Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Haunted House

By the end of August BB's coworkers were already discussing their Halloween decoration plans for their office. "It's a big deal here." was what she kept hearing. Evidently, it wasn't just a big deal to her immediate office, but to the entire City Hall of Redmond building. They decorate for Halloween like it is the only holiday of the year. One man last year, built a grave with real dirt and a tombstone in his office. This being BB's first year in Redmond, she felt that she should live up to the standard set in the building. We scourged Redmond, Seattle and the surrounding towns looking up and down for Halloween decorations without much inspirations. Until one evening BB came home and suggested that with our extra time we build a Haunted house scene for her. Kyle being the brilliant visionary little boy in big boy clothing that he is jumped on the idea and immediately started to work sketching his plan.
He was thinking an elaborate Haunted House on top of a mountain situated next to a cemetery with an wrought-iron fence surrounding it and three trick-o-treaters standing outside looking frightened. We started with the grass. Kyle pictured lots of green but also blacked dead grass on his scene and the experts online suggested sawdust. So we made the trip to Home Depo and what do you know, they don't care about their their sawdust, any we found by the woodcutter machine was ours. We bought a large peice of ply wood 3ft by 15in was 51 cents, by far the cheapest thing we bought for the project besides the free saw dust. Once at home Kyle poured green paint into a platic container added water and sawdust and out came grass!
Next step was to make the play dough to make our skeletons, skulls, spiders, animals and general Halloween creatures. We looked through lots of play dough recipes but we ended up going with "Rubbery play dough" because we happened to have those ingredients on hand.

Rubbery Playdough

2 cups baking soda
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup cornstarch

After we boiled it and let it cool, we had white squishy play dough that smelled of baking soda. Kyle had read that microwaving the play dough would help the hardening process. My pumpkin however didn't appreciate the experiment and started to blow up like a peep when put in a microwave. If you look closely at the largest pumpkin you can still see his deformity poor guy. Air drying the slow way, we decided was the best option. Our Haunted house project was intended as a leisurely art project, something for us to do on the side as a fun activity, that is until we received the news that we needed to leave for Texas and our leisure activity turned into a Haunted House marathon race.The play dough after we had molded it and let it harden.
I am painting the cat and the caldron. You can't tell but I used lots of glitter against Kyle's manly wishes for a House of fright :)
Painting makes all the difference. Do you notice the bones in the cauldron?

This is the start of the mountain. After attempting to glue the styrofoam to the ply wood Kyle used the drill gun instead.

The mountain has been paper macheed. And Kyle is starting on the Haunted House.
The Haunted house with shingles and everything.
I am painting the shingles every shade of purple I can make.
BB is working on the graveyard.
The mountain has been painted and grassed. We are working on the cemetery and the iron fence made of toothpicks.
This is Haunted House scene before all of the ghosts and goblins. Do you see the stalagmites and stalactites? Kyle was very proud of his cave under the mountain.

I included this picture so you could see the detail of the grass on the mountain. The grass turns darker as it gets towards the mountain. The purple path leads the trick-o-treaters to the witches lair.

The finished product. Because we ran out of time we had to buy little trick-0-treaters instead of make them. But it still turned out great!
BB with her Haunted House scene displayed in her office.

The two headed-snake, cross-eyed frog and broomstick are all essentials in a Halloween scene.

The graveyard. Oooooo!

My ghost (the one I made) is the one covered in glitter and in the tree. Kyle's ghost is behind the gravestone.
I love our Haunted House!

Kyle's vulture is very creepy!

The "smoke" coming out of the cauldron is actually Buttercup's (the cat) hair. Gross but effective.

Do you see the flying bats?

BB insisted on a pink spider so to go with the theme, I gave her orange glitter pok-a-dots.

All in all it was an awesome project and we are very proud of our finished product. We love doing arts and crafts together and since this one turned out so well, we may have to continue this for other holidays in the future.


applesandbananas said...

you guys that is so creative and awesome!! nice work!

J-Gro said...

WOAH. I am super impressed! I can't believe you guys put SO MUCH detail into it!

Ashton Sanders said...

HAHAHAHA That's absolutely awesome!

Good work!

Aaron and Laura said...

SCOOORE!!!! VERY NICE! Really impressed with the grass!

Tiff said...

totally awesome!! Want to come to Austin and help us with our Apartment Trunk or Treat??