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 "halloween prop":

Paper maché bear trap prop

I made this paper maché bear trap prop as part of my Halloween costume for my Summer Camp Slasher party. It was pretty easy!

Bear trap prop - painting finished

99% of my projects start with lots of foam board and tape and end with paper maché and paint, and this one was no different. I started out by building the “jaws” of the bear trap. I measured and cut out a few 1.5″ strips of foam board to serve as the jaws, minus the teeth; those will come later. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 29th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché machete, hatchet, meat cleaver, sickle, etc props

I made all these paper maché weapon props for Halloween 2019 — a machete, a meat cleaver, a sickle, a scythe, two hatchets, a hand saw, a pitchfork, and a few knives. They were easy!

Paper mache meat cleaver, knives, etc - spray painting

I used a lot of the same process for these that I did for my paper maché kitchen knife prop last year and this paper maché axe that I made a few weeks ago, so check out that article if you want some more details and pics. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 29th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché archery target decoration

I made this paper maché archery target decoration for my 2019 summer-camp-slasher-movie-themed Halloween party! Here’s how I did it…

Paper mache archery target with skeleton decoration - finished!

Paper mache archery target with skeleton decoration - cutting out foam board

Paper mache archery target with skeleton decoration - making the circle box shape

I started by deciding on a size for my target — 36″ in diameter. I taped two 30″ x 20″ sheets of foam board together with heavy duty shipping tape, and drew a 36″ circle on ’em. (See my article about drawing precise circles here.) I cut out this circle with an X-acto knife. I then made a second copy of the same thing.

Read more…

Published by Manning on October 28th, 2019 | No Comments

Skeleton bunkbeds!

I made these skeleton bunkbeds to transform my apartment’s bathroom into a summer camp dormitory for my 1970s-summer-camp-slasher-movie-themed Halloween party. They were easy!

Skeleton bunk beds prop - done!

The bunkbeds consist of a few main parts: the beds themselves, the ladder, and the vertical supports holding up the top bunk. I made all of these out of just foam board, tape, and hot glue, using my usual techniques Read more…

Published by Manning on October 28th, 2019 | No Comments

Paper-maché severed head props!

I made these severed head decorations for Halloween 2019, using paper maché and clay and a bunch of other stuff. They were fun! Here’s how I made ’em…

Making a dozen paper mache severed heads

I started with a couple of styrofoam heads I already had laying around; one dude and one lady. I’d bought these ages ago for some project or other; I don’t even remember what it was specifically because I’ve ended up using them for a million different things — as a stand for masks I was working on, as a base for other Halloween head props I’ve made, etc. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 28th, 2019 | No Comments

8-foot foam board rowboat prop

I made this big rowboat prop for my 2019 Halloween party — Summer Camp Slasher! It was a somewhat complicated project but I tried to simplify everywhere I possibly could and take every shortcut I could find. I made this whole thing in one afternoon!

foam board rowboat prop - finished!

Here’s my weird idea I came up with for creating this slightly complex boat shape: I started with two giant foam board panels — one to be the bottom surface of the boat, and one to span across what would be the open upper surface; this one would be removed when the shape was done. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 22nd, 2019 | 2 Comments

Paper maché fireplace prop

I made this paper maché fireplace for my 2019 Halloween party — Summer Camp Slasher!

Paper mache fireplace prop

Of course I started by measuring and sketching the fireplace to make sure it would be the right size for our wall and tall enough to reach our ceiling. I built the basic big shapes using my usual method for building box shapes out of foam board. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 14th, 2019 | No Comments

Fake wood summer camp sign decoration

Here’s a quick and easy one; I made this summer camp sign mostly by re-using techniques I made up a few years ago for these fake wooden signs. Here’s how I did it…

Fake wooden sign - hatchet prop!

I started with two sheets of foam board; one for the wooden planks and one for the background. I cut wavy lines with an X-acto knife to make the four planks, and I trimmed the background piece to be a bit smaller.

Read more…

Published by Manning on October 11th, 2019 | No Comments

Freddy Krueger hand prop accessory!

I made this Freddy Krueger hand prop as part of my wife’s 2019 Halloween costume; soon it’ll be a wearable prop that’s bursting out of her chest! For now, here’s how I made the hand itself…

Paper mache Freddy Krueger hand prop - finished!

Sculpting the hand

I definitely went overboard with building the hand; I totally could’ve just stuffed a glove with wadded-up paper towels or something. But that would leave me with a really lifeless, fake-looking hand, and I wanted something more realistic, with more tension in the way it’s posed. I’m always up for overkill on these things!

