Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Welcome, Foolish Mortals!

Before this year, our outdoor Halloween decorations consisted of four skulls to hang in the tree, three blacklights, one Styrofoam tombstone & an 'autopsy room' sign. We revamped the autopsy sign and turned it into {THIS}.

We put up the tombstone, but it kept blowing away. I was so sick of placing and replacing the stinking foam that I wanted to make our own set of stones that simply would not move in the wind. We had a couple scrap pieces of 2x8 and 2x12, so we decided to make our own out of wood.

Since we are BIG fans of all things DISNEY, we modeled ours after {The Haunted Mansion}.

Gather It:
  • any size scrap wood you want (we used 3 ft-ish of 2x8 & 2x12 scraps)
  • saw
  • wooden stakes
  • screws & drill
  • vinyl & cutter or cardstock to make stencils
  • ebony color wood stain & brush
  • Grey spray paint (I used Krylon double coat) 2 cans, just to be safe
Create It:
  1. Find your Wood: We live in a fairly new neighborhood, so there's always some kind of construction going on. If you're lucky, you can find fairly decent pieces of wood for free in their scraps pile; all you have to do is ask.
  2. Cut the Wood: We had three original pieces of wood; I drew the top curve of the stones then the hubs cut them out with his hand saw (the guy could really use a miter saw--- Christmas, maybe?)
  3. Stakes & Screws: Using two screws per stake, attach two wooden stakes to the back of each tombstone.
  4. Stain: Liberally apply the dark stain to the stones. Follow the directions on the can & get every showing piece of wood.
  5. Create Stencil: While you're waiting for the stones to dry, it's time to create the stencils. Since I wanted to do stones authentic to the Haunted Mansion, I googled for a list of actual tombstones at the Haunted Mansion {HERE}. FYI--- UR Gone is in the mausoleum.. so it is authentic. Then I created the stencils in Silhouette Studio & cut them out. The HM font is called "haunted mickey." As always, if you have a Silhouette & want to make theses, I will email you the document. Weed & apply the vinyl like you would any other vinyl project. If you don't have a cutter, create your stencil by printing your design on cardstock, then cutting out what was painted then use it the way you'd normally use a stencil.
  6. Spray Paint & Wait: Lay your stones out on some tarps in a well-ventilated area & then spray them like there's no tomorrow. Cover every little itch, wait for front to dry (according the can) and flip over and paint the back. I used all of one can & barely had to open the second. After the paint is dry, use tweezers or a small hook to gently peel off the vinyl. Under the vinyl stayed the color of the stain creating an engraved wore look. If you got the right kind of spray paint & stain, you don't need to seal it, but if you're paranoid go ahead.
Your homemade homage to the home of 999 haunts is now ready to display. They'll be dying to see what you did. :)

Stay tuned for one more homage to a different Halloween classic. :)

I'm linking {HERE}
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