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

Posts tagged "diy":

Making an oversized medieval key prop

Check out my giant medieval key! I made this for our spooky gingerbread house themed Halloween party, to hang on our bathroom wall across from the bathtub-converted-into-a-cage-full-of-bones. This thing was so easy to make, and it only took one day (besides painting).

Medieval key prop - painting

I started out by doing a Google image search for medieval keys. There are so many cool styles to choose from; I sort of mixed and matched some elements from a few keys, with the goal of keeping the design simple and iconic. Read more…

Published by Manning on August 29th, 2018 | No Comments

Tiny hand-made crown for my bunny rabbit!

I made this tiny crown for my old blind bunny rabbit, Acide, for this 13th birthday! It was a quick last-minute project and I didn’t take any pics of my steps, but it was really easy; I’ll explain how I made the thing…

Tiny paper mache crown - Acide wearing the finished crown

I designed the basic shape for the crown on paper and then traced that onto craft foam and cut it out.

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Published by Manning on December 28th, 2017 | No Comments

Cleopatra headdress

I made this feathered Cleopatra headdress for my lovely fiancée for our ancient Egypt Halloween party in 2017. I neglected to take any pictures of this thing while it was in progress! I was so rushed in the last week leading up to Halloween I just didn’t have time to document my process. But I’ll explain how I made it.

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Published by Manning on October 31st, 2017 | 3 Comments

Making a foam board Egyptian sarcophagus

I made this standing sarcophagus for Halloween 2017 — basically a big selfie booth! Here’s how I did it…

Paper mache Egyptian sarcophagus - finished!

Making an Egyptian sarcophagus - designing in Photoshop

I started by planning out the dimensions of the sarcophagus in Photoshop. The red and cyan boxes represent 30″ x 20″ sheets of foam board, and the grid is square inches, with dotted lines to denote feet. I don’t have a Photoshop template for this stuff; I just wing it and lay out and measure whatever parts I think are going to be important. You can see that my design was 6’2″. I built the sarcophagus at this size and later decided to add three more inches at the bottom, for a total of 6’5″. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 30th, 2017 | No Comments

DIY mummy props

My fiancée and I made these mummies for our ancient Egypt Halloween party. I didn’t get any pictures of our process but they were really easy! I’ll explain how we made ’em…

We started with a 5-foot articulated plastic skeleton; we buy these whenever we see them on sale and we’ve got a ton of them now. We ended up using two of the skeletons to make two mummies; the others went into different projects.

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Published by Manning on October 30th, 2017 | No Comments

Teeth-making tips for big paper maché masks

In all of the large paper maché masks and heads I’ve made, the teeth are always, always the most labor-intensive and challenging (and sometimes frustrating!) part. I’m always amazed at what a large proportion of my time and effort go into such a small part of the head! I’ve tried a few different methods for making teeth over the years, with varied success. Here are the methods I’ve used, and some pros and Cons:

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Published by Manning on October 3rd, 2016 | No Comments

Making big paper maché masks — advanced tips

In making all my big paper maché masks I’ve learned a lot of important things along the way — things I could only figure out through trial and error, but now that I know about them they’re a huge help in every subsequent mask I make. I’m by no means an expert! I’ve only made four big skull masks so far, and I have two more in the works (one skull and one non-skull) but with each one I can see them getting easier and easier to make and to wear, thanks to these tricks I’ve worked out over the years. Here are some of them…

Making big paper maché masks - advanced tips

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Published by Manning on October 1st, 2016 | 6 Comments

Making a foam board coffin

Making a foam board coffin

One of my main decorations for my Voodoo Bayou party was this fake wooden coffin; I wanted to have it standing in the corner of the living room so people could pose for pictures in it. The main material in the coffin is foam board — 17 sheets total. I designed the coffin in Photoshop based on how large each sheet of foam board is: 20″x30″. Here’s my basic design:

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Published by Manning on October 15th, 2015 | No Comments

Working with foam board for art projects; cutting, painting, etc

I use foam board (aka foam core) in almost all my big projects — masks, Halloween decorations, etc — and I’ve learned a lot of techniques that help make working with it a lot easier.

First, check out my article about buying cheap foam board in bulk. I’ve found that the cheap stuff is much easier to work with, and it’s less than half the price of the good stuff you’d buy in an art store!

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Published by Manning on September 7th, 2015 | 35 Comments

Best deal I’ve found for buying foam board: Deals/Dollar Tree

I use foam board (aka foam core) for the base of almost all my big art projects: my paper maché masks, Halloween decorations, etc. I go through tons of this stuff, and I’ve finally found a really great deal for buying it in bulk.

I have a Deals store (aka Deal$) near me, and they used to carry foam board in their store for just a dollar per 20″x30″ sheet; this was an amazing deal, as the art store near my house charges $2.41 per sheet, according to their website. I was bummed that my local Deals store stopped carrying the stuff, but I later found out you can order it on their site, in boxes of 25 sheets, for $25! And you can choose the “pick up in store” option so there’s no shipping charge! Fantastic.
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Published by Manning on June 22nd, 2015 | No Comments

Spooky mausoleum drawers Halloween decoration

Halloween party morgue drawers decoration

I was in charge of creating some decorations for a huge cemetery-themed Halloween party at a friend’s house several years back, and we decided to turn the dining room into a morgue/mausoleum by putting fake marble drawers on the wall. These were fun and extremely easy to make, and they’re great for a cemetery-themed party, a zombie-themed party, an asylum-themed party, etc. Here are the materials I used:
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Published by Manning on June 21st, 2015 | No Comments

My painting method for my paper maché skull masks and other projects

Axeman paper mache skull mask - with mustache added

I use basically the same process for all of my big paper maché skull masks, and a lot of my other big paper maché Halloween projects and stuff as well. Here are the materials I use:
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Published by Manning on June 19th, 2015 | 10 Comments

My paper maché method for masks, Halloween projects, etc

how to make a paper mache skull mask

Paper maché (aka papier-mâché aka paper mache) is the foundation of most of my Mardi Gras skull masks, Halloween decorations and costumes, etc. Everyone who does paper maché has their own favorite materials, recipes, and methods. I’ve tried a ton of combinations and this is the best paper maché recipe and process I’ve found. The main materials I use are:
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Published by Manning on June 17th, 2015 | 35 Comments