Read more…

Published by Manning on October 1st, 2019 | No Comments

Paper maché chainsaw prop

This thing was fun! And relatively easy, really! I made this paper maché chainsaw prop as a decoration for my 2019 Halloween party. There are so many different little shapes to this thing, and I was really winging it along the way, so there’s no way I can accurately write about every single step or this article would be twenty pages long. But I’ll show you some of the broad strokes…

Paper mache chainsaw prop - painting done!

Read more…

Published by Manning on October 1st, 2019 | No Comments

Home-made Jason Voorhees mask!

I made this very quick and easy Jason Voorhees mask prop for Halloween 2019. Sure I could’ve bought one for a few bucks, but it’s always more fun to make my own, and I like for all my Halloween decorations and props to have a really rough DIY look to ’em.

Paper mache Jason Voorhees mask - finished

Read more…

Published by Manning on September 30th, 2019 | No Comments

Making a paper maché rifle and gun rack prop

I made this paper maché hunting rifle and gun rack as a wall decoration for my summer camp slasher movie Halloween party. It was easy!

Paper mache rifle prop - painted

Paper mache rifle prop - with gun rack

I started by doing some image searches for old hunting rifles, to get an idea of the shape and size. I found an image I wanted to use, scaled it up in Photoshop and printed it out as several pages, then taped the pages together and cut the rifle shape out.

Read more…

Published by Manning on September 30th, 2019 | No 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 | 2 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.

Read more…

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

Paper maché Necronomicon sculpture — part 2

This is part two of two of my paper maché demonic book project. See part one here.

Making the 3d “BOO!” logo

To create the “BOO!” logo in the mouth, I started out by printing several copies of the logo (designed by my friend Jon Morris) at the actual size; I’d planned out my sketch for the face along with the logo in Photoshop so I’d be able to plan all of these parts to fit together the way I wanted.

Read more…

Published by Manning on October 2nd, 2017 | 4 Comments

Haunted book paper maché sculpture for BOO! Halloween Stories — part 1

Haunted book sculpture - three-quarter view

I made this paper maché haunted book sculpture for the cover of the 2017 edition of BOO! Halloween Stories — a comics anthology that I’ve been doing with my friend Jon Morris off and on for about fifteen years. The cover is usually just a regular illustration, but this year Jon had the idea to have me sculpt a demonic book — you know, like the Necronomicon or whatever — and then photograph that for the cover of the digital comic. This was an insanely fun project; here’s how I did it!

Read more…

Published by Manning on October 2nd, 2017 | No Comments

Now offering custom paper maché masks and sculptures

Interested in a custom papier-mâché mask, sculpture, cosplay armor/accessories, etc made by yours truly? I’ve been getting a lot of requests about paper maché commissions lately so I’ve added a page about custom pieces, with some guidelines about timing and pricing. Drop me a line and let’s talk!

Read more…

Published by Manning on January 14th, 2017 | 6 Comments

Voodoo skull staff

For our Voodoo Bayou party, my fiancée wanted to design a swamp goddess costume; basically a spooky nature spirit who protects the animals in the swamp and chases meddling humans away. She wanted to carry a staff with a human skull on top with various bones and beads and trinkets hanging off, and I put together this plan to create the staff for her.

Read more…

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

Paper maché alligator — waterproofing and painting

Paper mache alligator painting completed

It’s finally done! This is part three of my paper maché alligator project. See part one and part two.

With all the paper maché done, it was time to waterproof and paint the alligator. Originally this guy was just meant to go in the bathtub during my Halloween party and then get thrown out, but as I made the thing I got pretty attached to it, so now I’m hoping to be able to waterproof it well enough so that it might not be in too bad shape after being submerged in water during the party, and maybe I can keep it and use it as an all-year-round decoration in my apartment, maybe on top of my bookshelf, or hanging on a wall. So I’m trying to approach decorating this thing like it needs to look good not just in the tub but anywhere.
Read more…

Published by Manning on July 27th, 2015 | 18 Comments

Paper maché alligator, part 2

How to make a paper mache alligator

This is part two of my paper maché alligator project for Halloween. Part one can be found here. When I last left off, I had just applied Activa Plus clay to the alligator’s head in order to create the teeth, eyes and eyebrow ridges, and nostrils. So my next step was to paper maché over those bits; easy. See my article about my paper maché method here. The short version is: I use Roman PRO-543 universal wallpaper adhesive and alternating layers of newspaper and brown wrapping paper. Read more…

Published by Manning on July 16th, 2015 | 2 Comments