Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Cabaret de L’Enfer Halloween party — cave walls in Hell

Published by Manning on June 30th, 2015

For my Cabaret de L’Enfer-themed Halloween party in 2012, I wanted to totally transform my apartment; a goal I have with the decor of each of my Halloween parties is to make it feel like you’re not in a modern apartment in Brooklyn, but somewhere else entirely; somewhere scary! This was the first time I completely covered all the walls of my living room and dining room; I wanted to turn them into the cave-like walls of the real Cabaret de L’Enfer.

My first step was to cover the walls in brown wrapping paper, aka craft paper. I bought a dozen or so rolls at the dollar store and hung them with thumbtacks. An unexpected challenge was that the paper really doesn’t want to lay flat after it’s unrolled; it wants to roll itself back up! So I had to also attach the paper at the bottom, and I taped the pieces together down the sides. It never laid completely flat, but the look I was going for was sort of warped and irregular anyway, so this worked out fine.

(As usual, the day time pics are nice and clear, but lack atmosphere, and the night time pics are terrible ’cause it’s so dark! You really have to see this stuff for yourself.)

I used more brown paper to create simple stalactite shapes, and I hung them from the ceiling, a little bit pushed out from the walls. The shape of my apartment helped with this; I have a weird piece of wall that sticks out at the top for most of the living room and dining room.

I then used red and yellow poster board to create flames, and taped them around the bottom of the walls.

Then I used a big paintbrush and tempera paint to paint rough melty/drippy shapes all over the walls. It’s important to not load up the brush with too much paint, or it might seep through the paper! Seriously, be careful with this. I normally have a rule to never paint any kind of decoration while it’s on the walls, because accidents are bound to happen. But the one way to get the effect I wanted with this was to do it right on the walls, so I just used the minimum amount of paint and was super careful. It worked out fine.

I leave you with these daytime pics, and a video, of my pet rabbit, Acide, as he investigates (and chews on!) my flame decorations.

Also check out my other posts from the Cabaret de L’Enfer party: giant devil mouth doorway, and light-up L’ENFER sign.

2 Responses to “Cabaret de L’Enfer Halloween party — cave walls in Hell”

  1. Sue Says:

    Fascinating stuff – thank you!

  2. manning Says:

    Thanks Sue!!!

Interested in commissioning a piece from me? Please see my page about custom paper maché pieces. Please email me; don't put your request in a comment below.

Leave a comment