls?

The answer is ridiculously large armatures that will hopefully prove to be some pretty funky and scary pumpkins.

These guys will be large, standing about three feet tall and feature gaping mouths and wickedly sharp teeth.

The build process was a free-for-all, sort of a creative orgy where one does whatever feels right.

Looking at the photos it’s hard to see beyond the clutter of cardboard strips but I think these will prove to be fun, character-filled props.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Perpetual Pumpkins

First off this could be the most boring photo I’ve ever posted on this blog … yawn … but here’s the story.

This morning I took the stuffing out of three new pumpkins that have been in the works.

One of the ways I make pumpkins is to fill a trash bag with crumpled newspaper or polyfill pillow stuffing and once the pumpkin is papier mached the fill material is removed.

Anyway after removing the stuffing I put crumpled newspaper in garbage bags to be thrown away…but as the three trash bags sat there I couldn’t resist turning them into more pumpkins.

Papier mache pumpkins are sort of like Amish Friendship bread, the stuff where you keep adding ingredients to the bag of dough and it never really ends.

Same concept.

When these three new pumpkins are done I’m sure the guts will get used again to make more pumpkins…and more pumpkins…and more pumpkins…

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Business (Specimen Jars)

This is an idea I’ve been wanting to try for a while ...making some specimen jars.

I love all the witch and potion jars that other haunters have created and thought it would be fun to take a stab at this project with my own twist.

My specimen jars will look (hopefully) like they’ve come out of a 1950’s B-movie.

I will be using a combination of different techniques to created what I hope is almost a steampunk feel, heavy metal lids, complex locking mechanisms, rusted gears, coils, springs…a host of adornments that will hint at the danger locked inside each container.

This project started by taking 22 miscellaneous glass jars and staining the inside by coating them with a variety of shellacs and varnishes.

Oak stain for example gave clear glass a nice aged yellow look.

This project is a potpourri of creative fun; designing the lids, figuring out what goes inside and creating the labels.

Good creepy fun!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Old Business

Finishing up some more pumpkins. These guys were originally created for a papier mache demo at Great Lakes FrightFest ... been bugging me that they've sat in the basement unfinished.

Add five more to the patch!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Life of Charlie

Meet Charlie, he’s an everyday papier mache pumpkin that volunteered, or rather was drafted for an interesting experiment.

Charlie’s new job is to test the durability of weatherproof coating on papier mache props and he started his new job today (Saturday, July 10th, 2010).

Charlie was painted with black exterior latex paint and acrylics then sealed with one coat of spar urethane.

To reduce the shine of the urethane he was also sprayed with a coat of clear flat enamel.

Charlie’s tour of duty will end on October 31st, 2010...yup, he’s staying outside until Halloween, that’s 112 days rain or shine.

Charlie will be moving to different locations around our yard during the next couple of months and I will post updates as to his progress.

Good luck Charlie, you’re a trooper!

Screaming Half Skulls

The Screaming Half Skulls were made in a similar fashion to the DEMONIKUS skull but rather than using a hard hat they started with half of a papier mached balloon.

Each Screaming Half Skulls can be hung on a wall or incorporated into a full three dimensional prop for your haunting pleasure.

These pieces were all created with recycled materials including cardboard and newspaper.

Each skull is approximately 22 inches tall and feature open eye sockets making it possible for the addition of lights or eyeballs.

View the complete gallery here.

Backyard Drive In

As most of you know by now I'm a huge thrift store fan and today we scored a very nice portable movie screen....so we decided to spend our evening sitting in the backyard eating popcorn, drinking drinks and watching Indiana Jones fight some bad guys.

Life is more than papier mache and summer is short so I say enjoy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Pumpkin Technique

Here’s a new method for creating papier mache pumpkins using recycled cardboard to make the armature.

The technique is great for making smaller sized pumpkins suitable for tabletop or mantle display and makes some really nicely shaped pumpkins.

Complete instructions here.

Look Sharp!

This is a very easy way to make some convincing rusted looking barbed wire to enhance your props or costume and the best part is that it’s safe and inexpensive.

This prop does not involve the use of a papier mache (gasp!) but it does make a nice enhancement to your papier mache props.

The Faux Barbed Wire is made from twine, craft foam and black latex paint.

Tutorial can be found here.

July Mad Lab Prizes

Received my goodies from Marsha aka Dr. Jekyll at the Mad Lab and as they say good things come in small packages. The first thing I pulled out were two packages of Liquid Fog Scent FX from Forum Novelties, Inc. Each package contains two small plastic pouches filled with “Creepy Crypt Scent” and “Moldy Morgue Scent.” Each pouch is enough to scent one gallon of fog. I haven’t had the chance to test them out but I’m excited about the concept of having scented fog this year in our display.

The second item was “Van Helsing’s Curse” by Oculus Infernum, a CD containing heavy metal interpretations of classical selections. Dee Snider (of Twisted Sister) headed up this project initially released in 2003 and re-released in 2007 with two additional tracks (“Halloween” and “Cry Little Sister”).

The style reminds me of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the music is dark, heavy and highly enjoyable. Strung throughout the first ten tracks are narration courtesy of Dee Snider telling the tale of Van Helsing’s curse. Mr. Snider does an admirable job narrating the story but I would have much preferred the music to be separate rather than mixed with the dialog. Overall a very cool concept album that I would highly recommend strictly for the musical content. Just my two cents.

Thanks Marsha for the goodies and I look forward to the return of the Mad Lab in August.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July to all my U.S. friends, enjoy the festivities and remember to keep those fireworks away from your papier mache creations.


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