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 "ghost":

Ouija board wall decoration

For all my Halloween parties, I try to have at least one big decorated area that makes for a good backdrop for photos. This time our main photo area was this big ouija board wall decoration. It was really easy to do and ended up in a ton of our guests’ photos.

Giant ouija board photo backdrop

The letters and shapes are all cut out from black poster board. I photographed and measured the wall, and designed the arrangement of the letters in Photoshop to fill up the space nicely. Here’s what that looked like:

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Published by Manning on November 11th, 2016 | 2 Comments

Haunted flying books decoration

I made these lightweight fake books to hang from the ceiling for my seance Halloween party, to look like they were floating around the room due to spectral activity! These were really cheap and easy and fun to make!

Ghostly books decoration

I made graphics in Photoshop for several of the surfaces of the books: the pages, the left and right edges of the pages (those are the long straight pieces pictured below), and the tops and bottom edges of the pages (i.e. the curved pieces). I did some Google image searches of old books to find references for all of this, and then did a lot of tweaking and measuring in Photoshop. Read more…

Published by Manning on November 11th, 2016 | 1 Comment

Stabby ghost costume!

This was the second of the two “person getting killed by a ghost” costumes that I designed. Read about mine here for most of the basic info. I made my fiancée’s ghost second, using most of the same steps and materials, with a few important differences. I’ll cover those below…

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Published by Manning on November 1st, 2016 | No Comments

Strangler ghost costume!

Hooboy, this costume was a big undertaking! The basic concept for this costume is a lightweight ghost sculpture, made with wires inside to make it somewhat adjustable, and it’s attached to a harness worn under one’s clothes. There were so many different parts to build and so many problems to solve, and I basically made up the whole thing as I went along, jumping around from part to part in a weird order. So, I’ve put together as much info as I can about how I made this thing here…

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Published by Manning on November 1st, 2016 | 2 Comments

Creepy paper maché hands for my ghost costume

I made these creepy hands for my “guy being strangled by a ghost” costume! (Article about that whole thing coming soon.) You could use this same method for posable, realistic hands for any kind of monster decoration: a witch, a vampire, a zombie, etc!

First, I traced my own hand onto a sheet of craft foam (aka Wonderfoam). I kept my thumb stretched way out since ultimately I wanted these hands to be in a strangling position around my neck.

Paper mache ghost hands - tracing and cutting

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Published by Manning on October 20th, 2016 | 1 Comment

Ghostly knight in not-so-shining armor Halloween costume

Ghostly knight Halloween costume

This was a costume I’d wanted to try for years, and it was a lot of fun! I decided to be a ghostly knight for my nighmare-themed Halloween party. My goal was to look like a knight that had been resting in a tomb for five hundred years; dirty and rusty and dessicated. After lots of research on how to make knight armor from scratch (which sounded really difficult and time-consuming), I opted to instead start with an ugly plastic store-bought suit of armor. As I often say, sometimes the best jumping off point for a beautiful custom Halloween costume is a crappy store-bought Halloween costume!

The suit of armor I bought was a nice shape, but a terrible color and texture; flimsy smooth silver-gray plastic; nowhere near as shiny or metallic-looking as you see in the photo there. That was fine, as I knew I wanted to change the look of the thing completely; I wanted to transform this plain silver-gray plastic texture into solid heavy old corroded metal. Here’s how I got it there:
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Published by Manning on June 26th, 2015 | No Comments

Ambitious Halloween costume ideas I’d like to try someday

I’m constantly brainstorming elaborate Halloween costumes I’d like to do someday; it really passes the time when I’m in meetings, or running, etc. I think through the challenges that would come with these complicated costumes, list out the materials I’d need, try to imagine what the work schedule would be like, etc. Here are some that I’ve thunk up.

Undead astronaut — the key to this costume is the helmet; I’d love to make a classic old-timey-lookin’ bubble-shaped astronaut helmet with a movable visor and everything; it’d be all weathered and aged and cracked, and I’d want to try to install little lights inside that shine on my face, which would be made up like a skeleton/very old mummified zombie. Of course the rest of the outfit would be a beat-up, stained, baggy astronaut uniform, with tubes and badges and an American flag and everything. I think I’d try to make the uniform myself out of some kind of stiff fabric, and paint the heck out of it, kind of like how I did my Renfield straight jacket.
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Published by Manning on June 22nd, 2015 | No Comments